Square, Citysearch lead the pack for Best Android Apps of the Week

May 13, 2010
Tech

This week brought a number of search and location-aware apps to the top of Android’s charts, including a social sharing update from Google Maps.  Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey also made waves with the launch of Square for Android, turning your phone into a credit card reader. We’re also seeing a slow but steady increase of […]

This week brought a number of search and location-aware apps to the top of Android’s charts, including a social sharing update from Google Maps.  Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey also made waves with the launch of Square for Android, turning your phone into a credit card reader.

We’re also seeing a slow but steady increase of branded news apps in the Android Market, with The New York Times joining the ranks.

Search and utilities

As the weather warms up, Google Maps’ updates almost encourage you to get more active. The new biking directions add a useful layer to your maps, while the sharing option makes it easier than ever to send a location to a friend or social network. With location-sharing gaining in popularity, this free Android app will only become more relevant to mobile users.

Square’s long-awaited mobile release arrived this week, enabling street vendors and other businesses to accept credit card payments through their phone. You’ll need a separate device to attach to your phone’s audio jack, but the free Android app also lets you manage your payments received.

Citysearch has revamped its Android app for faster search of your surrounding area. The free app added GPS pinpoints to local businesses, and options for adding your own notes and photos specific to business listings. More personalized, Citysearch is looking to add more functionality to keep up with location-aware trends.

TravelClick has launched an app in partnership with Mobiata, creating StayHIP for Android. Free, the app lets you search for boutique hotels based on your location. Select keywords to narrow your search, and book a room directly from the app. There aren’t many hotel-specific search and booking apps in the Android Market, so it’s nice to see growth in this area.

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Auto Task  has recently updated its Android app, adding support for more calendars and custom options. The $2.99 Android app automates task actions based on your calendar, letting you send SMS or emails, set notifications or alerts, or reply to event updates or cancellations. The most helpful feature update, however, is the new set-up wizard to help you navigate the app’s many features.

News and entertainment

NYTimes has extended its mobile presence to Android devices, launching its free news app this week. Similar to its iPhone app, you can access stories across multiple categories, or skip to breaking news and videos.  Share stories you find interesting, bookmark and cache them for offline reading.

Papaya Pet’s game app is part of the larger Papaya platform, but can be played independently of the service.  Free, the Android app gives you a virtual creature to care for. Decorate their homes and customize their look with credits earned from playing the game.

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