Welcome back to another edition of our 'Apps of the Week' series, where we highlight several apps from the Android Central writing staff. Once a week we give each of the writers a chance to tell everyone about an app that they have been actively using in the last week and bundle them up for some light Saturday afternoon reading.
This week we have yet another diverse set of apps ranging from tools for tuning a guitar to games with stick figure army guys. Stick around after the break and see how this week's picks stack up.
Casey Rendon - URL Ripper Free
Shortened URLs are great – they allow us to post prohibitively long web addresses in Tweets, can be easily typed from a quick glance, and reduce waste of our precious character resources. These cases are when they are created for the forces of good. They can also be used to disguise spam, malicious websites, and Rick Astley music videos. A new app that hit the Play Store recently, URL Ripper, can easily convert shortened URLs to their original, full addresses. You don’t even have to type the entire URL – just the few characters at the end of the standardized address. URL conversion currently works with Google, Bit.ly, Tinyurl, Ow.ly, and Is.gd. This is a very early release, so it isn’t feature-packed just yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing what additions the developer makes in the future.
Download: URL Ripper Free (Free)
Sean Brunett - Garfield Daily
I’m a sucker for many classic comics, such as Peanuts and Garfield, so whenever I find a good app that allows me to view some of them, I love to feature it. Garfield Daily presents over 12,300 of the timeless comic strip for your enjoyment. When you open the app, it will display the featured strip of the day. You can navigate to the previous days strips, pick a random date, select one yourself and share whichever you like. It’s a simple app and perfect for Garfield lovers.
Download: Garfield Daily (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - APTuner
If you're a guitar player, you know how valuable a great tuner can be. I've tried all sorts of them, including expensive pedal tuners as well as cheap clip-on models, but have been looking for an Android version that finally works. I've found it in APTuner. There are all sorts of adjustments for folks not wanting a standard EADGBe tune, and the number of samples per second are adjustable -- both features from the more expensive stand-alone models I've tried -- but what really impressed me was that I installed the app, opened it, plucked a few strings and turned a few pegs and my favorite old acoustic was tuned darn near perfectly. I've tried almost all the popular tuning apps in Google Play, but APTuner did a much better job without any fiddling around. This is exactly what I've been looking for, and to me it was well worth the five bucks.
Download: APTuner ($4.95)
Andrew Martonik - Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner
As a callback to my pick in last week's post, I'm trying my best to branch out in the food that I make (really, I'm trying!). I don't have much of a culinary mind, so naturally I've been turning to different sources for recipe ideas. AllRecipes.com has an app called "Dinner Spinner" that helps you get ideas by simply selecting the dish type, main ingredients and how long you have to cool. You're then given a list of recipes from the site's database, along with user recommendations and reviews.
Going beyond just getting the recipes, you can favorite them for later with your AllRecipes.com account and use them to build up grocery lists for items you need as well. It's a nice app to have for when you're drawing a blank on lunch on dinner, and is free to boot.
Download: Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (Free)
Chris Parsons - Doodle Army
If you've ever played any of the "Doodle" type games in the past, then you know they can be pretty fun little time wasters. That same pattern repeats itself in Doodle Army as well where you get to attack enemies in a seemingly endless shooter comprised of over 40 different levels with plenty of weapon options. With a few mini-games tossed in for fun, Doodle Army is one that never really grows old and has great replay value and is slightly humorous for the money spent on it.
Download: Doodle Army ($1.29)
Michelle Haag - Zumba Dance
I've wanted to try Zumba for a long time now, but classes are intimidating and I've never gotten around to buying the game for our Wii, so when I saw that Majestic Entertainment had released the Zumba game for Android tablets, I was super excited! For a fraction of the cost of the same game for Wii or Xbox 360, you can get Zumba on your Android tablet and take it with you wherever you go. Featuring superstar Zumba instructors Beto Perez, Gina Grant, and Kass Martin as well as chart topping hits and Zumba original tracks, you can follow along with pre-programmed classes or create your own workout with combinations of routines. Motion tracking technology ensures you get the most out of your workout, and you will stay motivated with the Progress Tracker that helps you create fitness goals and tracks your calorie burn. This game is suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced users of all ages. The basic game is $4.99 which will give you a taste of Zumba so you can decide if you like it and will stick with it. You can buy additional classes via in-app purchase.
Download: Zumba Dance ($4.99)
Richard Devine - Marvel Unlimited
The Marvel Unlimited app has had some bad press since it first launched on Android, and rightly so. It felt like a half-assed attempt, and just wasn't up to snuff. Thankfully it's now a little better, there's a full screen reading mode now and much smoother page turns, as well as being able to zoom in while you're reading. It's still not perfect, and sadly still feels less slick than the iOS equivalent, but it's improved since launch.
The main reason for choosing it is the amount I'm using it. The selection of Marvel comic books is pretty impressive, going right back into the days when my father was a child, so it's a great way to step back in time and read those early stories. Subscription is $9.99 a month, but for that you get such a lot of great comic books to read, it's worth the outlay. And because I can use it cross-platform too, makes it that much more worth the money.
Download: Marvel Unlimited (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.