New and fresh Android apps of the week (September 14 issue)

by: Carl ParkerSeptember 14, 2012
106
37 47 22

The well of Android apps never runs dry.  It may slow down to a trickle sometimes, but it never dries up.  New and fresh Android apps gush forth from that well everyday, watering the parched throats of Android fans thirsting for a cold and refreshing sip from that stream of fresh apps.

We fetched a small bucketful of new Android apps for you, and we hope you will find their newness refreshing.

In this September 14 issue of our weekly roundup of the best new and fresh Android apps of the week, we introduce to you a new app for

  • listing down and gathering more info about places that you want to visit;
  • voice-assisted smartphone operations, with a gorgeous female virtual assistant;
  • getting out of the sedentariness in the workplace;
  • tracking and computing each group member's contribution to a group expense;
  • monitoring your cardio and gym workout progress;
  • reading your cloud-stored ebooks conveniently and easily;
  • simple, no-frills note-taking;
  • one-tap access to your Facebook account's different sections right on the app's main screen;
  • quickly building your shopping list, sans the typing;
  • calculating discounts when you go shopping;
  • budgeting and keeping track of expenses;
  • guided sketching, drawing, and painting/coloring;
  • managing your live wallpapers easily;
  • keeping a grocery list and calculating the total bill for the items in your shopping cart; and
  • displaying info/notes about known and unknown phone callers.

Go ahead and take a sip from the well of Android apps.  Try these new apps of the week.  At the end of this post, tell us which three apps you liked best by casting your vote in the poll.

WannaGoList

The WannaGoList app is a travel wish list and guide for your Android device. This app lets you search for any place in the world, read its description, and mark it as one of the places that you wish to visit. You can also discover new and exciting places with this app.

The app has four main sections: the You Were Here list, Your Wish List, Recommended Places, and Search for Places. You can go to different sections by simply swiping left or right on the screen. The interface also features a magazine-like design and is easy on the eyes.

To begin looking for a place, you can either look under the Recommended Places section or manually type it in the search bar. Tapping on a place will then bring you to a page where you can find more information about that location. You can see an image of that place, a map, and brief information from Wikipedia. You can also find buttons above to mark the place on your wish list or mark it as "been there."

The WannaGoList app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Surprisingly, I did not find any ads on the app's interface. The app, however, needs to add more places in its database. I tried searching for Rome and the app wasn't able to locate it. Nevertheless, if you're looking for an easy-to-use and beautiful travel wish list app, then the WannaGoList app might be perfect for you.


My Assistant

Some Android phones have an in-built voice assistant that helps you with a lot of things. There's SVoice on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Siri on the iPhone 4S. But, do you notice the similarities of these two voice assistants? Both don't have any virtual avatar that would make your phone assistant more realistic. The My Assistant app is a new voice assistant app for your Android phone and it places a gorgeous virtual lady assistant named Nikol on your phone.

Just like any voice assistant app, you can perform commands by using your voice. You can tell Nikol to open an app, search for something on the web, or ask her for a food shop nearby. The app also allows you to add your favorite contacts so you can easily call them by telling Nikol. Nikol is also smart and very fast when responding to commands.

Aside from executing commands, you can also interact with your personal assistant. You can ask for her name, her age, or just simply say hello. You can tap the question mark symbol at the upper right portion of the screen to view a list of commands you can ask Nikol to do. You can also suggest a new command to the developers by tapping the button with a plus sign.

The My Assistant app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. I also did not find any ad in the background, which is a good thing considering that this is a free app.


Office Workout: Exercises

Having enough exercise is important to maintain optimal health for your body. But, when your work involves just sitting for hours in front of a computer, you may not get the sufficient exercise that your body needs. I'm a writer and I sit for hours reading and writing in front of a computer. There are also millions of people like me who just sit for hours at the office or at home, forgetting that the body needs to be taken care of, too.

With this type of work, we may be at risk of certain medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, eye strain, or even at risk of heart disease. Technology has promoted the sedentary lifestyle. But, we can also use it to promote our health by using the Office Workout: Exercises app.

This app will teach you some tips and exercises that you can do while your are working in the office. The app has different exercises with steps and images to guide you on how to do it. You can also set the starting time and interval so the app can remind you to perform a certain exercise every 30 minutes or every hour.

