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New and fresh Android apps of the week (September 7 issue)

September 7, 2012

Oh, appy day! August has come and gone, and we’re now in the -ber months.  What better way to welcome the first of the -ber months (i.e., September) than to check out what’s new and what’s fresh in the world of Android apps this week.

In this September 7 issue of our weekly roundup of the best new and fresh Android apps, we take a look at an app that

  • persistently reminds you of whatever it is that you want to be persistently reminded of;
  • helps sports coaches keep an eye on their athletes’ field performance and body mechanics;
  • hides music, video, photos, call logs, messages, and contacts from intruders;
  • frames your photos and produces a unique work of art;
  • helps you do 300 reps of workout routines so you can carve your body to perfection;
  • brings together Facebook and Twitter into one app for managing your social network posts, feeds, and more;
  • tracks your baby’s milestones and growth;
  • takes oral dictation of items that you want to be written down on a list;
  • lets you take note of everything, the paperless way;
  • automatically (de)activates sound and network profiles according to the time you specify;
  • sates your craving for Power Ranger videos and clips;
  • displays a neon alarm clock on your phone, plus a shake-to-use flashlight feature;
  • enriches your vocabulary with words that you probably have not heard of before;
  • acts as the audio/sound equivalent of emoticons; and
  • aids you in beginning and succeeding with yoga.

Go ahead and take your pick from our list of the best new and fresh Android apps this week.  At the end of this list, take part in our poll and let the devs know that you like their new apps.

We live in a busy and hectic environment. We have things to do here and things to do there. Sometimes, we even tend to forget to do the things that need to be done. That is why there are a variety of apps that remind you and help keep things organized. The Lock Screen Reminder app also has the same the same purpose and helps you remember things.

Contrary to what the app’s name misleadingly says, this app does not put a reminder on your lockscreen.  Instead, this app lets you add a simple note and attaches it to the background of your homescreen so that every time you unlock your phone, your note will be sitting on your homescreen wallpaper. You can add any note, just make them short enough to fit.

The app only allows you to add a short note. You can actually add a long note, but doing so will make the text smaller. I also did not find a button to disable the app. Once you launch it, you cannot remove the note on the background unless you uninstall the app. (Being able to remove it somewhat defeats the purpose of a having persistent reminders, right?)

Lock Screen Reminder can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.

Being a coach involves hard work. You need to train your players, monitor their progress, and keep a keen eye on them. If you’re a coach, you can borrow the keen eyes of the Coach’s Eye app and keep detailed records of your players’ performance.

Practicing and maintaining proper body posture while playing is one of the keys to winning a game. Teaching and demonstrating proper body mechanics sound easy, but can be hard to follow during an actual performance. That is where the Coach’s Eye app comes into action. With this app, you can analyze your players and check whether they are doing the right thing during a game.

All you need to do is to take a video of your players. The app will allow you to view and carefully analyze the video of your athletes. You can play the video in slow motion and detect flaws in the athletes’ body mechanics. The app also allows you to draw figures and lines to emphasize right body posture. After you have made your analysis, you can share it to your players via the app.

To have the keen eyes of the Coach’s Eye app, you will need to give up a few dollars. Small price to pay for great performance on the field, if you ask me.

One of the perks of having a smartphone is that you can carry any file right in your pocket. You can save your important files for work, your personal videos or pictures, and even your personal contacts right on your Android phone. The disadvantage is that these files are at risk of being accessed by intruders or your friends who may accidentally open the gallery or your contacts. But, by using the Smart Guard Plus app, you can safely hide your audio, contacts, video, images, call logs, and messages from prying eyes.

Before you can use the app, you will need to create a unique password. You will use your password to open and access the app. Once you are logged in, you can now explore your files and safely hide it in the app. The app is like a safety vault for your personal files on your Android device. All you need to do is select the file and the app will safely store it within its vault.

While testing the app, though, I experienced several app crashes and force close errors, but the app was able to succeed in playing hide and seek with my contacts, images, messages, and call logs. I tried using the app to hide one of my contacts, and voila! When I checked my phone’s default contact list, the contact was out of sight. The same went for my images, messages, and even my call logs. All the hidden files are accessible within Smart Guard Plus’ vault.

Smart Guard Plus, which is ad-supported, can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.

Do you want to create unique and wonderful pictures but don’t have the skill of using a photo editor? Worry no more — Photomica is here to help solve your photo creation problems. With this app, you can take pictures and instantly put them inside frames. You can place your picture on a big billboard, place it as graffiti on a wall, make a portrait of yourself, and many more.

