27
Dec
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Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

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

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 Wall FX - Live Wallpaper

Today's app roundup is sponsored by the Photo Wall FX live wallpaper by Handy Apps. The idea behind this wallpaper is simple: it uses the local photos on your phone or tablet to make a grid collage, dynamically selecting and cycling photos and sizing them so that there's no space left between them. Double tap on a photo at any time to bring it up in the gallery (great for new and insufferable parents). The premium version (accessible via a $1 in-app purchase) allows for unlimited photos from separate albums, extra animations and effects, and a dimmer option.

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Your Personal Wallpaper Gallery. Showcase an animated collage of your favorite photos on your device's wallpaper with Photo Wall FX - a live wallpaper app that does exactly that while consuming very little battery. Photo Wall FX is a live wallpaper app that showcases your photos in a collage format with several layout styles to choose from. Want to add an entire album, to apply some cool image effects or just double tap on any photo to share it or view it in full screen? This app does them all. Photo Wall FX has been optimized for both smartphones and tablets that has live wallpaper function with options to choose both portrait and landscape layout styles.

Basic Features include:
- Select specific photos from your device to be featured on your live wallpaper photo collage
- Portrait and landscape views have their own customized layout styles
- Double tap on photo on wallpaper to view the specific photo in full screen mode. This effectively turns your wallpaper into your favorite photo gallery.
- Smart Image Correction to keep visibility of object in the picture
- Smart Image Rotation to correct photo orientation
- Customizable animation time interval
- Fast loading time
- Minimum battery consumption

The Unlocked premium version allows you to more:
- Select unlimited photos to be included in the photo wall
- Create multiple custom photo albums
- Select photos from multiple albums to be included in the photo wall live wallpaper collage
- Choose from more than 10 different image effects offered such as oil painting, black & white
- Choose your preferred animation style for the photo wall
- Customize the layout style individually for portrait and landscape views
- Set dimming effect on the photo wall live wallpaper

Apps

Tapatalk HD Beta

Android Police coverage: Tapatalk HD Beta For Tablets Now On The Play Store

Tapatalk has long been the go-to app for viewing optimized forum posts on Android - even if you're not a user, you've probably seen their pop-ups all over the web. Tapatalk finally has a tablet version in beta, and its email-inspired Holo interface looks like a great way to browse your favorite web dens. For the moment it's free, though the final version will be paid.

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Introducing Tapatalk HD for Android tablets - built specifically for the latest Android 4 Ice-cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean systems - you're getting a full tablet experience on forums with split views and other interface enhancement that works great on tablets with 7" or bigger screen.

Features:

  • New - Gallery view on bigger forums, discover new discussions by photos
  • New - Push Notification - instant notification of subscribed topics, private messages, likes received, mentioned, and more.
  • Portrait and Landscape view optimized
  • Forum Moderation - stick, open, close, delete, ban and more
  • Dark and Light themes

Redbox Instant by Verizon

Android Police coverage: Redbox Instant Hits The Play Store As The Service Inches One Step Closer To A Public Release

Redbox has been eyeing Netflix's business ever since its inception, and their streaming video service is beginning to become a notable player in the space. The service itself is in invite-only beta, but for those lucky enough to snag an invite, the Android app is available, no Verizon subscription required. On the other hand, the app doesn't like rooted users, which has got a lot of Play Store reviewers up in arms.

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Enjoy unlimited streaming movies with the Redbox Instant by Verizon app.Enjoy unlimited streaming movies when you download the one-and-only, super-official Redbox Instant by Verizon app. Redbox Instant is convenient, easy and affordable. Not only are DVD credits included when you subscribe, your FIRST MONTH IS TOTALLY FREE. Your Free Trial gets you a month of unlimited streaming movies, plus 4 DVD credits you can use at the Redbox kiosk.

Press (Google Reader)

Android Police coverage: [New App] 'Press' Is A Beautiful, Simple, And Functional RSS Reader That Syncs With Google Reader

The official Google Reader app seems to be getting progressively worse, with bugs and crashes regular on the neglected service. If you're looking for a replacement, give Press a try: it's a brand new RSS reader that integrates with your Google Reader feeds, and presents them in a spiffy Holo UI. Multiple options for text display should keep constant readers happy.

