A handful of apps that stay on our devices week after week
Few things are constant in the Android world, but we hope to bring some consistency with our Apps of the Week column each Saturday. We take a little bit of time each weekend to show off the apps that each of the folks here at AC have been using in the previous week.
This week’s edition has a new game to try out, a few different tools and a way to keep up on your favorite sports when you’re out of the house. Read along with us after the break and see how the picks stack up this week.
Simon Sage – Pivvot
Pivvot is a deceptively simple abstract game where players are pulled along a track and have to move out of the way from incoming obstacles. A central dot is actually what’s following the track, but you control a second dot that orbits it clockwise or counterclockwise at a fixed radius, depending which side of the screen you tap. That second dot is the you have to keep clear from a gauntlet of obstacles. It’s a long track to get through, but luckily there are plenty of waypoints to respawn from, several game modes, and the solid soundtrack will keep your head bopping.
Download: Pivvot ($ 2.99)
Sean Brunett – Health and Nutrition Guide
Fall is upon us, which means it’s extra important to take good care of yourself so you don’t get sick. The app Health and Nutrition Guide can help you on-the-go if you’re looking for ways to improve your diet, advice on which vitamins to take and other tips to live a healthy lifestyle. When you open the app, you will see six options: Health Tips, Nutrition Tips, Health Recipes, Vitamins & Minerals Sources, Nutrition Charts and Nutrition Calculators. I have already used the app quite and a bit and have learned much more about where to get Vitamin K that I did not know prior. The UI isn’t the greatest, but if you are looking for an app that lets you quickly look up health tips and advice, this is the one to get.
Download: Health and Nutrition Guide (Free)
Casey Rendon – WhatSong
This one goes out to all the DashClock users out there. For those that aren’t familiar with DashClock, it’s a lockscreen widget (for Android 4.2+) that can use extensions to display unread SMS and Gmail counts, display the weather, show upcoming calendar events, and a seemingly endless list of other things. WhatSong now joins that list as an extension that allows quick access to song searches, right from the lockscreen. When a song is ending and you want to find out its name and/or artist, time is precious — being able to tap once on a lockscreen shortcut instead of having to navigate to a desktop widget or open an app saves time. Plus, WhatSong can use any number of sound searches, including Google Now/Sound Search, Shazam, Soundhound, TrackID, musiXmatch, and SoundTracking. It’s free, and makes a great addition to any DashClock widget collection.
Download: WhatSong (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand – F-Stop Media Gallery
I’ve been testing the Sony QX10, and the G2, which means I’m taking a lot of pictures. I quickly learned that if you take a lot of pictures, the default gallery app that comes on your phone — whether it be from Samsung, or HTC, or LG or Google or anyone — sucks for trying to view through them all. I have folders from different camera apps, folders from image editors, and a pictures folder that gets things in it somehow even though I’ve never opened it. I think. Anyhoo, I quickly figured out I needed a better gallery. So I did what any normal Android nerd would do — headed to Google Play and installed a crap-ton of them.
There is no doubt that, to me, F-Stop Media gallery rules the roost. You get a nice, well sorted gallery view like you’re used to, with support for regular albums or what they call smart albums based on the actual metadata of the images. It even can correctly find the date the image was taken, not the date it was last copied or edited, which is something I’ve never found another app able to do. You can tell it which folders to exclude (no more Downloads folder showing up with crap you got from the web) and even password protect folders if you have any of those kind of images. I splurged and bought the $ 5 pro key so I can even create image folders inside image folders — yo dawg, we heard you like folders …
If you need a better image gallery (and it’s OK to admit that you don’t) give F-Stop a shot. I’m glad I did.
Andrew Martonik – NBC Sports Live Extra
I may be a little behind the curve here, but just last weekend I discovered NBC Sports Live Extra when I was looking for a way to watch the Seattle Seahawks game on my computer. This fantastic service provided by NBC lets you watch live and recorded sporting events on your computer or phone provided you’re a current internet or cable subscriber with one of its partners.
Now that NBC Sports Network is improving its offerings to include high-profile NFL games, nationally televised MLS games and most recently soccer from some of the best European leagues, I’m spending a lot more time with this service. The app doesn’t have the highest ratings in the Play Store, but I’m not entirely sure why — it looks half decent and streams videos just fine. What’s not to love about getting your favorite sports on the go?
Download: NBC Sports Live Extra (Free)