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New Android apps worth downloading: ooVoo, Big Launcher, Echoer

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. ooVoo Video Call got a big update to include four way-chat, BIG Launcher is a home screen replacement for Android devices that’s perfect for seniors or the visually impaired, and Echoer is a new way to share messages with folks close by.

ooVoo Video Call update (Free)

What’s it about? ooVoo is a great way to make video calls directly from your Android device.

What’s cool? ooVoo’s latest update now lets you view four separate video streams at once when chatting, while you can still text-chat with up to 12 people. There’s also deeper integration with Google’s services so you can see missed calls in your contacts list, helpful push notifications and a home screen widget.

Who is it for? ooVoo is fun for people who love to video chat and not use up their cellular minutes. It works over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. The group video chat option is perfect for people who love to connect with their Facebook friends in real-time.

What’s it like? Alternatives to ooVoo include Skype, Tango Video Calls, fring and the hangouts in Google+.

BIG Launcher ($4.99)

What’s it about? BIG Launcher is a home screen replacement for the visually impaired or elderly. It’s designed for readability and ease of use.

What’s cool? Though BIG Launcher has been around for a while, its latest update is significant. It now features unlimited screens, big battery and signal icons, buttons that can have any icon on them, an SMS editor and forwarding, plus some handy bug fixes. There’s a free demo version to try out first.

Who’s it for? As BIG Launcher is controlled by single touches with no swipes and no long presses, it’s perfect for the elderly, those lacking mobility in their hands, or even kids. With big fonts and large buttons and an interface featuring TalkBack, it’s also ideal for the visually impaired.

What’s it like? There are other accessibility apps out there like Big Buttons Keyboard Standard and TalkBack from Google which provides spoken feedback for eyes-free computing. Even highly customizable launchers like Apex, Nova or Holo Launcher offer a cleaner layout than many standard Android skins.

Echoer (Free)

What’s it about? Echoer is a simple way to share the things you experience around you.

What’s cool? Echoer is based in Montreal. Smartly, they used the annual Jazz Festival to show off its wares. People leave notes about where they’ve been, what they’ve seen, where they’ve eaten and it all shows up on a map so you can view people’s thoughts, events and discoveries. It’s ideal for groups of disparate people to share what they’ve experienced – providing everyone else is using the app, of course.

Who’s it for? Echoer is for people who love to share their thoughts and opinions with people in the same vicinity as them. It aims to elevate only relevant content above the noise, hence the ability to ‘echo’ popular ideas.

What’s it like? Location-based check-in apps like Foursquare come to mind, but Echoer probably has more in common with other crowd-sourced services like Localmind or Pinweel (iOS only).

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