Now that we've said goodbye to December, it's once again time to take a look at the month's best new apps. Of course having reached January, we've also started a new year, and our full look at 2012's best new apps and games will be ready shortly. That being said, December 2012 had plenty to offer. In the interest of saving our readers some time, and possibly expense, we've rounded up five of the very best apps to hit the Play Store in the last month.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
Fulton Innovation, a pioneer of wireless charging, is no stranger to showing off their tech at CES. This year, though, they've got something a little unusual – a prototype technology that allows a tablet to charge a phone wirelessly.
It looks relatively simple, but there are a few rules – both devices can charge using the Qi standard, and the tablet can charge any Qi-compatible phone. You won't be able to use the tablet while it charges another device, though.
At first blush, the tablet/phone charging duo seems to have limited application – after all, you'd need to stop using your tablet for quite a while, just to get a little more juice into your phone.
Titanium Backup, perhaps the most popular and powerful root backup solution available, got an update to version 5.8 today, an update that brought with it fixes, added support, and new features.
Probably the most significant new feature is the addition of web server backup uploading and downloading (for Pro users). If that sounded like a sentence written in Greek, we'll try to expound – what this means is that your device can now start a web server right from the Titanium Backup interface.
Back in 2011, Eric Schmidt (among others) predicted that Android would soon power home devices, including refrigerators and other appliances. Samsung fulfilled the refrigerator vision with the RF4289. We've questioned the wisdom of Android-powered appliances in the past, but today's pre-CES announcement from Dacor is definitely worth talking about. The California-based company, known for manufacturing quality home appliances, has just announced an Android-powered in-wall oven.
That's right – a (thirty inch) smart oven is on the way, and it's powered by a seven-inch device (called the Discovery IQ controller) with Android … ahem … baked in.
Belkin, a little early to the CES party, has just dropped a couple of announcements regarding its WeMo brand. WeMo, for those who don't know, is Belkin's brand of electronic components (so far including a "switch" compatible with anything you could plug into a normal outlet, a baby monitor, and a motion sensor) meant to allow users to control their electronics from anywhere using their mobile device. Until now, however, WeMo has only been compatible with iOS devices.
Falcon Pro, the beautiful Twitter client born of Joaquim Verges' Falcon Widget, got an update today, bringing the app to version 1.5. Besides the usual bug fixes, this update brings several big enhancements, not the least of which being a completely new, completely appealing "light theme," which will switch your Twitter experience to a pleasing holo light look.
Grand Theft Auto III, the car-stealing, open world game that came to Android in celebration of the series beginning ten long years ago, got a nice update today, bumping it to version 1.3. Besides the usual bug fixes, the GTA update expands the game's compatibility to ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime and the Medion Lifetab, while also adding support for Gamestop's wireless game controller, and enhanced controls for other gamepads and Sony's Xperia Play.
Facedroid is an app that ambitiously set out to give users a more powerful, functional Facebook experience. Until now, though, it was only available for Android tablets.
In a substantial update to version 2.52 today, that changed – the new update finally brings Facedroid to your phone. The phone interface, as you may expect, looks to bring the same functionality users have come to know and love from the tablet version.
If you're still toting Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, good news – CyanogenMod let loose a flurry of new nightlies for the device today, all carrying the CM 10.1 moniker, meaning owners of Samsung's ten-inch Tab from 2011 can enjoy a stock Android 4.2 experience with some key improvements. Among those receiving the new nightlies are the Wi-Fi only Tab (p4wifi), Verizon and T-Mobile connected variants (p4vzw and tmo), the p4, and even the p3, which is the Galaxy Tab 10.1v.
In a post to Google+ today, it was announced that Cricket's Samsung Galaxy SIII (otherwise known as d2cri) had received its first official CM 10.1 nightly, meaning Cricket-connected SIII users can enjoy the Android 4.2-based ROM with all the tweaks and features CyanogenMod fans have come to expect. Those who have followed the Cricket GSIII's progress toward an official nightly build will also be happy to learn that the device's camera woes have reportedly been solved.