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New Android apps worth downloading: Google Play Books and SO.HO updates, Fist of Awesome

by Phil Hornshaw

Today's apps that are worthy of your hard drive space are of the updated and useful variety. First is the updated Google Play Books, which allows users to buy and read ebooks and which has new features, including the ability to search the text of ebooks for specific phrases. Following that is an update to SO.HO, a social networking app that pumps your feeds from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram onto your home screen and makes it easy to interact with all three. Finally, in the games department is Fist of Awesome, a side-scrolling brawler with old-school graphics that's simple to play, as well as hilarious.

Looking for even more book apps? Try these.

Google Play Books update (Free)

Google Play BooksWhat’s it about? Search for, buy and download ebooks from Google's Play Store straight to your Android device.

What’s cool? Google Play Books is a pretty straightforward app. It gives you access to Google Play's huge library of ebooks, providing the ability to search through them, make purchases, and download your books to your device all in one place. You can use your Google Play account to quickly purchase books, and the app doubles as an e-reader, showing your entire library and allowing you to sync your books so you can pick up where you left off even if reading on multiple different devices. The latest update to Books adds the ability to search through books' text for specific phrases, as well as some interface improvements and stability tweaks.

Who’s it for? Readers who like ebooks will want to check out the convenience offered by Google Play Books.

What’s it like? Try Amazon's alternative, Kindle, and Kobo for a pair of other ebook-finding e-readers.


Are you really into social networking? Try these apps today!

SO.HO update (Free)

SO.HOWhat’s it about? Social networking app SO.HO brings your favorite feeds to your Android device's home screen, so you don't have to bother with a mess of different apps.

What’s cool? Lots of us spend a lot of time with our social networks, and if you're using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, that means popping in and out of multiple apps just to see what's going on or to make a post. SO.HO loops all three of those feeds together and brings them to your device's home screen, so you can see feeds of what your friends are posting right now, as well as fire off tweets or Facebook posts yourself – all without having to dig through multiple apps. SO.HO's new update adds additional support for videos posted on Instagram, and also adds international support for users across Europe and Asia.

Who’s it for? Fans If you're a social media junkie, SO.HO's consolidation of feeds can be very convenient.

What’s it like? Check out TweetCaster and Buffer for more social networking apps that handle multiple networks.


Looking for even more action games? Try these.

Fist of Awesome ($3.99)

Fist of AwesomeWhat’s it about? Beat up tons of sentient, evil bears in Fist of Awesome, a side-scrolling brawler in which you play a lumberjack who is humanity's only hope against animals.

What’s cool? Something has altered the timeline in Tim Burr's reality, resulting in a world where his family never existed and animals rule the world – especially bears. Entrusted with the Fist of Awesome, Tim has to fight evil animals and try to set the timeline back to its rightful state in Fist of Awesome, and your job is to beat up sentient animals by punching, kicking, throwing and bashing them. But it won't be easy, as the bipedal deer, bears and other forest animals have imprisoned humans in zoos, and they're not going quietly. Fist of Awesome uses simple touch and swipe controls to facilitate the beatdown, and while it's easy to pick up and play, it's tough to master.

Who’s it for? Players who enjoy old-style brawlers and games infused with humor will have a blast in Fist of Awesome.

What’s it like? Grab Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery and Combo Crew for games with similar aesthetics and mechanics.