01
Mar
Market

Seesmic Ping

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by having to keep up with multiple social networks? Seesmic Ping brings a much needed sigh of relief by allowing you to post to multiple Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts with just one update, effectively making your online social life much easier to handle.

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In addition to being able to post to all of your accounts with one single tap, this app will also let you schedule your posts or status updates for future times and dates. Not only is an app like this extremely useful for socialites, it can also be used by people that promote via social networks. My only complaint is that there isn't a wider array of sites to choose from. Where's Google+?

App Timer Mini

If you're like me, you spend way too much time on your phone. I'm definitely not the most organized individual, but I have recently started trying harder to organize and manage my time properly. Procrastination can be a real motivator in the end, but I have been kicked in the pants for missing deadlines too many times. When we came across App Timer Mini earlier this month I went on a stint of total time management.

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Basically, this nifty little app places a tiny timer in a predetermined location on preselected applications. It then keeps track of how long you've been using the apps you choose to monitor. It may seem like a silly idea to some, but it's really handy those that really like to keep track of time. I've since started using it less as I slowly slipped back into my old ways, but I use it often when I study. I tend to give myself small breaks to prevent a burnout, and App Timer Mini works perfectly for that. It costs a measly $0.99, but you can also check out a trial version if you'd like to try before you buy.

Powow: Text Messaging

Right around mid-February, Handmark, the company behind One Louder Apps released an extremely well made text messaging app. I've never honestly been able to dedicate myself to any third-party messaging apps before, simply because every single one I've ever tried had some crippling issue that made it unable to compete with the stock app. Most ended up being too slow, clumsy, or bug ridden. After trying a few, I ultimately decided that there wasn't an alternative good enough. Powow: Text Messaging almost instantly made me change my mind.

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Not only is this app fast and free from bugs, but it has some crazy useful features as well. If you've ever had to deal with an annoying friend or creeper sending you text after text, then you'll appreciate the Zip It features. They allow you to block, silence, and blacklist anyone directly from the app. One major complaint I have about the app is the color scheme. It's horrible. Handmark didn't provide users with a way to change it, either. Because of that I've been switching back and forth between Powow and the stock messaging app. If I can change the colors, I'd probably stick with it full time.

Nova Launcher

Let's start out by saying that Nova Launcher is for Android 4.0 devices only. This is simply because this custom launcher is TeslaCoil Software's (the developers behind WidgetLocker Lockscreen) answer to the ICS stock launcher. Yes, the stock launcher in ICS is phenomenal and it does provide many of the features pre-Android 4.0 users turn to custom launchers for, but there is always room for improvement.

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That being said, Nova Launcher doesn't completely change the stock 4.0 launcher, it just builds off of it and enhances it quite a bit. So instead of giving up anything you've grown accustomed to, you'll be given improvements and advanced features. With Nova Launcher, you get resizable widgets, backup and restore options, advanced folder customization, and much much more. You can also upgrade to "Prime" and get gesture-based features and the ability to hide apps you seldom use.

Chrome For Android Beta

Yes, this is a Beta app, but it's just so good that we felt it needed to be included in this roundup. Unfortunately, Chrome For Android only currently works on devices running Android 4.0, but we're hoping that limitation is lifted once the app leaves Beta stage. Up until my Transformer finally received the ICS update, I was unable to take this alternative browser for a spin and had to rely on what my friends thought. I must say that after finally being able to use it, I'm simply blown away at how well it works for an app that's in Beta.

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This is Google we're talking about, though, so I shouldn't be surprised. This browser is fast and full of awesome features that make mobile browsing simply fantastic. I highly recommend trying it out if you can, and if you can't, I sincerely hope Google decides to make it available to those still waiting patiently for ICS.

Conclusion

There we have it - the 5 best apps from February. If you've come across another that you believe to be worthy, drop a line in the comments below and we'll check it out.

Brandon Lancaster
Brandon says he likes to live life on the edge. By that he means eating ice cream for breakfast and wearing house slippers to class. Aside from all of the ballsy action he partakes in, he's a mass communications student that spends much of his time studying or tinkering with his phone.

  • http://www.geekchoice.com Dagmar Schnietz

    These are your best apps? You're batting one out of five. I do love the Nova Launcher and the background.

