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New Android apps worth downloading: Sonar: Friends Nearby, GrooveRunner, To-Fu 2

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. Sonar: Friends Nearby emerged out of beta last week, so we’re glad to see it available for everyone to enjoy. It helps you connect with like-minded folks close by. GrooveRunner is a fitness app that includes the ability to track your training, play your music and share your progress with friends. Finally, we’ve got To-Fu 2, a fun and stretchy sequel to blockbuster hit To-Fu: The Trials of Chi.

Sonar: Friends Nearby (Free)

What’s it about? We’ve mentioned Sonar before, but we’re happy to finally see it out of beta and in Google Play now. It helps you find friends and like-minded people nearby.

What’s cool? Sonar requires you log-in with Facebook or Foursquare because it needs to know who your friends are and what kind of things you like. Then, it uses GPS to detect people who are close by who share common interests so you can meet them. If you like, you can set your own status message and let other users come to you if they like what they see.

Who is it for? The app has plenty of usage scenarios. It could be great if you’re at a conference (Iike SXSW) and want to know if there are some people nearby that you know (or, at least know of). It could be helpful at a job fair to discover if you share common friends with potential employers as the app connects with LinkedIn, too.

What’s it like? There is a growing trend of hyper-local social discovery apps that use your location or networks to connect with others like Localmind, Skout, Crowdspottr or INTRO.

GrooveRunner (Free)

What’s it about? Here’s an app that can help you take your fitness regime to the next level.

What’s cool? GrooveRunner offers a number of features like tracking your training via GPS and analyzing your performance. You can create fitness plans and share your training live, as it happens, with your friends. In addition, you can enhance your training with the embedded music player (putting the Groove into GrooveRunner, I guess).

Who is it for? GrooveRunner is clearly for training and fitness fans who want a single app solution as it’s a music player, GPS tracker and workout analyzer all-in-one. Admittedly, Android certainly isn’t short of these kinds of apps, but if the other haven’t worked out for you, GrooveRunner might be worth a look.

What’s it like? Similar Android apps include Nike+ Running, Endomondo Sports Tracker, RunKeeper and plenty of others.

To-Fu 2 (Free)

What’s it about? This fun puzzle game is a follow up to To-Fu: The Trials of Chi which offers more levels, new moves and a new time-trial mode.

What’s cool? You control To-Fu as he pings, sticks, and rebounds his way through treacherous booby-traps and complex mechanisms using only your finger and To-Fus unique stretch controls. It’s an interesting puzzle title with a unique gameplay dynamic. There is also a new time-trial mode in which you must help To-Fu collect as much Chi as possible in a set amount of time.

Who is it for? Fans of the first game who couldn’t get enough will enjoy the sequel. It offers 115 all-new trials for To-Fu to master and perfect, so there are hours of gameplay and replay value. It also features a brand new store enabling you to purchase extravagant costumes for the little soy hero and many other helpful goodies.

What’s it like? It’s like To-Fu: The Trails of Chi, of course, but the control system is very different from other puzzle games out there.

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