Android apps of the day [August 19, 2012]

Today’s Apps

  • Set Orientation: don’t let your accelerometer boss you around–set your screen’s orientation manually
  • AsteRAGE: take control of the Planet Earth’s Weapon and save your planet
  • Twidere: a beautiful, Holo-themed Twitter and Indenti.ca client

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About Android Apps of the Day

Android has over 450,000 apps. With so many apps out there, app discovery (aka finding new and useful apps) is extremely difficult. With our Android Apps of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three apps, allowing our readers to discover new apps, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to dotTech to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Apps for August 19, 2012

Set Orientation

Are you the proud owner of a Nexus 7? If you are, then you know there’s only one thing wrong with the device: it’s impossible to put the default launcher into landscape mode. However, that’s only with conventional means. Like the previously-covered Rotation Locker, Set Orientation lets you force your device and all its apps into whatever rotation you want.

With Set Orientation, you can force YouTube to not spin as you try to watch a video. You can make your homescreen stay in place. For both of these, Google could easily flip one or two software toggles and have your devices beautifully manage to stay still, but for some reason they still haven’t, so Set Orientation is the next best thing.

And Set Orientation works from more than just the homescreen, too: you can change it from your notification pane. That means you don’t have to run and jump and crawl through hoops to set it like with Rotation Locker.

Overall, Set Orientation is a nice-looking, easy-to-use rotation locker. It’s arguably the better looking of the lockers, too, and is entirely free.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.1.0

Requires: Android 2.3+

Download size: 33KB

Set Orientation on Play Store

AsteRAGE

There are some games that are fun, and others that are an amazing advancement of mankind. AsteRAGE is not one of the latter; it is unfortunately one of the former. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play it, as it’s actually a great way to get you to rage.

With AsteRAGE, you’re guaranteed to be raging after only 15 seconds. You tap to shoot asteroids coming to destroy the planet, and it’s no easy task. I was not able to last any longer than 30 seconds. If by some fluke you manage to actually destroy a sizable number of asteroids, you can earn money for extra lives and a shield. Both of these let you protect your planet: the more lives you have, the more hits you can withstand, and with shields, you just have to shake your phone or tablet to get an ounce of protection.

I only played for a few minutes, and managed to get #13 this week. This game isn’t very popular, which is too bad. It’s quite infuriating, as the planet gets destroyed quite quickly, but is quite entertaining at the same time. How long did you manage to last? Sound off in the comments!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.01

Requires: Android 2.2+

Download size: 5.1MB

AsteRAGE on Play Store

Twidere

Are you an avid Twitter user? What’s that, you prefer Identi.ca? Just kidding, I know you’d rather use Twitter. Twidere is a free Holo-themed app that lets you use either service as much as you want.

Twidere covers all the bases as a functional, Holo-themed Twitter client. No longer is being Holo-themed a cool plus to your Twitter client, as many clients such as Boid and Tweet Lanes have been released with the beautiful Android 4.x designs, but each one is an individual’s take on the idea and Twidere is arguably the best one yet. (Boid is a close second.)

If you’re also looking for a good tablet Twitter app, Twidere has that base covered as well. It actually looks quite nice on 7- and 10-inch tablets alike. You can view conversations, save drafts, preview media, and all other features you’d expect from a Twitter client. It’s lacking notifications (either push or poll), though, and doesn’t appear to remember your place after a refresh, which is quite annoying.

In a nutshell, Twidere is certainly a beautiful client, but is lacking the one feature that drives me nuts when absent: the ability to remember your place. It’s what makes Twitter clients usable, in my opinion, and it will be a great day when they appear in Twidere.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.1.6

Requires: v1.6+

Download size: 1.5MB

Twidere on Play Store

dotTechies: We have tested all the apps listed above. However, Android Apps of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new apps. Always use your best judgement when downloading apps, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing paid apps, if applicable.

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