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New Android apps worth downloading: Magisto - Magical Video Editor, Zite & Firefox updates

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. Magisto is a clever little app that can turn the videos you shoot with your Android device into something special, with no extra effort on your part. We’ve also got the lowdown on two significant app updates: Zite, the personalized magazine, should see some performance increase with its latest update, and Firefox is now compatible with Android tablets.

Magisto - Magical Video Editor (Free)

What’s it about? Magisto offers a simple and easy way to edit the videos on your Android phone or tablet automatically.

What’s cool? While it may not truly be ‘magic,’ the technology behind Magisto is still pretty neat. The app is clever enough to automatically edit your video for you. It analyzes the footage you’ve shot and splices it together to create a pretty spiffy-looking movie which is then easy to share with friends and family. It even adds effects, transitions and can recognize faces. You can add your own soundtrack, or take advantage of Magisto’s library of licensed music.

Who is it for? Not everyone is a video editing expert, so Magisto is a useful app to have on hand. What’s more, it’s quite a lot of fun to see what it comes up with from your footage. It’s not ideal for people who want total control, but perfect for most casual video shooters.

What’s it like? There are plenty of other great video editing solutions out there, but none are as automated as Magisto. Still, apps like VidTrim, AndroVid and AndroMedia offer plenty of useful editing features and a bit more control.

Zite update (Free)

What’s it about? Zite is a free personalized magazine that automatically learns what you’re into and gets smarter every time you use it. The app just got a welcome update.

What’s cool? The new update is the first since its initial release and most importantly, users should see performance increases on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jelly Bean. As well as various bug fixes, font size changes are persistent throughout articles and the “share menu” UI and icons have been improved. While Zite is optimized for handheld devices rather than tablets, the app should still function nicely on smaller tabs like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.

Who’s it for? Appolicious Advisor, Kate Currin, reviewed Zite back in April and found it smart and savvy. Zite offers an interesting, personalized way to consume news articles and helps to cut out the “information overload” that other apps often produce because it’s more tailored to your interests.

What’s it like? While Zite doesn’t offer the same pretty browsing experience as Flipboard and Google Currents, its personalization and ‘learning’ algorithm make it worth downloading.

Firefox update (Free)

What’s it about? To go alongside the new desktop version (Firefox 15), Mozilla also updated its Android app (also version 15) with some significant extra features.

What’s cool? Support for Android tablets is probably the most exciting feature of this update, including quicker startup and a sharp, new design. Other new updates include a “find in page” feature, the ability to quickly switch to desktop view, more intuitive tab control (including swipe to close), and Firefox can now import bookmarks and history from the stock Android browser.

Who’s it for? Clearly, Android tab owners who love using Firefox on their desktop computer will be happy to see that the browser now works properly with their tablets. Also, folks who’ve been using Firefox on smartphones for a while will enjoy the bug fixes and extra features.

What’s it like? If the stock browser that shipped with your current device just ain’t cutting it, Firefox is a worthy alternative, as are Chrome, Dolphin Browser (and Dolphin Browser Beta), Opera Mobile and Maxthon and many, many others.

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