Another week has come and gone, and that means it's the weekend and time for our Apps of the Week column. We use this column each and every week to show off a single app from each of the writers here at Android Central, alongside a quick description of why it's installed on our phone or tablet. As you can imagine we go through a good number of apps here, so if there's something good enough for us to keep installed, it must be doing something right.
Read along with us this week and see the apps we have installed and want to show off — we have a few games, some utilities for media, a weather app and a few odds and ends on top of that. You might just find an app (or four) to install for yourself this week.
Phil Nickinson - AccuWeather
AccuWeather long has been an excellent Android weather app, and this week it got itself a nice feature update. New is the addition of MinuteCast, which gives you forecasts for the next two hours all the way down to your street address. (This one works in the U.S. and Canada only for now.) There's also a new local forecast summary for the 3- to 5-day outlook.
Download: AccuWeather (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - aLogcat
It's been a while since I talked about a way to read your Android logs. That means it's been a while since I mentioned aLogcat, which is a super-simple way to do just that. Whether you're looking for a bug or just trying to grab the URL for an OTA, aLogcat will help you with no fuss, no muss, and no extra frills to get in your way. There are several ways to read the logs on your phone, but I like to stick with what works for me. It's also what I'll recommend to anon who wants to do a little digging into what is going on behind the screen.
Richard Devine - Rival Knights
I challenge thee to a duel! Rival Knights is a free to play title from Gameloft that sits you atop your trusty steed to joust for glory. It's got pretty fantastic looking graphics and such a simple gameplay mechanism that it's really easy to pick up. You need to get your horse riding as fast as possible then take out your opponent with a precisely aimed hit.
As you progress and take on more challenging opponents there are opportunities to upgrade your weapons, armor and horses using in-game currency. Yes, this is obtainable via in-app purchase but you do also win gold coins and gems for winning your jousts. It's great fun and there's an immense sense of satisfaction as you watch your opponent fly through the air in defeat.
Download: Rival Knights (Free)
Alex Dobie - Sony Smart Connect
There are many Android apps that can help you automate certain tasks, but there's something to be said for the simplicity of Sony's Smart Connect app, which comes preloaded on all the company's Android phones, and is also available for free on Google Play.
It's not a complex app — certainly nowhere near as feature-filled as something like Tasker — but Smart Connect lets you easily automate a few really useful things. For instance, it can automatically silence your phone when you plug it in between certain hours. Or you could automatically launch your favorite Music streaming app when you plug in headphones at the time of your daily commute. The list of stuff you can automate is surprisingly extensive — you can send text messages, make direct calls, connect to Bluetooth audio accessories, and even post to Facebook.
And best of all, Sony Smart Connect is a free download for just about all modern Android devices.
Download: Sony Smart Connect (Free)
Simon Sage - Romans in my Carpet!
Romans in my Carpet! is turn-based strategy game set in the microcosmic world of some dude's dorm room. Command mite-y Roman legions as they engage the enemy across Nutella-stained kitchenettes, mismatched socks strewn on a rarely-vacuumed carpet, and other disastrous environs. Every unit has its own special ability, but position and synergies between your units are what will turn the tide of battle in your favor. The retro pixel art style is downright charming, and meshes wonderfully with the goofy dialog bubbles that pop up between missions. In-app purchases are there for cosmetic upgrades, namely packs that have shapes you can use in your army's banner.
If you're a practiced strategy gamer and you're looking for something lighthearted, Romans in my Carpet! is an easy choice.
Download: Romans in my Carpet! ($2.99)
Andrew Martonik - LG Optimus Lockscreen
Ever wonder from afar what it'd be like to live with an LG device and its custom software? Or maybe you've just seen its promotional pictures and want to give the lockscreen a try — well, with LG Optimus Lockscreen you can do just that. Nothing fancy here, really, it's just a free ($3.22 to remove ads in the settings) lockscreen replacement app that gives you the look and feel of LG's software, complete with the sounds, effects and shortcuts that you'd get on any modern LG phone. There's no Knock Code here, but you can probably understand why.
All you have to do is install this app, disable your current lockscreen and you're off to the races. It works surprisingly well and doesn't feel tacked on like some third-party lockscreens do. Best of all if you don't like it, it's a quick uninstall and you're back to your old ways.
Download: LG Optimus Lockscreen (Free, $3.22 In-app purchase)
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.
Google's giving up too much ground in the smart home fight
We're in the thick of our fall launches, but after the tidal wave of new products from Amazon last week, Google's Launch Night In looks like it'll barely make a splash. That's not good, because Alexa and Ring are rapidly gaining on Assistant and Nest.
Luna is both a safe bet and Amazon's best idea in years
Is "rolling your own" Netflix-style game library what we really want? Amazon thinks so.
Google's parent company settles shareholder lawsuit over sexual misconduct
Following sexual misconduct reports from 2018, Google has settled a shareholder lawsuit and announced major changes to how the company operates in these regards — including no severance packages for employees fired over sexual misconduct.
Spice up your smartphone or tablet with the best icon packs for Android
Being able to customize your device is fantastic as it helps to make your device even more of "your own". With the power of Android, you can use third-party launchers to add custom icon themes and these are just some of our favorites.