New and fresh Android apps of the week (August 10 issue)

August 10, 2012
92
10 34 48

For as long as we live, we never run out of things to do.  And, for as long as there are things to do, Android app developers never run out of ideas for apps to help us do them.

In this August 10 issue of our weekly roundup of the best new and fresh Android apps, say hello to some of the newest and interesting Android apps on the Google Play Store.  In this post, you’ll know more about

  • a clock widget that actually makes ticking sounds,
  • a database of nutritional info (especially sugar) for food,
  • a collection of Galaxy S3-inspired dandelion wallpapers,
  • a chat app that lets you exchange audio messages with chat pals,
  • a voice memo app,
  • an app to stay updated about the bills in the U.S. Congress and to vote for pending bills,
  • a damage tracker for those crazy about the World of Warcraft trading card game,
  • a photo album organizer,
  • a bucket…for stuff…,
  • an instructional manual for close combat,
  • a radio alarm clock,
  • a secure note-taking app,
  • ring tones from famous classic video games,
  • customizing your phone’s LED notification lights’ colors, and
  • a bulletin-board-style task organizer.

Go ahead, feel the love that app developers have showered your Android with.

Ticking Clock

Every Android device has a default clock widget that tells the time. But, all these virtual clocks have one thing in common–they don’t tick. Some people find it pleasurable to the clock tick. Sometimes, it may help them get to sleep. If you want a more realistic virtual clock, use the Ticking Clock widget on your Android device. As the name suggests, this is a virtual clock that makes a ticking sound every second.

You will be able to customize your ticking clock. You can change the design of the clock, choose a ticking sound type, adjust the sound level, and many more. You can also find the option to automatically turn off the volume if you are opening another app. The app also features an option to keep ticking even if your phone sleeps. After you have made your desired settings, add the clock to your homescreen and you have yourself a ticking clock.


NutriFact :: Sugar

Sugar is one of the important substances that our bodies need. Sugar fuels the body so it can function well. Running low on sugar is like running out of car fuel in the middle of nowhere. That’s why it is important to fill one’s stomach with proper food throughout the day. But, for some people, sugar-rich food should be taken in moderation. People who have diabetes or who plan to lose some weight need to control and watch the food that they take in. The NutriFact :: Sugar app can help app can help you control your sugar intake by letting you know how much sugar is hidden inside your food.

The app works like a food sugar directory on your Android device. The app contains a record of sugar contents of all possible foods that you eat everyday. Just type in the name of the food on the search bar and the app will automatically display a list of food items. Tapping on the food’s name will show you its specific sugar details such as the total sugar, sucrose, glucose, and fructose content. You can also filter the search by specifying a category and sorting the list to either ascending or descending based on sugar content.

The NutriFact :: Sugar app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. It displays ads at the bottom of the screen, but won’t bother you when using the app. We ran the app through security software and found no threats or the presence of push notification ads. The same developer also has food directories for vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, calories, and many more.


Galaxy S3 Dandelion

Dandelion wallpapers have become popular since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S3. If you want to make your homescreen look like that on the Galaxy S3, you can set a picture of dandelions on your Android homescreen. You can get high-definition dandelion images with the Galaxy S3 Dandelion app. This app features a selection of dandelion images that you can use as wallpaper on your Android device.

Launching the app will let you browse a collection of dandelion images. Once you have made your choice, just tap on the image and set it as background on your Android device. Your chosen image will automatically appear on your homescreen.

Aside from dandelion images, the app also allows you to view other wallpapers such as pictures of Android, fireworks, abstract art, cute animals, and many more. Just choose an image from the list and instantly set it as wallpaper via the app.

Although the app features a variety of images, it doesn’t have the option to resize the chosen image or select only a part of the image to be displayed. The app is also ad-supported, but the ads only appear at the top of the screen and won’t disturb your view.


