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New Android apps worth downloading: Field Trip, NYTimes update, Rayman Jungle Run

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to help you end the week right. Field Trip is a beautifully designed app which uses your device’s GPS capabilities to help you discover unique and unusual things around you. The New York Times app for smartphones got a nice refresh so it’s now speedier and easier to navigate. Last but not least is Rayman Jungle Run, an endless runner with platforming elements full of color and great presentation.

And don’t forget, Google is celebrating 25 billion app downloads with a selection of top apps available every day for just 25¢ a pop!

Field Trip (Free)

What’s it about? This new app from Google and Niantic Labs is a guide to the cool, hidden and unique things in the world around you.

What’s cool? The app runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it pops up a card with details about the location. It could be a fun place to shop, an historical site or a new place to eat and the content comes from some respectable sources like Arcadia, Zagat, Cool Hunting, Flavorpill and Atlas Obscura.

Who is it for? The app is great if you’re visiting a different city or even a new part of town and you can adjust the frequency of notifications or what categories you want to see. If you love to explore and discover new things, Field Trip is a fun app to have in your arsenal and it also looks great.

What’s it like? Field Trip is not dissimilar to a number of other local apps to find nearby businesses like What’s Nearby or Scoutmob. What sets Field Trip apart, however, is its excellent content sources which help dig up intriguing things mere GPS alone won’t necessarily find.

NYTimes update (Free)

What’s it about? This new update to The New York Times app features a complete redesign to reflect Android’s Holo design standards.

What’s cool? Besides the refreshed design and new UI, you’ll discover more intuitive navigation using the Action Bar, the ability to dictate comments via Android’s voice-to-text services, passive customization of the blogs you visit most, and an updated widget which includes images.

Who is it for? If you ditched the New York Times app to use the mobile web site instead (sorry, folks, the old app wasn’t that great), it might be a good time to download this dedicated app again and give it another spin. It’s faster, easier to navigate and better than ever.

What’s it like? The New York Times is its own entity of course, but check out their dedicated 2012 Election coverage app too if you appreciate the paper’s style and outlook. Other major publications like USA Today, The Guardian and Wall Street Journal all have Android apps.

Rayman Jungle Run ($2.99)

What’s it about? After its iOS release last week, we’re glad to see this endless runner/platformer hybrid emerge on Google Play.

What’s cool? This endless runner features beautiful graphics, plenty of new worlds to discover, new powers to unlock, captivating music, smooth touch-based controls, and even exclusive wallpapers to unlock for your device. The production qualities are exquisite for a mobile game.

Who is it for? Developed by the same team that produced Rayman Origins, fans of the chase/running segments of that title will love what they’ve done with Rayman Jungle Run. People who enjoy platformers or endless runners in general will enjoy this one. It’s fun for kids but also packs a challenge for adults.

What’s it like? Consider other slick-looking endless runners like Granny Smith or Jetpack Joyride (Amazon Appstore) if you’re searching for something with great production values and addicting gameplay.

Download the Appolicious Android app