Mar 02 AT 2:52 PM Taylor Wimberly 17 Comments

Top 10 Android app updates for the week ending March 2

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 the apps as they were being pushed live. 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.

QuickPic – Version 2.0

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. New clean UI like Android 4.0(ICS), “Share” and “Multi-Select” moved to the title bar
  2. Add explorer mode, support hierarchical folders
  3. Bigger square thumbnails without border
  4. App2SD for Android 2.2+
  5. Re-add the classic 2×2 grid and list mode, please click the “Gallery” button to select the browse mode!
  6. Re-add sort mode by path ascend/descend
  7. Fix bug of not hide the status bar in some ROMs

QuickPic is an app that replaces the default Gallery app. I’ve never used it before today, but I’m giving it a try right now based on the average review score of 4.7 with over 5 million installs. There appear to be a full list of features, but this gallery app is all about speed and performance.

Camera360 Ultimate – Version 3.0.2

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Front camera is available, and can work full screen on phone with high resolution
  2. New UI–make operations easier
  3. New photo processing engine–speed up photo shooting and processing
  4. New interfaces of effects selection and scene camera–much easier to select effect and switch to scene camera
  5. New management of photos–classify ‘MY PHOTOS’ by date, and you can find what you want quickly
  6. New share function–make share easier and more wonderful
  7. Bug fixes

Camera360 is another photo app I have never used, but it is well loved among it’s 5+ million users who gave it an average review score of 4.4. This recent update is for minor bug fixes, but version 3.0 added a new UI, new photo processing engine, and allows use of the front camera. If you are looking for an alternative camera app with a ton of effects, then give it a try.

Foursquare – Version 2012.02.27

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Fix for search bug when no network connection available.
  2. Text input for checkin comments is now multi-line.

I travel a lot and Foursquare is my go to app when I’m in a new city. Just like the Market description reads, Foursquare helps you explore the world around you. The latest version is a minor update, but I’d still recommend giving Foursquare another chance if you haven’t tried it since the early days. It now boats over 15 million users and the recommendations for different places are starting to improve.

Dolphin Browser HD – Version 7.4.0

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Dolphin Sonar:  Dolphin listens and lets you use your voice to search, share, bookmark, navigate and more. it is so easy to use; you may just forget how to type.
  2. Webzine Add-on:  We have transformed our magazine style reader into an Add-on for our avid readers. click to download:https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dolphin.browser.magazines
  3. Add-ons:  We have preloaded the 2 most popular Add-ons
  4. Sensitivity of Sidebars:  Made Sidebar less sensitive and added indicating arrows.

Before Google released Chrome for Android, Dolphin Browser HD was my favorite alternative to the default Browser app. The latest update brings a new feature called Dolphin Sonar that lets you search with your voice. Dolphin already boats 10 million installs so I’m sure many of you have tried it, but go grab the new version if you are bored of the standard browser.

Antivirus Free – Version 2.10.1

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Improved Tune-Up
  2. Lists resources consumption to help optimizing the mobile device’s resources
  3. Battery power saver notifies when battery is below specified threshold and lets turn-off not in use functions
  4. Storage Space saver sorts applications by size and location and allows uninstall or move apps to SD card to optimize space
  5. 3rd party advertising platform was removed
  6. Version 2.10 of the app will now appear with the AVG logo instead of the orange/white capsule on phone’s app launcher

As long as you only install apps from the official Android Market, an anti-virus app is not really need. However, it’s still nice to have an added layer of security and the peace of mind of extra features like locating a lost phone. I still prefer Lookout as my mobile security app, but AVG Antivirus has a strong following with over 10 million installs and an average review score of 4.4.

Amazon MP3 – Version 2.4.1

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Added “search” button back next to the search bar. You can also search by tapping “Enter” on your keyboard after entering your search term.
  2. Fixed lock-screen playback issue on some devices where playback did not go to next song automatically.
  3. Fixed unexpected streaming network errors on some Sprint devices (US-only).
  4. Optimized layout on tablets
  5. New color scheme
  6. Personalized recommendations added to the store (US-only)
  7. Lock screen player control support on ICS

There are many music scores to shop from on Android, but few offer the 19 million songs that Amazon MP3 provides. This latest update is mostly bug fixes but version 2.4 recently added an optimized tablet layout, personalized recommendations, and lock screen player controls.

PicsArt Photo Studio – Version 2.2.5

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. New Pattern clip-arts
  2. Red Eye Remover, Holgaart, Popart 2, Smart Blur, Face Fix effects
  3. Improved Save to SD card function
  4. Callout now with multiselect and opacity
  5. Facebook problem fixed
  6. Valentine package added to PicsArt Shop
  7. Automatic Color Splash Effects!
  8. Cool Retro package and collage frames
  9. Shape effect – currently only oval supported
  10. Other fixes

PicsArt Photo Studio claims to be the most complete photo editor available for free in the Android Market. It has over 5 million installs with an average review score of 4.7, so it appears that its users agree. I’ve never tried it, but it looks to have enough features that it warrants a download.

Opera Mobile – Version 12.0

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Added:
  2. Support for more than 9 speed dials
  3. WebGL support
  4. HTML5 Camera (Android 2.1+)
  5. HTML5 Device Orientation
  6. HTML5 parser (Ragnarök)
  7. Android Beam support (NFC)
  8. Added Flash support on Android 4.0.3
  9. RTL text support in UI
  10. Turkish translation
  11. Improved:
  12. Keyboard support
  13. Scrolling on high pixel devices (Galaxy Nexus)
  14. Closing of tabs
  15. SSL connection speed
  16. Upgraded:
  17. Presto core (2.10.254)

Opera is not as popular of an alternative browser as Dolphin, and it has lower review scores, but maybe the all new version 12.0 can change its fortune. The latest version includes an upgraded Presto core, tons of new HTML5 features, and improved scrolling on high-end devices.

Any.DO – Version 2.03

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Beaming tasks can now be done also from the main screen
  2. Send a task to your friend using Android Beam! (For NFC-enabled devices with Android 4.0+)
  3. Set an alert straight from the Missed-Call dialog
  4. Call directly from the reminder dialog
  5. Fixed: Google Tasks sync issues
  6. Stepped out of a meeting? Add your takeaways on our new Post-Meeting dialog (For Android 4.0+)
  7. Schedule meetings straight from Any.DO! (Android 4.0+)
  8. Minor bug fixes

Android Market has many choices for to-do managers, but I’ve recently been using Any.DO for its simplicity and ease of use. Just open the app and start typing to build your to-do list, and then swipe through tasks to cross them off. There are many more features like syncing with Google Tasks, post-meeting dialog prompts, and missed-call notifications, so check it out if you need help getting organized.

GasBuddy

 

What’s new in this version:

  1. Fixed issue that prevented some users to report prices
  2. Fixed battery draining issues for some users
  3. Added new station logos
  4. Other minor bug fixes

With gas prices on the way back up, it’s time to install GasBuddy if you have never tried it before. I use this service weekly to find the cheapest gas prices in my area. It also allows users to report gas prizes and earn points for weekly gas card giveaways.

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.

  • MLB.com At Bat 12:  Updated design and navigation, universal app available for both Android phones and select tablets, MLB.TV Premium subscribers can access At Bat 12 features for free
  • Aviary Photo Editor: High res now supported: save images up to 8MP, New settings panel, which includes the option to choose a destination folder for your saved images
  • FX File Explorer:  Media streaming from SMB, FTP, and SFTP, SMB workgroup browsing
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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