Apr 26 AT 12:47 PM Taylor Wimberly 3 Comments

Top 10 Android app updates: AirDroid, Runtastic, Dragon

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Welcome back to the return of our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most upgraded apps for the week. 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.

As in the past, we are going to filter out minor updates for the super popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but I’m going to make an exception for apps that had significant updates. I hope you enjoy this weekly feature and discover some apps that you might find useful.

AirDroid – Version 2.0

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What’s new in this version:

  1. Device-free (lab). Sign in on the web and AirDroid will launch automatically on the device, even when it’s not nearby.
  2. Same-network-free. No more same WiFi network restriction. Access AirDroid through different network with an AirDroid account.
  3. Find Phone. Locate your device on a map. Lock it or wipe all data options.
  4. Call notification and initiate new call on your Android device.
  5. Remote camera.
  6. Improved SMS, Photo and File experience.
  7. Many other bug fixes and improvements.

AirDroid is the number one app for managing your Android device from the web. This new version includes a ton of new features, so check it out if you haven’t used it in awhile.

Dragon – Version 3.1.0

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What’s new in this version:

  • Set up your own phrase to wake up Dragon
  • Dragon plays back name of caller of incoming call when app in driver mode
  • Improvements in accuracy and latency

Dragon is another artificial intelligence app that attempts to recreate Tony Stark’s virtual assistant Jarvis. This latest version lets you setup your own phrase to wake up the app, and it can run in the background so you can launch a command anytime the phone is active.

System Monitor – Version 1.1.06

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What’s new in this version:

  • Battery Monitoring: I made a very powerful and flexible estimation algorithm, which is based on non tendencial statistics calculations. In some calculations it uses the statistical function median, instead of the classical average. This is because the median is very good when end-values are not known (such as battery values near to zero), or when one requires reduced importance to be attached to outliers, e.g., because they may be measurement errors (for example when we are playing games).
  • Background Monitoring: Another nice and powerful feature that is new is the background monitoring. You can start sessions right away or even schedule them. The app will be collecting data when sessions are running and present a detailed report to the user (which can also be saved). For the CPU it will show you a time based graph and also statistics such as average, min and max values for usage and frequency. Same applies for Ram, Disk I/O and Network. Network is even separated in Wi-Fi and Mobile.

The developer Christian Göllner seems like a pretty nice guy and he let me know this “huge update” took him lots of weeks of thinking and coding, so I thought we should feature it. Check out the free version to see if you like it, and buy the paid version if you want to support the dev.

Kindle – Version 4.0.1.3

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What’s new in this version:

  • Redesigned library experience.
  • Carousel displays recent items on the Kindle app home screen.
  • Navigation panel organizes content for quick access to your Books, Documents, and Newsstand periodicals.
  • Browse all your items in the Cloud or just the content downloaded on your Android device.
  • Explore and download popular samples in the Kindle Store.
  • Fixed a crash some customers reported.

This latest version of Kindle for Android features a new design and user interface. Kindle says that, “Customers have told us they love the UI of Kindle Fire and how easy it is to access and navigate their digital content. We’re extending this design to Kindle for Android by optimizing the Kindle Store for tablets, improving the library interface, redesigning the home screen, and simplifying navigation through the app.”

StumbleUpon – Version 3.1.2

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What’s new in this version:

  • Introducing Lists! Explore, stumble through, and get addicted to following Lists created by your fellow Stumblers!
  • Toolbar: Optimized toolbar shows and hides on scroll
  • Swipe: Engaging slide preview is now less sensitive

I haven’t touched StumbleUpon in years, but their new cover image in Google Play encouraged me to download it. I am a news junkie, so I’m always willing to test out apps that help me discover new content. This latest version lets users create their own lists and share them with the StumbleUpon community.

Runtastic Pro – Version 3.6.5

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What’s new in this version:

  • Search thousands of routes on a map or see nearby routes on a list. Use filters for distance and elevation.
  • Create routes on runtastic.com and sync them to our app. Keep control of your tracks, enjoy routes in the 3D Earth View or analyze your performance with our Colored Traces feature.
  • LifeFitness integration
  • Faster data transmission for session uploads and downloads
  • Fixed Heart Rate Connection Problems
  • Fixed App doesn’t start automatically while countdown

I have the entire family of Runtastic apps installed on my device, but Runtastic Pro is by far my favorite one. I use this in combination with a Zephyr Heart Rate Monitor, and it encouraged me to exercise like never before. This latest version lets you create your own routes and upload them to Runtastic.com to share with others.

FedEx Mobile – Version 2.5.0

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What’s new in this version:

  • Sign-up and use FedEx Delivery Manager to customize deliveries to your home.
  • Schedule the delivery
  • Deliver to another address
  • Provide delivery instructions
  • Sign for a package
  • Schedule a vacation hold
  • Hold your package at a FedEx location

I used FedEx every week to ship or receive a package, so this latest update is great for me. The new version includes FedEx Delivery Manager that allows you to customize deliveries coming to your home.

WordPress – Version 2.3.1

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What’s new in this version:

  • Action Bar added for easy access to common actions.
  • Use the Menu Drawer to quickly navigate to other areas of the app. Just tap the arrow in the Action Bar or swipe to reveal the menu.
  • Holo style used throughout the app.

WordPress for Android got a big UI update last week and a minor bug fix this week, but we still featured it because we haven’t done this column in months. This app is a must have for anyone that runs a WordPress blog.

Moviefone – Version 2.0.37.7

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What’s new in this version:

  •  A whole new look and feel – showtimes, exclusive clips, and movie news have never looked so fine. You’ll fall in love with Moviefone all over again.
  • mPoints rewards – earn points and rewards for the things you’re already doing – watching trailers, visiting daily, etc. Tap More for details.
  • Bug fixes.

I don’t think I’ll ever give up IMDb for my movie needs, but Moviefone is a nice alternative and AOL continues to add new features. Version 2 includes a HOLO inspired theme and the ability to earn mPoints rewards.

Minimalistic Text – Version 3.0.10.3.3

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What’s new in this version:

  • Complete new widget settings menu
  • Buzz Launcher support
  • Improved UI performance
  • Added volume variables
  • Text icons
  • Help texts

Minimalistic Text is an awesome app that lets you create and customize your own clean looking widgets. This week’s update is a minor bug fix, but it was recently updated to Version 3.0 and it deserves another look if you haven’t used it in awhile.

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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