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Press is a Google Reader app that is all about the reading experience. It has been designed with the purpose of making your news easier to read. Quickly move from screen to screen and effortlessly manage the articles you want and the ones you don't. We designed an app that we want to use and hopefully our attention to detail will be evident on every page. Note: This app requires a Google Reader account to sync your RSS subscriptions.

MightyText - SMS from Tablet

Android Police coverage: MightyText Release Tablet Companion App, Lets You Send SMS Messages From Your Slate

Install MightyText on both your phone and your tablet, log into both, and bam, you can text from your tablet. It's useful if you're not a fan of the proprietary solutions like Google Voice.

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SMS from tablet, sync'd with your Android phone. If you ever want to send text from tablet, just install this texting app along with the MightyText Android phone app. Having issue with Contacts in the tablet app? If you see any issues with your Contacts not showing up - it could be because you are using Google Contacts to sync your contacts with MightyText, which is the "old" way we are syncing contacts for MightyText.

AntennaPod

Android Police coverage: [Try This] AntennaPod Is A Free, Holo-Themed, Open Source Podcatcher

It is surprisingly hard to find a good podcast client for Android. Doggcatcher was the previous favorite, but it hasn't aged well, and was expensive in any case. AntennaPod is our new favorite thanks to easy syncing with Google Reader, an appealing Holo user interface, and a price of zero dollars. OPML import and a homescreen widget round out the features.

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AntennaPod is a podcast manager for Android 2.3.3 and above. It offers all the basic features you expect from a podcatcher, like streaming and downloading episodes, refreshing all feeds automatically or adding them to a queue to listen to them later. Moreover, AntennaPod lets you flattr podcasts and episodes from within the app. AntennaPod is still in beta and might lack some advanced features or have bugs.

RockPlayer2

Android Police coverage: RockPlayer v2 Comes Out Sporting A Brand New UI, Sharing Between Devices, Gesture Control And More

RockPlayer has been one of the more reliable video players for Android, but version 2 has a more appealing form to match the function. Once you're done oohing and ahhing at the new interface, you'll have time to notice the new features, like gesture control, WiFi sharing, and control customization. If you're not yet on the streaming video bandwagon (or there's no handy WiFi in your area) it's definitely worth a look.

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A video player rocks. RockPlayer now goes release 2. It plays almost everything faster, audio video are synchronized perfectly, its user experience is optimized for touch screen and lots of features are added, like gestures to control playing. Don't panic if Google Play Store said your country is not support or not compatible with your device, you may download apk from http://rockplayer.com to install. We support all 1783 kind of devices running Android 2.3 or higher.

VUDU Movies and TV

Android Police coverage: VUDU Releases Android App, Gives All Those 'Digital Copies' You Keep Getting With Your Blu-Rays A Tablet-y Home

It's about freakin' time. The digital copies that come with major Blu-ray releases aren't in a nice, usable format like MOV or Xvid, they're "UltraViolet", a proprietary DRM format that can't be used with standard video players. Now there's a way to legally watch them on your tablet. There's also the standard digital purchases and rentals, though the library leaves a lot to be desired at present. It isn't perfect, but when's the last time you saw a DRM model that was?

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Get instant access to all the latest movies and TV shows from your Android tablet. Browse, rent, and watch directly from VUDU.

Features:
• The Hottest New Movie and TV Releases – watch some titles before they're available on DVD/Blu-ray.
• Stream directly to your Android device or download to watch anywhere, any time.
• Rent or Own. No Subscription or Late Fees.
• Enjoy access to your UltraViolet Digital Collection.

Bitcasa

Android Police coverage: Bitcasa Brings Its Promise Of Unlimited Cloud Storage To Android

Some may talk of Google Drive, and some of Dropbox. Of Skydrive, and Sugarsync, and such cloud services as these. But Bitcasa is basically the only online locker option out there with truly unlimited, free storage, at least for now. The Android app has all the standard features, plus automatic photo uploads and a document viewer.

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The Bitcasa mobile app for Android allows you to access all your stuff stored on your Bitcasa Infinite Drive using your Android phone or tablet. You can also connect your device’s camera to Bitcasa so that it automatically saves every picture and video you take into Bitcasa. You’ll never run out of space on your phone again.

