Android apps of the day [August 5, 2012]

Today’s Apps

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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 5, 2012

Holo Launcher HD

Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” included a number of great improvements, not the least of which was the launcher. It included a re-colored search box, intelligent widget resizing, and more. However, if you’re running pretty much any device but the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S, your chances of current running Jelly Bean are extremely slim. With Holo Launcher HD, you can get all of these features today on your Ice Cream Sandwich device today.

Holo Launcher HD is a lot like Holo Launcher, an app we covered in June. However, instead of bringing the Ice Cream Sandwich launcher to Froyo and above, Holo Launcher HD brings the Jelly Bean launcher to Ice Cream Sandwich devices. It also adds several features over the standard launcher, including customizable grids, infinite scrolling, a scrollable dock, and much more.

If you’re looking to theme, Holo Launcher HD can help. It supports ADW icon packs, and as part of its $3.99 companion Holo Launcher Plus, Go Launcher icon packs. (The Plus app features unread counts, more gestures, more transitions, widgets in the dock, and more.) Both versions feature backup and restore, so there’s no need to worry about losing your homescreen layout.

Overall, Holo Launcher HD is a great launcher for those stuck on Ice Cream Sandwich who find themselves itching for more. It’s a free download at Google Play.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0.0

Requires: Android 4.0+

Download size: 1.3MB

Holo Launcher HD on Play Store

Friend Lock Free

Friends can be the worst. You give them your phone to look at something, and five seconds later you’re getting notifications from people laughing at you from your latest status update. So are little kids: they love the games on your phone, but what happens if they open up Google Play and somehow manage to purchase an app? Friend Lock Free is a great solution to both problems. With it, you can both lock and entirely block apps, keeping them away from prying eyes.

When you first set up Friend Lock, it can be a bit confusing as to what Lock and Block are. They allow you to either set a pin code requirement (locking) or simply disabling an app (blocking). You can also block incoming and outgoing calls and texts. It’s a genius app for dealing with lending your phone to others.

Overall, Friend Lock is a great app. It’s one-click, meaning you can just tap a widget to suddenly block pre-configured apps, and is very easy to use.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0.1

Requires: Android 2.2+

Download size: 5.6MB

Friend Lock Free on Play Store


Patterns make undeniably great wallpapers. There’s something about their cut lines, their smooth curves that makes them appealing to the eye. Pattrns brings the patterned wallpaper experience to your device. It connects to the COLOURlovers community and lets you browse and share patterns with ease.

Of course, patterns make great wallpapers. That’s why Pattrn can set your wallpaper automatically every day or every week. It can also browse new and popular patterns, as well as search. It’s a great pattern experience!

There’s a surprising depth to such a simple app, and it really shows. It’s beautifully designed, and is definitely a must-have app.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: “Beta”

Requires: Android 2.2+

Download size: 851KB

Pattrn 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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