All you have to do is launch the app, choose a frame, attach a picture, and you have yourself a unique piece of art. There a tons of frames to choose from. You can create your own advertising board, place your picture within another picture, and even put your picture beside gorgeous models. You can also take a picture by using the camera or choosing one from your gallery. The app also allows you to crop and rotate a picture to make sure it fits in your chosen frame. Once you have created your masterpiece, you can save it or share it through email or MMS.

I noticed some lag (on my Galaxy S3 at that!) while using the app, especially when it is loading the frames. Nevertheless, the app worked pretty well when I edited my photos.

The ad-supported Photomica app can be downloaded free from the Google Play Store.

Getting into shape is hard work. It only takes a few seconds to eat food, but it takes much longer to lose extra fat. But, until scientists discover food that doesn’t make us fat, we’d still need to keep our body healthy by manually doing crunches and curls. Most men dream of bodies that they can strut around with in order to make the girls and other men go crazy. So, what are you waiting for, quit sitting around and use the 300 Workouts app.

The 300 Workouts app will help you attain the body that you truly deserve. As its name suggest, the app will recommend workout sets with a total of 300 repetitions. The app shows steps and images to guide you in performing an exercise. I personally find the images a good motivator for attaining a well-carved body. The app includes a workout set for beginners to help newbies get started with their fitness program.

300 Workouts can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Although ads don’t appear on the app’s interface itself — and I actually somewhat like that they don’t — the app will pushes ads to your notification menu, which can be an issue for some users. If you don’t mind ads on your notification menu, then this app is worth a try.

There are hundreds of social networking sites on the Internet and having to check each and every one that you’ve signed up for can be so tiring. Even when you’ve pared down your essential social networking sites to just Facebook and Twitter, it can still be a little overwhelming. Via.Me aims to centralize your social networking experience through one website and one app.

You might have heard of the website, which allows you to post to both Facebook and Twitter. Now you can enjoy this same functionality on your Android device. The official Android app for was launched last September 4, giving people who are new to the service a chance to test it out themselves.

Sign in using either your Facebook or Twitter credentials and you’re all set. If you want to ring in the New Year with a video, a sound bite or a photo, you can record one or pick something from your gallery, write a caption, and you’re all set. Now your friends from both Facebook and Twitter can enjoy your New Year cheer.

Taking pictures with Via.Me is easy and you won’t need to go through another photo editing app because Via.Me comes with a number of filters for you to jazz up your photos.  Centralize your Facebook and Twitter experience with the Via.Me official Android app.

(We also did a more in-depth review of this app in our post entitled “Via.Me official Android app: Centralizing your Facebook and Twitter experience.”

If you’re a parent, there’s no doubt that you want to track your baby’s growth. Before the advent of smartphones, parents tracked babies’ progress in a huge assortment of ways. There’d be shoe boxes full of photos and video tapes of Baby’s Firsts. Other parents might have kept diaries and record books, as well, documenting whether baby’s first tooth made it moody or if its first haircut was a disaster. We want to be able to look back at baby’s development, but we can also go paperless by downloading Baby Album.

Upon launching the app, you’ll notice its clean baby blue theme. You’re immediately shown the calendar and the current date, but that isn’t all there is to the app. At the top, you can access graphs to track your baby’s weight, temperature, and height. The interface is easy to navigate and the first account you get access to will need your personal touch. Fill in your baby’s name, weight, height, and birthday so you can start monitoring it.

To prevent unauthorized people playing around with your baby’s stats, you can password-protect your baby’s account. Tap on a date and you can add things like photos, videos, notes, temperature, height, and weight. When you zoom out to the calendar, you can see tiny icons on the dates you added information to.

Because the app is free, it’s ad-supported but the ads only appeared at the bottom of the screen and don’t get in the way of using the app.

To get the most out of Baby Album, you can purchase the pro version. You can have unlimited baby users support in one Baby Album, as well as password protection for each baby account and settings for each user. If your baby is sick or about to be, you can also add Symptoms.

Now that we’ve gone paperless in tracking your baby’s development, let’s keep it up by doing away with grocery lists scribbled down on paper, even if it is scratch paper. There are a number of to-do apps on the Google Play Store, but Verbalist is worth taking a look at because it allows you to add items with only your voice. It’s powered by iSpeech and calls itself “eyes-free list management.”

Instead of manually typing things in, you can tell Verbalist what you want to add to your list. Verbalist is a great way to add things to your shopping list when you’re walking, when you’re driving, when you just can’t find the energy to type things or when you’re carrying your baby.