• Keep literally every file you've ever owned in your pocket
• Connect your camera to Bitcasa to automatically upload all pictures and videos you take
• “Favorite” items to keep a local copy always on your phone (so they are available offline)
• View your photos and entire photo albums
• Watch videos in various formats
• Listen to whole music albums
• View your work documents

Small Call

Android Police coverage: [New App] Small Call Is A Floating Call Notification That Lets You Pick Up, Hang Up, Or Text Back

With all the amazing stuff our smartphones can do, it's easy to forget that they are, you know, phones. If you'd rather forget that altogether, Small Call can assist: it replaces the standard answer/decline screen with a less obtrusive version, covering less than a third of your screen and allowing you to finish whatever it is that you're doing (which we're sure is better than talking to those pesky humans). You can answer, decline, or send a text instead.

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Everything you do is important to you, now you can do it without disruption. Google said it couldn't be done. The competition said it couldn't be done. After months of development we've proven them all wrong. Interrupting phone calls are a thing of the past thanks to Small Call for Android. Don't let incoming calls or texts interrupt what you're doing on your Android smart phone any longer. You could be texting, updating Twitter or Facebook, surfing the web, sending out an e-mail or in the middle of a serious game of Angry Birds, when you suddenly get a new call or text message. Small Call allows you to continue what you’re doing with minimal interruption; a smart app for your smart phone.

Kii Keyboard

Android Police coverage: [New App] Kii Keyboard Is An Input Alternative With Tons Of Customization

There's nothing in the Kii keyboard that hasn't been done elsewhere. The draw is that it has everything that's been done elsewhere. All the features of Swype, Thumb Keyboard, SwiftKey, et cetera, are crammed into the same app. In addition, there's a ton of customization available, with plenty of theme support. If you like your keyboards without compromise, this is the one for you.

A note from Artem: If you don't consider inferior predictions compared to SwiftKey a compromise that is. SwiftKey is still king in that department.

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Kii Keyboard is an all new alternative android keyboard!

★Accurate and smart keyboard predictions
★Extra number key row
★Extra arrow key row
★Swiftkey like next word prediction
★Gesture keyboard control
★Swype like gesture input
★Thumb Keyboard like split keyboard layouts
★Support iOS6 emoji input
★Support a variety of themes: Go Keyboard, Better Keyboard, Themeshop Keyboard themes

 

InDrive: Custom Car Home

Android Police coverage: [New App] Code Sector's InDrive Is A Well-Made, Customizable Car Home App With PowerAMP Integration

 

It's a shame that Google seems to have let its Car Mode app fall by the wayside, but there appears to be an even better alternative out there now. In addition to the standard finger-friendly app links, there's a speedometer, odometer, timer, compass, and GPC location. Perhaps most impressively, it's got a screen dedicated to PowerAmp, everyone's favorite open-source music player. If you don't have PowerAmp installed, it defaults to standard music controls. The free app is good for two weeks, with the unlock app costing two bucks.

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The newest and most advanced car home and trip computer application. InDrive is a unique application that combines superior car home functionality with an advanced trip computer and deep Poweramp integration. With one-touch access to the most useful features on your phone, this app is your perfect driving companion. InDrive makes it very easy to launch your favorite applications, directly dial numbers, view your trip information and control music playback*. It will auto launch when placed in a compatible car dock. If you don't have a physical car dock, InDrive provides an option to force your phone into car mode, which will allow the app to override the Home button.

ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator

Optical character recognition has come a long way in the last few years, and smartphones are the natural way to use it. ABBYY throws another trick into the bunch with nearly instant translation: once you take a photo of a section of text, it converts it into computer-readable text, then whisks it off to Google for a quick translation.

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Grab info on the go. ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator turns your smartphone into a multifunctional mobile scanner with full-text translation capability. An Internet connection is not required for OCR. Just take a picture of the text, and you can immediately edit and translate it, share via e-mail and SMS, or transfer it directly to other applications installed on your device - social networks, online storage services, etc. System requirements: OS Android version 2.2 and higher, 3 mega pixels camera or more with autofocus.

Wave Alarm

In olden days, the sleep deprived or merely hung over could derive no small amount of pleasure from smacking their alarm clock into submission every morning. That's less of an option these days: smack your phone and you're likely to send it to an expensive oblivion. You can compromise with Motion Control Alarm Clock, which will snooze or silence the alarm when you wave your hand in front of the forward-facing camera on your phone. It doesn't hurt that it's one of the more aesthetically appealing alarm clocks around.