The ads-supported Office Workout: Exercises app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Ads will appear below or above the app's interface but won't hinder you from using the app.


iouo

During a group outing or activity, every member of the group must contribute an equal amount of money. But, there are times that one has to spend more than the others. It is a tiring job to monitor the expenses of the group, giving all your attention to your group's expenses rather than enjoying your group outing. This is where the iouo app comes into action. With this app, you can easily monitor your group's expenses and the app will automatically compute the amount each member needs to pay.

This app is really helpful when you want to monitor your expenses in a group. For instance, if you're going out on a beach outing, you can add the amount of each member's contributions in the app. After putting in all the expenses, the app will then automatically compute each member's portion. In this way, you won't need to bring a paper and calculator during your outing. Just type in the amount and let the app do the rest.

The ad-free iouo app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.


GymXP

To maintain a proper figure, we go to the gym and do some crunches to burn the fat. If you're a hardcore gym addict and want to monitor your gym progress, you can download the GymXP on your Android device and make the app your gym diary. This app will help you monitor your calories, record the number of hours of your workout sessions, your body measurements, and much more.

The app allows you to record your cardio and gym workouts. In cardio, you will see a list of different cardio exercises such as cycling, jogging, boxing, Zumba, and many more. You will also need to fill out certain data such as your heart rate, distance, calories, and duration of exercises. The same goes with your gym workout. You will need to choose a workout for a specific muscle group and the workout name. You can also type the number of repetitions and the weight for that exercise. Once you have acquired enough data, the app will show your data on a bar graph so you can visually see the difference or output between different exercise sessions.

To monitor your progress, the app can also store and save your body measurements such as your weight, height, chest size, shoulder size, waist, and much more. This will help you see whether your fitness program is really working or you need to do more.

The ads-supported GymXP can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Ads will only appear at the bottom of the screen and won't disturb you while interacting with the app. I also received push notification ads while using the app. The app also needs some work on utilizing the entire screen of wider screen devices such as the Galaxy S3.


Fabrik (cloud ebook reader)

There's one reason why a lot of people still prefer reading physical books rather than electronic copies. It's because book pages are textured, not the stark white background on a lot of e-readers. Sometimes the higher contrast of dark text on a sharp white screen isn't the most conducive way to read hundreds of pages of a book.

There are already dozens, if not hundreds, of e-book readers on the Google Play Store but Fabrik (cloud ebook reader) is a little different from the competition. The first thing you'll notice when you launch the app is that its pages aren't stark white but a textured off white, just like the look and feel of the app's namesake. It also asks for permission to access your Dropbox account so you can access those e-books you've been meaning to read in your Dropbox using Fabrik.

Under the book titles in your library, you can see your reading progress in percentages. When you're reading a book, tap the middle of the screen and you can bring up the options to increase and decrease the font size. You can also toggle the screen layout by tapping the sun icon. If you're reading at night, this switches over to an inverse layout with a dark grey background and off white text.

If you don't want to swipe across the screen to move to the next page or to go back a page, you can use your phone's Volume buttons. This means you don't need to be interrupted by your finger entering your line of sight.


Notepad Simple

There's nothing quite like a simple notepad to get ideas flowing. Though there are more powerful word processors available for computers and there are gorgeous notebooks available in stores, I still prefer the simplicity of the notepad. It's simple, there's nothing much about it, and you can do whatever you want with it.

The same goes for a simple notebook but since I can't always bring my computer or my notebook with me, my next best option is taking notes on my Android device. I still want to enjoy the simplicity of noting things down and Notepad Simple answers my need.

Notepad Simple is an app for those of you who want a no-frills note-taking experience. You can do anything with the notes. You can list your grocery list, things you want to do on the weekend, movies you want to marathon the next time your friends come over. It's really up to you. All that Notepad Simple does when you launch the app is tell you how you can edit notes.

The app's home screen shows you all the titles of your notes and the first two lines of each note. If you want to view the full note, tap on it. You can also scroll left and right to see the other notes. Assign a different color to each note header. Maybe assign blue to your leisure items and yellow for your urgent tasks. Notepad Simple lets you use it however you want.

Just like it says, Notepad Simple is indeed simple and doesn't have a lot of fancy formatting options. It does, however, make note-taking easy especially when you're on the go. Don't worry about constantly saving because after every item you enter into your list, Notepad Simple will save it for you.


