Pretty simple one this week - hopefully, one that requires little description. Which keyboard do you use on your phone? Stock - and if so, stock Android (either via the Play store or preinstalled) or stock manufacturer? Third-party - like SwiftKey or Swype? Or do you have a phone with a hardware keyboard?
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here and the tablet app roundup here.
If you enjoy this roundup, feel free to upvote it on Reddit.
Okay, so you like baseball. Do you go see your favorite team on a regular basis? Or maybe you have season passes? If you're a stadium regular, then MLB.com's new app At the Park is one you need to check out.
At the Ballpark is a social check-in app specifically for baseball fans that hit the stands to see their favorite team on a regular basis. The app features interactive maps and directories for each ballpark, social media integration, team schedules, ticket info, and sales; access to food and drink ordering at select parks, as well as direction and parking information.
Though movie apps like Flixster and Moviefone (which allow users to locate any theaters near them) clearly have their utility, sometimes it's nice to have an app specific to a certain theater brand. Precisely for this purpose, Cinemark Theaters, one of the biggest names in the "motion picture exhibition industry," has released an official Android app.
The application will grant users GPS directions to any domestic Cinemark theater, in addition to:
- Securely purchasing movie tickets
- Accessing "My Cinemark" favorite theaters
- Searching for their preferred Cinemark theater locations
- Viewing their gift card balances
- Viewing their ticket purchase histories
- Searching for movies Coming Soon
- Searching for movies Now Playing
- Viewing movie trailers
- Rating, Synopsis, Cast etc.
Whether you are trying to score a great deal or just read the product descriptions, you've probably used Woot before. In fact, there's a good chance you've already used the service on your Android device, as there are several Woot apps available in the Play Store. But Woot Check, a brand new app from GT Media, the developers of SeekDroid, takes things to an impressive new level.
Side note: Technically, Woot Check was GT Media's first app, but it wasn't anything special at the time and what you see here today is a completely rewritten product that benefitted from all the experience of developing SeekDroid.
I don't know a single person who has Facebook and doesn't check it on their phone. I also don't know a single person who doesn't hate how ridiculously slow the official Facebook app is. Fortunately, Facebook has APIs that allow third-party applications to do everything that you would normally use the official app to do - and it many cases, they do it better. A good example of "doing it better" is Friendcaster fro Facebook, which just so happened to receive an pretty massive update to version 5 today.
Android, as a platform, has an advantage in that apps designed for phones scale to tablets dynamically, so many are functional without a proper tablet interface. The disadvantage? Some developers take their sweet time making said tablet interfaces. Twitter, for example, is still a giant, stretched-out version of the phone app. Enter Plume, an app that sticks much more closely to the ICS design style guide.
While adhering to the style guide may not always be enough to make an app great, Plume provides a highly-customizable UI that makes use of the best parts of Android's new design elements.
A new Google Play Store v3.5.16 started rolling out to some Android users in the last 24 hours. This version replaces 3.5.15, which brought a whole host of new features last time around, and reportedly brings fixes to those having trouble seeing purchased apps or experiencing force closes.
Additionally, improvements in snappiness were reported, but it could just end up being the placebo effect. I haven't found any other obvious changes thus far.
Facebook’s current Android app has become the subject of much hatred from the Android community – for one thing, it rarely works properly (if at all); for another, its looks have become quite stale. Sadly, we still haven’t seen any plans for future improvements, so Redditor monkfishbandana took it upon himself to come up with a mock-up of how he believes Facebook for Android should look, especially with a beautiful OS like Ice Cream Sandwich.