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New Android apps worth downloading: Chameleon Launcher, Voice Assist, Magic Tree

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to enjoy. Chameleon Launcher for Tablets finally got an official release, and despite its high price of admission, looks like it has plenty of potential. Voice Assist is an app that aims to make you a safer driver by letting you use your voice while driving instead of texting. Finally, we’ve got Magic Tree by Com2uS which gives players the opportunity to build a colorful garden full of amazing trees.

Chameleon Launcher for Tablets ($10.00)

What’s it about? After a long time in beta, the first official release of the dedicated Android tablet launcher finally emerged in Google Play.

What’s cool? This tablet-specific launcher lets you create multiple home screens, each with your own layout of widgets and apps. The in-built widgets are beautiful looking and help create a uniform look and feel which is easy to customize, and the overall look and feel is very slick. There are widgets for clock, calendar, RSS news feeds, Twitter, settings and many others. These can update in real time so it’s very adaptable.

Who is it for? While a number of Android launchers work on some tablets, there can be compatibility issues what with the huge variety of devices out there. It’s great that Chameleon is intended solely for tablets, but it could still do with more widgets. However, it’s an early release with huge future potential.

What’s it like? Both Apex Launcher and Nova Launcher should work on your tablet, providing its running Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher and there’s also GO Launcher HD for Pad specifically for large-screen devices.

Voice Assist (Free)

What’s it about? Voice Assist lets you make handsfree calls, manage your email, send and receive text messages and post to social networks all by voice, so you can drive safely.

What’s cool? Distracted driving is still a problem in North America, and that’s why so many states have laws governing use of smartphones in vehicles. Voice Assist lets you dictate text messages or email responses and can read back both your incoming mail or SMS. You can make calls by saying the name of a person in your address book or dictate status message update to Facebook and Twitter.

Who is it for? People who drive a lot and find themselves easily distracted could find Voice Assist useful. While it mirrors some of the in-built functionality of Android, being self-contained in a single app proves handy.

What’s it like? As mentioned, Google’s own Voice Search is pretty capable, especially if your phone has a car dashboard mode. Vlingo Virtual Assistant is a popular alternative too, as is Text’n Drive.

Magic Tree by Com2uS (Free)

What’s it about? In this new social game from Com2uS, you get to plant trees in a magical fantasy world.

What’s cool? Why grow boring old crops when you can build a surreal world full of amazing sweet candy trees, sparkling jewel trees and cottony cloud trees? The 3-D visuals are impressive, making this colorful world come to life and featuring lots of great animation. You can customize your avatar, visit friends, or send them gifts.

Who is it for? Fans of time-management building games (think FarmVille) should enjoy Magic Tree. Just focusing on a colorful garden is a nice twist and the magic/fantasy element should appeal to younger children. Of course, it is a freemium title, so you have to wait some time for your stamina to recharge after each turn.

What’s it like? Com2uS also make the cute and colorful Tiny Farm and Derby Days if you want to build a horse ranch. There are numerous other social building/simulation games available.

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