Socially YOU

Let's face it. Some of us aren't fond of the official Facebook app for mobile devices. I don't find it particularly neat and some of the text is just a bit too tiny for my tastes. Thankfully, there are alternatives on the Google Play Store. One of the newest ones is called Socially YOU, an app that promises to give you a unique way of interacting with your family, friends, and co-workers on Facebook.

When you launch it, instead of being thrown right into your Newsfeed, you're shown the app's different buttons. Profile, Newsfeed, Friends, Albums, Messages and more are arranged for you on the screen so you can just tap on the part of Facebook you want to access. No more floundering around menus because everything is just a tap away. If you just want to check your Profile, tap the button and you'll have the choice of viewing your Wall Posts, Friends, Checkins or Albums.

My testing revealed that everything except Events was in working order. Whenever I tried to access it, the app force closed. The developer Dzines Unlimited has stated that the app is still in its beta phase so here's to hoping that future updates will be more stable. Users can look forward to Twitter integration in the future, as well.

Socially YOU is ad-supported and the ads are located at the bottom of the screen. During my testing, the ads were more or less the same color as the grey background and easily blended in. It's out of the way so you don't have to worry about accidentally pressing it.


Shop! Shoppinglist

When you have a growing family, the number of things you need to pick up at the grocery also increases. Your short shopping list is suddenly a lot longer and if you're not careful, you might end up forgetting something vital. We've already presented Notepad Simple as a possible way for you to keep track of what you buy, but here's an alternative.

With Shop! Shoppinglist, you can build your shopping list without having to type anything. Instead of manually typing in the items you need to buy, Shoppinglist has a whole selection of items for you to choose from. Go through its extensive list and select anything and everything you need to get during your next visit to the grocery. Shoppinglist's items are categorized, such as Beverages, Bread and siege, Fruits, and more, so you can easily find and add things to your shopping list.

You can see all your selected items on your shopping list with a green checkmark next to each of them. When you've picked up the item you need or when you've purchased it, simply tap on the green checkmark to remove the item from your list. If you're not a fan of white text on black, you can invert the colors via the Settings menu.

The app is ad-supported and the ads appear at the bottom of the screen. If you want to do away with those pesky apps, you can purchase Shop! Pro Shoppinglist for a small fee.


Shopping Queen: Discount Calc

Say the word "sale" at the mall and people will come swarming. Such is the power of the discount. Who can blame them? Sales mean discounts and discounts mean that you can save more money. Unfortunately, when we're in the spirit of shopping, we might take the enticing percentage sign for granted and find an unpleasant surprise waiting for us when the cashier has punched in all our purchases.

Don't hurt your wallet but don't hold yourself back either. Instead, pace yourself with Shopping Queen: Discount Calc. This app has a very attractive app with a warm interface of browns and oranges.

Start by typing in the item's initial price in the Before box and then choose if the Discount is either an amount of money or a percentage. Voila! The discounted amount will show up in the After box.

Once you've come up with your calculation, you can add the discount breakdown to your list of discounts and specify what item that is. That way, you can better monitor your spending.

It's free to download and it's ad-free so nothing will distract you from your shopping. Next time the mall announces a sale, don't let yourself overspend. Keep yourself in check and enjoy discounts with the Shopping Queen: Discount Calc.


Prime Budget - Free

Being on a tight budget really calls for good management skills. It is rather difficult to keep track of your expenses especially when you are someone who spends like a millionaire one day and ends up dirt poor the next.

Prime Budget - Free is an app you should have on your Android device. Why? Because with this, you may be able to control your expenses and save hundreds compared to when you were just carelessly splurging your earnings.

Prime Budget - Free has four tabs -- Dashboard, Balance, Expenses, and Income. Each tab allows you to key in information that will help you keep track of your expenses within the budget you allotted. The Dashboard tab shows you a line graph that presents your balance projection and it also shows your transactions, both pending and upcoming.

The remaining three tabs are very useful especially when you plan to budget your upcoming salary. Make use of this app during holiday shopping if you feel you have too many people to give gifts to and little money to spend.

Get Prime Budget - Free today and worry no more about managing your tight budget. The app is downloadable for free and although it has ads, they are neatly placed in one corner, far from accidental presses.


Sketch 'Em

Painters and artists are just some of the most amazing people in my eyes. Just like musicians, they can convey their feelings and thoughts through the use of colors, charcoal, canvas, brushes, and of course, strokes and lines.

