May was a month packed with variety for the Android Market. At the risk of sounding cliched, there really was something for just about anyone. We picked the ten we liked the most and hope you do too.
1. App Lock
App Lock does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows you to lock access to just about any application on your Android kit with a unique passcode.
Why, you might ask? Well, for many reasons really. But mainly it's for those of you who let others use your phone from time to time, but don’t want those third-parties to ‘accidentally’ stumble upon your messages, emails, photos, videos or contacts – pretty much anything that could compromise your privacy.
It’s a simple app with a simple function. What’s not to like?
2. Contract Killer
Set in Central City, a metropolis where bounty hunters, criminals and mobsters rule the streets, Contract Killer is a first-person shooter that puts players in the shoes of a mercenary-come-stone-cold assassin.
As a gun for hire, your role is to take contracts from powerful clients to execute kill high-value targets with brutal efficiency. To achieve that aim, you can choose from 20 unique weapons, including handguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles and machineguns. Then you can pick the best vantage point to carry out the mission. Once your target is in sight, it's a simple matter of zooming in, taking aim and finishing the job.
There are 17 story missions to play through, with unlimited randomly generated missions that let you earn extra cash and experience points. Perhaps the best thing about Contract Killer, though, is that it’s free to download, so your life is not at stake here.
3. Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
Inspired by the critically and commercially acclaimed Modern Warfare franchise on consoles, the sequel to the hugely successful original Modern Combat from Gameloft is one of the best shooters we’ve played on a smartphone.
From spectacular graphics to an adrenaline pumping story campaign, accompanied by moody cinematic cutscenes and a rousing soundtrack - Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus is a AAA production by any measure.
The gameplay in story mode is hugely enjoyable, made all the more immersive by the intuitive controls. Equally impressive is the highly addictive multiplayer, which supports skirmishes for up to 10 players over Wi-Fi in four competitive modes: Battle (death match), Team Battle (team death match), Defuse the Bomb and Capture the Flag.
Simply put, if you’re an FPS nut and have an Android, you just have to pick this baby up.
4. Theme BlackGlass Go Launcher
Bespoke skins on Android can be bit of a love it or hate it kind of affair – the latter more often than not if you’re a Motorola user.
Fret not. Theme BlackGlass Go Launcher is at hand.
It’s a free-to-download user designed theme to give your Android kit a much-needed facelift.
The icons – 60 of them – have been redesigned with a cool glass-like effect that give the UI an all round sleeker, darker and more sophisticated appearance.
A new folder interface makes it less of a hassle to keep your countless apps organised, while a revamped app drawer is on board that’s as responsive to touch gestures as it is pleasing to look at.
(Requires Go Launcher Ex application to install, as featured in our January round-up)
Woo has a very simple purpose: to annoy, tease or impress people around you with a hilarious ‘woo’ sound made by the device as you tilt it in various directions.
Yep. That’s it. There's absolutely no practical functionality here to make life more convenient. Just a little more fun.
Tired of recycling through the stock wallpapers supplied with your phone? Backgrounds allows you to remedy that.
As the name probably suggests, it’s an application for downloading background wallpapers for your Android, and there’s hundreds to choose from across multiple categories with more being added every few days.
Images are automatically resized according to your phone’s resolution, so no worries of manually tweaking them no matter how much or how little real estate your screen packs.
FireBall is the latest addition in a growing slice ‘em up genre on mobile phones.
The difference is that while the likes of Fruit Ninja and Slice It required you to dice fruits or shapes into a pre-determined number of pieces, in FireBall you have to slash shapes until they are small enough to progress to the next level.
Said shapes are usually something you can recognise, like a star or a seahorse and contain balls of fire (hence the name), which will burn you if you’re not careful (not really).
Your goal is to cut the shapes in such a way that you do not separate the balls into more than one fragment. Once you’ve chopped off a certain target percentage in a level, you can move onto the next one.
Sounds easy, right? Well, it's not really. Certainly not when you consider the balls are constantly moving about, requiring precision and timing to avoid failure. And don’t worry, there are perks too in latter levels that allow you to pass levels quicker and disturb the balls’ movement.
It’s a straightforward game but hugely enjoyable when played in short bursts. Download and enjoy.
Chuzzle for Android is a re-release of a hugely addictive puzzler from PopCap Games, makers of gem-swapping cult hit Bejeweled.
Here, you’re presented with a 6x6 board containing these fuzzy-looking creatures called ‘Chuzzles’ and your goal is to align at least three of them by their colour in a column or row to make them pop, causing their eyes to fly to a flask on the left of the screen.
The bigger the chain of Chuzzles you pop, the more points you earn and the faster you fill the flask. Once full, the level will end with any bonuses awarded added towards your points.
As you can probably imagine, it’s not a particularly complex title. But what it is is purely squeezed fun for players of any age or skill level.
(Currently exclusive to Amazon Appstore but will launch on Android Market shortly)
9. adidas miCoach
addidas miCoach is a fitness training app that transforms your Android into a personal trainer that takes you through a wide range of easy to understand and manageable daily workout plans with feedback provided after each session.
Choose a training plan designed specifically for your preferred sport to enhance your speed, stamina and endurance. See how you’re progressing on miCoach.com, which saves detailed analysis of your workouts, including distance and pace of your travel, calories burned and time elapsed.
It has workout modes specifically suited for indoor and outdoor sessions, with GPS support for the latter. There’s also highly customisable alerts and easy access to your music - essential to any workout programme.
Whether you’re a trying to get fit or stay fit, this is an excellent companion that no health-conscious Fandroid should train without.
10. BitDefender Mobile Security for Android
With the Android malware scare dominating column inches left and right, it’s only fair we suggest something to actually alleviate the risks of downloading content from a host of sources to your precious smartie.
Enter BitDefender: an antivirus solution for Android powered kit that ensures your device stays safe around the clock without adversely impacting the battery life or performance.
The on-demand malware scanner, which uses Cloud technology and means nothing is downloaded or quarantined on the handset itself, is always handy to check your entire file system for contaminated content. Meanwhile, the on-install scanner makes sure apps you’re grabbing contain no nasty surprises.
Then there’s a cool ‘Security Audit’ feature that allows you to review exactly which apps and how many have access to your private data, connection to the internet, your location data, or have permission to send text messages without you even realising.
It’s free to use and a must-have tool for every Android user out there.