Verbalist doesn’t require you to sign up for anything. In fact, just launch the app and you’re good to go. To start adding items to your lists, hold down the button at the bottom of the screen. The app will then “Listen.” Simply say what you want to add to your list, such as “toothpaste” or “shampoo,” and release the button when you’re done speaking. iSpeech will then analyze what you’ve said and convert it to an item on your list. If you want to add more than one item, pause between each item you want added.

Don’t worry if Verbalist misunderstands and misinterprets your words. You can edit items and retype them. Verbalist, of course, supports manually adding items the good old-fashioned way (i.e., by typing).

The most obvious snag I ran into with Verbalist is that it can only recognize English words, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most English speaking users. I’m not sure how well Verbalist can analyze and recognize English words spoken with a thick accent or when the speaker slurs. It recognizes most English words but may have trouble recognizing uncommon words. I could never get it to add “Chippy,” unfortunately, so I had to retype it. Verbalist also occasionally force closes, sometimes after you’ve verbally added an item to your list, but otherwise does a good job.

Surprisingly, Verbalist is a free app that is not ad-supported.

I am a note-taking fiend, I can’t help it. Whether it’s notes for class, ideas for articles for Android Authority, or just floating concepts I can work into my personal projects, note-taking apps definitely catch my attention. Apps like Evernote and SpringPad have their permanent place on my mobile device so whenever a note-taking app appears on the Google Play Store, I just have to check it out. With a name like PaperNote Pro – Note Everything, I couldn’t help checking out whether it was a paid app.

Surprisingly, it is not, but the “Pro” in its name isn’t exactly false advertising. Where some note-taking apps can be very simple to the point of not having enough features, PaperNote Pro looks like it could be a note-taker’s best friend. The app already gives you folders when you first launch it, covering almost every aspect of your life. You have folders like Home, Work, Movies, Ideas, Market, Lectures, Travel, and Reminders.

PaperNote Pro will certainly make you want to take notes at every opportunity. The interface is very clean and very sleek, sporting a rather professional grey and dark blue theme. PaperNote Pro doesn’t only have note-taking features. Swipe to the left and you can access the app’s built-in calculator. Swipe to the right and you can check the calendar.

You can make the classic text note but you can also make a Check List, record an Audio bite, take a Photo, or record a Video. I ran into a few snags, such as not being able to access the photos that I took using the app and the audio snippets being saved on my SD card and not directly accessible through the app, but hopefully the developers will squash these bugs in future updates.

This isn’t the first time we’ve taken a look at settings managers and profile switchers but we always like trying out new apps that help us avoid tedious fiddling with our Android devices. SuperSmartPhone (Auto silence), like it says on the tin, can automatically silence your phone without you touching it.

Launch the app and create settings for just about anything. If you work Mondays to Fridays, you can check them off on the days of the week and indicate how you’d like your phone to behave. You can choose from Silence, Vibration, sound, Missed Calls (Sound), Missed Calls (Vibration), if you want your Wi-Fi or your Bluetooth On or Off and more. If you need to go to work at 8 AM, set the time, switch it to Silence, and hit save. Now, whenever you go to work at 8 AM, SuperSmartPhone will put your phone in silent mode. If you get home at around 6 PM, you can set another profile to activate so you won’t miss any calls because you forgot to fiddle with your settings.

Users might find SuperSmartPhone too lacking in the features department but personally I liked its simplicity and straightforwardness.

SuperSmartPhone is ad supported and you can find ads at the top of its screen. To get rid of the ads, you’ll need to either buy the ad-free version or invite the developer to coffee.

“It’s morphin’ time!” Who wouldn’t remember this ever-famous line from way back? Teenagers with attitude and spunk, the Power Rangers were part of almost everyone’s childhood, provided that they did watch the series.

Power Ranger Videos is an app that allows you to relive those awesome episodes of this well-loved series without even heading to your computer to search. You can watch all those videos on your Android device with less hassle and more convenience.

The app conveniently categorizes the videos according to the ranger colors — red, blue, yellow, pink, green, and even Power Rangers Samurai. Each tab has a collection of videos that feature that particular Power Ranger. Video clips from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers down to the more recent Power Rangers Samurai are available in the app.

Once you find a video clip you want to watch, just tap on it and it will directly play the video from YouTube. You can also hit the Facebook Like button so you can let your friends know how awesome the video is.

