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We lead off this week’s selection with Chameleon Launcher. It came out of beta and is available to all tablet owners who want to spice-up their home screens with a great-looking launcher. Also this week, CallApp reemerged in Google Play after some time away, Bloomberg released a great business/finance news radio app, Rhapsody got a handy update and Sonar wants to help you find friends nearby with common interests. Here are this week’s best Android apps.
Chameleon Launcher for Tablets ($10.00)
Chameleon Launcher is a great new launcher for Android tablets. It 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. The overall appearance of the launcher is very slick, but the price is steep at ten bucks. Still, Chameleon Launcher is an exciting new app with plenty of room for growth and enhancement. Whether you’re willing to pony up the cash right now though is up to you.
Interestingly enough, this app’s previous incarnation was featured a few months back in both our Apps of the Week and daily picks, but it soon got pulled from Google Play. However, it’s now back from its hiatus and boasts several new features. The app still remains a kind of “supercharged caller ID,” offering detailed information about who you’re calling (or who’s calling you), by pulling information from various social networks and the web. This new incarnation includes enhanced search capabilities and a reminders section. We’re happy to see it back.
Bloomberg Radio+ (Free)
With their compelling news apps for both smartphone and tablet, it was only a matter of time before Bloomberg brought their popular Manhattan-based radio service to Google Play in app form. It’s a good one, too, offering streaming business and economics news 24/7, as well as many archived shows available on-demand. Also, It offers the latest market data with a customized scrolling ticker, bios of guests, and the ability to listen to shows offline. It’s a great app for people looking for deep insight and in-depth coverage on financial issues.
Rhapsody update (Free, requires subscription)
One of the earliest players in the subscription music game, Rhapsody just released version 3.0 of its Android app. The app still offers unlimited, streaming high-quality music for a fixed monthly fee but it’s a new feature that will be most welcome to long-time users: finally it’s possible to download music for offline listening, something other services have offered for a while. Another nice addition is the ability to designate where you want to store said music, either to the internal phone/tablet storage or to the removable storage-card (if available).
Sonar: Friends Nearby (Free)
Here’s an app we showcased a while ago, but we’re happy to see it finally emerge from beta and become available for everyone. Sonar helps you find friends and like-minded people nearby. You log-in with Facebook or Foursquare and the app learns who your friends are and what kind of things you like. Then, it uses GPS to detect people who are close by and who share common interests. Conversely, you can set your own status message and let other users come to you, if they like what they see. Sonar could be useful at the next conference, trade show, or live event you attend.