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14 sizzling new Android apps of the week (November 30 issue)

November 30, 2012

Gather around, Android fanatics, for we are about to serve the hottest sizzling apps from the Google Play Store. Indulge yourself on 14 of the newest dishes from Google’s app kitchen.

With these sizzling apps, you can decorate your homescreens, chat with Instagram users, remotely control your SMS messages, see all your friends’ uploaded pictures in one place, get baking, magically remove the ads, and much more.

So grab a chair, ready your plates, and get ready for some new and sizzling apps for the week.

It’s time to decorate your Android homescreens! The Beautiful Clock Widgets app by AntTek offers you a variety of clock widgets to add some colors to your homescreen. You can choose from a nice selection of digital clocks, a toy train clock, and lots of beautiful clocks to personalize your homescreen. A variety of clock widget sizes are also available. You can download the Beautiful Clock Widgets for free; however, clock widget designs are limited. You will need to download the premium version to unlock all designs and to fully decorate your homescreens with all these stunning clocks.

Do you know how you look as a vampire? MotionPortrait, Inc’s VampireBooth lets you know how by animating your portrait picture into a frightening vampire. The app can also add some effects to make your transformation more realistic. Aside from turning yourself into a vampire, you also get to dress yourself in vampire costume; however, most of the costumes are locked and you can only get them by downloading the developers’ other apps. You also get limited blood to turn yourself and your friends into vampires unless you download the app’s supported apps. The ads-supported VampireBooth app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Though ads-supported, ads only appear at the bottom of the app’s interface and don’t hinder you from using the app.

Developed by the smart team of piapps, the OMG Facts app contains tons of surprising facts that will surely make you go “Wow!” It has facts about animals, the human body, games, funny facts, geography, and much more. Do you know that our aorta is the same size as a garden water hose? Do you know that apples, potatoes, and onions taste the same when you eat them with your nose plugged? Cool, huh?

The app also allows you to share those interesting facts with your family and friends via email or SMS message. You can also mark your favorite facts and quickly access them. The ads-supported OMG Facts can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Though the app is ads-supported, ads only appear at the bottom of the app’s interface and won’t hinder you while using the app.

It’s time to say goodbye to those annoying ads with Adblock Plus’ Adblock Plus app installed on your Android device. As the name suggests, this app blocks all ads on your device. Whether you’re browsing the Web or using your favorite apps, Adblock Plus keeps all those pesky ads at bay.

What’s even better is that you won’t need to root your device. Just download the app and it will block the ads over a Wi-Fi connection. You will need root access, however, if you want to block ads over Wi-Fi and 3G connection. Get the ads-free Adblock Plus for free and have an ads-free experience on your Android device.

Instagram allows people to share moments in their lives, or whatever they’re having for lunch, quickly with people from all over the world. Just sharing pictures, however, doesn’t really give people a chance to connect with their followers. InstaMessage by Future Bits Ltd. is going to make your Instagram experience even better by letting you chat with other users.

Of course, you can still check out what’s popular right now and what images people recently posted, as well as find other Instagram users near you. InstaMessage lets you follow and unfollow people, as well. The only thing InstaMessage is not capable of is snapping your shots.

A music player named after the Greek god of music, Apollo brings a sleek and clean interface to music lovers while providing basic music player functions. This holo-themed player developed by andrew.neal lets you view your music albums in a number of ways, from simple to detailed. Can’t live without a certain album, genre, or playlist? Apollo lets you pin it to your homescreen for quick access. Mark your favorite songs and you’ll be able to quickly access them through your Favorites playlist.

You can change Apollo’s accent color to give it a more personal touch, but if you want to make it even more personal, you can give Apollo a new look with themes.

The free version has some ads that appear on the main screen and sometimes on the Now Playing screen. If you want to do away with ads, support the developer, and get quicker updates, you can purchase Apollo+ for US$0.99 from the Google Play Store.

Add a bit of nostalgia to your snapshots using Andrei Kuzmenko’s Vintage Take pictures using the app and throw vintage frames and filters on it to give it that years-old feel. The app gives you 6 styles to choose from. You can also age up your existing images in your Gallery, if you like. When you’re satisfied with your vintage snapshot, share it with the world by signing up and logging in to

Vintage is available free on the Google Play Store but is ad-supported. The ads, however, only appear at the top of the screen when you’re choosing vintage frames and when you’re viewing your finished product.