The app sports an easy-to-use UI and although it is supported by ads, the ads don’t obstruct you in any way. They are neatly placed below and navigating around the app is very easy that you surely won’t mind having ads below.

Here’s one alarm clock you’ll love waking up to. Perfect Neon Alarm Clock has very pretty-looking, neon-colored alarm clocks that will surely look good on your Android device. What’s more, the colors are customizable, as well as the alarm tone you want the app to play.

The app’s name is not far from being true because the app is almost as perfect as it can get. The well-lit, neon-colored letters and numbers are very visible even from afar. The intense colors are really stunning, making your device stand out whenever you launch this app.

The app has seven beautiful colors you can apply to your alarm clock — cyan, blue, red, white, lime, green, and pink. You can also choose to have your favorite music as your alarm tone or use the tones included in the app. You can set the volume of the alarm tone, as well as set the time to 24-hour format.

One notable feature is the app’s flashlight function. If you have the app open, just shake your device and the screen will be filled with a bright white color, perfect for lighting your way when you want to go the bathroom. Just shake your device again to turn the flashlight off.

The app is downloadable from the Google Play Store for just a dollar. With just a dollar, you’ll have an intensely gorgeous neon alarm clock on your Android device.

Preparing for a long vocabulary exam? Study with this app anywhere and everywhere using your Android device.

Wacky Words is not in any way wacky or funny, but this app is actually very useful for students and people who love learning new words. The app houses a database of over 4,500 words that will surely enrich your mental word bank. You won’t have to scan through the pages of any other vocabulary book because this app has everything you will ever need.

The app also allows you to gauge how far and how much you’ve learned through its inbuilt tests. Statistics of your tests are also available so you can compare your scores. If you feel you need more work, you can always takes tests again.

Wacky Words has a really large database of words you can learn and the app has arranged the words in alphabetical order. Words that start with the letter “A,” for example, are all collected into one group.

Foreign and other words normally used in theater, philosophy, and a lot more are also included. Words with interesting etymologies or origins are also some of the words you can learn with this app. You’ll surely have fun learning with Wacky Words.

Wacky Words is a free app you can download from the Google Play Store. Get it now and ace that vocabulary exam.

Receiving messages today are just too simple and ordinary that we sometimes find ways to liven it up a bit, like setting a hilarious message alert tone or a catchy tune to at least make us look forward to receiving an SMS.

But, sometimes, setting a funny message alert tone just won’t cut it. That’s why Emotisounds (text sounds) is here to help you in that department. Emotisounds (text sounds) is an app that will play sounds when you receive a message. It plays sounds like applauses, boos, and a whole lot more.

To let the app work wonders, it has to detect words in asterisks in the message sent to you. For example, for an applause to be played, the app should detect the word “applause” written in between asterisks so when you receive the message, the sound will be played. This is very similar to how we put smileys on our text messages, only this time, we don’t see smileys — we hear sounds.

This app has a pro version where you can record your own versions of the emotisounds. In the free version, you can have any of the 50 sounds played. If your friend sends you a message with more than one emotisound, the app plays all those sounds in order.

Get Emotisounds (text sounds) today and tell your friends about it. You and your circle will definitely have so much fun exchanging messages with each other.

If you are into Yoga or you want to start having Yoga as part of your everyday life, Yoga for Beginners will definitely be of great help to you.

Yoga for Beginners is a great app you should have in your Android device if you want to start learning Yoga poses. Normally, one should start with beginner poses and gradually move on to more complex poses. The free version of this app has 7 free poses for you to learn together with easy-to-understand written and voice instructions.

If you upgrade to the pro version, you will get 15 additional beginner poses. Yoga for Beginners also has a yoga course where you learn more about the discipline. Knowing more about Yoga before actually doing it is one effective way for you to understand the discipline and appreciate it, assuring you of results when you go on and do the poses.

Yoga for Beginners has a simple and straightforward UI that takes you directly to learning the poses. It doesn’t have confusing menus or clutter around the main screen so you won’t get annoyed.

Download Yoga for Beginners to your Android device and experience the convenience of doing Yoga poses even outside your home. Upgrade to the paid version to have more features including the notes option where you write important things and keep track of your progress.

How’s your app-filled week so far?  Did you check out the new and fresh Android apps that we featured on this list?  Which ones did you try and how did they go?  Share your thoughts and comments about these new apps.  Also cast you vote in our poll below to let the devs know that their apps have new fans.

(with contributions from Alvin Ybañez, Dan Evans, and Elmer Montejo; banner image uses Flickr photo “Andy’s day out” by Scott Akerman)

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