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Wave Alarm is not your ordinary alarm clock application. Wave Alarm is something new... Wave Alarm features Motion Control technology, a new way to wake up in the morning. With Wave Alarm, you never have to touch your phone to silence or snooze, just wave off the alarm. No more fumbling around for your phone in the dark just to turn off the alarm, a simple gesture and Wave Alarm will silence or snooze it for you. Wave Alarm is a revolutionary Alarm Clock application that will change the way you wake up. Utilizing Motion Control and detection, you never need to touch your phone again in the morning to turn off the alarm or to snooze, just wave your hand over the device when the alarm is sounding, and Wave Alarm will snooze or silence the alarm for you.

USB Audio Recorder PRO

Got an Android tablet and a USB mic, but lament the fact that they can't make sweet, sweet music together? Then try USB Audio Recorder, a custom driver for USB-based recording on compatible hardware. You don't need root, but you do need Honeycomb or later. There are some other devices that won't work, like Samsung's 1st and 2nd-gen Galaxy phones, so try the trial app before laying down your money.

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eXtream Software Development has written custom USB audio code from scratch because Android does not support USB audio. No rooting required. Your USB audio device must be class-compliant in order to work: USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 class-compliant devices are supported with either USB audio spec 1.0 or 2.0. Devices that require you to install specific drivers under Windows or OSX will usually not work. Make sure to connect your audio device BEFORE starting the app. If you get a message on start-up saying that the device failed to initialize, or the 3 top-right combo boxes are not filled in, your device will not work (for now). Reasons can be that your Android device does not meet the requirements, it does not supply enough power (try a powered hub) or the USB audio device is not class-compliant.

• USB audio recording
• USB audio playback
• Mono and stereo using 16-bit and 24-bit (when available on your USB audio device)
• Up to 192 kHz sample rate (depending on your audio device)
• Input/output selection
• Buffer size selection (1024 to 16384 frames)
• Recording format selection: wav/flac/ogg. (No mp3 since that is patented, use ogg for similar quality and compression)

ÜberConference

Android Police coverage: Disrupt NYC 2012 Winner ÜberConference Comes To Android With Beautiful Interface, Functionality Intact

Just imagine UberConference as GoToMeeting for your phone, because that's what it is. Invite participants and they get an email or a call. Once they accept, you can see their social information (how was your trip to Tahoe?) and control the conference like a producer and/or dungeon master. Best of all, both the app and the service are free.

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ÜberConference is audio conferencing done right. ÜberConference is the easiest and best way to make conference calls. Simply choose contacts from your address book and your conference will be created instantly. Participants don't even need to call in, as they will be dialed and/or sent an email invite to join. While conferencing, ÜberConference allows you to see who's on the call, see who's talking, and learn about your conference participants through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also control the call down to the participant level: mute, earmuff, add, and remove callers easily.

Ibotta

Think of Ibotta as a coupon in reverse. It's a customer loyalty program: buy certain brands at supported retailers (big names like Walmart, Target, Safeway, Fry's, and many, many others), scan in your purchases, and get money back into your PayPal account. It's not a huge amount of cash, but it's not unreasonable to earn $10 or $15 dollars on a large grocery run. If you were going to buy these brands already, why not get a little cash back? You can also donate your earned money to local schools.

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Ibotta is a fun and easy way to earn real money just for buying your favorite products.

Here's how it works:

1. Before shopping, choose your offers. The more you choose, the more cash back you'll earn.

2. Go Shopping. Buy your chosen products at any of the major retailers that Ibotta supports.

3. Take a photo of your receipt and barcode scan your products. We'll verify your purchases and credit your account right away.

4. Get your cash. Yes, real money, loaded onto your PayPal account or donated to any school in America.

Start earning money today.

 

Twist

Android Police coverage: [New App] Twist Tells Your Friends How Late You Are Running

Texting while you're driving is bad. Yes, even with a dock. Here's an alternative for time-starved social climbers: Twist keeps an eye on your location and reports it to your friends, but unlike Google Latitude, it's selective, and only works when you're in transit. It will even calculate the time of arrival for your friends, so they'll know the answer to the eternal question: are you there yet?

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Twist is the easiest way to let your family, friends and colleagues know that you're on your way. Twist also alerts them when you are almost there and if you are running late. Whether you are driving, walking or taking public transit, Twist accurately calculates your arrival time to a specified destination and privately shares your ETA with only those that you choose. Since continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life, Twist utilizes proprietary GPS and cell tower data algorithms to minimize battery drain. Eliminate the uncertain wait times that often leave people stressed or frustrated with Twist’s simple, social and accurate ETAs. Stop waiting, stop guessing, and start twisting.

