Want to know the best Android apps to download this week? With thousands of different applications available on the Android Market, it’s a fraught exercise picking your next download – especially when you’ve exhausted all of the usual fart apps and ‘sexy puzzle’ programs. Fear not, because as always, we’re here to offer both a helping hand and a few kind suggestions. The selection of applications we present to you below are solid-gold slices of digital brilliance, and should be installed on your Android phone’s internal memory at the earliest opportunity. So without any further ado…
Before we start, search for, download and install Barcode Scanner, then point the Barcode Scanner app at the QR codes on this page to zip straight to the Android Market to install everything listed. Chop chop!
Although you can always rely on Electricpig to point you in the direction of the best Android apps, you may still want to get your hands on this particularly useful piece of software. AppAware tracks activity on the Android Market and compiles charts for the most popular (and unpopular) applications. It’s a gloriously straightforward process – once you’ve installed it, AppAware tracks what you download and what you remove from your device. This data is uploaded – along with the activities of thousands of other Android users – to create a real-time snapshot of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of Android downloads.
You can even log into the system with your Google profile and see what is currently floating the boat of people near your present location. It’s even possible to follow certain users, should you decide that their personal taste in apps closely matches yours. If you find that you simply don’t have enough time to scour the Android Market for essential apps on a daily basis, this is an invaluable acquisition. Along with bookmarking our Best Android apps page, obviously.
Picsel Smart Office
As phones become ever more powerful and the office work becomes increasingly demanding, the ability to view and edit important documents on your mobile is something of a boon – especially when you’re stuck on a late train and only have twenty minutes to fine-tune a vital PowerPoint presentation.
Picsel Smart Office – which is the successor to the incredibly popular Picsel File Viewer – allows you to do just that with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. The interface has been designed with touchscreen phones in mind, and instead of attempting to shoehorn PC-like functionality into the diminutive casing of your humble mobile, the developers have wisely kept it as simple and intuitive as possible. In Picsel, a file will look exactly the same as it would on a desktop PC, which is something that can’t always be said of rival applications. As if to prove that it has its finger on the pulse, Picsel also allows you to view documents in 3D – although this sounds like a gimmick, an increasing number of business are taking this route to add a little pizzazz to their presentations.
At almost £6, Picsel Smart Office doesn’t come cheap, but it could end up saving your bacon on more than one occasion – one of the best Android apps yet for productivity.
From the creators of the brilliant Radiant, Buka and Everlands, EVAC is a genius fusion of RPG-style adventure, demanding puzzle-solving and Pac-Man. You assume the role of a glowing cube which must navigate its way through a series of neon-infused levels gobbling up dots. Although it initially sounds like a wholesale rip-off of Namco’s famous arcade title, within the space of a few minutes it quickly develops into a challenging and varied quest, with each level presenting exciting new features.
There are other characters to interact with, power-up items to collect and even safe houses to hide in when enemy blocks are nearby. Thanks to the gorgeous retro-style presentation and intuitive touch-screen control method, EVAC is easily one of the best Android games we’ve experienced in quite some time.
Although the Android platform is blessed with several awesome stand-alone social networking apps – Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare being just three examples – it’s a proper bind having to constantly switch between them in order to keep up with your fast-paced digital empire. Thank goodness then for TweetDeck, a clever piece of programming that has enjoyed massive success in its desktop and iOS iterations. It ingeniously aggregates all of your social feeds in one place, allowing you to keep tabs on Twitter posts, Facebook status updates, FourSquare check-ins and Google Buzz links.
Just like previous editions, the Android version of TweetDeck uses columns to display your information. Your ‘home’ feed – which is essentially postings by people you’re connected with across all of your social networks – is your main point of focus, but you’ve also got supplementary columns for ‘mentions’ and direct messages. However, for those of you that use multiple Twitter accounts, TweetDeck is like manna from heaven. You can add in several different Twitter identities, and post to several different accounts simultaneously.
Until very recently TweetDeck was in beta, but it’s now live on the Android Market and boasts a raft of improvements and tweaks. The team behind the app have stated that Android is now their lead mobile platform, so not only is this a true godsend, it also gives you welcome bragging-rights over your iPhone-owning brethren. And to top it all off, it’s being offered entirely free of charge.
The fact that it’s possible to change the virtual keyboard on Android devices has opened up the flood gates to countless new replacement apps – some of which are more effective than others. Swype is unquestionably one of the best, and offers an entirely new way to input text on capacitive touchscreens.
The app – which is currently in beta-testing phase but comes pre-loaded on the excellent Samsung Galaxy S – eschews the usual ‘tap-tap’ process of typing. Instead, you trace a line over the relevant keys to spell a word, and a space is inserted each time you lift your digit from the display. It takes some getting used to, but once you get your head around it, you’ll be typing (or Swyping, to be more precise) faster than ever before. Don’t believe us? Then know this: Swype currently holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest creation of a text message on a touchscreen, with 26 words ‘Swyped’ in 25.94 seconds.
Because it’s still in beta, Swype isn’t available for download on the Android Market as yet, and if you haven’t already signed up for the testing phase then you won’t be able to get your grubby hands on it just yet. However, those of you already signed up should uninstall the app and download the new installer from the Swype website. The latest, freshest beta version solves many of the speed issues that plagued the previous iteration, as well as improving text prediction accuracy.
QR Codes courtesy of www.cyrket.com