Check out the latest and greatest in apps for your Android smartphone with our monthly app roundup.
InstagramThe much-loved happy snapper finally comes to Android.
There are few camera apps that have managed to amass the following that Instagram has. The combination of retro filters, easy sharing and its own social network has attracted over 30 million iPhone users to the app in only two years – not to mention a US$1 billion acquisition by Facebook.
During those two years, while Android users had been left wanting for an official Instagram client, we’ve had many competitors appear in its place. My personal favourite, Camera Zoom FX, offers just as many filters and borders (with the added bonus of celebrities and props), and, thanks to the Android share menu, Ping.fm and/or Seesmic, sending your photos out to multiple social networks has always been easy.
So, is Instagram worth the hype? I’m gonna say yes. Why? It’s that social voodoo that it-do. The sharing of photos out to Twitter and Facebook is seemingly secondary to having them appear on your Instagram profile page.
When you sign up to Instagram, you also follow your friends (or randoms) so, when you open the app, you are greeted with a chronology of photos that your Insta-buddies have recently snapped.
It’s a nothing-but-photos social network, and – when you start to follow people you don’t know – it’s actually a great way to see some wonderful photography. It’s like Flickr used to be 5 years ago, but it doesn’t cost $25/year.Free > Instagram > Online
MX Player is my preferred video player on Android, largely due to the plethora of formats it supports: .3gp, .AVI, .DIVX, .F4V, .FLV, .MKV, .MP4, .MPEG, .MOV, .VOB, .WMV, .WEBM, .XVID and more – but also because it works with the media remote component of DroidMote.
The app has in-built multi-core decoding optimised for your specific processor, and also supports pinch-to-zoom, so the video will always fill your screen. And, for the foreign film buffs/anime nerds, the app has extensive subtitle support.Free, ad-supported/$5.37 ad-free > MX Technologies > Online
Cifs Manager allows you to mount a Windows (specifically, a CIFS or NFS) share as a folder on your Android device. This allows any app with directory support to access the files on your PC as if they were stored locally.
There are a few caveats, however; you need a rooted device with a kernel that includes support for CIFS (cifs.ko) and/or NFS.
Once you have these, you just need to specify the IP address and share on your PC, as well as your username and password.Free > sepa@ilogs > Online
Upset that your phone doesn’t include an FM receiver? Don’t be, TuneIn Radio gives you access to not only your favourite local station, but a veritable orgy of stations from around the world. You can browse by genre, location, language, and even podcasts. Best of all, you can record the stream from the app, to save any mad hectic beats for later.
The app also includes a widget, for one-touch access to pause, stop, record, jump back 10 seconds, and search. Free / $0.99 ‘Pro’ version > TuneIn > Online