Apps of the Week

There are more than just apps in Google Play, and we want to let you know what we've found

For weeks upon weeks, we've been bringing you a weekly digest of the best apps each of the Android Central writers have been using. But starting this week, we're going to be mixing things up a bit. Google Play has expanded far beyond just apps -- there's a great selection of books, magazines, music and movies out there that deserve more attention.

So today we're going to kick off a new set of picks, ones that expand beyond just apps to include the best content each person at Android Central has found in the last week. Hang with us after the break and see what we've found in the Play Store for you today.

Jerry Hildrenbrand - Google Play Music: Metal from $5.99

Metal from $5.99

I'm all-in with Google Music, so that means I'm always looking to see what's free or on sale. This week I came across a great one if you're a fan of screaming guitars and hair -- Metal from $5.99. From the more classic stuff like Rush, Dio or Judas Priest, to stuff from this century like Isis, Lamb of God or Slipknot (no judging from me!) you're probably going to find something you like here if you're a lover of metal. I grabbed "Around the Fur" from the Deftones and some classic Ozzy for a grand total of $13.

There's no DRM, it will play on any device with an Internet connection, and it was cheap. Rock on.

Download: Metal from $5.99

Sean Brunett - The Guardian

The Guardian

The Guardian is a great example of a news app done right. It combines functionality with an easy-to-use interface. When you first open the app, it provides a list of the top stories of the moment. If you continue to scroll down, you will see sections for Multimedia, Sport, Culture, Comment, Most Viewed, Favourites and All Sections. One of my favorite aspects of this app is that the developers really took advantage of Android’s improved notifications. You will received notifications for news stories, which will feature striking images relating to whatever story is presented. You can also turn off notifications if you think they are annoying. I highly recommend the Guardian, it’s a very nice news app.

Download: The Guardian (Free)

Richard Devine - Google Keep

Google Keep

Yes, it's a Google app, and one which we've all come across already. As with anything Google does, Keep launched in a swathe of publicity. It's a note taking app, nothing particularly exciting, or revolutionary. But it does a good enough job at what it sets out to do.

The reason for bringing Keep up this week is not for the Android app, but for the new Chrome app that just launched. I hadn't thought much about using Keep since it first launched, but now, I just might start using it every day. The reason? The Chrome app supports offline use. And I need to be able to use something like this when I'm not connected.

And, it's a really nice little app too. It launches in it's own window separate to the main browser, so you really can use it like a little notepad at the side of everything else you're working on. With the Chrome app launching, for me at least, Keep just became genuinely useful. 

Download: Google Keep for Android; for Chrome

Simon Sage - 10000000

10000000

Since that bastard Jerry has excellent taste and posted on Punch Quest before I had a chance to make it my pick of the week, I dug up another great retro game called 10000000. It's pretty high on the Google Play charts after only two months of being on Android, though it's easy to see why. 10000000 is basically a match-three dungeon-crawler. Players defeat monsters with sword and sorcery by sliding rows and columns on a grid so magic and weaponry tiles line up. Players also match keys to open chests and doors. Along the way, players collect gems, gold, stone, and wood with which to train new abilities, upgrade equipment, and repair dilapidated parts of your castle between dungeon runs. At first I couldn't tell if the game was hard or if I was just stupid, but I think in the end I figured that it's just more about long-term progression than you'd think. You're able to last longer in the dungeons as you grow in mightiness. That, combined with the quick puzzle play makes for a very well-balanced game. Plus, the old-school charm of the graphics and music are bound to win at least a few hearts and minds. Check it out!

Download: 10000000 ($1.99)

Casey Rendon - Daft Punk: Get Lucky

Daft Punk: Get Lucky

Everyone’s favorite robotic DJ duo is back! It has been too long since Daft Punk released a new album (not counting Tron Legacy, since it’s a soundtrack). This single from their upcoming album Random Access Memories has not only been in the top three spots in iTunes in multiple countries, but broke a record for Spotify’s ”biggest streaming day for a single track.” Get Lucky is a slight departure from Daft Punk’s earlier work, with vocals from Pharrell Williams giving the music a different feel than tracks found on albums like Homework or Discovery. Still a very good song in its own right, Get Lucky is a must have for any Daft Punk fan.

