09
Jul
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Last Updated: July 18th, 2012

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous 3 weeks or so.

This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here and the tablet app roundup here.

Nobody does app roundups like AP. If you like this post, consider voting for it on Reddit.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the AppBrain widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Photo Locker

Today's ginormous roundup is sponsored by Handy Apps and their newest app Photo Locker. If the developer's name sounds familiar, it's because they made other popular apps, like EasyMoney and Tasks N Todos.

As you might have already guessed, Photo Locker is a secure photo vault. Whether it's sensitive document scans or precious photos of your junk, you probably don't want anyone to see them without your permission. In order to view the photos you locked (encrypted using a 128bit AES algorithm), you'd need to enter a PIN code - otherwise they're as good as garbage. The app supports bulk hiding, folder-level locking, and even hides itself from the recent apps menu.

The base app is totally free to use but for $2.99 you can get rid of ads and hide the icon from the app drawer. Use Photo Locker, or else your grandma will find photos of your junk, and that would give DirecTV enough material to make a whole new commercial.

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Apps

Word Lens

Android Police coverage: Word Lens Finally Comes To Android, And It Works Surprisingly Well As Long As You Aren't Epileptic [Hands-On]

Word Lens, an app that translates words it sees with your device's camera, has finally come to Android after over a year of iOS exclusivity. And I absolutely love it. As I say in my hands-on, the beauty of an app like Word Lens is it is really fast to use since it uses the camera and updates the image live. It also completely replaces words it sees instead of just adding overlays, all while trying to match the same font, color, background, and text size.

Yes, it's not perfect and may not work on every font out there, but can you read this fast in a foreign language without knowing a word of it? I sure can't. Remember: even voice recognition (especially live) is far from 100% accurate and fails with accents, background noise, and other factors. Live image recognition is very hard as well, and Word Lens, in my opinion, does an excellent job.

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See the world in your language. Instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time. Try before you buy: the included demo modes recognize the same words as the language packs available for purchase.

+ English ⇆ Spanish
+ English ⇆ French
+ English ⇆ Italian

Word Lens gives you translation on the go:
- NO NETWORK required - results appear immediately on your video screen when you need it, anywhere in the world.
- Easy to use, like the regular camera
- Look up translations by typing them in, or clicking on a word.

IMAG0147 wm_Screenshot_2012-07-06-10-58-45 wm_Screenshot_2012-07-06-10-18-44

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Switcher

Android Police coverage: Switcher Provides An Incredible Gesture-Based App Switching Tool

Switcher is one of those apps that revolutionize the way you use your device. When I saw it in the Play Store (thanks, @RoyBlumenthal!) yesterday, I immediately thought I found something special. Roy was raving about it, and I tried it as well.

Switcher defines a zone in the upper region of the screen as well as a few gestures. Swiping up while in the zone from outside of the phone's screen adds the current app to a virtual list, swiping down removes it. Swiping left and right then switches between the apps in the list. It's such a natural way to switch between apps, and it literally never triggers by accident due to the way zones are positioned and swipes are defined, that I may never go back. Once you try it, you won't want to go back. And remember - this app is a technical preview at this point, an early alpha, yet it's already almost perfect.

I contacted the author and suggested a few things, like start on boot and simply switching between all open apps, all of which he said were possible. In fact, he added the all apps option a few hours later - you can see it in my screenshot below. Fantastic work, Vito.

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Note: This is a proof of concept version of Switcher, and is for all intents and purposes a pre-alpha version. At the end of the testing period this app will be available as a completed version under another listing. Everything in this app is subject to change (and at this point, probably will). I take no responsibility for any issues this app may cause. Treat it as a tech demo.

About Switcher
Switcher is an app designed to rapidly switch between apps on Android via simple gestures. Swiping up from either side adds the current foreground app to Switcher. Swiping down from either side removes the current foreground app from Switcher. Swiping across will switch between the apps you've added to Switcher.

About the concept
This app was created to solve the problem of quickly moving between apps when studying on the train. I wanted to quickly move from my PDF notes to the web browser without going through clumsy task switchers or using home/back. This project was my contribution to Android Global DevCamp 2012.

 Screenshot_2012-07-09-09-28-46

Tasker App Factory

Android Police coverage: Crafty Apps Launches Tasker App Factory (Beta), Allowing Users To Export (And Distribute) Tasks As Standalone Apps

Now everyone (though currently limited to everyone using the latest beta of Tasker) can make Tasker tasks, package them up as individual apps, and distribute however they want. And the beauty is, those who use these individual apps don't need to have Tasker installed at all.

