It feels like forever since I last sat down to put together another one of these however, in reality it's only been a whole month, if that. Perhaps all this Nexus fever is doing something to the space-time continuum? It's doubtful but, for these couple of weeks the Android blogosphere has been focussed a lot more on devices, with good reason, every morning I wake up to a fresh piece of Nexus pie and the big name manufacturers are gearing up for the holiday season in a big way. Apps ae really important because, without decent apps then you'll have nothing to get things done with on your phone. There's been some really good apps come out this past month and now we're ready to bring you the best of the best for the month of October.
10. Tom Tom Navigation
A lot of you are going to be surprised to this app here but, it really isn't as bad as it seems. It's stupidly priced and the fact that it doesn't work is ridiculous but, if you have a device that's compatible and you do a lot of driving into the unknown then this is the one for you. Truth be told, Google Navigation is awesome, I've used it quite a bit and it's never failed me. My network however, has failed me a couple of times. Whilst I never lose coverage entirely here in the UK, 3G is at times scarce on the road which we need for map loading. With Tom Tom there's no need for this and so you can keep going no matter what, perfect if you're on Sprint or T-Mobile, right?
9. KIDO'Z Play Mode
If you have kids and a whole host of Android powered gadgets then you know how intelligent the little blighters have become with the technology. It's incredible not only how easily and efficiently they can take down some pigs but how quickly they can take to other apps and more. With KIDO'Z you can simply hand over your Nexus 7 or whatever it is to the little ones without any worry as the app only filters safe games. No matter how good they'll become on Dead Trigger they'll never get the chance with this. Brilliant if you have children and well worth a look.
Let's face it, we all hate balancing the books, unless your some kind of weirdo, right? Xero hopes to change all that and make accounting a little more enjoyable if not a lot easier. The idea is to plug in all of your accounts and balances to then take care of these wherever you are. Having this sort of data in your pocket can really allow you to micro-manage your money, making it a lot easier to save or just watch the budget. The Holo themed UI is really great and will go with your Nexus 7 or Galaxy Nexus – maybe an LG Nexus – just perfectly.
7. Dolphin Jetpack
Whilst this is really just an add-on, it's got so much inside it that it's a whole app in its own rite. A lot of you out there use Dolphin Browser – myself included – and I'm sure some of you will agree it's the fastest. Well, it just got a whole lot faster thanks to the Jetpack, speeds can double, if not triple in most cases. I noticed a massive improvement on my Touchpad and it sped up my Tegra 3 One X quite a bit as well. It's really easy to install as well, just make sure you have Dolphin installed, head over to the Play Store and then install it. Open Dolphin Browser up and that's it, you've been supercharged.
This entry might only apply to a select few of you however, it really is an excellent app. Keen photographers reading will note how good smartphones and touchscreens can be when taking photos however, they've not been that helpful in the actual process of taking photos. With Triggertrap – and the help of the inexpensive V2 dongle – you can set all manner of settings for taking your shot, there's no liveview here but, most modern dSLRS come with this as standard. As such you can use your phone for controls and the whole of the camera's display to frame it. There's so much you can control here from exposure, aperture all the way to HDR. A must have for keen photographers.
The service for food lovers and critics alike recently got snapped up by Google and we were all wondering what they'd do with. Aside from looking to integrate into Google Maps they've just released a revamped app for Android which is really quite good. The UI layout follows Google's own guidelines and works brilliantly on both phones and tablets. It's really easy to get to a recommendation you want and it bolts into Android brilliantly – like we should expect from Google. Google have really polished the app up and it's certainly worth a look if you eat out a lot or live in the city.
Play Store Link
Attention Gamers! Now that I have your attention I'd like to tell you about a new app that will keep your emulators and those retro games neat and tidy – in serious style. Let's face it, no matter how many old carts and CD-ROMs you have lying around, having them altogether is really great and Game Shelf will even seek out and display box art for your retro gems. This is brilliant if you don't have the space for all the original kit but still want to get your Street Fighter II on.
3. Chameleon Launcher
We've been hearing so much about the chameleon launcher now that it's been easy to forget that the launcher is actually ready for a main stream launch now. Now, you can go ahead and buy the launcher regardless of whether or not you helped the pledge on Kickstarter. The launcher works on a variety of devices and resolutions but it's worth looking to see if it does work before throwing down the cash. I won't go into too much detail on the whole affair because, let's face it, you've been there and you've done that. Now you can all take a look at the app so go ahead!
2. Field Trip by Google
What's great about the apps that Google throw out is that whilst you might not use them every day, a lot of people will and, if you ever need to use them they're super reliable for you to do so. It's the same across all apps whether it's Navigation or Gmail, you can rest assured that when you need or want it it's there for you. With Field Trip Google have not only put out a brilliant app in its own rite but as well as an app that's there ready and waiting for when you need it. For the travellers amongst us you have to take a look at this app, it's one of the best and most original apps to come from Google in a long time.
Play Store Link
One thing has come out of Apple's launch of Siri – alternatives. That isn't to say that we didn't have voice control on Android before that because, we did, Voice Actions launched years ago and was actually quite good. However, we've never had such a complete solution as we do now with Maluuba. The app is really good and putting everything together in one true assistant application. Which is great because beforehand, these types of apps were bite sized however, Maluuba will do it all for you. When it comes to interface the Maluuba looks like a blend of Metro and Android's Holo – it looks beautiful and it works brilliantly so go and check it out!