Feb 17 AT 10:55 AM Taylor Wimberly 25 Comments

Top 10 Android app updates for the week ending February 17

updates-notification-10-market

When I got my first Android phone a little over three years ago, one of my favorite things was to browse the Android Market and watch which apps were being pushed to the Android Market. Developers soon began to exploit the Just In section of the Android Market with fake updates to get their app to the top of the list, so Google eventually removed that feature.

Now when I want to see what’s new in the Android Market, I turn to AppAware. I’ve covered the app before and it’s been around for a couple years, but they just relaunched a couple months ago with a completely overhauled version that turned the service into a social network for app discovery.

 

I’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to look at what people are actually updating, and not focus on which apps have the most installs. This shows me which apps have active support from their developers and sometimes reminds me of an old app that I might have removed long ago.

The following is a Top 10 list of apps which were updated in the last seven days and received the most updates during that time period on AppAware. I hope you enjoy this weekly feature and discover some apps that you might find useful.

Google Maps – Version varies with device

Since it comes pre-installed on most devices, I’m sure most of you already have this app. I’m still amazed at how many of my friends never update their apps though. The latest version features improved battery performance, so make sure you grab it right away.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Improved battery performance for Latitude and Location History users.
  2. Bug fixes

 

Adobe Flash Player 11 – Version varies by device

Flash Player for mobile devices is essentially dead, but Adobe is still pushing out minor bug fixes and performance tweaks. The latest version improves support for Android 4.0 devices and includes performance improvements, so grab it while you still can.

What’s new in this version:

  1. This update to Adobe Flash Player 11 includes compatibility with Android 4 supported devices, performance improvements and bug fixes related to security and stability. The complete set of release notes can be found at: http://adobe.ly/s16mAX

 

Facebook for Android – Version varies with device

Facebook is the most popular Android app and it saw a major update this week. New additions includes games, faster navigation, access to mobile timelines, and more. Consider this a must update for any Facebook fans.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Navigate anywhere, fast: Get to your groups, apps, pages, and settings with a single press
  2. Search and you will discover: Look through friends, subscribers, apps, and pages
  3. See your friends tags on pictures and zoom: New photo viewing experience
  4. Faster notifications: Get alerted in real time with new push notifications
  5. Games & Apps: Play games and access your favorite apps on the go
  6. Access to mobile timeline (If you already have a timeline)
  7. Access to friend lists and subscriptions

 

Kindle – Version varies with device

I don’t know what triggered it, but Kindle has seen an explosion in installs during the last 30 days. This recent update is just a minor bug fix, so we have nothing cool to report. If you have never checked out Kindle, they have thousands of free ebooks to read along with over a million books to purchase.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Fixed a critical bug where the app would not open on certain devices.

 

Lookout Security & Antivirus – Version 7.4-8155d1c

I consider Lookout Security a must install for Android users. Not everyone needs the antivirus scanning features, but it’s always nice to have that extra layer of security. The real reason I use it is for the phone locating feature that provides a peace of mind in case I ever lose my device. We also appreciate the Lookout blog that attempts to educate users rather than scare them like most security firms.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Lookout now supports French and Japanese! Set your device’s language to French or Japanese to access this functionality.
  2. Threat details now available in German, French and Japanese for security and privacy alerts.

 

ES File Explorer – Version 1.6.1.1

Can you believe Android still doesn’t have an official file manager? Android 3.0 added a downloads manager which helped a little, but I still find myself needing a full featured file manager at times. ES File Manager is the one I go to most often, and other users love it too. It currently has an average rating of 4.7, which is amazing when you consider it has over 10 million installs.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Batch Uninstall
  2. Disk Usage Graph
  3. Uninstall System App
  4. Customize Background
  5. Change Language

 

Titanium Backup ★ root - Version 4.7.7.1

If your Android device is rooted, Titanium Backup has a special version just for you. It has too many features to even list, so check out the Market description if you are rooted. Titanium Backup was recently voted as the top app for rooted devices and maintains an average review score of 4.8 with over 4 million installs.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Added support for MIPS platforms (experimental)
  2. Fixed FC when creating TB widgets (sorry!)
  3. Updated translations
  4. This is a bugfix release

 

Pulse News – Version 2.7.6


When I read my news, I prefer Google Reader for its simplicity and speed. For those that want a more visual friendly version of the news, I suggest Pulse. This update is a minor one, but the last version added a completely redesigned catalog of content and a feature called Smart Dock, that recommends sources based on what you read. If you use Pulse, make sure to browse their Android catalog and add Android and Me to your sources!

What’s new in this version:

  1. blank reading view bug fixed
  2. follows global sync settings (requires new permission)

 

Firefox – Version 10.0.2

Before I switched to Chrome a couple years ago, Firefox was my browser of choice. I haven’t touched Firefox in years, but it’s still a popular alternative browser. However, it appears their mobile version is still pretty sub-par with an average review score of 3.5. This update is minor, but you might want to check it out if you haven’t used it since they moved to version 10.0.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Improved Sync set-up
  2. Bug fixes

 

Layar – Version 6.1

Layar is one of those cool augmented reality apps that is fun to show off to your friends, but not something that you actually use that much. I’ve had it installed on my phone for awhile, but I rarely open it up. Over 10 million people have installed it, but it only has an average review score of 3.6. The latest version features a “friendlier design”, so check it out if you haven’t played with it in years.

What’s new in this version:

  1. Directly Access Scan View via improved app navigation
  2. App opens in scan mode
  3. Tap to View: tap anywhere on the screen to initiate scan
  4. Friendlier design

 

Honorable mentions

Did you see any Android apps that received notable updates in the last week? Share your suggestions in the comments below and we will add them to our honorable mentions list.

Bump 3.0: “Bump is totally new! Bump two phones together to share photos, contacts, and apps!”

 

Flickr: “9 New languages! German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Bahasa Indonesia.”

 

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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