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New Android apps worth downloading: Amazon update, AppOps, Sonic Dash

by Phil Hornshaw

Just in time for Black Friday comes an update to Amazon, the Android app version of the online retailer. You can use Amazon to shop for just about anything, but you might find it most useful as a price comparison engine when looking for the best deals this weekend. We've also got App Ops Starter, an app for managing the permissions of each of your apps individually, and Sonic Dash, an endless runner take on the classic Sega platformer.

Amazon update (Free)

AmazonWhat’s it about? Shop all of Amazon remotely with the Amazon Android app, which lets you browse, make purchases, and compare prices with its bar code scanner.

What’s cool? You can get just about anything from Amazon, and if you're looking to shop this Black Friday, the Android version of the online retailer becomes pretty invaluable. Already the app allows you to shop the retailer's entire catalog with text and voice search capabilities, but you can also bring up listings using your device's camera with image search, or by scanning a bar code on a product. That means you can quickly compare prices in-store with what you can get online. Amazon's latest update adds more payment options and the ability start a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime from within the app.

Who’s it for? If you're looking to access Amazon wherever you are – especially when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores – the app is the way to do it.

What’s it like? Do more online shopping with eBay and Flipkart.

AppOps (Free)

AppOpsWhat’s it about? Find and adjust the permissions your apps have with the help of AppOps, giving you full control over what your apps can do.

What’s cool? Every time you download an app to your Android device, you get a rundown of what that areas of your phone that app can access. But what if you want an app to be able to go online but not access your Facebook data, or make use of your contacts but not your device's camera? AppOps gives you access to Android's hidden Permissions Manager, allowing selective control over what apps can and cannot do on your device, allowing you to turn on and off permissions selectively. You get full control over your apps, as well as added security from knowing that your apps can't do anything you don't necessarily want them to.

Who’s it for? Anyone who could benefit from greater control over their apps – and really, who couldn't – should check out the capabilities in AppOps.

What’s it like? Try Permission Manager or App Ops Starter for alternative means of accessing and managing the permissions your apps can have.

Sonic Dash (Free)

Sonic DashWhat’s it about? Sonic Dash takes the famous super-speedy blue hedgehog into an endless runner, where players are tasked with collecting rings, dodging obstacles, and spinning to blast baddies.

What’s cool? Like other Sonic titles, Sonic Dash is all about going as fast as possible. Instead of platforming his way through various 3-D and sidescrolling levels, however, Sonic Dash has players seeing how far they can get in an endless runner. You'll swipe to move Sonic around various tracks, where you'll need to snag as many rings as possible while avoiding things like walls and spikes. You can also use Sonic's spin attack to smash through enemies and engage in boss fights, and grab power-ups along the way to give the hedgehog even more special abilities. The game lets you choose from three different characters to play as, and you can also issue challenges to your friends across social networks.

Who’s it for? If you like Sonic titles and want an endless runner with great graphics and a lot of different features, check out Sonic Dash.

What’s it like? You'll find other great Sonic titles in Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic CD.