Pictures speak a thousand words, the old saying goes, and with social media, everyone has a lot to say. A number of social media platforms allow people to not only post status updates and whatever is on their mind, but these platforms also let people post snapshots of what they’re doing, what they’re eating, and where they’re hanging out. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great ways to connect with people, but if you want to stay connected with everyone on every platform, it can get tiring to jump from one app to another. Thankfully, Picus Team developed EVERY, which lets people view all the photos their friends on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are posting.

EVERY isn’t limited to just collecting uploaded photos for you. You can also Like and add comments to the images your friends posted. EVERY is available for free from the Google Play Store.

Are you the type who keeps track of currency rates and wants to be in the know wherever and whenever? If you are, Currency Converter by aplisandroid would be a great catch for you. As the app’s name implies, this app converts various currencies to the currency of your preference. Want to know how many US dollars you can get for 5,000 Japanese Yen? You can easily get the answer using the app; just key in the values and you’ll get the result in a second. All of the needed functions of the app are readily presented on one screen — less frills, less complexity.

Leaving important things at home and realizing it by the time I am already kilometers away is really frustrating, especially when it’s something really important, like my mobile phone. Accidentally leaving mobile phones at home could spell disaster to some, especially when important messages are expected. Thankfully, NyS Studio’s SMS Controller Lite is here to save the day. Just borrow a friend’s phone and send commands like “@getsms” or “@getcalls” to prompt the app to send your unread messages and missed calls to your friend’s number. This will only work if your phone is turned on and, of course, has the app installed. With SMS Controller Lite, accidentally leaving your mobile phone won’t be a problem anymore.

SMS Controller Lite can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.

Whether you are a full-fledged homemaker or a hobbyist inclined to baking or cooking, Kitchen Timer by Kitchen Pearl is one app you shouldn’t bake or cook without. Whether you are making stew or baking a cake, keeping track of the recommended time for cooking or baking is the key to success, most especially if you are a beginner. Kitchen Timer has various time scales appropriate for either baking or cooking. The app can run in the background while you continue to do other tasks on your Android device. An alarm will just go off, prompting you to take your cake out from the oven. Download Kitchen Timer for free now and worry no more about having disastrous stews and horrible-looking pastries.

Photos say a lot even without words written on them. A photo of a blue sky, a colorful butterfly, or children happily playing are just some of the photos worth keeping, reminding us that life is indeed beautiful. But, there surely are times when we don’t entirely like our shots. Instead of editing the photos on your PC, you can easily do so on your Android device with Autodesk Inc.’s Pixlr Express.

Aside from basic editing and enhancing, Pixlr Express also hosts a ton of effects you can apply to your photos for added impact and beauty. Remove red-eye and whiten teeth on photos if you want them to look presentable. Lighting effects are also available for added drama and mood on your photos and you can finish them up with photo borders. Photos from your gallery can be edited with this app as well.

Keeping track of your calories manually is hard to do, especially if you are the type who easily forgets where you jotted the figures down. Thankfully, Calorie King by Fun Tools is here to aid you in your journey to weight loss.

The app has a database of food with corresponding amounts of calories and other nutritional facts include. If you are on calorie watch and want to limit your calorie intake to a certain amount only, keeping a record of what you eat definitely helps. What’s more, you can easily access this record on your Android device even when you are traveling.

Calorie King may also be useful to some who are watching their sugar intake as the app’s database also includes other information like amounts of sugar. Help yourself get healthier with Calorie King, which you can get in exchange for nothing.

Owning a lot of online accounts almost always equates to having a lot of passwords. If not, the same password is used for all accounts, which by the way, is not recommended. But, memorizing different passwords will be a tedious thing to do, especially if they are really long ones. What if you can store all your different passwords in one “vault” without actually memorizing them? DataViz, Inc. brings you Passwords Plus — the app you should and must have.

Passwords Plus lets you generate, restore, protect, and sync your passwords, PINs, and other sensitive information on your Android device. Whatever changes you do on your Android device will also appear on your desktop (either Mac or PC), as long as you have Passwords Plus 2.0 installed.

Download Passwords Plus for free and enjoy a 30-day trial version. If you love the app, you can purchase the app anytime during the trial period.

What a better way to end your week by playing with some of the hottest and newest apps on the Google Play Store? Unwind by baking or listening to music. Have some fun with friends by turning yourself into a vampire. If you forgot your phone at home, don’t worry! You can just view your missed calls and unread messages on your friend’s device. Which one of these apps do you love? Hate? Can’t live without? If you found a new app that didn’t make it on our list, let us know what it is by leaving a comment below.

(with contributions from Alvin Ybañez and Dan Evans; banner image uses Shutterstock photo by 2happy)

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