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Google Drive tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

After months of speculation, Google Drive finally become a reality, offering cloud storage and ready access to files through a newly updated app. Also building excitement this week is Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked app, offering up details of the much-hyped event where Samsung will reveal the latest Galaxy device. 500px is trying its best to steal a bit of Instagram’s thunder, while Papyrus Beta shines with its new note-taking app for Android.

Google Drive (free)

A reiteration of Google Docs, Google Drive now hosts your file storage across any media type, granting you access as long as you’re connected to the web. As before, you can collaborate with others for file editing, expanding on the basics of documents to include photos and videos as well. Cloud files can be shared by sending a link to a video rather than attaching the large file to an email. With Google Drive you get 5GB of free storage, and 25GB at $2.50 per month.

Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012 (free)

Samsung’s been building as much buzz as possible around its upcoming event, extending its London audience to a global fan base with the launch of the Samsung Mobile Unpacked app in Google Play. The app will feature live streaming access to the event, as well as press releases for new product launches. There’s also an event schedule, location details and teasers. The app is a good way to keep track of the many products Samsung releases throughout the year, updating for all Unpacked events scheduled for 2012.

500px (free)

An alternative to Flickr, 500px made a successful debut on Google Play. A popular iOS app, 500px is a great way to store and share photos amongst friends and across the web. What will immediately grab your attention is the app’s great design, enhancing the photo browsing and sharing experience. There’s a section of editors’ picks, upcoming showcases and fresh uploads. You can search public photos by keyword as well. Your images can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, or opened in a browser window. You can also share links to view entire galleries.

Papyrus Beta (free)

My Android phone has replaced the mini notebook I once toted in my purse, and apps like Papyrus Beta make that decision all the more worthwhile. With an aim to provide natural handwriting for note-taking, Papyrus takes you “beyond paper.” Used with your fingertip or a stylus pen, Papyrus notes are saved as vector graphics. You can select and move strokes, cut, copy and paste strokes between notes, and export notes to PDF for printing and sharing. You can save notes directly to Evernote and a handful of other services, or send them directly via email. Your notes are organized within the folders provided, so you can categorize them accordingly.

eMusic (free)

The latest music player to hit Android devices comes from eMusic, the popular web portal for music management. Here you can download music, stream eMusic radio, save songs for later and manage your account. MP3 files stored on your device can be played through eMusic’s Android app, and you can create playlists and access artist information as well. See what’s trending right now with eMusic charts, search for the exact track you want, or get recommendations based on your listening habits.

Facebook for Android update (free)

Facebook pushed through a major update specific to Android users, better integrating the social network with the user experience. You can share photos and messages directly from your home screen, while the app itself has incorporated a number of features that were once separate in the Facebook Messenger app, including the ability to see when friends are online or on their mobile devices, and the option to add people to a group conversation. On the flip side, Facebook also added social discovery channels for Android apps with a presence on Facebook, making it easier to find apps that work on both platforms.

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