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BaconReader sizzles atop Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

You want your content served up hot and ready, with a side of buttered toast. OneLouder’s made a business of it, launching BaconReader for Reddit alongside similar apps for Twitter and Facebook. Yahoo! also launched a mobile messaging app called Hub, sending texts over Wi-Fi or data connections. Mobile is becoming increasingly important for customer correspondence, and Zendesk’s shiny new app delivers an inspiring interface. Here are this week’s top Android apps.

BaconReader for Reddit (Free)

Social bookmarking has regained interest as curated content finds a cozy niche amidst mobile users. Reddit’s social news site gets a specialized reader from OneLouder, the maker of TweetCaster and FriendCaster. The app offers one-tap access to subreddits (categorized sub-forums), along with keyword and domain filtering. There’s direct photo uploads and color-coded comment threads, and even NSFW notifications. An ad-free version comes as an in-app upgrade for $1.99. OneLouder hopes to hitch a ride on Reddit’s considerable growth. The social news platform recently crossed 1.9 billion page views and 29 million unique visitors in October.

Hub (Free)

Yahoo!’s aggressive mobile strategy bears another Android app, this one for mobile messaging. Hub is an ubiquitous service that works on Wi-Fi or data networks, across any smartphone or feature phone, regardless of carrier (it circumvents those nasty SMS charges). Currently in beta, the app offers group and private messaging, as well as instant notifications. It’s a necessary move for Yahoo! as most of its rivals (like Facebook) have incorporated messaging into their mobile portfolio.

Zendesk for Android (Free)

Customer help desk management service Zendesk has unveiled a new version of its Android app with an all-new design, real-time updates and photo-attachment support. In an age where small businesses turn to social sites for customer correspondence, Zendesk’s free app is a great way to get your foot in the door. Zendesk has easy integration with Facebook and Twitter, improved visibility for priority issues and other updates that parallel their iPhone version. The update marks Zendesk’s interest in Android’s market, with an optimized tablet version as well.

TWC TV (Free)

Time Warner Cable has finally launched an Android app for customers; better late than never. Acting as a remote as well as a guide, TWC TV lets you change the channels on your TV and remotely manage your DVR. The interactive program guide lets you search by title or episode, access your favorites and even schedule recordings. It’s important to note that Time Warner’s app supports 3.x Android tablets and requires Wi-Fi. It goes without saying that this app is only really suitable for Time Warner subscribers.

Ucam (Free)

This popular new app is many things: a photo snapper, a QR code scanner and a background generator. Ucam has a collection of backgrounds like magazine covers, sports and other scenarios to generate unique and quirky snapshots. Better yet, create a GIF animation. Managing the camera app is easy enough, and you can do minor edits before saving. Preview your creation before sharing it with friends. There’s also a one-click sharing feature between your Android and a PC.

The Social Radio for Twitter (Free)

Taking a cue from popular readers, Social Radio turns your feeds into an audio stream. This app is specific to Twitter, reading tweets from your account and mixing them in with music from your device. To keep audio updates relevant you can filter by keywords and trending topics, or stick to one of your curated lists. So far Social Radio works with your device’s music library as well as streaming tracks from Google Music. Hopefully they’ll come out with a Facebook app as well — I’d prefer to hear full sentences in my audio stream.