While all of this impending Nexus and KitKat news may be taking all of the spotlight in the Android world, we're still carving out some time for the Apps of the Week. Each Saturday we get the writers here at Android Central to tell us about an app that they've been using in the last week. No matter the genre, styling or overall popularity of the app, we just want to show off what the folks here at AC have been using on their own devices.
This week we have another nice grouping of apps, including a way to donate to charity, a few great games and some odds-and-ends. Read along with us after the break, see how this week's picks stack up against the rest and maybe you'll come away with a few new apps to try this weekend.
Sean Brunett - One Today by Google
My app this week is a Google app, but one that does not get as much attention as it deserves. One Today is a fantastic app that lets you donate to different worthy causes once a day. It was invite-only until recently, but now is open to the public. Here is how it works: Every day, you will get a notification about a new cause that you can donate to. You can choose to donate to that cause or choose something else that matters a little more to you. For each organization or charity, you can view a description, how the money is used and how far your dollar will go. You then choose to either donate $1 to the project or you choose to match donations made by your friends. Once you have donated, you cannot donate again until the next day. I think it’s a brilliant idea and a brilliant app. They keep is cheap so it works as more of a micro-donation that many will donate to. They choose worthwhile causes; everyone will find something that they care about enough to donate. I have been loving this app since I was able to get it and I hope most of you consider downloading it and donating to good causes with it.
Download: One Today by Google (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Hangouts (for iOS)
I'm running the risk of being tarred and feathered here, but this week, just this one time, I have to pick an application that none of us can install on our Androids. That's because I think this is the most important app that's ever been released on any platform. Yes, that's how great I think the latest version of Hangouts for iOS is.
Google just created a way for 90-plus percent of connected people on the planet to talk to each other. Put your fandom and pride away for a few minutes and realize that now anyone with an iPod touch can now call anyone with an Android phone, an iOS device, or a computer that runs the Chrome browser. That's bigger than any one app on one platform. Only Google could do this, and I'm so glad they did.
Download from iTunes: Hangouts (Free, for iOS)
Chris Parsons - Re-Volt: Classic
I’m reaching back to another classic game from my younger years that has now seen a mobile revamp. Having first been released by the now defunct Acclaim back in 1999, Re-Volt: Classic is a fun little racer that strays a bit from the norm in the fact you’re not actually racing real race cars. Instead, you’re presented to be racing radio-controlled race cars through normal, everyday obstacles. All in all, there is 14 tracks to play through and 42 different cars to be obtained. The controls are simple and based on just steering left and right, acceleration is automatically controlled and braking is handled just by placing two fingers on the display. That type of control makes it fun and easy for everyone to pick it up and just go. Re-Volt: Classic is available in two versions really. The ad infused demo version is available as a free download while the full featured and paid version is also available. If you’re on the fence, grab the free version and give it a go. If you decide you want the full version, that will set you back around $4.50.
Casey Rendon - Final Fantasy V
Ah, the Final Fantasy series. A good many hours of my childhood were spent leveling up, collecting items, and traversing the dungeons of many games in this series. For anyone that isn't familiar with [s]Squaresoft's[/s] Square Enix's famous franchise, Final Fantasy is a series of Role Playing Games where the player assumes the role of a hero who collects weapons, armor, magic spells, and comrades on his or her quest to defend the land against a great evil and that evil's minions. This particular game, Final Fantasy V, was never originally released in the U.S. In America, it went from Final Fantasy IV (which was called Final Fantasy II here) to Final Fantasy VI (which was called Final Fantasy III here), both of which were released for Super Nintendo. FFV was eventually released many years later for the Playstation and Game Boy Advance.
The game begins with a wanderer named Bartz and his trusty Chocobo steed (giant yellow bird he rides) named Boko. He runs into a damsel in distress in the woods, and from there quickly becomes enveloped in a plot to defend the world's four magic Crystals against the evil sorcerer Exdeath. This time around, the game gets a full graphical makeover with HD graphics, a new touch interface, and in-game additions like new job types for the game's job system. If you've played this game before and want an excuse to play it again, you played the other Final Fantasy games for Super Nintendo and enjoyed them, or you're just a fan of old school RPGs, this game is a great way to kill some time. It's not cheap, but it is on sale for 30% off, bringing the price down to $10.99 in the Play Store.
Download: Final Fantasy V ($10.99)
Simon Sage - Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign
Match three puzzle games have been done to death, but if you toss in some proper strategy mechanics, and super heroes you know and love, you can get something fresh. Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign gives players a team of heroes. The game board is littered with random tiles, each corresponding to a hero. Line up a match, and that hero attacks whichever bad guy is in front and takes a hit from that bad guy in return. Villains put special attacks on individual tiles with a timer; if you can't match that tile before the turn countdown winds down, you'll get hit with a doozy. As you collect specific tiles, you also charge up your own super-powers, which can be upgraded as you chew through the single player campaign. Once you're through the story, you can launch into online multiplayer. Comic fans looking for a casual time-killer will probably get a kick out of Marvel Puzzle Quest - the snappy writing, polished graphics, and long-term progression are all solid.
Download Now: Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign (free)
Andrew Martonik - CBS
The last few weeks I’ve been featuring apps that have helped me keep up with TV without a full-blown cable setup, and this week I’m going to feature another app in that genre -- CBS. If you’re a fan of CBS content (Big Bang Theory, anyone?), you can keep up with full episodes right on your phone or tablet with this app.
It’s unfortunate that the different cable channels make you jump through the hoop of having their apps installed to get a good selection of shows, but at least they’re available somewhere. This is a good one to keep in your stable of cord-cutting cable replacement apps.
Download: CBS (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.
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