Get 20 Best Android Apps
|CSR Racing Android
CSR Racing is now available for Android. It's time for our weekly roundup of brand new & notable applications for Android smartphones & tablets. It covers applications & games, with the prices referring to the initial download: so (Free) may mean (Freemium) in some cases. The equivalent iOS roundup will be published later in the day. For now, read on for this week's Android selection.
CSR Racing (Free)
Premium drag-racing game CSR Racing was one of the biggest iOS hits of 2012, but now it's roared onto Android. The game sees you buying, upgrading & racing a range of cars from Audi, BMW & other manufacturers, with an emphasis on customization – & in-app purchases used to fund the action.
Facebook Home (Free)
Released on Google Play just after last week's Android roundup, Facebook Home is the social network's launcher for taking over Android smartphone home-screens, putting friends' updates & photos front & centre. For now, it's officially only available for devices like the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X & HTC One X+, with more to follow.
Cut the Rope: Time Travel (£0.62)
Cutesy monster Om Nom has returned with a third Cut the Rope game for Android, with a time-traveling theme as he tries to feed sweets to his ancestors. The action is very similar to the previous games: you're cutting ropes to solve physics-puzzles across six locations, although this time there are two on-screen monsters to feed, not one.
Obvious disclosure: this is an application from the applications Blog's parent company Guardian News & Media. Described as "the home of user-generated content on the Guardian", the application helps readers contribute to live news stories, suggest other stories & features, & enter competitions. Submissions can include text, photos and/or videos.
My-Glass has a small niche audience for now: early recipients of the first Google Glass eyewear prototypes. The application enables them to configure & manage the device from their Android phones. More than 1,000 people have already downloaded the app, as the first devices are sent out.
Dungeon Hunter 4 (Free)
Game loft's dungeon-crawling adventure is back for its fourth iteration, & like the third instalment, this is premium. Buying gems in-app beefs up your prospects as you wander through sprawling environments laying waste to enemies.
Lib-on is the work of Orange, promising "visual voice-mail that does it all". That means free Voice-over-IP calls & instant messaging, with a voice-mail feature to handle calls when you're not available to answer, with email notifications & text messages.
Yahoo! Mail (Free)
The Yahoo! Mail application isn't new for Android smartphones, but the company has released a new version that's optimized for tablets. It works with the Yahoo! Mail service, with support for multiple accounts, photo attachments & notifications for new messages.
Tripomatic City Guides & Maps (Free)
Tripomatic is one of the start-ups trying to build a business out of personalized travel guide apps. This is its first Android release, providing guides to more than 40k attractions in 300 holiday spots around the world. The idea: you can plan an itinerary – using the application or the Tripomatic website – then access it on the go, & also add your own places if desired.
Stick Cricket Premier League (Free)
As the Indian Premier League cricket league gets underway in its sixth season, there's a marvellous spin-off game from Stick Sports that lets you build & manage a squad as well as slogging it out on the pitch. It's based on the existing Stick Cricket game, with similarly addictive game-play.
Arcade bombing game (as in bomber pilots & planes, obviously) iBomber was great fun on iOS when it came out in 2009. Now it's finally available on Android. The game sees you flying missions over the Pacific Ocean in 1943, with 26 to complete, & social features to compare your skills with friends.
OrSaveIt is described as an "impulse savings app" – something designed to help you save money for specific goals or treats. "Choose a picture of your saving goal, set your target amount & then use the impulse save icons to make saves, on the go," explains its Google Play listing.
Paper Toss 2.0 (Free)
It's a mark of the Paper Toss series' popularity that a few days after launch, this sequel is already past the 500k downloads mark on Android. The core game-play is the same as its predecessor: chucking paper balls into an office wastepaper basket with flicks of your finger. This time round, bananas, grenades & co-workers are flung into the mix.
PODFY - Podcast Player (£1.96)
PODFY styles itself as a "cloud podcast player" which runs across smartphones, tablets device & PC. It keeps tracks of the pod-casts you've downloaded, & enables you to sort them into playlists – with automation to lighten the load of compiling them.
Crunchd is an application for people who grow, cook & eat their own food, aiming to connect them with one another in local communities. The idea is that they swap advice, keep diaries of what they're growing & eating, upload photos & trade excess produce with one another.
Visual Calendar for tablets device (£3.91)
Visual Calendar is certainly ambitious: an application that wants to "change the way you plan your life". If you think that means a slick-looking calendar application with neat co-loured icons, take a bow. "Think Mind Map for your project turned into actual tasks & dates, or events & appointments from your organizer presented in an intuitive, task-oriented way," explains its Google Play listing. Well worth a look.
I Am Vegend – Zombiegeddon (Free)
Birds, pigs & zombies... together at last! Android game I Am Vegend has its tongue in its cheek across its 45 missions, for a game that's less a parody & more a "mind-blowing travesty of mobile game hits". It looks good fun though.
First Wood War (Free)
First Wood War looks like a game with plenty to chew on for more serious gamers: a real-time strategy game with a player-versus-player online mode, impressive graphics & more than 20 battle maps to explore in its solo mode. It's all set in the woods, which brings us neatly on to...
Forest HD (£0.99)
This sits somewhere between an application & a live wallpaper: an atmospheric virtual forest to explore, peering at birds, deer & plants, with add-on packs offering butterflies, babbling brooks & customisation.
Measure Book (£1.95)
Finally, Measure Book, a productivity application for people making home improvements. It lets you take photos of rooms, then insert lines & measurements to check fittings, sharing the results by email, Facebook or via cloud services Evernote & Dropbox.
That's this week's selection, but what do you think? Make your own recommendations, or give your views on the applications above, by posting a comment.