Wallaby

If you're serious about maximizing your points/miles/rewards/Simoleons from your credit card, consider Wallaby your map. It lets you scan in your cards, then shows a map of the local stores that partner with your cards, and what you can earn points or cash on.

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The Wallaby app helps you answer the question "Which card should I choose?" It is the smart, free way to maximize cash back, miles, points or shopping discounts on your rewards credit cards by helping you make the right choice every time to get bonus rewards. Wallaby is easy. Setup up your wallet by selecting the type of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards you carry. Then just find a shop or restaurant from the map while you are out shopping and we’ll tell you which card to use. You’ll swipe smarter and get the best cash back or rewards deal each time you shop.

 

Sing! Karaoke

You know what's more annoying than listening to other people's music on the bus? Listening to them sing it. But if you simply must practice for karaoke night, this app from the makers of Autorap and Songify should do the trick. Lyrics and tones are handled in an interface similar to Rock Band, so even the most hopeless can at least see what they're supposed to sound like. More songs can be bought via in-app purchases, or the standard social promotions. Strangely, the app is labeled as "Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 only", but the Play Store says it's compatible with many more devices than that.

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Sing! Karaoke: the ultimate karaoke experience! Exclusively for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Coming soon to Android phones and other devices! Sing the hottest songs, save and share your performances with friends and family, or perfect a song and get loves from all over the world. Choose from a huge catalog of songs, with the hottest hits by your favorite artists. Sing songs from an array of genres, from Pop to Rock, Hip-Hop to Musicals, Country to Classics. New and free songs are added all the time! Earn free currency to sing premium songs, or buy a subscription for unlimited access!

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KoolrPix Studio Image Editor

No, this isn't another Instagram competitor - KoolrPix is more like the photo programs you played with as a kid. Lots of text effects and clip art help you create digital greeting cards, but there's also some pretty powerful tools, including selection and fills. Of course, if you want to vomit GIFs all over your Facebook photos, no one's going to stop you.

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The most awesome photo fun you could ever dream of having with your clothes on. Finally, everything you'll ever need in one fun-filled photo personalization app to turn all your images into awesome creations you can proudly share with family and friends. Let your imagination soar. The KoolrPix Studio image editor can tackle anything you throw at it from birthday and holiday greetings, new baby and shower announcements, party invitations, to generating your own memes and photo spoofs you can share across your social networks. Best of all, ANYONE can master KoolrPix Studio's editing suite the very first time you use the app. You will be AMAZED.

9x9.tv

It's a harsh truth: the vast, vast majority of the content on YouTube is terrible. Just go to the homepage without logging in to have your hope in humanity crushed. If you're looking for a who's who of YouTube publishers, give 9x9's curated app a try. It's got an arbitrary listing of the best videos, separated by categories and recommendations. To replicate a "eeal" TV experience, try some playlists.

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Watch curated video channels on any Android device just like watching TV. 9x9 app instantly turns your Android device into an an Android TV starring your favorite YouTube characters. With 9x9 app, there is always something good to watch on your Android any time of the day. Begin with 9 fresh YouTube channels carefully curated according to the time of the day or dive deep into a variety of channels that cater to your unique lifestyle. Flip through curated YouTube channels or playlists at your own pace just like watching TV. Browse next episode in a channel or jump to another channel with just the swipe of a finger.

AFWall+ (Android Firewall)

Sysadmins like to have everything nice and secure, even at home. For the obsessive compulsive administrator in your life, there's Android Firewall. It lets you manage your iptables firewall from your smartphone or tablet, provided that you're rooted. A full GUI and access from any network round out a long list of features.

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***ROOT REQUIRED*** If you don't know what root is, please search for "Android root" in the Internet. AFWall+ is an improved version of DroidWall(front-end application for the powerful iptables Linux firewall). It allows you to restrict which applications are permitted to access your data networks (2G/3G and/or Wi-Fi and while in roaming).

Movie Twist

Pandora for movies. It's been tried so far, but not with the degree of control and refinement in Movie Twist. Unlike, say, Netflix, Movie Twist lets you select specific genres, traits, and "mood" for your movie search, along with the standard tags for actors, producers, directors, et cetera. Of course, once you find the movie you want, you'll have to pick which service to use for actually watching them.

