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New Android apps worth downloading: Xbox Smartglass, Snapchat, Need For Speed: Most Wanted

by Phil Hornshaw

It’s a big week for video game releases, and if you’re grabbing new stuff for your Xbox 360, you should check out today’s leading new Android app, Xbox Smartglass. If you sometimes use your Android device to send pictures and texts you wouldn’t want to recipient to save, you can use Snapchat to send messages with a time limit. Finally, Need For Speed: Most Wanted updates the series with more high-speed racing action.

Xbox SmartGlass (Free)

Xbox SmartGlassWhat’s it about? Use your Android devices to control your Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console with Xbox SmartGlass. The app lets you control things like video playback and access lots of the Xbox Live web service’s social features.

What’s cool? SmartGlass lets you turn your Android devices into remote controls for your Xbox, and that can be super-useful if you use the console for things like watching Netflix Streaming. That’s handy by itself, but you can also access other Xbox Live features, allowing you to edit your Xbox profile and send messages to friends. The app also supports other interactive entertainment experiences created specifically for using your Android device together with your Xbox.

Who’s it for? You’ll need to be a fan of the Xbox 360 and an Xbox Live subscriber to get full usage out of SmartGlass. It’ll probably help that you’re someone who uses Xbox Live for more functions than just playing video games online with your pals.

What’s it like? Try OnLive for a start, which allows you to stream PC games over the Internet and play them on your Android devices, and OnLive Desktop to mirror your PC on your tablet. It’s not 100 percent the same thing, but both are somewhat similar to SmartGlass.

Snapchat (Free)

SnapchatWhat’s it about? Snapchat lets you send texts and images to friends and contacts that have an expiration date. After the timer expires, they get deleted.

What’s cool? Some of us use our smartphones and tablets to send things that are potentially…compromising. Snapchat is the kind of app that can help with that sort of thing (and with other sensitive things you don’t want to hang around on other people’s devices in perpetuity). Timers go up to 10 seconds and start when the message is opened, and Snapchat also will let you know if the receiver takes a screenshot after receiving the message.

Who’s it for? If you use your Android app for sending things that you might not want saved forever by the people receiving them, Snapchat is for you. We won’t ask what you’re using it for.

What’s it like? Look for messaging apps that offer similar functionality, because there aren’t a ton in the same class as Snapchat. Tango Text, Voice, Video Calls offers a lot of voice-over-Internet capabilities, and KeepSafe Vault will help you password-protect photos on your device.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted ($6.99)

Need For Speed: Most WantedWhat’s it about? Corresponding with the release of Electronic Arts’ new racing title of the same name, Need For Speed: Most Wanted puts players in the driver’s seat for lots of street races, police chases and online battles.

What’s cool? Need For Speed packs some awesome graphics for most Android devices, for a start. It includes 35 different cars that you can earn and drive along the way. There’s a single-player campaign, as well as a multiplayer one that lets you challenge friends and other players all over the world. The app also includes both touch and tilt controls, which is something players asked for after the last iteration of the Need For Speed series.

Who’s it for? Racing game fans will want to check out Need For Speed, as well as fans of the series and the console versions of the game. If you want to flex the graphical capabilities of your device, this is a good game with which to do it.

What’s it like? Other entries in the Need for Speed series, like Hot Pursuit, are a good place to start for similar games. Real Racing 2 is also a graphical powerhouse for racing fans.

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