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21 Best New Android Apps And Games From Last Week (12/21/10 - 12/27/10)

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market in the previous week or so.

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

Featured App

Tunerfish

This week's featured app is sponsored by Tunerfish - a social TV/movie/video platform.

Tunerfish is especially dear to me personally, as I was 1 of 2 developers working on it for the past 3 months.

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QuickDesk Dev Releases Calendr 1.0 To Android Market, Minimalists Rejoice!

Faruq Rasid, the developer behind QuickDesk, has developed and now finally released a minimalist calendar widget called Calendr that's inspired by Clockr. The widget is simple and attractive, showing your next upcoming event, as well as the date and time, from your Google Calendar. As a complete minimalist when it comes to my home screen, I am truly loving it!

calendr_alpha1

Unlike early Alpha versions, the 1.0 version of Calendr only updates when an event is created, edited or deleted.

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Onkyo Introduces TA117, A New Froyo Tablet


Onkyo has announced a brand new Froyo-based tablet that will launch in Japan. Most of the specifications seem pretty much up to par with what we expect; here's what the TA117 will come packaged with:

  • Tegra 250 Chipset (1 GHz)
  • Android 2.2
  • 10.1-inch screen
  • 1024x600 resolution
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • WiFi & Bluetooth
  • microSD card slot
  • HDMI port
  • 1.3MP Camera
  • Either 8GB or 16GB internal storage

The only disappointing features seem to be the low-quality rear camera and the lack of a front-facing counterpart.

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Your Move, Shazam - SoundHound's Free Android App Now Features Unlimited Music IDs

The developers of SoundHound, a music recognition app, have decided to update the free version of their app to allow an unlimited number of music IDs, instead of the previous limit of 5 each month.

Meanwhile, SoundHound's biggest competitor, Shazam, has a very similar offering: a free app that has the same limit of 5 music IDs per month. If Shazam does nothing, which is hard to imagine, and you don't plan on spending any money, there's no contest regarding which app you are going to end up using.

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Run, Run, As Fast As You Can: A Round-Up Of Gingerbread ROMs

Introduction

A few days after releasing the Android 2.3 SDK, Google officially pushed Gingerbread to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Shortly thereafter, developers (such as the CyanogenMod crew) immediately started working on their custom ROMs based on the AOSP code (e.g. CyanogenMod 7).

It has only been a few days since CyanogenMod released version 6.1.1, their most recent stable update, so it's still likely to be a few weeks before a stable release of CM 7 is available.

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VLC Player Coming To Android In "A Matter Of Weeks"

The incredibly popular VLC Player is finally coming to Android after months of hard work by the open source project developers. Originally a desktop media center for Linux, Windows, and Mac, this versatile player will bring many new video-playing features to our beloved OS including a wide variety of formats such as DivX and Dolby TrueHD. The lead developer in the project, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, has confirmed that it will hit the Android Market in "just a few weeks", which means that Android will be the first mobile platform to have a version of this software finally follow iOS and get its own port (thanks, Mikeyy).

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Costco Reduces Price Of Samsung Galaxy Tab To $500 With One Month Of Data From Verizon

Though we still couldn't reliably confirm a similar Galaxy Tab deal at Best Buy, here's a legitimate sale - Costco is selling Samsung's seven-inch tablet for just $499.99. Customers purchasing the device from Costco will also have to pay an activation fee (refundable with a mail-in-rebate) and sign up for at least one month of data from Verizon, who offers the following data plans for the Galaxy Tab:

  • $20/month for 1GB of data
  • $35/month for 3GB of data
  • $50/month for 5GB of data
  • $80/month for 10GB of data

costco-galaxytab

The reduction in price is great for customers who are looking to get a taste of the Android OS in a tablet form factor.

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ADW Launcher Ex Finally Released, Transitions To A Whole New Dimension

Those of you acquainted with the inimitable Ander Webbs have been waiting for this one for a while. Once dubbed ADW Freak, the souped-up version of everyone's favourite open-source launcher has arrived, and it's now named ADW Ex.

On the surface, Ex brings ... well, it brings crazy transitions and UI effects, mainly. But underneath all that is some pretty impressive performance improvements. In a launcher, the real place where performance counts is in the drawer scrolling, and if you've been feeling that ADW is a bit laggy lately, Ex will quell your frustration with its silky smoothness.

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[Exclusive] HTC EVO Shift 4G Appears In Best Buy's System: $150 With Contract, $550 Without

If you've got your eye on Sprint and HTC's latest WiMax-capable baby, you're in luck - an anonymous source at Best Buy has just sent us the following shot of their system:

IMAG0005_wm

It appears the EVO Shift 4G, or SKU 1768561, will retail for just $149.99 on contract. As an unexpected (but very welcome) surprise, shoppers looking to upgrade to the phone from an older device will be charged the same $149.99 as new customers, provided they also sign up for a new two-year contract.

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Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Just Released To Market, PvP Arena Announced!

It's certainly been a good few days for Android gaming, hasn't it? And it looks like the trend is still going: the hotly anticipated Android version of popular iOS game Dungeon Defenders has just landed in the Market with a holiday price of $3. What makes the game so great? Aside from the fact that it's powered by the Unreal engine (!) - which means the graphics are superb - it's long been one of the best-rated iOS games on the market.

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