If you are aching to try sketching or painting but you are a bit skeptical of your skills, Sketch 'Em may be of help to you.

Sketch 'Em is a free app that can help bring out the artist in you. Don't worry, this app guides you in drawing different things which you can put colors on later.

The app has two inbuilt drawing packs included for free: the Dinosaur pack and the Anime pack. Each pack has drawings you can follow according to difficulty, may it be an easy-to-follow drawing to a more complicated one.

The drawings can be traced using the app's inbuilt pen tool, modeled after the Samsung Galaxy Note's S Memo app. The tools that S Memo has can also be found in this app. Although Sketch 'Em is optimized for the S Pen, you can still enjoy this app without it.

Drawings you have learned or created can be shared to your friends via Facebook and Twitter. Show your friends and family what you have been learning to draw.

Get the free Sketch 'Em app from the Google Play Store. The app is ad-supported but the ads are neatly placed on a small area and they don't appear once you start drawing.


Live Wallpaper Manager

Live wallpapers surely are great additions to Android tablets and phones. They make the devices livelier and more fun to look at. And, because of that, tons and tons of live wallpapers are available for every kind of person. Because of that, Live Wallpaper Manager is one essential app to have if you have a lot of live wallpapers on your device.

If you want to easily switch from one live wallpaper to another without going through a series of taps on your device, Live Wallpaper Manager does the job. Have the app on your home screen to immediately launch it if you feel like changing your live wallpaper.

The app has a list of all the live wallpapers you have so everything you need is in one place. The app also allows you to uninstall a live wallpapers with less hassle. Just one tap on the trash bin icon and that particular live wallpaper will be completely removed from your device.

The app is so simple to use that you wouldn't mind having a lot of live wallpapers on your device. Why worry when you have Live Wallpaper Manager to help you?

The app is absolutely for free. Install this app today and manage your live wallpapers efficiently.


Let It Shop - Shopping List

Here's one app that not only homemakers will love but also those who love shopping with a budget. Let It Shop - Shopping List is a useful app for people who tend to forget important things to buy and those who dislike bringing lists and clunky calculators with them.

Let It Shop - Shopping List has it all. The app is a list and a calculator. Make your grocery list in the app and later, when you get to the grocery store, you can use the same app to calculate the prices of your grocery items.

Key in what you need to buy, how many packs, pieces or bottles, and how much one unit costs. For example, if you want to buy 3 packs of bread crumbs for $2.50 each, just key in the quantity and the price. The app will do all the calculating for you.

Tap on items you already placed in your cart and they will be crossed out on the list. When you are ready to head to the counter, tap on the Total option of the app so you can prepare your money even before the cashier rings up your grocery items.

Let It Shop - Shopping List is for free and has no push notifications that litter your notification bar. Download the app to your Android device and never go grocery shopping or any other shopping activity without it.


Caller Info Plus

This one's an app with a mission. A mission to make you aware of a certain number that has been calling you since forever. And, because it is an unknown number, you've never bothered saving the number to your contacts to monitor if they call again.

Why would you save an unknown contact to your contacts list when you don't even know if it's a stalker or, worse, a rabid fan? Some of us don't really want to go the extra mile to take note of unknown numbers. We don't need to, especially when Caller Info Plus is here to do the work.

Caller Info Plus can be considered a place where you can list down annoying unknown numbers that call you even in the wee hours of the night. Save the number in the app together with a note. The next time that number calls, you will be informed by the app that this number is that same number that's been bugging you.

The app also informs you of the last time that unknown number called you. Once the unknown number you saved in the app calls you again, a small notification below will show you the note you have saved and how many months, weeks, days or minutes ago the number last called.

With this app, you will be sure not to accidentally pick up calls from people or numbers you don't know. Have this app installed on your device and be reminded of those annoying numbers that disturb your sleep or your work.


Did this small bucket of new and fresh Android apps of the week quench your thirst?  Or, do you want more?  (You'll get more next week, of course.)  Which of these apps caught your attention?  Let us know about them by leaving a comment and by voting in the poll below.

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

[poll id="147"]

  • Luke D

    These apps are rather useful – the Socially YOU app is excellent even for a Beta/Early version. So much quicker not to mention better UI than the official Facebook app.

    Notepad Simple pretty much says it all rather handy & my other favourite Fabrik an alternative to Aldiko for top E-Book reader.