Better late than never, it's our "Hey, it's the holidays, cut us some slack" edition of our weekly apps roundup. Many of you may be getting your first Android device, and we are sure you are extremely happy about it. The Android market is loaded with many great applications, but let us take you through some of our favorites of this week, and be sure to check out all of our other suggestions here.
It's that time of year where folks start making new years resolutions. One of the top new years resolutions is typically to be more fit or physically active. Some stick to that and follow through while if you're like me you'll likely forget about it in a week. In an effort to help you keep that resolution afloat the developers of Run Keeper have made their fitness tracking and measuring app available for free until the end of January. If you're looking to share your stats, stay in shape and track it all at the same time you can't beat the price here. Hit the download after the break. [Run Keeper]
Combining great graphics, an ominous soundtrack, and challenging game-play, Galaxy NGC3D is a great new game on the Android Market. The premise is simple -- man your fighter, and destroy them before they destroy you, but if you're looking for a cakewalk look elsewhere. You need a bit of skill (or practice) to pilot your ship through space, and the physics and drifting in a zero gravity environment seem as realistic as can be, at least to an earthling like myself. After a few frustrating hours playing, I got some serious satisfaction from flying in, putting an enemy in my sights, and blasting them into space dust. And to make it even better, it's one of the eleven new Open Feint games, so you can share progress and scores with your gaming buddies.
The game has a full plate full of settings, both the normal things like music volume as well as advanced settings for the on-screen graphics. The app seems coded pretty well, on my Evo 4G it can handle things set pretty high, and the Nexus S runs it great with everything cranked up to the max. There's also a little bonus -- it's set up for use with a Zeemote controller, which should work really well with this one. Speaking of bonuses -- Hyperbees (check out their developers forum right here) has set up their own contest in the Android Central forums, where ten winners will be able to grab a free copy of Galaxy NGC3D, and one lucky winner will be sporting their own Zeemote controller to play the heck out of this one, and many other games. High-tail it into the forums and try your luck, the contest ends Friday, Dec 31 at noon Eastern.
You can grab the full version of Galaxy NGC3D on sale until the contest ends tomorrow at noon on the market for a 99 cents, and there's a link to the free trial (thanks for that developers!), a gameplay video, and a handful of screenshots after the break -- check em out. Thanks Monika, Tom, and all the folks at Hyperbees!
There's no shortage of Internet radio apps out there. There are so many, in fact, that I once ran out of music while testing a few for a roundup. Yes, there are more Internet radio apps than there is music on the Internet. Go figure.
But the reason I keep coming back to TuneIn Radio is simple -- local stations. There are times I want to listen to local public radio, be it for the news, or local music, or just because. And TuneIn Radio has my local public radio station -- WUWF, for those of you stalking from home. It also has private local stations, too.
The app itself is pretty foolproof. Fire it up, chose "Local Radio" and it determines where you are through some sort of black magic (or any of your phones location services, we gather) and gives you a few options. Plus, you get all sorts of Internet radio stations, too.
Are there better Internet radio stations? Perhaps. But TuneIn Radio's worked very well for me. And at the low, low cost of FREE, the price is right. Give it a shot. More screenies and download links are after the break.
Android certainly has its share of music streaming applications, and sometimes it can be hard to choose between them all. If you do a lot of radio streaming, either on your computer or on your phone, you know just as much as I do how many options you have.
But rdio is a little different from the rest. Rdio allows you to choose from any song, artist or album that it has in its database at any time, and it does a fairly good job at it, too. We'll take a quick look at this app after the break!
One aspect of Android that has remained nearly untouched since 1.0 is its music player. Some would say Android's UI as a whole could use some polishing, but when it comes to the stock music player, I couldn't agree more.
The leaked APK is a bit buggy, but it does work (kinda). The playback is a bit choppy at times, and force closes weren't absent. But it offers a pleasing look at the new UI enhancements. If this is where Android's UI is going in future versions -- I dig it.
If you want to get your hands on the leaked Music 3.0 app, head over to the source link and give it a spin. Not up for it? Check out the video after the break [XDA Developers via Engadget]
Now this is just plain awesome. Thanks to the efforts of the Cellbots team, and worldwide collaborators, Cellbots allows you to control supported robots with up to four different input methods right from your FroYo-toting Android phone. Using direct control, Google Talk, a web browser, or phone-to-phone controls -- Cellbots makes chasing your pets around the house even easier.
To take advantage of Cellbots, you'll need to acquire one of the supported robots -- Lego Mindstorms, iRobot Create & Roomba, and VEX Pro devices. If you've already got one of those, head into the Android market and grab the last piece of the puzzle.
See it in action and grab a download link after the break.
On Android, your home screen and app drawer are collectively and commonly referred to as the "Launcher." And you're not stuck with the one that came with your phone. There are plenty of custom launchers out there. And you're going to want to check out the new ADWLauncher EX.
It brings a whole lot of custom UI goodness to your Android phone. For you old salts, bask in the glory that is ADWLauncher EX. It's based off the old ADW.Launcher code, but with more sex appeal. Five app drawer styles and behaviors, eight home screen transitions, new icons, fast presets -- you're going to want this.
ADWLauncher EX will cost you about $3.43 -- money well spent. Check out the video after the break, and there's more info and screen shots are at the source link. [JBThemes]
Google just announced that AT&T customers with Android phones can now charge apps to their AT&T bills. (That's something T-Mobile customers have been able to do for a while now.) So if you have an Android smartphone on AT&T, you'll soon have an updated Market app that lets you charge apps to your bill. Huzzah.
Also, Google mentions that new app categories are live, including "Media and Video," "Music and Audio," "Business" and "Sports," among others. Look for the AT&T billing and new categories with your updated version of the Android Market app. [Google]
Improved support for Android keyboards, both hardware and on-screen
New Android-style menus
Fixed a bug in opening links from other apps
Support for uploading files
"Save as PDF" command in the site menu
Fixed rendering of Arabic and Farsi text (on devices with Arabic/Farsi fonts installed)
Slowly but surely, it's coming along, and the install size is at 13MB, for those of you worried about such things. The folks at Mozilla recommend uninstalling any previous betas before this one. [Mozilla via Android Central Forums]
Update: Mozilla's Madhava Enros has done a really good walkthrough of the beta. Check it out.
It wouldn't be the holiday season without us offering up some free goodies for our readers, so many thanks to Federico Carnales for his participation in this giveaway.
LauncherPro -- one of the most popular replacement launchers for Android, and one that I use exclusively -- provides for a ton of customizations to your home screen. With LauncherPro, you can apply custom icons, use up to seven home screens, tweak your app drawer settings, add up to 15 apps or shortcuts in a scrollable dock, and much more. I've tried several home replacement apps, and some may offer more in terms of customization (re: themes), but LauncherPro's silky-smooth animations and UI are what keep it installed on my Evo.
OpenFeint -- the gaming network that lets you compete against your friends on other platforms -- has added 11 new titles to its roster. They are (and links to go AppBrain, if available, or you can find them in OpenFeint's Game Spotlight app.):
That makes 158 or so games that are now OpenFeint-enabled. And if you download any of the above games between Dec. 23 and Dec. 25, you'll be entered to win one of two gift cards, or a Barnes & Noble Nook Color. Not too shabby.
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