Jun, 13 2011

You’d be surprised at the number of apps that come across our desks each day. Or maybe you wouldn’t be. Either way, we are daily faced with the task of navigating the ever-growing Android Market in an attempt to distill out what is and what isn’t worth downloading so you don’t have to. So we’re starting a a new feature here at Phandroid to hopefully make everyone’s lives a bit easier. Below you’ll find a roundup of recent apps we felt worth highlighting. Maybe because they are great, maybe because they fill a niche we haven’t seen before, or maybe because you should avoid them like the plague. You’ll have to read on to find out.

Solitaire Chess – This is a unique chess game that strays far from “traditional”. You play over 400 challenges (they get harder over time) that has you capturing pieces with legal chess moves. You’ll complete the challenge once all pieces but one have been captured. It looks to be a fun entry-level game that’ll give you a good idea of the nature of chess. [Market]

GTasks – The app is simple: sync tasklists from your Google account to your phone. Since Google doesn’t provide this functionality natively, users rely on applications like these to get the job done. The UI is simple, the functionality is everything you need it to be, and it’s free. [Market]

Coin Pirates – If you’ve ever been to Chuck E. Cheese’s or any other arcade that values coins, you’ve probably played a game like Coin Pirates. You drop your coins in, pull the handle and you pray that more coins will drop out in front of you. Graphics look great, sound is good and you don’t have to spend any real coin to play this one. [Market]

SnapBucket – The folks at PhotoBucket have come to market with their first Android application. You can snap a picture with the app and apply various special effects and filters. Once you’re happy with them, you can have it uploaded directly to your PhotoBucket account. You can even create your own and unlock filter sets. We’d like a fully-fledged PhotoBucket application, but this’ll do for now. [Market]

Grow – Don’t let the simple name fool you, or go ahead and let it fool you. Grow is, indeed, a simple game with one goal and one goal alone: gorge on everything smaller than you until you’re the biggest fish in the sea. Repetitive gameplay is made up for by a campaign long enough to munch away whole portions of your day. Fun graphics, smooth and easy controls, and a nifty upgrades and power-up system keep things engaging. We enjoyed it, but you may want to watch the video demo before deciding if it’s worth your $1.99. For those that can’t decide, Epic Pixel just launched a FREE version moments ago. [Market]

Official Preakness App – As a Baltimore native, the Preakness has always signified a day spent drinking epic proportions of beer while a horse race may or may not be occurring in the background. For everyone else the horse race takes center stage. No matter which side you fall on, the new official Preakness app has you covered. News and info on all the horses and jockeys, a schedule of events and map, and video replays will keep you in the action. [Market]

Prox – This handy utility allows you to assign actions to gestures made up of a combination of proximity sensor and accelerometer feedback, creating no-touch operation of you Android smartphone. Sound confusing? You can view a tutorial video over on YouTube for an idea of what to expect. The app works as advertised, though assignable actions are currently quite limited. More are promised in the future. While Prox strives to create an easy an efficient way to interact with your handset, it so far seems like little more than a novelty. With some refinement perhaps the utility’s true power will be realized. [Market]

stars Further Reading