It's Saturday, and that means its time for our weekly post where we show off the best apps that the Android Central writers are currently using. Each week we ask the folks here at AC to chime in with a few words about an app that is sticking around on their devices and why it works for them.
This week we're looking at a beautiful way to check the weather, a way to cut down on spam in your (physical) mailbox and a few games to help you pass the time. Hang with us after the break and see how the picks stack up this week.
Sean Brunett - Yahoo! Weather
We have featured the recent updates to Yahoo’s apps on the site, but I wanted to particularly emphasize their weather app, because it’s gorgeous. Marissa Mayer has been making great changes to Yahoo! since becoming CEO and the weather app displays this. For one thing, it’s one of the most beautiful apps and widgets I have used. The widgets that occupy the homescreen are things of beauty and they make you aware that the addition of hd photos can drastically improve your app. I have been using the Yahoo! weather widgets for a few weeks now and I don’t think I’ll be changing anytime soon. If you press the widget and scroll vertically, you can access detailed weather information like the upcoming forecast. You can also set favorite locations and swipe horizontally to view current conditions in them. If you like weather widgets or can appreciate gorgeous apps, I highly suggest Yahoo! Weather.
Download: Yahoo! Weather (Free)
Simon Sage - Fractal
Fractal is a smart, calm puzzle game with great music - which should be expected from the guys that made Splice. Though Fractal made its Android debut on the Humble Bundle a few weeks ago, it hit Google Play recently. Players are challenged to move tiles on a hex grid to form blooms (or clusters of seven tiles). To do so, they must push existing tiles from outside, though you only have so many pushes in a given level to do so. As boards become more complex, so do your options. The graphics are very sharp, and the occasional bit of commentary has a left-field sense of humor. If you're looking for something ponderous, be sure to give Fractal a shot.
Download: Fractal ($2.99)
Casey Rendon - PaperKarma
After moving across the country recently, my old mailbox address became my forwarding address. Any mail that still ends up in Los Angeles will be forwarded to me in Boston, which is fantastic. It comes at a price, however. My forwarding charges are calculated by weight, which means every piece of junk mail ends up costing me money. Having a little foresight, I've been using PaperKarma to cut back on the recurring pieces of junk mail. There's no way to tell for sure that it works every time it's used, but I've definitely seen a decrease in junk mail overall. All it takes is a photo of the offending letter(s), entering the address it was sent to, and the push of a button. PaperKarma then notifies the company that their junk is no longer wanted. Out of the 20+ times I've used it, only once did it have a problem recognizing the company (that submission is still pending). It's both free to download from the Play Store, and free to use.
Download: PaperKarma (Free)
Andrew Martonik - TuneIn Radio Pro
A lot of my music listening has transitioned over to Google Play Music All Access as of late, but when it comes to plain old AM and FM radio, I keep TuneIn Radio Pro installed. Not only do you get access to local radio (some devices nowadays don't have FM tuners), but also pretty much every station around the world you could think of. You can search for stations by music genre or go straight to the new "live" section to see what's popular at the moment, and of course manage your favorite stations so you can come back to them later.
At $4.99 the Pro version is a little steep so you may be fine with the free version, but if you do spring for Pro you'll get the option to record streams directly to your device, which is a solid perk for a one-time purchase app.
Download TuneIn Radio Pro ($4.99)
Chris Parsons - He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe
Back during GDC we learned the Chillingo has working on bringing their He-Man game to the Android platform and it has now arrived. Anyone growing up on the in the 80's is sure to be familiar with the franchise, and some of its failures, but Mattel has once again let it come out of the vaults and this time around it's been served some decent justice. Built as a side-scrolling action game there's lots of fun to be had here with the characters looking great in their pixel renditions and the game even includes the ability to unlock drawings and other goodies from the original series as well as the game Overall, well worth the $.99 you'll put in.
Download: He-Man: The Most Powerful ($0.99)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Sliding Explorer
One tool that every Android power-user needs is a good file explorer. Some companies include a basic one by default (Samsung's is particularly nice in my opinion), and there are plenty of others to choose from in Google Play. As a bit of a nerd, I've always stuck with OI File Explorer (I've been using it since I had my G1, and it works) but I decided to have a look and see what new ones are available. Sliding Explorer has really caught my eye.
There are no "magic" functions that put it above the rest of the big names out there, but it does include support for everything you need it to support — root, zip file manipulation, image previews and the like. That's not what makes it my pick this week. That distinction goes to the app design and interface. The developers have incorporated the sliding menu drawer and hamburger menu I love so much, and they did a really good job with it. The app is speedy and responsive, and gives me almost instant access to the files and folders on my phone. And it looks good while doing it all. That's exactly what I would have asked for.
Download: Sliding Explorer (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.