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Only for Tasker beta-testers, useless for everyone else. Create your own apps for fun and profit. Astound friends and family with your development abilities.

- generate an app from a task or project in less than 10 seconds
- no programming required
- no Internet connection required
- Tasker not required after app creation
- app can be distributed or sold (e.g. on Play Store) however you like

 

VLC Beta (NEON version)

Android Police coverage: VLC Player Now Available In The Play Store For ARMv7 NEON Devices... But Not In The U.S. And Canada

Yup, VLC is finally officially in the Play Store, but only for modern devices (those with ARMv7 based CPUs that support NEON instructions). And it's not available in U.S. or Canada. Why? Because, according to the VLC team, they didn't have enough testing done on North American devices. Isn't that the point of beta testing, guys?

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VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as discs, devices, and network streaming protocols. This is a BETA version of the port to the Android™ platform. It is intended for power users and hackers. This version is NOT stable and is slower than the final version. This version is ONLY for devices with a CPU ARMv7 that will support NEON. Other devices will be supported by other applications, very soon.

  • VLC for Android plays most local video and audio files, as well as network streams, like the desktop version of VLC.
  • VLC for Android has a media library for audio and video files, and allows to browse folders directly.
  • VLC has support for multi-track audio and subtitles. It supports auto-rotation, aspect-ratio adjustements and gestures to control volume.
  • It also includes a widget for audio control, supports audio headsets control, covert art and a complete audio media library.

Tweet Lanes

Android Police coverage: [New App] Digital Ashes Brings Tweet Lanes To The Play Store – Pure Twitter, Pure Android

Tweet Lanes is a great new Twitter client that follows the ICS design guidelines pretty closely. But it doesn't stop there and contains some interesting and original UX choices that immediately set it apart from other clients. For example, there's a persistent Context Tweet box on all pages. You can also select multiple tweets and reply-all using this Context Tweet box or report spammers en-masse. Tweet Lanes is missing a settings screen at the moment, but it's off to a great start.

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Tweet Lanes - Pure Twitter, Pure Android. Are you on the lookout for not just a good, but a great Android Twitter client? If so, prepare yourself for a gorging of Twitter fuelled, Ice Cream Sandwich inspired goodness.

Some notable features of Tweet Lanes:

  • The native Android ICS styling has been shamelessly applied to Tweet Lanes, which makes for the most beautiful Twitter client available on Android.
  • Designed and engineered to adhere strictly to the Android Design guidelines.
  • Fully embraces the Android swipe controls.
  • VolScroll™ - Use the hardware volume buttons to quickly navigate your feed. Very handy on larger phones such as the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3.
  • Interact with multiple tweets at the same time using multiple selection. Very handy for replying to multiple people in a single tweet or blocking spammers.
  • Multiple account support.
  • Automatically preview images and videos in your feed.
  • Get ready for a new means of tweeting. There's no 'New Tweet' button here. Instead, the ever present Context Tweet Box will serve all your tweet-creation needs.
  • The Twitter client Android power-tweeters have been craving.

Markers

Android Police coverage: [App Roundup] Our Top Five Favorite New Apps To Check Out From June 2012

Markers is a simple, multitouch, pressure-sensitive drawing app. Markers is open source software; the source code is available at http://dsandler.org/markers. Some of its features include:

  • Pressure sensitivity that works with most Android devices: As more of your finger or capacitive stylus touches the glass, Markers will draw a thicker line. NOTE: It may take a minute or two of continuous drawing for Markers to adjust to your device’s touch panel, so be patient! (If your device has an active stylus, like the Galaxy Note or HTC Flyer, the true stylus pressure will be used instead.)
  • Multitouch: two fingers make two lines, three make three, and so on, up to the limits of your device (typically 5 simultaneous touches for phones and 10 for tablets).
  • Kid-friendly interface: Every pen size and color is on-screen; multitouch drawing means accidental touches (such as kid hands on the edges of the display) won't prevent any little fingers from painting.
  • Plays well with others: share your drawings to other apps, and share images into Markers to draw on top of them.
  • Optimized for the new Nexus 7 tablet.

Flipboard: Your News Magazine

Android Police coverage: Flipboard Finally Lands In The Play Store, Promises "You'll Be Amazed By What You See"

Flipboard revolutionized and turned the world of RSS readers upside down when it came out on iOS (I still prefer conventional RSS readers myself). Earlier this year, the Android version debuted on the Galaxy S III, and then finally hit the Play Store for all to enjoy. So go, enjoy it, if apps like Currents and Flipboard are your cups of tea.

