New Android apps worth downloading: Netflix update, Chow Checker, Minecraft - Pocket Edition update

by Phil Hornshaw

Today's apps worth downloading kicks off with an update to Netflix, the online streaming service that lets subscribers watch movies and TV shows over their Internet connections. The update brings in the new Profiles feature, which allows multiple users to create individual lists and find recommendations specifically for them. We've also got Chow Checker, an app that lets you search various foods for food allergens, and Minecraft – Pocket Edition, the mobile version of the popular survival game in which players gather resources to make tools, weapons and fortresses.

Netflix update (Free)

NetflixWhat’s it about? Stream movies and TV shows to your Android devices over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection with Netflix's subscription service.

What’s cool? The mobile version of Netflix's subscription-based instant streaming service brings its entire database of movies and TV shows to your Android device just about anywhere. The app lets you use the Internet to stream things to watch on your device, and lets you rate selections and create a watch list filled with items you're interested in, and provides suggestions about what you might like. It's latest update adds more features that are available to users watching on TVs or computers: namely, the “profiles” feature that allows multiple Netflix users in the same household to get personalized suggestions and to create individual lists of shows and movies.

Who’s it for? If you're a Netflix subscriber, there's no reason not to enjoy the mobile version of the service when you're out and about.

What’s it like? Stream more video content to your Android devices using Crackle or Hulu Plus.

Chow Checker (Free)

Chow CheckerWhat’s it about? Chow Checker provides users with information about allergens in foods they find at restaurants and grocery stores, providing useful knowledge that can prevent serious health risks.

What’s cool? Looking at a list of ingredients in a grocery store doesn't always necessarily tell people with severe allergies if they're protected, and it can be even tougher at a restaurant to provide potentially dangerous allergens. Chow Checker is an app designed to help with that, linking users to the Nutritionex database that has a huge amount of information about various foods and what they contain. You can create a profile of what allergies you experience, to help the app quickly identify what you can and cannot eat, and each rundown of a food you look up includes its full ingredients list, as well as the allergens it contains.

Who’s it for? Anyone suffering from food allergies will want to have Chow Checker handy, especially during the food-filled holidays.

What’s it like? You'll find more food allergy information in Hold the Allergen.

Minecraft - Pocket Edition update ($6.99)

Minecraft - Pocket EditionWhat’s it about? Adventure through the randomly generated world of Minecraft, where players fight monsters and gather various materials to build structures, weapons, armor and more.

What’s cool? The mobile version of Minecraft continues to add features present in its PC and console counterparts. The game has players entering a pixelated, cubic world in which the only goal is to survive and make things, by finding raw materials to make equipment, creating tools, weapons and armor, and building structures to protect against nightfall's various monsters. The game supports multiplayer across a Wi-Fi network, and sports the usual survival mode, as well as “creation mode,” which allows users to just use the world of Minecraft to make things without the fear of being killed by monsters. Minecraft's latest update adds minecarts and rails, powered rails, new textures and blocks, new AI tweaks, animals for breeding, and more.

Who’s it for? Fans of exploration and survival, and players who love Minecraft and want a mobile version of the experience, will want to check out Minecraft – Pocket Edition.

What’s it like? Other games that focus on creation and survival include Survivalcraft and Worldcraft.