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TwitchTV tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

The network just for gamers, TwitchTV, released its official Android app in the Google Play Store. With Android’s massive gamer base, there’s no better place for the video game broadcaster to launch an app. If it’s the game of baseball you like, check-in with MLB’s newest app At the Ballpark. When you’re not watching video or baseball games, study up with the new SparkNotes app, and keep things organized with the new Tasks app. Here are this week’s top Android apps.

TwitchTV (Free)

With 16 million gamers in their network, TwitchTV is one of the largest virtual gatherings for video game spectators. You can watch and interact around the games you love, now with the option to watch games on-the-go. With streaming support for 3G and Wi-Fi, you can toggle between five different quality levels to optimize your stream. You can search live games based on your areas of interest, or pull up the specific broadcaster you want to see. It’s a new way to engage around a growing sector, with on-demand content in the world of streaming media. At the Ballpark (Free)

Just as baseball season’s getting into full swing, MLB released a new Android app for 2012. MLB At the Ballpark is a companion app for live games, personalizing your trip to the stadium with mobile check-ins, offers, rewards and exclusive content. There’s an interactive concourse map and directory for each ballpark, team schedules, ticket and promo information as well as directions. For a number of the league’s ballparks you can even order food and drinks from the app, and create a personalized check-in history to show which games you’ve attended, which parks you’ve visited and what rewards you’ve earned.

SparkNotes (Free)

The popular study guides have gone mobile, with a free app for Android. There’s ready-made study guides for a number of categories, from literature to philosophy, short stories and drama. You can access them online or download them for offline use. You can even mark your location to make it easier for study groups, with updates to Places and Facebook. SparkNotes isn’t a cheat sheet, but it will make you more efficient in studying, especially if you can link up with local students to make good use of your time and brain power.

Tasks ($0.99)

On sale for its launch, the full version of Tasks helps you stay organized with Google Tasks on-the-go. The app syncs your Google Tasks with deeper integration for Android 4.0, taking it beyond the basics of a bullet-point list (though it will run on Android 2.2 and higher). With Tasks you get due date reminders, home screen widgets and support for multiple accounts. The app is optimized for a variety of Android devices, working on your smartphone or tablet.

TinyChat - Group Video Chat (Free)

TinyChat is all about video chats and not much else. Working just like their website, TinyChat for Android lets you start a group video chat with friends at any time. There’s support for up to 12 live cameras in each room. For broadcast group chats there’s the option to view an ongoing chat, with discussions around a number of topics from gaming to music. And you don’t have to start a chat – you can simply browse ongoing chat discussions and join one at any time.

Tumblr update (Free)

The popular microblog has pushed through a major update to its Android app, with a new interface and improved photo browsing. There’s also faster load times for your dashboard and blogs. With updated notifications you can see multiple blogs in one place, and the new Tumblr Radar provides a curated collection of posts from across the network. Tumblr’s fast becoming the popular way to post your regular updates, especially if you’re a photo-happy mobile user. With syndication options across the social web, Tumblr’s making sure its mobile users have a feature-rich experience.

Springpad update (Free)

The productivity tool has completely overhauled its web and mobile apps, with a new interface and collaborative notebooks. The biggest update is the ability to make notebooks public, which can be followed by other users. The revamped Springpad is a combo of Evernote’s curation tools and Pinterest’s vision boards, giving you more control and actions around your springed items. Follow other users’ entire collections or their individual notebooks, which can range from Seattle sushi bars to retro horror movies. Check your activity feed for recent updates from the notebooks you’re following, or explore the gamut of showcased notebooks to discover something new.

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