Jet

The usual chat application lets you have a conversation with someone online. Usually, you get to talk to chat buddies online by typing your message in the app. But, with the Jet app, you can now send audio files to your chat buddies. No need to type long messages. Just use this app and speak your message to your friends. It’s not only convenient but also makes your message more personal by letting your buddies hear your voice.

Before you can send your audio messages, you will need to create a Jet account. You can create an account via the app. Once done, you can now begin chatting and meet new friends online. You can type your messages on the text box provided. If you want to speak your message, just tap the Speak button to create an audio file. To listen to other audio files, just tap the “Spoken message, tap to listen” message and listen to audio files generated by other users.

Jet can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. The free version comes with ads that appear at the top of the screen. There is also a premium version that lets you use the app without the ads.


GT Voice Notes & Alarms

Most Android devices have a default app that allows you to create notes and important reminders. But, if you want to do it hassle-free, you can use the GT Voice Notes & Alarms app to create reminders by recording your voice.

Unlike the usual note app, the GT Voice Notes & Alarms app allows you to save important reminders by recording your voice. No need to type long series of text for your reminders. Just open the app and say what you need to say. You can record your voice for your grocery list, the birthday present that you need to buy, and other stuff that you need to remember. You can also use this app to record important lectures or while your instructors gives out instructions for projects or assignments.

The app also allows you to place widgets on your homescreen. You can easily view and listen to your reminders without the need to open the app from the app drawer.

The GT Voice Notes & Alarms app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Since this is a free app, expect ads appearing on the app’s screen. But, you don’t need to worry about the ads because they will only appear above the screen and will not hinder you from using the app. We also found no security threats or push notification ads while testing the app.


Citizen Vote

Are you aware of your laws? We may not have time to check law books but it’s certainly important be aware of them. Citizen Vote is an Android application dedicated to increase public understanding of the 112th Congress of the United States. This app also allows public voting on these laws.

Citizen Vote has a simple and neat interface. The text is black against a white background and links you can access are in red. You can search for bills alphabetically. At the bottom of the screen, Citizen Vote lets you Like bills, Share them with your friends on various social networks, and even Comment on them if you have something to say.

The app could be improved by allowing zooming in on the text. If have a small Android device screen, then you might find yourself squinting at the text. I tried to see if the text would expand in landscape mode; unfortunately, it didn’t. The app may be enjoyed best on devices with much larger screens such as the Galaxy Note or tablets.

Not a single ad was seen on Citizen Vote and it didn’t ping on AirPush Detector’s radar either.

Download Citizen Vote today and be familiar with the 112th Congress of the United States.


WoW TCG Damage

If you’re crazy over card games, you’ll be familiar with how it can be such a hassle to track damage. There’s good news for people who play the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Introducing the WoW TCG Damage app. Developed by GhostCat, this app not only helps you track your own damage but your opponent’s damage, as well. Do away with the old paper and pencil!

Next time you play with your friend, just launch Wow TCG Damage. You can select your character on the bottom portion. The top option is reserved for your opponent’s character. A red icon in the upper-right corner of your respective portions will indicate how much life your character has. Whenever damage is inflicted, you can score it by tapping the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or X damage buttons. If you heal, you can track that too with 1, 2 and X.

Actions will be recorded in the space between the two portions. That way you can easily track what’s going on in the game. To see the full log, tap the space between your portion and the opponent’s to bring it up. When you’re done playing, you can choose a new opponent or a new round.

While playing with the app, we found no ads on the app’s interface, nor did it pop up in AirPush Detector. Expect to have uninterrupted fun next time you sit down for a card game with your friends.


One Life One Album


One Life One Album lets you put your pictures of that special event in one album.  I found it particularly easy to start putting together pictures. Put one picture on one page and write a caption under it. You can enhance the page’s feel by changing its signature background. If those signature backgrounds aren’t enough for you, you can purchase more through the app. It’s easy to switch between Viewing mode and Editing mode. If you see an eye on the top bar, that means you’re in Viewing mode. Tap it to change it into a pair of scissors and enter into Editing mode.