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Meet the world's best movie app -- Movie Twist. Movie Twist is the first real Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered movie search and exploration app, therefore offering many different tools to make it easy to discover movies. You can use the search feature and enter your favorite movie to find similar movies. You can use the explore tool, setting parameters for aspects such as loving, funny, violent, thrilling, and clever, and/or set genre, and/or set details about aspects such year, drugs, pace and so on. You can search using movie concepts based on your own mood, movie categories or movie tags

Flock

Not to be confused with the desktop browser of the same name, Flock wants to be your personal, automatic photo organizer. Looking the time, location, and faces within a set of photos, Flock will group them together in relevant albums, then share them with the relevant parties. It can perform the same duties even on the photos that are already on your phone.

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Flock magically groups photos you take with friends into private group albums. Flock finds the photos you take together with friends and family and magically brings all the photos from each person's phone together into a single shared album. No more nagging friends to email or post their photos after a night out. No more missing out on that great shot that someone else took. No more taking the same group photo on multiple phones.

Sharable

Peer to peer networks are alive and well. Shareable creates a point-to-point network between you and your friends (or just multiple devices) and allows for direct copying over WiFi. Sure, there are other ways to accomplish that, but Sharable makes it remarkably easy.

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Sharable is a cross-platform smartphone sharing utility currently available for Android and all other major platforms. The application utilizes the WIFI network or a WIFI hotspot of the Android device to instantly copy files and folders between devices running Sharable. With the application you can share a file or folder with others connected on the WIFI network. Sharable also allows a device on the network to download a file shared by the user. All features of the application can be utilized without any additional GPRSEDGEData services costs or without any in-application purchases.

 

Norton Zone Cloud Sharing

Yup, another cloud storage app. This one comes from Norton, which promises to keep your files safe and private, with individual file and folder sharing controls. Like most of its competition, the first 5GB are free, but further storage will start to cost you. Aside from cloud virus scanning, there doesn't seem to be much to Norton Zone Cloud Sharing to make you switch.

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Norton Zone powered by Symantec is a FREE, personal cloud service that lets you safely access and share your photos, videos, and documents from your computer, smartphone, and tablet. Built-in controls let you decide who can access your files and folders, so you can keep your Stuff private when you share. Get started with 5 GB of storage, absolutely FREE. You can always purchase more storage as your needs change. Access your files from anywhere rather than being locked down to a local storage device. Collaboration is also easier. Share files and leave comments. Track and view every file version for the last 90 days, and restore as needed.

Archos Video Player

Android Police coverage: ARCHOS Releases Its Custom Video Player App To The Play Store, Charges $5 For The Privilege

One of the nicer things about Archos' tablet line is they're almost completely free of bloatware, and the apps that Archos does include are usually better than stock. Their video player is a great example: in addition to Archos' wide codec support, it's fast and has a great interface. If you'd like to see what you're missing, it's a $5 download on the Play Store.

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ARCHOS makes Video Player app available for all Android tablets and phones (requires Android 4.0 or later). The critically acclaimed Archos video player app offers an uncompromised multimedia experience. Hardware accelerated video decoding support for most devices and video formats. Ability to play content from any computer/network storage in your local network (SMB and UPnP) or from an external USB storage device. Automatic online retrieval of Movie and TV show information with poster and backdrop for both local and network content.

Booksy: learn to read platform

Booksy is a reading aid for young children, a sort of 21st century version of "follow the bouncing ball". The app will record kids reading picture books out loud, gently correcting when needed, and offering the pronunciation of any word with a tap. Parents can even retrieve recordings later. There are two free books included, with new titles selling for a buck each.

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Booksy is a learning-to-read platform for young kids (4-9). It is designed from the ground up to help young children, Pre-K through 2nd grade, practice and develop their reading skills. Think of Booksy as training wheels for books. It gives kids independence and security while providing help and support Booksy is at its heart a library of age appropriate level-readers. We believe kids WANT to read when to give them fascinating and interesting books. That is why we partnered with experts to create books on topics kids will love. They will not only dive into reading, but with our nonfiction series also learn. But BOOKSY is so much more. It has amazing features that make learning to read simple and fun. And, it includes powerful tools for parents and teachers to track kids' progress. Watch them glow with pride as they are able to read by themselves and gain independence.

