Google Drive leads Android Apps of the Week

by Phil Hornshaw

An update to Google Drive leads this week’s best apps on Android, mostly because Google constantly improves the productivity app, making it the handiest on the platform. Whether you need storage, word processing, or room for collaboration, Google Drive helps get work done, and its update includes some minor but extremely useful improvements. It joins a list of updates and inventive apps that will help make your Android devices more useful, and may even save you from getting caught in the rain.

Google Drive update (Free)

Google Drive just might be one of the most useful apps on the Android platform. The app ties users into cloud-saved documents, giving them the ability to write, edit, and create on the web-based platform, and wrapping it all together with a super-handy cloud storage system. With all the capabilities Google Drive brings to smartphones and tablets, it’s the kind of app you absolutely need.This update adds pinch-to-zoom capabilities and streaming video support.

NewsWhip (Free)

We’ve all heard about what a powerful news engine Twitter and other social networks can be, and many of us who frequent those sites use them to get a handle on what’s going on in the world. NewsWhip goes a step further and scans through the “billions” of users on networks such as Facebook and Twitter, aggregates what those people are sharing in links and articles, and brings it to you as a news feed. It’s a great way to tap into what stories are popular, with the cool filter of being able to see what’s popular in different places around the world.

tapestry (Free)

I love playing games on my mobile devices, but it’s refreshing to see apps pop up that actually have some greater artistic and cultural value. Tapestry is such an app. It’s a free delivery service for short fiction, with a clean user interface and a beautiful presentation. The app gets periodic updates with new stories from different authors, and you’ll be able to share pages with friends, interact with authors directly through social networks, and read in offline mode. So, your smartphone will be good for more than just blasting zombies and compulsively checking which friends liked your latest Facebook post.

Slacker Radio update (Free)

As far as music streaming services go, Slacker Radio wants curated content to be more than just “big giant list of songs.” Of course, there is a big giant list of songs that you can pull from and create your own playlists. But Slacker Radio adds talk radio, sports coverage, and playlists that combine those elements to allow, thereby offering alternatives to the most popular song hits of the day or obscure tracks from years ago. And its new update adds a total redesign of the app, bringing a new and tighter user interface.

The Weather Channel update (Free)

If you’re looking for information on the weather, look no further than the Weather Channel app. We’re talking forecasts for the next few hours or the next few days, weather conditions from around the world, and fast-loading weather maps. The app’s latest update throws in improvements to the app’s performance, faster loading times, tablet optimization, and one extremely handy feature: forecast updates that give the exact time of weather changes. You’ll never get caught in the rain again, unless you want to.

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