New Android apps worth downloading: TinCan, Hoot -- Simple Video Messaging, Meltdown

by Phil Hornshaw

We've got a pair of messaging apps for you today, each with a different application. Up first on today's Apps Worth Downloading column is TinCan, a short-range messaging app that specifically lets you send messages over a single local network, rather than the Internet. Following that is Hoot, a video messaging service that keeps the shooting and sending part of the process as easy as possible. Finally, over in the games department is Meltdown, a touch-based top-down arcade shooter that sports a cover system and other interesting features.

TinCan (Free)

TinCanWhat’s it about? Send messages without connecting to the Internet or using cellular data with TinCan, a messenger that makes exclusive use of Wi-Fi.

What’s cool? Like its namesake, TinCan is a messaging app for short-range communications with other users. Instead of utilizing an Internet connection or a cellular data connection, TinCan only uses a local Wi-Fi network to deliver its messages to other TinCan users – sort of like having two cans connected by a string. You can use the app as a sort of short-range chatroom, or just send private messages to specific users without everyone else seeing them.

Who’s it for? Anyone who could get some use out of a short-range free messaging app should check out TinCan.

What’s it like? Get Tango and Skype for more online messaging capabilites.

Hoot – Simple Video Messaging (Free)

Hoot - Simple Video MessagingWhat’s it about? Send quick and easy video messages with Hoot, which allows for group messaging or simple one-on-one videos.

What’s cool? Hoot is a video messaging service that keeps everything simple. The app lets you shoot videos of yourself and send them as messages to whoever you want, be they a single recipient or a group of them. You can also receive video messages and watch them as many times as you want, and it's possible to get a “watched” receipt for each message you send. Hoot doesn't limit the number of videos you can send or receive, and the app saves your videos until your device makes a connection to the Internet when you're away from a Wi-Fi network. All videos are private, too – which means no sharing over Facebook or other social networks.

Who’s it for? Fans of video messaging apps who want something simple and easy to use should check out Hoot.

What’s it like? You can send more video messages with apps such as Glide and VMS – Video Messenger.

Meltdown (Free)

MeltdownWhat’s it about? Blast all kinds of enemies in arcade shooter Meltdown, which allows you to take on a host of baddies alone or online with friends in a cooperative mode.

What’s cool? Meltdown is a top-down sci-fi shooter that has players grabbing cool, crazy weapons – like bazookas, chainsaws, and more. Unlike other shooters of similar design, however, Meltdown includes a few cool features, like a cover system that lets you dodge incoming fire by ducking behind crates, and tap-based movement controls that make use of the game's grid-like setup. Meltdown includes a pretty ample single-player campaign, and you can join up with friends in an online co-op mode that supports as many as four players. Meltdown includes 30 randomly generated levels, cross-platform compatibility and 10 different weapons to use and upgrade through the course of the game.

Who’s it for? Fans of shooters, especially those with a cooperative angle, should check out what Meltdown has to offer.

What’s it like? More cooperative shooting craziness is available in Gun Bros. 2 and Monster Shooter 2.