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New Android apps worth downloading: CNN/Time Convention Floor Pass, TextGenie, US Open Tennis Championships

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. CNN/TIME Convention Floor Pass arrives just in time for political convention season, offering all the news and analysis you need to stay informed. TextGenie is a novel app that is capable of translating the jargon and slang many youngsters use in text messages into something more understandable. Last but not least, we’ve got the lowdown on the official app for U.S. Open Tennis championship as it gets underway in Flushing Meadow, NY.

CNN/TIME Convention Floor Pass (Free)

What’s it about? With the political convention season underway this election year, the CNN/TIME Convention Floor Pass app offers up the latest insight and analysis.

What’s cool? From Tampa for the Republican convention and Charlotte for the Democratic convention, the app offers a continually updated schedule. There’s also breaking news and commentary plus the latest social buzz from Twitter, foursquare and iReport. Key speeches will all be covered, and there’s even a “Bump ‘n’ Find State Badge quest,” but frankly, we have no idea what that’s about.

Who is it for? Probably just as useful for people attending the conventions as much as for those who wish they were, the schedule of speeches is certainly handy for political buffs. The app’s wholehearted focus purely on the conventions means your news stays on focus.

What’s it like? Both CNN and TIME have their own dedicated apps of course, with plenty of political coverage from convention season. The RNC has its own, dedicated Tampa 2012 app, as do the Democrats with DNC 2012.

TextGenie (~$1.16)

What’s it about? If you can’t fathom the jargon, abbreviations and acronyms youngsters use in their text messages, TextGenie is here to help!

What’s cool? TextGenie is an app that can help confused parents (and other adults) decipher exactly what young people are saying in their SMS when they use unusual jargon, abbreviations and odd phrasing. Drawing on a 1,500-word dictionary, the app will translate the text messages and make them understandable again, deciphering slang with aplomb. It even allows parents to build up their own database of additional words.

Who’s it for? Naturally, it’s for old-fashioned folks like me who recoil with horror every time they see “txt speak” anywhere. At the same time, savvy parents could use this on the sly and perhaps even convince their kids that they understand everything they’re writing.

What’s it like? I’ve seen a web-based translator, but not an app like this before. There is one called ReadItToMe Lite which vocalizes your text messages – I wonder how it’d do with the most heinous examples of txt speak?

US Open Tennis Championships (Free)

What’s it about? The U.S. Open began yesterday. Here’s the official companion app to to the tournament so you can keep up with all the action.

What’s cool? The app contains constantly-updated live scores while matches are going on, so that could come in useful for tennis fans. Even better, if you happen to be around on Labor Day and Finals Weekend, the app will stream live matches right in the app – it’s just too bad it’s not every day. There is also news, photos, the schedule of play, radio coverage, and on-demand video of completed matches.

Who’s it for? The app is great for tennis addicts who are away from a TV when the matches air. If you find yourself out and about on Labor Day or during the finals themselves, being able to stream the matches live to your Android smartphone is pretty sweet.

What’s it like? There are a few other apps covering the U.S. Open. US Open Tennis Live Scores does exactly what you expect, while something like The Tennis App offers news, rankings and scores from all the tournaments, big and small.

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