Apps of the Week

Great apps to try on your own device this weekend

It's our first Apps of the Week column for December, and as we round the final corner towards 2014 we're keeping up with the same recipe as all previous columns. Each Saturday this post rounds up an app pick from each of the writers here at Android Central, accompanied with a little explanation of why it's on our device.

This week's list fills out with a couple of new games to try, some interesting tools and as usual, a few odds and ends. Stick around with us after the break and see if you can find a few new apps to install this weekend.

Simon Sage - Ravenmark: Mercenaries

Ravenmark: Mercenaries

Ravenmark: Mercenaries is an in-depth medieval warfare game. Set in a fantasy world lush with history, players take on missions from rival kingdoms, expand their ranks with platoons of specialized troops, and hit the battlefield. Placement and formation are key to victory, but since turns are executed simultaneously rather than sequentially, there will always be an exciting element of uncertainty. 

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If you've got tabletop gaming experience, Ravenmark: Mercenaries is right up your alley. 

Download: Ravenmark: Mercenaries (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Android Web Developer

Android Web Developer

Anything that makes a tablet more productive will get my attention. The idea of doing actual work from a device with a small screen, no keyboard and no mouse isn't something I like to consider, but knowing you can do it in a pinch is awesome. Being able to work from a tablet or even a phone just might save your bacon.

If you're a web developer, this app is for you. It's called Android Web Developer and it's a complete mini IDE for web development. You can work with local or remote files, edit PHP, CSS, HTML and JavaScript, reformat and refactor code, search regular expressions and do just about anything else you would ever need it to do on a tablet or phone. It does it with a simple, clean (and tablet optimized) UI, and even offers previews right inside the app.

The free version works really well. If you work with web code for a living or for a hobby, download it and check it out. If you find you want code reformatting or multiple connections, you can grab the full version (normally $4.99 but $2.99 right now) via an in-app purchase.

Download: Android Web Developer (Free; $2.99)

Chris Parsons - Knightmare Tower

Knightmare Tower

After having gained some love on Ouya, Knightmare Tower has arrived on the Google Play Store as a free download. The game is simple enough, you bust through ceilings, rescue princesses and escape boiling lava. Yes, Princesses. You have to rescue 10 of them through 70 different quests with over 50 different monsters in total. To be fair, the game is a bit receptive as you’re simply just jumping up in the air and slashing away at things but that’s actually more enjoyable than it sounds. A note though, it does seem to have a bug with Note 3 users so if you’re using that device, you might want to pass on trying it for now.

Download: Knightmare Tower (Free)

Jordan Miera - Slacker Ra​dio

Slacker Radio

Slacker Radio is a great app that helps me satiate my music appetite.

The last time I used the free version, which was a while ago, it was riddled with ads (including video ads) that took over. I'll admit that it was a fair annoyance.

However, if you decide to pay $3.99/month, you can get rid of those ads. Also, you get my favorite thing about Slacker: you can store stations for offline playback on your device. There are so many stations to choose from. Although it won't work for everybody, I find that I don't really need many more options for music on my mobile device with Slacker and this package.

Should you decide to pay even more ($9.99/month), you can get a more Spotify-like experience and play songs on demand. You could also store songs and albums on your device as long as Slacker has the necessary licensing deals in place. Additionally, you could create your own playlists and store those on your device as well.

Sometimes (at least for me), it will start playing songs in the same order they were played in previous sessions. That's a minor annoyance, but I'd recommend Slacker overall. It's nifty.

Download: Slacker Radio (Free)

Phil Nickinson - Cal Cal

The folks behind the excellent To-do List app this week released and excellent new calendar app. First and foremost is its attractive design. It easily connects with all of your calendar services and has a fair amount of social integration. Each day is presented so you have no excuse for omitting what's coming up, and it's easy to move from month to month. The included widget also is excellent, though I prefer something with a little more transparency.

This app is absolutely worth a look and should be a must-install for many.

Download: Cal (Free)

Andrew Martonik - Allthecooks Recipes

Allthecooks Recipes

I've actually been rather happy with my other recipe app choices, but I started giving Allthecooks a try after installing its Glassware app on Google Glass. It turns out I actually have really enjoyed keeping Allthecooks installed alongside my other choices.

Allthecooks is a user-submitted recipe book boasting over 150,000 recipes, and sometimes that's what you want to try out rather than recipes from the TV personalities and professional cooks. The recipes are generally high quality, but the big winner here is the app itself. It's smooth, easy to navigate and use whether you're at the grocery store shopping or actually putting food together.

Downoad: Allthecooks Recipes (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.