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Flipboard brings together world news and social news in a beautiful magazine. Flipboard's award-winning experience lets people see everything in one place. By bringing together the world's stories and life's great moments, you can stay up to date with the things that matter most. Flip through the news from your Twitter timeline as well as from outlets like the BBC, USA Today and The Verge. See everything from posts and photos shared by friends on Facebook and Instagram to videos from Stephen Colbert and pop culture nuggets from Rolling Stone. Find inspiration for your travel, style and life from places like National Geographic, Oprah and Cool Hunting.

  • Be amazed by what you see when everything people are sharing, collecting and publishing in every moment comes together in a single place.
  • Search for anything—people, topics, hashtags, blogs, your favorite sites—and flip through articles, updates, photos and videos in a beautiful magazine format.
  • Connect Flipboard to 12 social networks, streamlining your reading and activities like commenting, liking and sharing. Services include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, Sina Weibo and Renren.
  • Get a quick dose of what’s happening now, in Cover Stories, a constantly updated selection of articles, photos and videos shared by your friends.
  • Save anything to read later using Instapaper, Pocket and Readability.
  • Create a Flipboard account to access your favorite content and social networks on different or shared devices.
  • Enjoy Flipboard in 14 localized editions—for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K.
  • Explore hundreds of staff picks in the Content Guide, including must-read magazines and blogs, gorgeous photography and special curated sections devoted to the news of the day and other topics of interest.
  • Access Flipboard quickly through the widget.

Google Analytics

Android Police coverage: [New App] Official Google Analytics App Lands In The Play Store, Complete With Real-Time Support

The official Google Analytics app came to Android right after I/O ended, and what a treat it is for webmasters! I absolutely love it, though it still has a lot of room to grow. We have a great swipable UI, real-time support, customizable graphs, and alerts. Additionally, the app makes great use of the concept of recently used items, be it your sites or graph types, and I applaud Google for doing this.

The Analytics app is definitely missing a lot compared to its full desktop counterpart. For example, in real-time there's no way to actually click on anything and examine the data closer. There's also no way to actually view tables and all the data that Analytics collects, so if you're looking for more than just a bunch of dashboard views, the app is going to leave you hungry for more. Still, it's a fantastic start, and I'm looking forward to future updates.

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Essential data for your sites & apps. Anywhere, anytime. The Google Analytics app shows what is new and what is important on your Google Analytics profiles. See real time statistics, customizable dashboards and intelligence events on your phone.

Radiolab

Radiolab is a show about wonder, curiosity and big ideas. Hailed by critics as “best radio show,” Radiolab presents a potent elixir of science and philosophy, first-person storytelling and radio theatre, all woven together with the most innovative sound design to ever spill out of the radio. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and produced by WNYC, the show is heard on more than 300 public radio stations around the country. The Radiolab app is all about curiosity, too. More than just a companion to the broadcast, the app is an extension of the Radiolab experience and its spirit of exploration, possibility and play.

 

Flow by Amazon

Android Police coverage: Flow Is An Amazon-Powered Augmented Reality Product Search App That's Not Really As Cool As It Sounds

Flow is similar to Google Goggles for products, ShopSavvy, and other apps, but it's created and geared towards Amazon. In my brief tests, it was very effective at identifying books, both by cover and ISBN scans, and some household items, like Pledge. It even identified the box of my Galaxy Nexus without seeing its barcode. However, it did fail a lot on other stuff, and it is limited to Amazon listings, so I'd say it's an app to keep if you use Amazon a lot. Needless to say, I'm keeping it.

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Flow Powered by Amazon is an augmented reality app that lets you discover information about everyday products around you. With Flow you can identify tens of millions of products, including books, DVDs, and packaged household items like a box of cereal or a box of tissues. Flow uses A9.com's continuous scan technology to automatically recognize items available on Amazon.com, and overlay product information using augmented reality.

Alive Video Wallpaper

The first and only VIDEO live wallpapers. Inspiring scenes from nature that won’t drain your battery or slow your device. Alive stops when another app is running or your device is idle, so it uses no more battery than a photo wallpaper. It saves to the SD card to prevent memory problems. No ads, no pop ups, just great video wallpapers!

