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50 Best (And 1 WTF) New Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 3 Weeks (11/21/12 - 12/14/12)

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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 3 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.

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Google Maps Navigation Support Doc Updated To Include Bulgaria, Slovakia, 8 More Countries, Release Probably Not Far Off

In times past, we've seen Google add new countries to its list of supported territories for Google Maps Navigation shortly before we see the update itself rollout. Today, there's been a pretty huge change to that document that added 10 new nations including Bulgaria, Estonia, Ghana, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Senegal and Slovakia (for some reason Singapore appears to have been added to the list, even though that nation already has Navigation).

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Right now, it doesn't look like Navigation has actually appeared for the countries in question, but if history repeats itself, the service should appear for residents of these nations before too long.

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[New Game] Kairosoft Releases The Pyraplex, Walks Like An Egyptian All The Way To The Bank

There is something undeniably addictive about Kairosoft's games. Whether you're developing video games, slaying monsters, or racing cars, Kairosoft grabs you by the eyeballs and won't let go. This time you're going way back in time to run your own pyramid/bazaar in The Pyraplex. Stop me if this sounds familiar.

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Your goal is to build up your pyramid's amenities and reputation as you quarry stone, attract visitors, and search out treasures. People will swing by regularly to tour your pyramid and shop for ancient goods and services. Random event will also crop up to keep things interesting. It's probably more engaging than it sounds, but I have to wonder if this is just Megamall Story with a pyramid.

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Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus: Huge List Of Games And Children's Books On Sale [Update]

Tis the season, Android shoppers. Today there's a cavalcade of games from a variety of developers on sale in the Google Play Store, as well as some of Loud Crow's interactive books for children. We haven't seen any word of when this sale will end, so if you want any of the games or apps listed above, get 'em while they're hot. First, to the game shelf!

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US Cellular's Samsung Galaxy SII Receiving Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 Update (FK19)

If you're still toting the US Cellular-connected Galaxy SII, good news – it seems the device's update to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 is ready to go and can be installed using USC's "Simple Upgrade Tool" any time now.

The update, which carries software build number FK19, brings with it all the Ice Cream Sandwich goodness some other carrier variants already enjoy including Face Unlock, TouchWiz improvements, and more.

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Image: US Cellular's Ice Cream Sandwich Promo Document

While US Cellular's Galaxy SII may be a bit late to the Ice Cream Sandwich party, it's nice to see continued support for the device, 10 months after it first debuted on the carrier.

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Making Editing A Snap: Snapseed Review

It's hard out there for a photo app these days. After the runaway success of Instagram, a lot of imitators popped up thinking that if they offered the same "snap, filter and share" features, users would flock to them, as well.

Sadly, this means that we have legions of piss-poor imitations without any clear alternatives; as the filter features became more ubiquitous, they almost provoke a roll of the eyes when announced. Unless an app fixes glaring problems with the market leader or offers some other kind of of advantage, users will find themselves wondering "What's the point?"

I was interested when it was announced that Google would be acquiring the Snapseed because it seemed almost in reaction to Facebook's purchase of Instagram.

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Modern Combat 4 Review: Playing By Big Boy Rules On The Small Screen

Gameloft has carved out a nice little niche for itself by taking popular console games, and tweaking the formula (and title) just enough to get away with it. The Modern Combat series has been presented as the mobile equivalent of Modern Warfare, and it's just reached its 4th incarnation with Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour. Does this formula of console-style play still work on Android?

Gameplay And Story

Modern Combat 4 is a first person shooter that makes heavy use of cinematic elements to tell what we can only hope is a good story. The game is split up into missions with a few auto-saving checkpoints along the way.

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[The Android Police Podcast] Episode 40: From Macaulay Culkin To S Pebble

Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 40.

Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!

Subscribe to the Android Police Podcast:

The Cast

  • Matthew Smith, Host
  • Bob Severns, Editor, A/V
  • Cameron Summerson, Co-host
  • David Ruddock, Co-host
  • Eric Ravenscraft, Co-host

THE OUTLINE

Android at Arms

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Marvel's Avengers Initiative Adds Captain America For Episode 2, Agent Coulson Squeals With Glee

Alright, so Avengers Initiative wasn't the earth-shattering mobile experience that its marketing made it out to be. In fact, according to Matt Demers' review, it's an Infinity Blade ripoff that only true believers will really enjoy. But for those who finish all their comic reading on Tuesday and are looking for anything more to scratch that superhero itch for the rest of the week, there's a big update to the game. Captain America is now available as the second playable character.

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If you've already played through Avengers Initiative, go to the upgrade store and add Episode 2 to your inventory for 10,000 in-app points...

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Now You Can Haz Lols Anywhere: Cheezburger Network Gets Its Own Mobile App

Of course sharing this tidbit is going to make me that guy*, but if the word "meme" to you means "a picture with text written on it" then chances are you owe at least some thanks to the Cheezburger Network. This site (and later, series of sites)has been built around the business of collecting viral internet images for the lulz. Now, several realms from this digital domain—including but not limited to Memebase, FAILblog, and ROFLRazzi and a couple dozen others—are available via the new Cheezburger mobile app.

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The app features just about every sub-section to the Cheezburger network (including one of my favorites, So Much Pun).

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