Download: Daft Punk: Get Lucky ($1.29)

Andrew Martonik - Angry Birds Friends

Angry Birds Friends

I know, I know... just another Angry Birds release, right? Well, this one is slightly different. If you’re tired of toiling away flinging birds at pigs on your own, the “friends” part of this game may be enough to get you excited again. A long time staple on the desktop (via Facebook), Angry Birds Friends lets you challenge your Facebook friends to Angry Birds tournaments from your phone. If you can get over the necessity of having a Facebook login, you can have a lot of fun challenging others to tournaments and racking up trophies for your victories. Rovio will also release new levels and challenges every week, which will keep things fresh no matter how long you want to play.

Let’s be honest, games are always more fun when you get to brag to your friends afterwards about how badly you beat them. Angry Birds Friends is the first one of the franchise that has stayed installed on my device for more than a few days. The game is also free, which is hard to beat.

Download: Angry Birds Friends (Free)


Happen to miss previous editions of our weekly app picks? You can check them out right here. Our continuing weekly app coverage can also be seen right here as well.

 
There are 15 comments

DWR_31 says:

Thanks guys. There is absolutely nothing wrong with broadening horizons. Google Play did it.

dgwood12 says:

I think I liked the app picks better. It is far better for me to hear about new apps than hey, google play sells a song, magazine or movie that I like (and can get countless other places). This comment is not meant to be negative, just a little feedback.

Keep up the good work.

rap1 says:

I agree. Unless it is unique to Google Play somehow, I can get movie, music, book, etc. reviews else where. It's doubtful any of you have similar tastes to mine in those areas. I really love the app picks though.

mwara244 says:

Keep reminded me of ColorNote Notepad, with checklist, integrated calander, with a stick note widget to home screen, and interchangeable colors and more. I like Keep but it looks like they copied them almost.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.socialnmobile.dictapps...

garmiblis says:

Just going to tease us like that? You follow a tech blog and are fairly certain the moderately techie people running the blog don't read the same books. Do you own the full Martha Stewart collection? Or is you collection more like old literature from Spain?

Kvoth says:

Completely agree. I really don't care if someone's favourite song is on special this week... and it seems out of place on an Android news site. More suitable to a social network post or tweet.

Not to mention the millions of people for whom Google Play is, in fact, only an app market.

HAAS599 says:

Need to change this feature to Plays of the week

gnr_2 says:

+1

tdizzel says:

I downloaded Casey's suggestion and I don't see what the app does! The really weird thing is that it didn't even put a shortcut to the app on my homepage...how odd.

I think as long as this is called "apps of the week" it would be nice to stick with apps. nothing wrong with song suggestions, this just isn't the right place for it.Oh well, I don't own this site so I guess I don't get to pick the rules.

commonplace says:

I embrace change, really -- but yeah, I'm with the others that have commented thus far in saying that I, too, liked when it was just apps. Music, movies, etc. -- nothing to do with Android (it is "Android Central", after all), even though it's related to Google.

icu says:

Yeah, the Keep Chrome app just changed the game. It's now infinitely more useful. I still use Evernote for posterity information storage but for quick notes and lists this is great. It's since replaced Epistle which is just a nice notepad that syncs with Dropbox.

buffdaddy72 says:

Nice call on the Daft Punk Casey!

ssummer says:

I agree on going back to *Apps* of the week. Last time I checked, this site was geared towards Android users and not movie/music/book/magazine lovers.

I come to Android Central to find app recommendations because apps are an essential part of Android. Not so much for other media. The current change makes as much sense as me reading Entertainment Weekly for app reviews.

Matt120- says:

Google Music is a great player but I'll never use the "Play" store to purchase music. I cant have it streamed in 128. I bought "Get Luck" from Beatport in WAV format. Maybe its the audiophile in me and streaming music? No thanks.

gnr_2 says:

I don't understand what you are saying about Google Keep and Chrome. Can you now share full pages on Keep to read offline, similar to the way the stock browser let's you save pages with p extra effort involved? I personally prefer Color Note but Keep can save images making it easy to organize screen shots or other downloaded images that are kept for informational purposes.