Each week we like to bring you some of the favorite applications we use regularly, and here we are again. Let's hit the break and check out what your favorite Android writers are using regularly, and be sure to let us know in the comments some of your favorites!
Sean Brunett - Goodreads (Free)
If you’re not familiar with Goodreads, it’s a social network for people who love to read and share books. The Android app is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone who is active on the site. With the app, you can search and review any of the books that are in the catalog (which is a lot!), view your stream and updates from friends or people you follow, view and edit your shelves, use the barcode scanner to scan your own books into the Goodreads shelves, and find more friends via your social networks. It’s a well designed app and it’s very functional. If you’re already on Goodreads, it’s a must and for anybody else not familiar, I’d suggest checking it out (if you like to read). [Google Play Link]
Alex Dobie - MX Player Pro ($5.62)
Video files come in all kinds of formats, and it can be frustrating when your phone or tablet simply refuses to recognize your content. Unless you're down with codecs and headers and all that stuff, it's not always easy to know what'll play and what won't.
Fortunately, MX Player is a media player app for Android that'll play just about anything you can throw at it. It includes optimizations for the most common Android hardware setups, including Tegra 2 and ARM NEON, as well as a variety of subtitle formats and full ICS support. This allows it to decode files through software that your phone's hardware decoder may not support.
If you're happy to view a small banner advertisement while you're navigating menus, you can grab the free ad-supported version. Alternatively, there's the ad-free MX Player Pro, which sells for £3.44 on Google Play. [Google Play Link]
Richard Devine - Photo Editor (Free)
We're not short on photo editing software on Android that's for sure. But this week I stumbled upon another simply titled Photo Editor. It comes free and ad supported, but you can purchase an ad free version.
So why do I like it? Because what it does it does very well. One touch I'm quite fond off is the ability to alter your photos using curves. There's also a wide range of tools for resizing, sharpening, drawing and text, frames and various filters and special effects.
Coupled with the camera on my new One X I've really been having a lot of fun with this. I'm no photographer, but for free this is a must try for anyone who likes to edit their phone taken photos on the go. [Google Play Link]
Jerry Hildenbrand - Real Silent (Free)
RealSilent is a nifty little tool that will tie the media volume mute function to the ringer and notification mute settings on your ICS phone. With stock Ice Cream Sandwich, when you drop the volume down via the volume rocker switch, it only affects the ringer and notification volume. I can see why it's done this way, and I can see why people would prefer it that way, but I like everything but the alarm to mute when I crank it down to zero. There's several solutions that do this that work great, but I'm happy to have found one that sits quietly out of the way, doesn't affect anything else, and works just the way I want it to work. You can set the app to work with both silent and vibrate mode, and it runs in the background as a very small service. It's free, and has no special permissions. Give it a look. [Google Play Link]
Chris Parsons - Marvel Comics (Free)
If you're into comics then the Marvel Comics app for Android is pretty much a no-brainer. You need it in your life. Whether it be to grab old back copies of comics you once had and have long since lost or if you're a new comic book fan and just want to start out digitally. The app is free, you're required to create a login and from there -- you're off to the races. With plenty of free content available as well as paid downloads, it's easy to get caught up in the Marvel universe when using this app. [Google Play Link]
Kevin O'Quinn - 500px (Free)
Photography at its finest. That's what you get with 500px. It's a simple app, but it works really well. On the left you have the navigation buttons, which are clearly labeled and easy to understand. Every picture that you see is extremely well done. Just about anything you want is available. I find myself spending more time looking at random pictures than I'd care to admit, but these are all just so well done. Swiping left and right will navigate through seemingly endless pages of pictures, none of which fail to amaze me.
You can log in to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and share directly from the app to those services. Notable absent is Google+, which is a shame. Another improvement that I would like to see is support for pinch to zoom. Other than those two things the app is awesome. Also, it's forgivable given that the app just came out the other day. I'm sure we'll see some updates, and with those functionality is sure to improve. [Google Play Link]
Anndrew Vacca - TWC TV (Free)
This week, I finally splurged on something I’ve held out on for the past three years: cable TV. A necessity for most, cable was always my final holdout, until Time Warner introduced its live TV app for Ice Cream Sandwich. With the app, you can watch live television on any Android 4.0 smartphone or tablet, which means that though my TV is in the living room, I can watch most programs from anywhere in my house. As unnecessary as it may sound, I’m completely hooked. I watch the morning news while brushing my teeth, the evening news while taking a shower, and late night talk shows while falling asleep in bed.
You’ll need at least the standard cable package from Time Warner (which runs around $50/month here in New York City) to use the app, and while the channel lineup is respectable, it isn’t quite as full as what you’ll get on your TV. Oh, and one small caveat: you need to be on your home Wifi network for the app to work, so don’t expect to watch TV while driving to work in the morning. Regardless of the few limitations, TWC TV works flawlessly, with nary a freeze up and quite impressive image quality. If you’re already a Time Warner customer, stop reading this immediately and grab the app from the Google Play store. Now. [Google Play Link]
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