Name the album anything you want and when you’re done, share it with your friends and family over e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. You can make another album when you’re done. In the upper-right corner of the screen, tap the Bookmark icon and create a new chapter in your life.

One of the downsides of this app is that if you delete a photo from your mobile device, the image will also be deleted from the album. The developers are aware of this problem and are already working to keep your images safe with you forever. I also personally had trouble sharing my album with Facebook and with Twitter. The app seems to hang and doesn’t do anything. The app, however, does not force close so I can hit the Back button and go back to my albums.


Stuff Buckets

What in the world are Stuff Buckets? Naturally they’re buckets of stuff, but what kind of stuff? That’s up to you to decide. Stuff Buckets is a not a To-Do list, nor is it a notepad. It’s, in fact, a lightweight organizer that emphasizes brevity and efficiency. When you first launch the app, you won’t see anything. That’s okay. Tap the Menu button to get started. Make a bucket for just about anything.

In my case, I made a bucket for the things I need to work on for Android Authority. You could make a bucket about things you want to do in your lifetime, or for short-term goals, or even for things you need to do for a class.

Once have your bucket, fill it up with things. They can be a phrase or a word. Long-press on any of your bucket stuff and you’ll have the option of deleting it, editing it, or attaching a picture to it. That picture can be anything you want. You can e-mail your Buckets to your friends and let them know what stuff’s in your bucket.

Stuff Buckets is extremely simple to use. Navigating around the app is intuitive and the user interface is simple and easy on the eyes. There is not a single ad on its white-on-black interface. We tested it with the AirPush Detector and it was not detected, which means you can enjoy Stuff Buckets without having to receive ads on your notification bar.


USMC Close Combat Manual FREE

It’s important to be able to defend ourselves. In this day and age, there’s no telling what could happen around the corner. You might get your phone snatched, your pocket picked, or even worse. Learn how to defend yourself with the USMC Close Combat Manual FREE.

If you’re aspiring to be a marine, you’ll definitely find USMC Close Combat Manual FREE useful. This app, developed by Ben Haker, gives you access to the U.S. Marine Corps Close Combat Training Manual on your Android device.

Launching the app gives you the United States Marine Corps seal and the tabs for Overview, Chapters, Trivia and Reference below. You can browse through the different chapters such as the Fundamentals of Close Combat. The text is black against a white background and is easy to read. If you still find it too small, pinch to zoom. Chapters are accompanied by pictures so you can get an idea of how to go about the steps.

Unfortunately, certain chapters, as well as the Trivia section, are not available in the free version. You’ll have to buy the full version on the Google Play Store. The developer has promised to release more free features in the future, but for now, you can access a few key chapters.

Ads appear at the bottom of the screen but are largely non-obtrusive. For those of you who are worried about push notifications, USMC Close Combat Manual FREE did not register on AirPush Detector.


Radio-Alarm FREE

Some people are just really hard to wake. No matter how loud the alarm clock is or how hard you hit them with a frying pan, they just won’t budge. There are people who get used to how their alarm clocks sound, so they become immune to the alarm clock’s supposed “waking” power. What they need to do is to change their alarm tones everyday to at least give them a tiny ray of hope that they’ll wake when the alarm goes off.

One probably effective way to wake somebody up is to have the alarm clock play radio tunes, giving you assurance that the tune you will be hearing is always different from the last one you set it to play. This is what Radio-Alarm FREE is good at.

The app allows you to choose which music stream to play as an alarm tone. The loudness of the tone can also be customized.  You can even set the alarm volume to play in ascending loudness instead of at full blast. You can also set to repeat the alarm, most especially when you are one of those people who love to snooze their alarms.

Radio-Alarm FREE, as its name suggests, can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Get it now and do away with the days when you have to rush your morning routines just because you woke up really late despite having an alarm. Be an early riser with this alarm app.


