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13 best Android apps of March 2014
First up on our list this month is Captain America The Winter Soldier. It was released by Gameloft as sort of the official mobile game for the movie. The game play falls into the category of action-adventure and the graphics are comic book-style which helps add to the atmosphere of the game. You control SHIELD teams to take down the big, bad guys. It’s free to try for a couple of levels and $2.99 to purchase after that. It’s a fun little action game and definitely worth at least a try if you’re into Marvel stuff.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Most launchers in the Google Play Store have a lot of features and can be rather complicated. Crescendo Launcher has none of those things. What Crescendo offers is a simplified Android experience. This can be a great app for a lot of people. Particularly for those who are finally upgrading from a feature phone or those of the senior citizen demographic. It’s very minimal and extremely easy to navigate the interface. Some might say too easy, but that’s kind of the point. It’s free in the Play Store to try out.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
The first series of Cut the Rope games are a favorites in the Google Play Store. They all have millions of downloads and pretty good ratings. So far, Cut the Rope 2 continues that proud tradition as it inches toward the million download mark and rocks a 4.5 rating in the Play Store. The game has fresh game play elements along with the classic ones, new characters, and new levels. People have complained about the in-app purchases and the advertisements, but it appears as though the people who enjoy the game outnumber the people who don’t enjoy it, so that’s something to take into consideration.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
If you’re more into some 2D platformers, Deadlings is a pretty decent game. It features a bunch of cartoony characters in a game that goes out of its way to not take itself too seriously. It features over 100 levels, two game modes, four playable characters, and a fun and goofy story line. It’s free to play with in-app purchases. Word is the in app purchases are only a minor annoyance so that’s some good news. If you like platformers, it’s definitely worth checking this one out.
[Price: Free / $4.99]
Link Bubble is a unique browser that does only one thing. It opens links in the background. The premise is that you no longer have to sit and stare at a browser screen while it opens a link and it’ll either pop up when it’s done or you can set it to stay in the background until you decide to bring it forward. There are other browsers have that kind of the same functionality, but Link Bubble generally does it more cleanly with more minimalism which makes it the preferable choice. It’s free to try but the free version is a tad bottlenecked so the pro version for $4.99 is by far the more preferable choice.
Even though Microsoft Office was officially released late last summer, they made the huge decision in March to make the app free to use for Android users. This means no more Office 365 subscription and you can just open it and use it. It does require a Microsoft account and that automatically signs you up for a OneDrive account. That said, it is compatible with the desktop version of Microsoft Office and it does have a fairly good design. With the 7GB of free cloud storage from OneDrive, it means Microsoft has a Google Drive competitor for real now. Google Drive is still better, but keep an eye out on Microsoft Office because it’s starting to be a really good option.
Milk Music is a unique app. It was released by Samsung so it’s only compatible with their Galaxy line up of devices and it’s only for US residents. Aside from those very debilitating issues, Milk Music is actually pretty good. It’s powered by Slacker Radio so it has a very good selection of music and many tech pundits in the industry have favorably compared this service to others like Pandora. Even people who don’t like Samsung and Touchwiz have begrudgingly admitted that this app isn’t bad. So if you have a Samsung device, live in the US, and like streaming music, give this a try. It is free to download and use.
If you’re into listening to the news instead of music, then Newsbeat is a fun little app to try. It’s a news aggregation service that looks up news that you may be interested in but instead of making you read it, the app will read the news to you. What’s even more interesting is that the news will be read to you in the manner of a radio show which includes short jingles, sound effects, and such that really sells the atmosphere. So it doesn’t feel like robots reading words to you even though it is essentially just robots reading the news to you. It’s a nice app and free to use in the Play Store.
QuizUp enjoyed the rare and beautiful event of being red hot on social media for about a week and the result is that the app is currently everywhere. It is one of the most downloaded apps released this month and we at Android Authority even did a Let’s Play where Josh Vergara and myself went head to head to see who would win. It’s fun 90% of the time and the other 10% is rage-inducing awfulness due to game glitches or the occasionally wrong answer to a question. That 90% is more than enough for me to recommend the app because it is free to play.
[Price: Free / $1.99]
We covered Smash Hit in our new indie app of the day segment and we’re going to talk about it again here because it’s simply a gorgeous app. It is an endless runner style game where you throw balls at various glass objects to avoid being hit. There are Google Play Games services included if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s free to play but you can buy the premium version for $1.99 which gives you the ability to save your progress if you so choose.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Star Wars: Assault Team was kind of a big deal when it was first announced. It’s a Star Wars game made by LucasArts and let’s face it if any company is going to make a Star Wars game, it might as well be LucasArts. This title is an enjoyable card game where you collect cards of your favorite Star Wars characters and face up against popular villains from the series. You can level up characters, engage in PvP battles, and enjoy some above average mobile graphics. It is free to play with in app purchases ranging from $4.99 to $99.99 and a big kudos to LucasArts for putting those prices right in the Google Play description so downloaders aren’t blindsided.
Threes! is a little time waster where you must move tiles with numbers on them around and merge them with other tiles that have the same number. So you merge two 3’s together and it turns into a 6 and on up. To be honest, this didn’t seem like it was going to be a lot of fun but this game is actually capable of swallowing surprising amounts of time and thus has justified it’s spot on this list. It’s $1.99 which happens to be 33 1/3 percent off because puns are funny. If you have $2 then this is a decent app to spend it on.
Last up this month is kind of our wildcard pick which is called Timehop. Timehop is a sort of social media aggregation service that lets you log into various social networks and it tells you what you were doing, posting, and whatnot a year ago to the date. So if you check it on April 10th, it’ll show you what you posted and did on April 10th of all prior years you were on social media. It’s an entertaining concept because reminiscing is fun but there are some things that may chase people away. For instance, there is no Google+ support and if you have too many Tweets on Twitter you have to have the app access your archive which is tedious. It’s free, though, so it’s worth a shot if you’re into this sort of thing.
As always, if we happened to miss an amazing app that was released last month, feel more than free to leave us a comment to tell us about it. Don’t forget to check back next month for our best apps of April 2014. Finally, we’ve begun a new segment called Indie App of the Day where we look at a new obscure app every day. Be sure to check that out!