Best new Android apps of the month (August 2012 edition)
Several cultures in the world believe that everything has a spirit. We’re acquainted with the idea that only human beings have spirits, but some beliefs extend to animals, plants, and even to inanimate objects. Have you ever wondered what happens during fall, when trees shed thousands of leaves? Spirits is a game that shows you that even the spirits of leaves need to go into the light, but they’re going to need some help.
On their own, these spirits just wander around. They can’t climb steps and they can’t jump. You’ll need to guide them towards the void, sometimes by turning one of the spirits into a cloud to give them a little lift, by turning another spirit into vines for easier climbing, or by turning a spirit into a drill to get through obstacles such as mushrooms, branches, or stubborn rock formations.
Spirits has a very beautiful, simple yet haunting aesthetic. The spirits are stark white against the warm colors of the background. Everything else, such as the obstacles, are dark-colored and sometimes black, so your eyes will be drawn to the spirits. The musical score is also haunting and rich.
You start each level with an idea of how many spirits you need to save and guide into the void. It isn’t just spirits you can save, however. There will be little pale sproutlings on the level and you must let your spirits pass them and awaken them to save them, as well. You can clear a level by meeting the minimum amount of spirits to save or you can aim to get the perfect solution and save even more spirits.
There’s nothing quite like a classic game of pinball. Maybe it’s how mesmerizing the ball looks as it bounces around or maybe it has something to do with the challenge to reach as many points as possible with 5 balls. Who knows what gives pinball its allure, but it’s certainly delightful to find a good pinball game for Android such as Pinball Pro.
Despite being fuschia, the pinball interface is not painful to the eyes. It certainly wasn’t difficult to follow the ball on my HTC Sensation’s screen. There’s no flapping your flippers about randomly here. Thanks to Pinball Pro’s clean interface, playing is certainly not boring.
What makes Pinball Pro delightful isn’t just its clean interface. You can select more than one type of pinball machine to play. You can select the futuristic-looking Lucky Stones machine or take a chance at the Lucky Wheel.
When you run out of balls, there is no discouraging Game Over sound. Instead, Pinball Pro just cuts off the music. Personally, I liked that because it was easy to burn an hour of my time away without really feeling like I lost.
Being a free app, the game’s ad support didn’t surprise me. Don’t worry about these ads getting in the way, however. You can only see them on the app main screen, its level selection menu, and the scoreboard.
If you’ve browsed Android Authority’s front page, you’ll see that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is popular around these parts. The Galaxy S3 was inspired by nature, as its tagline says, and it makes sense why so many nature-themed live wallpapers are hot. If you don’t have a Galaxy S3 yet but you want to give your device an injection of nature, you can do that with the Galaxy S3 Drop LWP.
Decorate your screen with drops of water on a leaf and watch as water droplets fall down from the top of the screen. It’s not only gorgeous. It’s calming, too.
I tested the Galaxy S3 Drop LWP on an HTC Sensation and it worked just fine. Unfortunately, it seems that the Galaxy S3 Drop LWP doesn’t really support interaction with it. Though you can adjust the size and quantity of the water droplets, as well as their speed, you can’t exactly brush away the water droplets.
This live wallpaper does install a homescreen shortcut for easier access to the wallpaper. The Galaxy S3 Drop LWP is ad-supported but that doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing ads on the live wallpaper. The only place you can see the ads is the Settings page.
runtastic Pedometer has an attractive and clean interface. From the moment you launch it, you already have an idea of how the app works. You can sign in with your Facebook account or make a runtastic account of your own. The white boxes for the speed you’re walking in and how far you’ve been walking are in white, so you can easily find them against the deep purple background. Start your workout by hitting the green button at the bottom. During your workout, you don’t need to worry about disturbing the app as you’ll need to unlock it first before you can stop the counter.
Save your workout session and indicate things like how the workout made you feel, what surface you were on, and what the weather was like. runtastic Pedometer will save your sessions so you can compare your performance.
You can also enjoy runtastic Pedometer’s other features, such as seeing how many calories you’re burning for the number of steps you’ve taken.
I hope you have a lot of time because you’re going to be killing a lot of it with PopCube. That isn’t to say that PopCube is extremely slow. On the contrary, PopCube will have you popping as many cubes in the span of 60 seconds while listening to music. No need to pop to the beat but 60 seconds is a whole lot faster than you actually think.
PopCube combines music, cubes, and colors. On the top part of the screen, you’ll see a giant cube of a certain color. If it turns pink, pop every pink cube. Once you’ve run out of them, the giant cube changes colors and you’ll have another type of cube to pop.
PopCube’s fast pace will easily have you playing it again and again and again. To make popping easy, swipe across same-color cubes that are right next to each other. Power ups will also appear on the grid, so you can buy yourself more time, double your points, pop same-color cubes in one go, or even destroy everything in the same column and in the same row.
Once 60 seconds are up, you’ll see your score, as well as a little bit of cube-centered advice from Dr. Cube, the dapper gentlecube in a top hat and a charming mustache.
You can log in to Facebook and show off your score to your friends. You might just find yourself trying to beat their top score.