  • koniczynek

    Powow: Text Messaging - not compatible with my phone? Maybe it's free of bugs because it runs on one phone only?

  • jah

    Powow only seems to be compatible with GB or below devices. Bummer.

  • http://www.amd.com Robert Hallock

    Google+ is missing, I believe, because Google has not yet published an API that allows updates from an external application.

  • Raf

    My TF101 its on ICS, and I cant download Google Chrome :S why is that?

  • sriracha

    wow, these lists are getting light. is there nothing great and new on the Market anymore?

    • Cameron Summerson

      This isn't the weekly/bi-weekly app roundup. This is just our five favorite apps from February.

      • sriracha

        my apologies, i see "Roundup" and get all excited like Jo-Jo the circus monkey, common sense and logic go right out the window as i scroll down to the appy goodness. and Artem usually does the bi/weekly's. coming back down now.. breath.. woo-sah

  • slurms mckenzie

    the app timer mini is missing one thing a log so u can see how much time was spent in a day/week /month on each app. i emailed the developer about this

  • Lon Lawrence

    PoWow is your favorite sms app? Wow... What did you find crippling, slow, clumsy, or bug ridden about the other top-line ones? (Handcent, Go SMS, Chomp SMS). I've used them all and settled on Handcent for my Galaxy Note because it sends full-resolution MMS screen shots to other phones that the built-in app doesn't. However, I have never found any bugs, lagging, clumsy, or in any way "crippled" problems with any of the big three. I suggest you spend more time with them and see what a truly developed SMS app is capable of. And, of course, we don't have to pay to get rid of ads on most of them like with PoWow. On top of that, they work on all phones and you can customize the colors (unlike Powow). And you forgot to mention that Chrome beta doesn't support flash (or didn't when I last looked) which is keeping it from replacing Dolphin Browser and some of the other premium browsers.

  • new_isnt_always_better

    A lot of novelty here, without explaining exactly what makes these apps better, they're just the latest flavor of the month because they're new.

  • akoli

    Cant install Powow on Nexus or Sg2 .. given their the best selling models bit of a shortfall !! .

    If your struggling to get apps because of region market unlocker works a charm I used it to get google wallet on my phone as its not in my region. Especially good when some apps on special on US site and full price elsewhere.

  • Nick

    Tries Nova launcher but it sucks hard and disables the ICS native screenshot feature. Go Launcher is heaps better.

  • Nikhil

    I'm just not able to install Nova Launcher on my Nexus S... I'm running the CM9 v3p4 by Kalim.

    Market on device says that it's incompatible, but from browser it let's me install - which doesn't reach my phone!

  • Apollo

    Powow = no emoji.

  • http://itibz.com Tibz

    Regarding Seesmic Ping:
    Google+ doesn't have a usable open API with write access.
    But I believe WHEN they do, the Seesmic team will probably integrate it !

  • crackinthewall

    Am I the only one who's been disappointed by Nova Launcher? It still is pretty much a beta launcher and there are still only a handful ICS devices on the market right now. I'm still using Apex and for what's its worth, I find it to be more stable and more customizable than Nova at this point. I don't have a problem with Nova being paid as I'm sure these ICS launchers will all probably be paid apps in the future but I do have a problem with what seems to be a rushed release to the Market.

    @Nick
    I came from GoLauncher EX but I decided to move forward and try the ICS launchers after the privacy fiasco with some of the Go apps.

  • Yan

    Hey guys, could someone post an apk for Powow: Text Messaging? Many thanks in advance

  • Yan

    update: found 1.1.0.14.apk, but would like to have the latest one. Thanks

    • Mr X

      I second that. It's not available in Europe either.

  • Daz

    Wow - guys you need to go check out the latest update for the Powow app.

    It now allows you to create groups that can include anyone on any mobile phone from your circles of friends and family, teams, coworkers, or neighbors.  Only thing they need to participate is an SMS capable device.

    It creates a single home for all your one-to-one and group text messages. With POWOW, Anyone in a group you create can communicate with Everyone in that group, no matter what device they use. No longer do you have to send 10 texts to 10 different people; now you can send and receive all replies in one place!  Now, also fully compatible with ICS 4.0 devices.