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Fresh Android Apps for Dec. 15: Lync 2010, Peggle, Plants vs. Zombies

by Ian Black

Instant Messaging feels passé for personal communications, but it’s all the rage at work. Lync is the latest chat service from Microsoft and now it’s a fresh app in the Android Market.

Two former iOS games spring up on today’s fresh list – Peggle, like a new version of Pachinko, and Plants vs. Zombies, like something you’ve never seen before.

Lync 2010 (Free)

Microsoft’s Lync delivers chat service to many corporations. If you want to stay in touch with work colleagues while out and about with your Android, now you can.

View people’s availability, along with their name and photo, or set your own. Initiate threaded IM sessions, email, or phone calls or join Lync-based conference calls with just one tap. If you use a Lync ID for a phone number you can set call forwarding or simultaneous ringing through this app.

Peggle ($2.99)

Cross Pachinko with a brick buster game and you’ve got Peggle. Aim your ball cannon and fire a ball into the field of bumpers. Each bumper you hit will disappear after that ball drains out at the bottom of the screen.

You don’t need to clear every bumper to level up but you will need to complete whatever mission the game lays out (like clear all orange items) at the beginning of each round to move ahead. When you do, the game trumpets “Extreme Fever” in a rainbow, shoots fireworks, and plays Ode to Joy. That alone is worth $2.99.

Once an exclusive for Amazon Appstore customers, it’s great to see this finally available for everyone in the Android Market.

Plants vs. Zombies ($2.99)

First a popular PC game, then a huge hit in the iTunes App Store, then an exclusive in the Amazon Appstore, and now, fresh in the Android Market.

This undead twist on a tower defense features a simple premise – stop the zombies from crossing your lawn because, if they do, they’ll eat your brain. Unfortunately, all you have for weapons are a bunch of different plant species. Fortunately, these plants are more dangerous than a crib full of machetes. They shoot peas and other deadly vegetables that knock zombie blocks off.

A lot depends on the sun. When you plant sunflowers, it drops from the sky in little energy balls you’ll need to plant more flora. Just watch out when night falls!