Secure Note

Have a ton of things to jot down but don’t want people snooping around your personal and confidential notes? Secure Note is just the app for you. With this app, you won’t have to worry about some of your friends’ “accidentally” seeing your plans or whatnot written down on your Android device.

Secure Note allows you to restrict access to your private notes by letting you set a password for the app. You can also encrypt your notes and have them saved to your SD card for added protection, especially if your notes are very confidential and top secret.

The app is very easy to use. Once you open the app, it directly takes you to the note editor without confusing you as to where to go or what menu to tap on.

Although most of us put screen locks or screen patterns on our devices, adding extra protection to things we deem important is recommended. It wouldn’t hurt to put layers and layers of security over your possessions, especially when these possessions are ultra important. Download Secure Note today and reinforce the security on your personal notes.


Video Game Tones

Remember playing iconic games of yesteryear such as Super Mario Bros., Pac-Man, and Pokemon? You may still be playing these games through emulators or through old game consoles that you have kept running up until now, or you may have dreamt of being given the chance to relive the good ‘ol gaming days. If you can’t sate your hunger for these old games yet, we suggest you get Video Game Tones to fill in that void as of the moment.

Background music and sounds you’ve heard from the old games you’ve played can now be downloaded and set as your ringtone, alarm, or notification sounds. The app houses 75 cool tones that’ll surely make you feel nostalgic of the days you played with your N64, Gamecube, Atari, or Sega consoles. Relive the awesome games of not so long ago through the tones this app gives you.

Aside from downloading video game tones, the app also has other categories you can choose from. You can download tones from popular TV shows and movies, popular music, jazz, and even hip-hop. Your alert tones will certainly be more fun and appealing to hear especially if they are tones of well-known games or TV themes. Download Video Game Tones today and impress your friends everyday with a different message alert tone or ringtone.


Light Manager – LED Settings

Spruce up your device with different LED lights for actions that need your attention. Light Manager – LED Settings lets you assign a certain color for a certain event your phone has like when you receive an SMS, your LED blinks its red color and when you receive an e-mail, it blinks a pretty pink hue.

Not all Android devices support LED notifications, so make sure your phone or tablet can meet this requirement. The Samsung Galaxy S3 for sure is one qualified device for this app, so if you own one, having this will surely be a delight.

Light Manager – LED Settings gives you free rein on configuring which LED color is assigned to a particular event. You have a lot of colors to choose from: red, cyan, white, green, yellow, blue, and a lot more. If you don’t really like the preset colors and want to have say, a lighter hue of the green color, you can always create a custom color.

To top it all, this app is absolutely free. You get to dress your device with colorful LED light notifications in exchange for nada.


Trello

Having tons and tons of projects and other things to do may sometimes leave you scatterbrained and disorganized. Although there are great organizer apps in the Google Play Store, some are just limited to letting you store your agenda and plans but don’t allow you to put more details about a certain project. With that, Fog Creek Software has developed a better app for all your organizing needs.

Trello is not your normal, everyday organizer. It has the basics of an organizer, but has a bit more mixed in. If, for example, you are scheduling a major home repair project and under that project is a whole litany of sub-projects. You don’t want to be making lots and lots of other entries in your organizer when you can just put them in one place.

Trello allows you to make a board where all your other tasks are housed. The boards serve as the main projects while the cards are tasks related to the said project. So, for example, the board will have Major House Repair as the heading and maybe tasks like installing new faucet, putting new wallpaper, and remodeling living room may be placed on the cards.

Another plus to this app is its ability to let you create collaborative projects that involve other people. As long as they have an account at trello.com, you can include them in a project and they will see the tasks that need to be done. You can also assign colored tag labels to your cards for easier identification and sorting.


Which of these new and fresh Android apps of the week did you try on your phone/tablet?  Let us know by voting in the poll or leaving a comment.

(with contributions from Alvin Ybañez, Dan Evans, and Elmer Montejo; banner photo uses Flickr image “Morning Dew” by F_A_F)

[poll id=”128″]

Comments

Load More