Feb 24 AT 1:02 PM Taylor Wimberly 27 Comments

Top 10 Android app updates for the week ending February 24

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.

Twitter – Version 3.1.0

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Swipe shortcut
  2. Improved scrolling and network performance
  3. Improved support for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich
  4. Confirmation dialog for Find Friends
  5. Security improvements
  6. New languages: Filipino, Simplified Chinese
  7. Many other bug fixes, improvements, and polish

This week Twitter rolled out a minor update focused on performance enhancements. Some power users prefer more control over their Twitter experience and go with apps like Tweakdeck, but if you just want pure Twitter then the official app is the way to go. The improved scrolling makes this version a must update.

Evernote – Version 3.5.3

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Note: calendar access is used to add context in empty titles.
  2. fixes note processing issue when saving notes
  3. fixes a crash when installing the update
  4. improves setting interface
  5. several other fixes and improvements

There are a lot of note taking apps out there, but Evernote is the most popular by far. I prefer Google Docs for keeping notes, but I see the appeal of Evernote. It currently has 10 million installs and maintains an average rating of 4.6.

Google Docs – Version 1.0.54

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Create, view and edit Google documents with our new Android editor
  2. Rich text formatting (bold, italics, underline, font color, background color)
  3. Layout tools (bulleted lists, numbered lists, indentation)
  4. Real-time collaboration – see edits from others in seconds
  5. Cursor presence and highlighting

We already covered the big Google Docs update this week that added real-time collaboration, so I won’t rehash that again. If you use Google Docs, this is a must update.

Paper Camera – Version 2.0g

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Supporting video on more devices
  2. Supporting hardware zoom buttons
  3. Paper camera now supports video recording on many high end devices.
  4. All Android 4.X devices are officially supported.
  5. Selected Android 2.3 devices are also supported.
  6. Most other 2.3 devices have unofficial support. Please see the FAQ in the App description to learn how to enable it.
  7. Android Beam support. Requires the NFC permission.
  8. Media is now saved in a separate folder.

Finally we have a paid app make our Top 10 list. Paper Camera retails for $1.99, but it’s well worth the price if you love taking photos with your phone. This app allows real time cartoon and painting effects displayed on your camera feed and adds many other effects to your photos.

Wiki Encyclopedia – Version 2.19

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. **NEW PERMISSIONS*** New permissions are requested in the latest update in order to enable new features:
  2. “Save Article to SD feature” (requires a new permission to Mount/Unmount file systems and Write External Storage)
  3. Ability to upgrade to Pro for free (permission “Read phone state” to anonymously identify device)
  4. GPS Permissions are for “wiki maps” which we are working on.
  5. Autocomplete/Suggest on search
  6. Widget

I’ve never used this app, but it has over 5 million installs with an average rating of 4.4. Wiki Encyclopedia offers fast access to Wikipedia for your Android phone and also supports dozens of newspaper feeds. The latest update adds a widget and the ability to upgrade to the Pro version for free.

Viber – Version 2.1.4.588

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Bug Fixes
  2. All new Voice engine!
  3. Viber is now location-aware! Share your current location with your contacts so that they will know from where your message was sent.
  4. Send and receive Photos.
  5. New “is typing” indicator will notify you when he or she is typing a new message.
  6. Landscape support for Messages.

Another app I have never used. Viber allows you to call and text other Viber users, on any network, as much as you want. The app is available on Andorid and iPhone, which explains why they have over 40 million users. The latest update has a new voice engine that promises “HD sound quality.”

GO SMS Pro – Version 4.34

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Restructure application center
  2. Feature to add conversation as desktop shortcut for quick access (Long press certain conversation)
  3. Copy/paste support in MMS
  4. Optimize the ring and vibration
  5. Optimize the Groups in Contacts
  6. Optimize screen shot
  7. Optimize stranger’s avatar
  8. Fix bugs of Pattern Lock may frozen after trying wrong input for 5 times
  9. Fix some other minor bugs

Now that I’m on Android 4.0, I use the default Messenger app, but I’ve used GO SMS Pro a lot in the past. It is one of the most full featured SMS apps and it’s great for Android phones that have crappy custom UIs that replace the default message app. The latest update is mostly bug fixes and optimizations, but give it a try if you are tired of your boring old SMS app.

Movies by Flixster – Version varies with device

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. New “My Movies” tab to see your movie reviews, collections, and friends’ movies
  2. Merged Box Office and Upcoming into a single tab
  3. Fixed Facebook logout crash on ICS
  4. Numerous other bug fixes and improvements

Flixster is one of the most popular movies apps, but I still prefer IMDB. The latest version includes a new “My Movies” feature that might be worth checking out if you like to log all the movies you watch.

Dropbox – Version varies with device

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Allows you to automatically uploads photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan
  2. Up to 3 GB of free space for uploading photos automatically (in 500 MB increments)
  3. Upload files of any size
  4. Various performance improvements & bug fixes
  5. Heads up, Dropbox can no longer be installed on your SD Card due to more secure credential storage

Once again, Dropbox is an app that I do not currently use. Their latest app adds support for automatic uploads of your photos, a feature that’s been available on Google+ for awhile now. They are also offering up to 3 GB of free cloud storage, but then again Box is offering 50 GB for free.

Astrid – Version varies with device

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Entirely new design and themes
  2. Subtasks!
  3. Ability to outsource tasks with TaskRabbit
  4. More reliable sync with Google Tasks
  5. Tablet version!
  6. Fixes for a few bugs experienced in 4.0.0 launch
  7. New permission GPS Only used when you specify location for tasks through TaskRabbit

Astrid has been available on Android for a long time (Clark reviewed it back in 2009) and they continue to release new updates that add a ton of features. If you are looking for a personal assistant to help you manage your tasks and to-do lists, then give Astrid a try. The latest version 4.0 adds a completely new look and adds support for tablets. It also supports sync with Google Tasks, which is a popular feature among to-do apps.

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.

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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