London 2012 Results App

Android Police coverage: Official London 2012 Results App Sprints To The Play Store With Olympics Results, Schedules, And News

The Official London 2012 Results app provides all the latest news, schedules and results, allowing users to keep up-to-date with the latest action LIVE across all Olympic sports (25 July to 12 August 2012) and Paralympic sports (29 August to 9 September 2012). Key features include results, live updates, calendar schedule, details of sports, medal tables and athlete profiles. Users can also follow specific countries, and receive official news and updates tailored to them all in one app. A companion app, the London 2012 Join In app, is a mobile guide to help people plan, enjoy and share their Games experience for the Olympics and Paralympics.

London 2012 Join In App

Android Police coverage: Official London 2012 Results App Sprints To The Play Store With Olympics Results, Schedules, And News

Speaking of which, here's the Join In app that the Results app was talking about just now.

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Official London 2012 Join In app - plan, enjoy and share your Games experience. Get a pocket guide to the Games! In the summer of 2012 London and the UK will come alive with events, celebrations and activities during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This FREE app is an essential planning tool for everyone, whether you have tickets for a sporting event or not. From the start of the Olympic Torch Relay to the Olympics and Paralympics, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, plus all the cultural, city and community celebrations happening across the UK, Join In is your essential companion.

GitHub

Android Police coverage: GitHub Releases Awesome App For Android, Lets You Keep Up With Your Projects On Your Mobile Device

Love GitHub, love being able to fork projects easily, love pull requests, love sharing "gists" of code. Love, love, love, and now I can do some of these things on Android with the official GitHub app.

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GitHub is the best way to collaborate with others. Create, manage, and discuss issues and stay up to date with an integrated news feed for all your organizations, friends, and repositories. View your issues dashboard to stay connected with all the issues you've reported, been assigned, or participating in the discussion on. You can also view and filter a repository's issue list and bookmark it for quick access. Discover, share, and discuss code snippets using the integrated GitHub Gists support. The GitHub Android app is open source, visit https://github.com/github/android to see the code, connect with the developers, and discuss future features.

Stereomood

Now Stereomood turns your mood into music on the go. Our brand new Android app will allow you to bring the Stereomood experience always with you. Feeling happy, sad, dreamy or lost in Jamaica? With the click of a button you’ll have a ready-made playlist for every time in your life: choose your mood from our stereotags, listen, discover new music, tag and share your emotions in music. Hundreds mood-based playlists that pool the best indipendent music from artist submission and top music blogs. Each playlist is generated from tags and users’ preferences and changes every day. You can tag each song by mood or create new one, helping to build the coolest community of emotional-based music.

 

Nike+ Running

Android Police coverage: [New App] Official Nike+ App Finally Arrives On Android

The most popular running app is now available on Android, for free. Map your runs, track your progress and get the motivation you need to reach your goals. No sensor or additional products needed, just grab your phone and go.

Voodoo Galaxy S III SIM Unlock *root*

Free, requires root, GT-I9300 only, beta version. This application unlocks your phone baseband so it becomes able to use SIM cards from any carrier without restriction. Unlock is immediate and doesn't require reboot, and the app doesn't depend on any external tool (like Busybox) except root. This is free and open source software.

BBQLog

BBQLog is the best CyanogenMod Log around. Browse the changes online at http://changelog.bbqdroid.org/ or right from this app. Get the changes for all CyanogenMod-enabled devices, and check all the latest nightlies available. All devices with official nightlies are supported.

Features :
- List nightlies for all devices
- List all CyanogenMod changes
- List devices' next nightlies changes
- List devices' specific nightly changes
- Tablet and phone UI

Atom Launcher

Finally some more competition to Nova and Apex - Atom Launcher is a new launcher compatible with ICS+. It kind of reminds me of Go Launcher, if Go Launcher was built for ICS (including Engrish in the description, except the developer seems to be Korean). I tried it out for 15 minutes so far, and while I don't think it's bad at all, it's just not for me (it feels too... candyish, kind of like MIUI or Go). Some of you might love it, however, so I'll let you be the judge. So far, it has a 4.6-star rating, which is quite promising.

There's also an XDA discussion about Atom going on here.

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Light and Easy. Atom Launcher, state of the art launcher for Android’s new OS, ICS, is now on market. Experience new optimized ICS launcher if you have ICS version android phone.

Imgy Widgets

Android Police coverage: From The Creators Of Tagy: Imgy Offers Unlimited Homescreen Capacity, Resizes Your App, Bookmark, And Contact Icons Based On Click Frequency

I loved the idea behind Tagy, but it was kind of... challenged in the design department, which turned off many people. Imgy uses the same tag cloud approach, but instead of letters, it uses icons. Imgy doesn't only have widgets for apps, but also contacts and bookmarks too. Sweet.

