My Xbox LIVE tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

Android’s global dominance makes it a difficult platform to ignore, even for rivals. Microsoft released another app on Google Play, the latest being My Xbox LIVE. And while Android’s other rival, Apple, has Siri, more voice-activated assistant apps keep popping up on Google Play, including Robin, quickly rising in popularity. Carat also made waves this week with an app that finds energy vampires on your Android for personalized recommendations on how to save power.

My Xbox LIVE

Designed for gamers, My Xbox LIVE isn’t an app for actually playing games. But with a string of unofficial apps plaguing Google Play, it’s refreshing to see Microsoft’s validated app on the market. With My Xbox LIVE you can track and compare achievements, connect with your Xbox LIVE friends and manage your 3-D avatar and profile. You’ll also get a steady stream of recent game news and reviews, along with tips and tricks for a variety of popular titles. Along with the release of on{X} and Kinectamals, Microsoft’s been on a roll lately, spreading its top services across Android and iOS platforms.

Robin

Robin’s not the first Siri competitor to garner attention on Android’s platform, but it’s one of the latest to rise in popularity. Ask Robin for directions, local venues, real-time parking options, as well as traffic data, gas prices and the weather. Geared for hands-free drivers, Robin stands apart from other voice-activated personal assistants on Google Play, especially with all the driver-friendly functions it can perform, navigating to various locations and pulling info for things like nearby parking prices and availability.

Carat

There are plenty of apps out there that help you monitor battery use, but Carat puts a new spin on things. Personalizing recommendations based on your smartphone activity, Carat hopes to help us improve battery life one person at a time. Check into the app every few days and your activity will be sent to the Carat servers. Over time, Carat will begin suggesting actions and even predicting the improvements you’ll see, should you heed Carat’s recommendations. The app doesn’t directly monitor energy use, it infers which apps are responsible for battery hogging based on advanced machine learning technology. Carat is still in beta.

Stop and Frisk Watch

Rodney King, who died this week, helped change the public’s attitude towards police brutality after his beating at the hands of Los Angeles police. Switching coasts, the Stop and Frisk Watch app is designed to hold the NYPD accountable for its actions. The app allows citizens to document stop-and-frisk encounters and make public any wrongdoing of which the police may be guilty. You can record audio and video for an incident by pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame, and shaking your device will stop filming. You’ll immediately get a summary of the incident with details, which is sent to the NYCLU, an organization against discriminatory police activity.

PocketHealth

It seems doctor’s offices are getting more tech savvy, but what about you? PocketHealth is a mobile app for keeping tabs on your medical data, helping you track medications, conditions and appointments. With this Android app you manage all of your own data, encrypted and stored on your device. But you can still share select data with healthcare providers of your choice, making it easier for both parties to track information. The app is most useful for moms and caregivers that need to track kids’ immunizations or document appointments and medications, and the app also lets you link to online medical resources and search for additional items like medical terms.

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