Amazon Instant Video-Google TV

Android Police coverage: [New App] Amazon Finally Releases Instant Video App... For Google TV

It's here! Amazon Instant Video is finally here! If you've got a Google TV device. No, not that Google TV. Or that one. Nope, not that one either. This app appears to work only with LG's all-in-one Google TV monitor units. Thanks, Amazon, we really appreciate it.

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Enjoy Amazon Instant Video on Google TV by downloading this free app. Amazon Instant Video has more than 140,000 titles, including new release movies and in-season TV episodes to rent or purchase. Purchased movies and TV episodes appear in Your Video Library, to enjoy anytime. In addition, Amazon Prime members can watch thousands of videos at no additional cost to their membership. Sign up for a one month free trial of Amazon Prime at http://www.amazon.com/primeinstantvideo. Currently this app is only available for select Google TV devices. Earlier Google TV devices like the Logitech Revue and Sony Beyond TVs and Blu-ray players are not compatible with this new application, but are compatible with the Amazon Instant Video service via our website.

Times Square Official Ball App

The Times Square New Year's Eve app is back. There's not much to it: a big shiny countdown, live video feeds from Times Square, and photos that you can share to your social networks (couldn't you do that already?) Toshiba's footing the bill, so the app is free.

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New Year’s Eve in Times Square LIVE to your phone. Join millions of revelers around the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2013 LIVE. The Official Times Square Ball App is your exclusive access to be part of the activities in Times Square as you watch the LIVE co-hosted official show featuring A-List musical performances, celebrity appearances, first Times Square Wedding, hourly countdowns and the midnight Ball Drop. Don’t wait until December 31st to enjoy the Times Square Ball App. Download today.

Google Santa Tracker

Android Police coverage: Snubbed By NORAD, Google Builds Its Own Santa Tracker, Personalized Message Builder, And Other Awesome Christmas Stuff

Google does what NORAD can't: keep tabs on the original high-speed wireless carrier.

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Celebrate the holiday season with the Google Santa Tracker app for Android. Santa's developer elves have created this app to follow Santa on his December 24th journey as he delivers gifts to children all over the world. To learn more, visit http://g.co/santatracker Happy Holidays.

Christmas Clock

Need a topper for your homescreen decoration? Try Christmas Clock. It's a festive clock widget. That's all. Note the time effects.

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A festive, highly detailed clock widget to celebrate the holiday season. Comes with day and night settings that switch automatically in the morning and evening. Also features a sun and a moon that move across the sky as the progresses.

Live Wallpapers

It’s a Small World

Android Police coverage: Disney Releases Nemo's Reef, It's A Small World Live Wallpaper, And Where's My Holiday? All In One Go

Set sail on a whimsical journey, and celebrate scenes from all around the globe in the “it’s a small world” live wallpaper app. Enter this delightful world filled with vibrant settings, and meet fantastical friends along the way. Travel through the Snowy Alps, dusty plains, calm seas, and more as you tour different regions around the world. From beloved Disney characters to toy soldiers and mermaids, encounter new and familiar faces throughout your travels. With so much to see, start your joyful journey today.

WTF App(s) Of The Week

Sacred Guns

If you've ever had the urge to give Pikachu a shell of buckshot to the face, then Sacred Guns is for you. You're a completely awesome angel (you can tell by the afro!) defending Noah's Ark from the abominations of the earth - which basically means every annoyingly cute pop culture icon from the last 20 years. The turret shooter lets you squash Spongebob, headshot Teletubbies, and double-tap Winnie the Pooh. Watch the video below, right now  - it's 98 seconds you won't regret. Here's hoping for some My Little Pony DLC.

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Defend Noah's Ark from God's unwanted creations. When God decided to send a Great Flood to wipe sin from Earth, he assigned Noah to construct the Ark to keep him and the animals safe from harm... and YOU, the Archangel Mark Leung, to keep His unwanted creations out of the Ark. Wield up to 5 angelic weapons and keep Noah's Ark clean from those filthy, forsaken creatures--those that are too depraved, too ugly or too sickeningly cheerful to be saved. May your guns blaze righteously. Amen.

Battle Cats

If you can figure out what's going on in this game, you're either high, or you spend entirely too much time on 4chan. Possibly both.

Update 12/27/12: The team behind Battle Cats let us know they found a problem and temporarily disabled installs in the Play Store (looks like they made every country ineligible). We can only hope they sort it out soon.

