A weekly grouping of apps that have grabbed our attention
Hard to believe that we're already looking at the end of September, but we have room for one last Apps of the Week column before we end the month. As always, we use this weekly post to highlight a group of apps from the Android Central writers that have turned out to be fun, useful or just interesting bits of mobile software.
This week we have a light grouping of tools, games and other odds and ends for your enjoyment. Stick around after the break and see how this week's picks stack up.
Casey Rendon - WiFi Mouse
The other day I needed to study and take notes on a few Powerpoint slides, so I decided to take over the living television and make it my giant computer monitor. The only problem was, my HDMI cable didn't reach the couch, so I needed to find a way to remotely control my laptop. After a few minutes of browsing the Play Store, I found WiFi Mouse. One Android app install and one quick and easy computer app install later, all I had to do was tap the "auto connect" button and I was up and running. My Nexus 7 became a trackpad that was connected via my home WiFi network. There's even a scroll wheel in portrait mode, as well as the ability to use the Android keyboard for typing. I was also able to scroll using two finger gestures and move windows and icons using three fingers. All these features were included in the free version that I downloaded, which met my needs perfectly. For those that want extra features like hotkeys, dedicated minimize/maximize/close buttons, and an in-app keyboard, there is a paid version available for $2.99.
Download: WiFi Mouse (Free)
Chris Parsons - Pocket Ninjas
I know, the whole Fruit Ninja style of games is kind of old but this one is too cool to pass up considering it comes free. Pocket Ninjas takes the old genre and mixes it up a bit in a fun way with some great graphics. Slice and dice through waves and waves of enemies while collecting points and gold with the tip of your sword. The game arrives with 4 arenas each with 3 game play modes though, you might want to keep this one away from the kiddies — it does get a bit bloody.
Download: Pocket Ninjas (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop
Many of us have used a remote desktop program for computer-to-computer communication and virtualization, but Splashtop 2 is leading the way in terms of mobile-to-computer virtual desktop use. If you have the need to access your desktop (or laptop) computer from your tablet, Splashtop 2 can do it seamlessly and for free if you're fine sticking to the same Wifi network for both devices. You get a pretty intuitive set of controls that help translate your taps and pokes on the touch screen into clicks and scrolls on the computer, and once you get used to it, it can be a very power tool.
If you have the need to roam outside of the house and access your computer from over mobile data, Splashtop offers monthly or yearly access plans that can help you accomplish that as well. This isn't the sort of tool that everything has the need for, but sometimes its a fun tool to play around with.
Download: Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Polarbear (beta)
If you're a member of multiple social networks, you know how handy it would be to have one app that will post to any or all of them at once. I'm participating in the beta test for Polarbear, which can do just that.
You connect the Polarbear app to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogger and App.net accounts, then you're able to fire off a post and send it to any combination of them at once. The beta is going pretty smoothly, and the developer is quick to respond and interact with the testers. It's almost ready for prime time.
If you want to give this one a try (it's free) all you need to do is join the Polarbear beta community on Google+ through the link below.
Richard Devine - Transit App
My first trip to New York City is almost upon me, and as is traditional when I go somewhere new, I'm loading up my devices with as many travel apps as possible. The Transit App is one of those. Much loved on iOS for a long old while, it made the jump to Android back in July. Real time public transport schedules, routing options and always up-to-date data are a big bonus, especially for someone entering into the unknown. And it's free, which is the other great thing about it.
Download: Transit App (Free)