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New Android apps worth downloading: Raved, Pandora update, Pocket Harvest

by Phil Hornshaw

Head into the weekend by finding great places to eat, drink, and more with our first fresh app, Raved. It brings users recommendations about cool places near them, instead of reviews that can go positive or negative and aren't always helpful. We've also got an update to music-streaming service Pandora that's optimized for tablet users, and Pocket Harvest, a deep simulation title from developer Kairosoft that puts players in charge of building and managing a farm.

Raved (Free)

RavedWhat’s it about? Raved brings users suggestions of places, businesses, and restaurants they should try out, taking a positive angle on reviews rather than providing a list of places to avoid.

What’s cool? When you're looking for a place to eat or something to do, you're not looking to find out where not to go – you want an idea of a cool place to check out. That's the idea behind Raved, which brings suggestions from the community of places you might like based on where you are and what you're looking for. The app focuses on letting you “rave” about certain places, giving you the ability to share what you like with your friends and find out what they enjoy and recommend. It also brings in recommendations from influential and knowledgeable people, with the idea that whatever you're looking for, you'll find a great place with the help of others. Then the app provides extra info, like directions and maps, menus, reservations through OpenTable and deals with Groupon and other services.

Who’s it for? If you're wondering where to eat, what bar to check out, or where to hang out this weekend, give Rave a try.

What’s it like? Find more business recommendations and reviews from Yelp and YP Local Search and Gas Prices.

Pandora Internet Radio update (Free)

Pandora Internet RadioWhat’s it about? Create customized radio stations based on music you like and stream it over the Internet using Pandora's streaming service.

What’s cool? There are lots of streaming music services out there, but the cool thing about Pandora is that, while it's based on music you like, it's not limited to just the things you pick or know about. Instead, Pandora creates stations based on what you like and what you specify – so if you like The Rolling Stones, the service will create a station based on the band with other similar music to fill it out. You can adjust the picks by rating them as you listen, or by adding more bands and songs to the customization. Pandora's new update rolls out a fresh redesign and adds tablet optimization and other improvements.

Who’s it for? If you're looking for a music-streaming service that will introduce you to new stuff you might like, try Pandora.

What’s it like? Stream more music with other services, such as Rdio and Spotify.

Pocket Harvest ($4.99)

Pocket HarvestWhat’s it about? The latest simulation title from developer Kairosoft puts players in control of a farm, with the mandate to make it as successful as possible.

What’s cool? Like Kairosoft's other titles, Pocket Harvest is a simulation game – meaning players manage the ins and outs of a business, in this case, a farm. The goal is to build and upgrade structures, hire workers, gather harvests, and take care of livestock in an effort to increase the farm's production and be as successful as you can be, but time is always against you. You can also boost your farm's business through tourism and other improvements, and try to win prizes by refining your farming.

Who’s it for? Fans of simulation games and Kairosoft's titles should check out its latest offering.

What’s it like? Other great Kairosoft games include Game Dev Story and Epic Astro Story.