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New Android apps worth downloading: PassWallet, Zeebox, Bad Piggies

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps for a new week. PassWallet is Android’s answer to Passbook in iOS 6 and can even import your Passbook info into your Android device. But whether Apple will allow it to remain in Google Play is another matter. Zeebox is a great app to accompany your TV viewing offering a social fix and the ability to discuss what you’re watching in real time. And if you haven’t already checked out Bad Piggies over the weekend, it’s probably time you did.

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!

PassWallet (Free)

What’s it about? Hot on the heels of Passbook in iOS 6 comes this cheekily-named Android alternative called PassWallet.

What’s cool? More than just imitative, PassWallet has a practical use and it’s a solid and reliable way to store all your tickets and coupons in one place including boarding passes, theater tickets, coffee shop loyalty cards and much more. Merchants include Walgreens, Fandango and TicketMaster.

Who is it for? If you own an iOS device, the app can actually import your Passbook information straight to your Android device via the web as it reads the .pkpass files. The big question is whether Apple will allow it to exist for much longer. They’re likely to insist Google remove it from the Play store eventually.

What’s it like? Passbook and PassWallet are still not as technically exciting a development as NFC (which many Android devices can now use), but while we’re still waiting for services like Google Wallet to catch on and become secure, they’ll have to do.

Zeebox (Free)

What’s it about? Zeebox is all about making watching TV fun and social. It helps you discover, connect, share and interact while you’re viewing your favorite shows.

What’s cool? The service took off in the UK and now it’s crossed the Atlantic. You can check out what everyone is going to watch and discover the most talked-about shows. You get to chat with friends, start a viewing party or simply tweet your thoughts on what you’re watching. The app also allows for some interactivity, offering extra content you won’t find elsewhere.

Who is it for? TV fanatics who not only want to watch but have their say will love Zeebox. Appolicious Advisor, Lisa Caplan, wrote a fantastic article about iOS apps perfect for “second screen” viewing. It’s clear people really enjoy interacting with others while watching TV and it’s no longer a passive activity.

What’s it like? IntoNow from Yahoo! is a similar TV companion, but its only recently been pushing the social hook which is what Zeebox is all about. The ‘second screen’ TV viewing fad is growing what with apps like Peel, Miso and GetGlue.

Bad Piggies ($0.99)

What’s it about? Rovio is back on the gaming scene with a follow up to Angry Birds. However, this time, things are turned on their heads and you get to play as the pigs instead.

What’s cool? These physics-based puzzles are plenty challenging, yet remain highly accessible for casual games, and that’s what Rovio does so well. You’ll need to use a grid and a pre-set group of items to build your own quirky, out-of-the-box vehicle to help the pigs reach safety. Bad Piggies features 60 levels full of flying, driving and crashing fun plus 30 additional puzzles unlocked by obtaining three stars.

Who is it for? Even for big fans of Angry Birds it’s probably time to move on, especially after numerous updates and refreshes of the original games. While, Angry Birds Space did manage to take things to new heights (sorry), Bad Piggies is an original concept which helps breathe some life into the aging franchise. Fans of physics-puzzlers should look no further.

What’s it like? Rovio’s own Amazing Alex contains some tricky puzzle/construction puzzles which no doubt had an influence on the development of Bad Piggies because Rovio bought the company that created it when it was called Casey’s Contraptions.

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