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New Android apps worth downloading: Facebook Home update, SpotHero, Ratchet and Clank: BTN

by Phil Hornshaw

Keep track of all your social networking in the new year with the help of Facebook Home, an app that brings your Facebook feed to your lock screen and which serves as our first app worth downloading today. We've also got SpotHero, an app for reserving parking that can seriously help with getting to those remaining holiday parties in several cities. Finally, Ratchet and Clank: BTN is an endless runner filled with enemies and bosses that players will need to take down with quick timing and a host of weapons.

Facebook Home update (Free)

Facebook HomeWhat’s it about? Pipe your favorite Facebook content onto your Android device's home and lock screens with Facebook Home, giving you access to the social network all the time, without having to launch its dedicated app.

What’s cool? Facebook Home puts your Facebook content front and center on your Android device, instead of keeping it within the Facebook app. It gives users social media updates on their lock screens from lots of different sources, including Flickr, Instagram, and of course, Facebook, as well as other abilities, like quickly making Facebook photos into wallpapers. Home also includes an app launcher, so you can get to everything else you need on your Android device, as well. The app's latest update adds new swiping controls for navigating and unlocking, and other improvements like image categories that help you easily create new wallpapers.

Who’s it for? Social media junkies and avid Facebook users, get even more connected with Facebook Home.

What’s it like? For a slightly more subdued Facebook experience, don't forget the dedicated Facebook app; for more social networking, try Twitter.

SpotHero (Free)

SpotHeroWhat’s it about? Find and reserve parking spots in big cities for the day or the month using SpotHero.

What’s cool? With New Year's Eve (and New Year's parties) coming in just a few days, you might start thinking now of where you're headed – and where you're going to park when you get there. SpotHero can help with that, by providing users the ability to reserve parking spaces for the day or the month in a number of cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and New York. The app lets you pay to keep a space held straight from within the app, then sends you a receipt and lets you ride in and park without a problem.

Who’s it for? If you're headed to one of SpotHero's covered cities, use the app to skip the irritating search for a parking spot.

What’s it like? Grab ParkWhiz and Parkopedia Parking for more help finding and nabbing spots when you need them.


Ratchet and Clank: BTN (Free)

Ratchet and Clank: BTNWhat’s it about? Fight off bosses and bad guys while riding rails and dodging obstacles in Ratchet and Clank: Beyond the Nexus, and endless runner take on the well-loved video game franchise of the same name.

What’s cool? Video game fans will recognize Ratchet and Clank as a franchise known for big guns and 3-D platforming, featuring the hero Ratchet and his robot sidekick, Clank. In Beyond the Nexus, a mobile take on the franchise, players utilize Ratchet and Clank's abilities and weapons to take down tons of enemies while avoiding getting blasted or running into obstacles. With a behind-the-back perspective, players have to use swipe controls to move between three lanes to avoid obstacles, while also jumping, hovering, and firing away with guns to take down enemies. You can earn upgrade by collecting bolts found along the way, which you'll need to take on the game's powerful bosses.

Who’s it for? Fans of endless runners or Ratchet and Clank should see what kind of fast-action gameplay Ratchet and Clank: BTN has on offer.

What’s it like? Find more solid endless runners with similar mechanics in Temple Run 2 and One Epic Knight.