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New Android apps worth downloading: Facebook Home, Fotor - Photo Effect Studio, Epic Pirates Story

by Phil Hornshaw

Facebook Home has finally hit the Google Play Store! Facebook’s new app lets users add social networking feeds from the service to their home screens and integrate the service a lot more deeply into the Android experience, but it's currently available for select devices. We've also got the powerful photo-editing app Fotor – Photo Effect Studio, and Epic Pirates Story, a simulation game in which you build up a powerful band of scallywags so you can take down an evil pirate king who's terrorizing the Caribbean.


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Facebook Home (Free)

What’s it about? Facebook Home plugs the social network into your Android device's home screen, integrating your feeds into your phone experience on a deeper level than ever before.

What’s cool? Instead of popping into an app and waiting for it to load to access Facebook, Facebook Home brings the social network to your Android device at the top level. You'll see messages, comments, status updates and more on your home screen and be able to interact with other people without having to pop open the app, and Facebook Home includes an app launcher that lets you quickly get to other social networking essentials, such as Instagram. The app is only available on certain devices for now, so make sure to check your compatibility before downloading.

Who’s it for? Facebook junkies, this is the app you've been waiting for.

What’s it like? The standard Facebook app is still a solid alternative if your device can't yet support Facebook Home, and you can get more social networking on your home screen with the help of SO.HO.

Fotor - Photo Effect Studio (Free)

What’s it about? Fotor brings powerful photo-editing capabilities to your Android device, packing it with new effects and features to make your mobile photography even better.

What’s cool? Fotor is an enhanced camera, but the focus of this app (as opposed to the other Fotor camera app) is the post-production side of your Android photography. It includes some 60 effects, the ability to enhance your images with a single tap, borders and frames, and full capabilities such as cropping, blurring and sharpening. When you're finished making your photos better, Fotor packs a full range of sharing capabilities across social networks, as well.

Who’s it for? If you find yourself shooting lots of photos with your smartphone or tablet, try Fotor to help make them better.

What’s it like? Fotor – Camera and Photo Editor is slightly scaled-back alternative from the same developer, and PicShop - Photo Editor also offers some useful photo-editing features.

Epic Pirates Story ($1.27)

What’s it about? Simulation title Epic Pirates Story tasks players with creating their own pirate strongholds by adding buildings, then sending their pirates out on quests.

What’s cool? Working through Epic Pirates Story starts with you controlling a single pirate, sending him out on missions and earning money to make him more powerful. As you complete quests and add buildings to your pirate town, you'll gain more fame, which will bring more pirates to join you, and allow you to finish more quests. As you make your pirates stronger, you'll eventually be able to take down your nemesis, Duke A. Blizzardo, as well as fight other bosses and monsters along the way.

Who’s it for? Fans of management and simulation titles, as well as pirates, will have lots to do with Epic Pirates Story.

What’s it like? Check out games with similar mechanics such as Epic Astro Story and The Simpsons: Tapped Out.

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