It's time again for another edition of our Apps of the Week column, where we show off the apps that are on the devices of the Android Central writers. Whether they're tools, media players, live wallpapers, readers, games or something obscure and fun, you can count on us to bring you a grouping of apps every week that are worth looking at.
This week we have a tool to help you read, a media player, a couple of great games and some odds and ends for you to check out. Read on past the break to see how the picks this week stack up against the rest.
Casey Rendon - FBReader
I found this app when I realized I had no application that would properly view my Rich Text Format documents. It came up in the Play Store search results, so I decided to give it a try. Lo and behold, it worked great. Not only can FBReader handle this strange Mac text document, but it is a full fledged e-book reader as well. Its book-like interface can also handle epub, fb2, mobi, and plain text file formats. It has external dictionary integration, works with multiple languages, and has a built-in browser for downloads from network e-book catalogs and stores. There are also multiple companion apps for FBReader on the Play Store. One good example is FBSync (root required), which can sync reading positions between Android devices via the web. Pretty cool. You can't beat free, so if you do any e-book or rtf/plain text reading on your Android, this app is a great option to have.
Download: FBReader (Free)
Sean Brunett - PlayerPro
I listen to a lot of content on my phone. Podcasts, music, lectures, speeches, you name it, I’ve probably listened to it. I scour most apps I can find that can find me that content and play it in an easy-to-use manner. There come times, however, that certain feeds just don’t refresh quickly enough for my liking. No problem, I just go to the website and download the file that way to my phone. The problem with this, I have found, is that my default podcast apps won’t play the file and the built in app as well as the Google Play Music app are lackluster. I went in search of a third party player would just play these files that I find in Astro in a nice way. PlayerPro is a great app for this and has definitely earned its way to a permanent spot on my devices from now on. Now, let me be honest, I am not using PlayerPro to its fullest potential. It can do a lot more and for all you audiophiles out there, it gives you a lot of control. It plays media content that you have stored on your device and gives you audio effects that you can play around with. I don’t know if this is just me, but it sounds exponentially better than the default music app on Android. It also offers lock screen widgets, home screen widgets, a sleep timer, lyrics search, music stats, smart playlists and much more. I was simply looking for a player that would simulate my podcast apps if I was to download the file directly. including providing album art, the ability to skip ahead and save progress. It does those things, but much more, which I will be taking advantage of in the near future. There is a free trial version which I highly recommend before upgrading to the full version, which is $4.95.
Download: PlayerPro (Trial / $4.95)
Chris Parsons - Headless
How long can a chicken live running around with its head cut off? I know. It’s a slightly disturbing question but that’s the concept of a fun new endless runner called Headless. Inspired by the story of Miracle Mike, the chicken that lived without a head for 18 months, Headless challenges players to see how far they can run as a headless chicken! Grab bags of blood to live longer and keep a cool head while dodging deadly blades and other obstacles. Unlock upgrades, collect power ups and charge head first to new high scores. The artwork in the game is pretty sweet, there is no in-app purchases and it’s fun and cheap. Can’t ask for much more really.
Download: Headless ($0.99)
Simon Sage - Type:Rider
I'm not what you'd call a history buff, but somehow this minimalist game about the development of writing and fonts hooked me quickly. Type:Rider puts players through ten worlds, each representing an era in typography. Every stage includes a snippet of typography history which I'd say is just about as fun as the playing level itself. (In other news, I must be getting old.) They guide a tiny colon symbol across a surreal landscape of letters, trying not to fall off ledges or otherwise destroyed by treacherous terrain. Bonus objective are scattered throughout every level, and the polished controls help you focus on solving some really tricky puzzles. Despite the simple art style, there's some fantastic animation here, and the soundtrack is extremely high quality.
Download: Type:Rider ($3.64)
Andrew Martonik - Air Control
Maybe it’s just because I’ve been flying this week and have airplanes on the mind, but I’ve been getting back into Air Control lately. There are a few different games like this that have been around for a long time, but Air Control has consistently been the one that I turn to when I’m looking for a fun, casual and (for those who are flying) offline game.
You’re basically playing air traffic controller for a whole airfield (or aircraft carrier), guiding different sizes and speeds of planes along with helicopters down to their landing spots safely without colliding in the air. It’s one of those games that you can play for a while without actually knowing what you’re doing, but quickly ramps up and gets difficult.
It’s a fun game and hard to beat when you have some time to kill on your phone or tablet. There’s a “Lite” version of the app for free, but if you want to do any serious flying you’ll pick up the full version for $2.49 and get more maps or the HD version for $3.99 and get a tablet-friendly look and a couple additional features.
Jerry Hildenbrand - Repix
There's always a lot of talk about how to get the best pictures out of your Android, but there are also some great apps to turn those pictures into art. Repix, from Sumoing, is one of them.
The more conventional things like cropping, scaling and frames are supported, but the best part of Repix is the brush support. Effects like lens flare, posterizing, and spotlighting round out the 16 available artistic transformations, and the app is fluid and easy to use. Cool stuff like brushes to turn your picture into something that looks like oil on canvas isn't much good if it's hard to do. The brushes also fully support Samsung's S Pen.
The base application, with a small handful of brushes, is free. As it comes out-of-the-box it's a decent picture editor, but to get the most use out of the app you'll need to spend a little cash via in-app purchases. I suggest just spending the $5.99 and buying it all. For "creative" editing, this is the best app I've used.
Download: Repix (free, with in-app purchases)
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.