The Android Market is growing by the thousands each month and it's sometimes overwhelming to keep up with the massive influx of apps. But because we like you so much, every month Top10.com goes through the pains of picking out ten apps on the platform we think represent best value for your time and money. Here’s what August had to offer.
1 Visual Task Switcher
Multitasking on Android is something of a chore. Visual Task Switcher takes care of that somewhat by providing you a way to quickly switch between running apps without the need for a task manager or going through a boring list.
Simply activate the switcher by pressing the Home button or a long press on the Search button, which brings up a thumbnail view of all your running apps, a bit like HTC’s Sense UI. Tap on a thumbnail to go straight to the app. Tap and hold to force close an app. Press Home again to go to the home screen. It’s really that easy and makes one wonder why Google can’t implement something like it to operate natively.
2 BBC Sports News Centre
With the new football season underway, fans of the land’s most beloved sport will be looking to stay on top of the latest scores and headlines. The BBC Sports News Centre allows you to do just that, with its simple and clean interface to catch up on any of the major football divisions in the country and a number other sports, including cricket, rugby, tennis, F1 and more.
AudioGuru is a tool to adjust the various audio settings on your ‘droid. You can customise multiple audio profiles depending on your location and have them automatically enabled at different times of the day. The benefit is that you won’t have to constantly turn the ringer on and off when you’re at work. It also means you can sleep soundly at night and have your alarm sound automatically turned up in the morning by AudioGuru.
Mashup lets you splice to together segments of music and audio to create a mashup right on your Android device. You can split any audio files in your library, join them together in the order you like and play them back using the integrated music player. It’s useful if you are a podcaster or just love messing with your music.
5 EZ Tip Calculator
EZ Tip Calculator takes the headache out of splitting the tip when you’re out having dinner with a large group. Simply enter the bill amount, number of persons and tip percentage, and let EZ Tip Calculator do its thing. It’s free and it’s EZ, what’s not to like?
6 Cycle Hire Widget Pro
The London bike hire scheme is finally here, but the lack of enough bikes to go around can still make it tough to locate a Boris bike in busy areas of the city. Cycle Hire Widget Pro will point you to all the nearest bike stations, along with distance and live data of the number bikes and docking slots available in each hire location.
7 Live Hold‘em
Live Hold’em lets you play Texas Hold’em with your friends on Facebook or other Android users from anywhere on the go. It’s easy to pick up and play and a great way to introduce yourself and your friends to the real game if you’re new to poker. Plus, it’s free so you have nothing to lose by giving it a go.
Chess, as you might have guessed from the title, is an app to play the game of kings. It has a great-looking interface and comes with three boards and two chess piece sets. You can play solo against the AI or challenge a friend in the two-player hot-seat mode.
Novice players need not worry, as with ten difficulty levels there is something for everyone. Beginners can also take advantage of the hint system, with the option to undo your moves. And if you’re hesitant to put money down for it just yet, a free, ad-supported version of the game is also available.
9 Mobile Security
Mobile Security is Internet security software from antivirus maker Trend Micro. It provides a robust filtering solution to block unwanted calls and messages on your Android phone and has integrated web reputation and parental controls to protect children, teenagers and other family members from unsafe websites and sites containing objectionable content.
With the rise in cybercrime on smartphones, this is an excellent tool way to stay safe from harmful websites and messages used to infect unprotected smartphones with Trojan viruses.
The software is currently in beta stage and is free to download from the Android Market.
Guns’n’Glory is a tower defence game with a western theme. What sets this apart from other titles in the genre, though, is that instead of pummelling waves of alien insects or zombies or other monstrous abominations, you will be recruiting outlaws, bandits and Indians to ambush innocent settlers, stagecoaches and gold trains in the Wild West. It might seem morally objectionable, but give the game a few minutes and you’ll be thinking differently.
Your goal is simple: kill all settlers before they make it past the canyon and collect the loot they drop, which you can use to hire more baddies. If enough of them escape, they will call the sheriff and it’s game over. However, unlike most tower defence games, you’re allowed to reposition your characters and weapons during a wave.
It’s a genuinely addictive game and the only real negative is that it’s over too quickly, with only ten levels to play. But what’s there is great value for money. A free, ad-supported version is available to try before you buy.