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Imgy: unlimited capacity homescreen for your apps, contacts and bookmarks. Ever wanted to have more icons on your homescreen? Tired of folders and scrolling? Imgy widgets present the unlimited capacity homescreen - you can add any number of apps, bookmarks and contacts and their icons will be resized accordingly. Icons will grow and shrink based on click frequency, allowing you to locate your favorites easily.

Imgy widgets main features:
• You can add any number of apps, bookmarks and contacts to your homescreen and their icons will be resized accordingly.
• Apps, bookmarks and contacts icons will grow or shrink based on click frequency, allowing important items to stand out and unimportant items to fade.
• Choose from a number of Apps widgets, Bookmarks widgets and Contacts widgets.

Imgy offers you a number of beautiful widgets in multiple sizes, so you can arrange them freely on your smartphone or tablet homescreen, creating attractive layouts. Imgy gives you 3 types of widgets:
• Apps widgets, which visualize your selected apps on your homescreen.
• Bookmarks widgets, which visualize your selected bookmarks on your homescreen.
• Contacts widgets, which visualize your selected contacts on your homescreen.

 

Droid NAS

Droid NAS allows you to share folders over a Wi-Fi network, making your Android device visible as a Bonjour computer in Finder on your Mac. Turn your phone or tablet into a wireless flash drive with a single tap. Different profiles can be used to quickly choose which folders to share. Assign your home or office Wi-Fi networks to profiles and Droid NAS will auto-select profiles on start.

Supported systems:

- Mac OS X.
- Android: apps like ES File Explorer, Solid Explorer, GTVBox Video Player.
- Windows is NOT supported because it can't connect to SMB servers via a non-standard port.
- Linux most probably also won't work.

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Popup Notifications

An ICS-themed SMS/MMS popup app - sign me up! So far I haven't seen anything even remotely as good-looking, even in the most popular SMS apps out there - they all seem cheesy and all over the place. Well done, SpiderFly Studios.

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Convenient popup notifications for new SMS/MMS messages. In the very near future you will be able to extend the popup notification functionality with popup alerts for your favorite system and 3rd party app notifications.

√ Android 4.0 (ICS) compatible.
√ Scrolling for multiple unread popups.
√ Single lines of text are centered, while multiple lines are left aligned for easier reading.
√ Contact specific notifications.
√ Tablet friendly.
√ Long press options.
√ Popup customizations like hiding contact pictures, hiding all buttons and long press options.
√ Popup themes.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    You know how I said the last roundup took ages? This one took ages x1.5.

    The sun, I need to see what it looks like.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    "Get Panty!" is a game in which you must get the panties.

    Please do not go out and "get" panties in the real world.

  • CJ Walker

    My day has been made! Thank you Artem.

  • Patrick Thompson

    Since there is no trial version, how is Popup Notifications better than SMS Popup: (
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.everythingandroid.smspopup&feature=related_apps)?

    • Kahil

      You do get 15 minutes to try it out to your heart's content. :) It is more customizable, more compatible and has features that SMS Popup doesn't, like showing MMS pictures in the popup.

    • inzandity

      It's worth the buck for sure

  • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

    Marker for some reason lets me install on my Sony Google TV. However it force crashes. Works great on my Galaxy Note though! =D

  • Danny Holyoake

    "This is something you won't see in the iOS Appstore."

    The video says available on the app store, shows an iPhone and makes no mention whatsoever of Android. Yet still we must play this silly 'us vs them' game.

    Still, great list as always!

  • http://twitter.com/CTrox CTrox

    Great roundup, thanks a lot artem for including my app!

  • Vu Viet Anh

    I'm not sure how it is with quad core devices, but my Xperia S is slowed down quite a bit with the live video wallpaper :)

  • denbo68

    This is a great roundup Artem and quite well done. I am disappointed though because the WTF apps are not all that WTF'ish (except the Get Panty game).

    I must be getting too acclimated to these types of games.

  • TechGuy21

    hahah get panties lmfaooo
    i love you guys. this made my day. looking forward for more apps i got like 5 of them

    thanks

  • MeMe

    It seems like half the apps on the list have been covered on the site already.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It's still the same roundup, I just re-stickied it because it didn't get as good of visibility as usual due to the contest.

  • http://futurescheduler.appsicum.com/ Appsicum

    Future Scheduler is available for
    Android

  • bachinphx

    Just installed Atom Launcher. After having Launcher Pro, ADW and a few select others, this could be the one. I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

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