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Adorable kitties go wild all over the world.Here's your chance to raise and play with them for free. Note:Battle Cats is completely free to play, but some items can also be purchased for real money.

Tap any cat you like.
Fire Cat Cannon to support them.
Attack enemy's castle.

Clear stages to get XP.
Tap cat to upgrade the level.
Their form will be changed at level 10.

Find treasures all over the world.
Gross,but somehow lovely characters.
Special cats are even cuter.

Know A Worthy New App? Let Us Know!

If you have an application in mind for the next issue of the roundup, feel free to send us an email and let us know.

Important: there are 2 requirements in order for the app to be considered, listed below.

  • the app's launch date has to be no longer than 2 weeks ago
  • it has to be original, ground-breaking, well-reviewed, interesting, fun, etc - the cream of the crop

Now, if and only if the above requirements have been satisfied, fire up an email to this address: [email protected].

1 sponsored placement per week is available (your app would be featured at the top and marked as sponsored) - please contact us for details.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Adam92Wilkins

    Just started using mightytext. WHY HAVEN"T I USED SOMETHING LIKE THIS BEFORE?!?

    and that cat game... might have to try it.

    • http://twitter.com/ThePhillipBee Phillip Bee

      Mighttext is nice !! Super convenient !! Still needs some refining but they have worked out most the kinks over the years. MMS is horrible and slow though.

      • Montygue

        And it works on my CoStar. I only use it so far for seeing when I get a text, not for responding.

    • Cherokee4Life

      see I could never use one. I might be like you were before you tried it and now you love it but I just don't see the point because I ALWAYS have my phone within 5 feet from me. And I have enough notifications popping up on my tablet as it is.

  • http://twitter.com/KaOs2FLo Lam Nguyen

    This is the best article of Best and WTF apps yet!

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

    Small Call is freaking awesome.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
  • 27yearold

    as soon as amazon makes a video app, I can finally not care about flash. until then, I have to compromise with shitty browser experience on phone.

  • JirafaBo

    I can't find Battle Cats in the play store. :( tried on nexus 7 and epic 4G touch.

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

      The team behind Battle Cats let us know they found a problem and temporarily
      disabled installs in the Play Store (looks like they made every country
      ineligible). We can only hope they sort it out soon.

  • Ed Baker

    The red box app isn't listed under wtf apps? Did you guys read the reviews or just what Verizon sent you? Android users are boycotting it because the app is designed not to run on rooted devices. Come on AP, 91% of the feedback is 1 star and a bad review. The public doesn't consider this one of the best apps! It's considered crap.

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

      It's all noted in Jeremiah's notes for the app. Whether it works for rooted devices or not (and whether it will be fixed in the future) is a separate concern that doesn't reflect the quality of the app for those who it works for. Same goes for all the complaints about it being beta and not available to everyone yet.

      • Ed Baker

        My point being does this app belong on a list of "best" new apps that are "well reviewed".(submission requirement=well reviewed)
        As you mentioned, most users don't get to try it as a closed beta and the reviews are some of the lowest on Google play. The idea of Red box is great, it is newsworthy and review worthy. The posting of Verizon's Red Box app as one of "the best apps of the last 2 weeks", I don't agree with.

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

          I'd like to clarify that the well reviewed requirement is for submissions of suggestions via email. The Redbox Instant app was not a suggested app, and from such a big player as Verizon, it didn't need to be. I hear what you're saying, and maybe the app should have been lower down the list, but it still deserves a spot in the roundup for sure.

    • Cherokee4Life

      wait really? it won't run on rooted devices? They are willingly cutting their customer install base down to 15% lol

  • Herman

    They should've called the Kii Keyboard the "Kiiboard" in my opinion.
    Much easier to remember

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

      My guess is it was done purely for SEO. Kiiboard would have definitely been a better name. Maybe they should have said Kiiboard Keyboard.

      • Herman

        To be honest, I think Kiiboard Keyboard would be even worse :P

  • PhoenixPath

    InDrive would be mine in an instant if they managed to hook into OBD II adapters (when available) for things like odometer and such.

  • tumatos

    slow couple of weeks. nothing that interesting

  • Lalit Mali

    Alright so how trustworthy is BitCasa? What if it's making the 'unlimited storage space' ads just to steal everyone's pictures :O

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

      As trustworthy as Dropbox or any other storage company. They have investors behind them, and the founders are from Mastercard and Mozy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcasa

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