New Android apps worth downloading: WhatsApp Voice Mail, Kik Messenger and Angry Birds Star Wars II updates

by Phil Hornshaw

An update to Angry Birds Star Wars II brings eight new characters and levels, perfect for players looking for a new addictive arcade fix.

WhatsApp Voice-Mail & Voice SMS (Free)

WhatsApp Voice-Mail & Voice SMSWhat’s it about? WhatsApp is a voice messaging service that makes it easy to leave messages for people when you can't call or they can't answer.

What’s cool? Trying to get in touch with someone when you're doing other activities like driving can be dangerous – who wants to divide their attention with things like dialing or struggling to leave a voice mail? WhatsApp lets users dictate messages by voice that are sent directly through the app, allowing you to quickly and easily send text or voice messages when you can't call. When the person you're calling has WhatsApp, you'll automatically be routed to the app to send them a message, and you can also dictate and send SMS messages to be received normally outside the app, leave messages when you're on call waiting, or save notes offline to be sent when you have an Internet connection.

Who’s it for? If you're in need of some flexibility with leaving voice mail messages in different situations, check out the options available in WhatsApp.

What’s it like? Other useful voice mail apps include YouMail Visual Voicemail and Voice Message.

Kik Messenger update (Free)

Kik MessengerWhat’s it about? IM client Kik Messenger lets you conduct mobile conversations with multiple users at once, mixing the convenience of SMS text messages with the immediacy of instant messaging.

What’s cool? Firing up Kik Messenger is a lot like firing up an instant messaging client on your computer. It lets you conduct text conversations with other users, but it's a little more than just a regular text messaging service. For one, Kik gives you information about when your messages have been delivered to the other person, and when they've actually been read – no more waiting to figure out if someone missed your text or not. The app also lets you control who you talk to by giving you a Kik username, rather than using your phone number, for added security. You can do all the normal texting stuff with Kik as well, like sending images or videos, and Kik's latest update adds an in-app browser that lets you view links, run down web pages, or even play games on pages optimized for the app.

Who’s it for? Users looking for a messaging client with some extra usefulness might want to give Kik Messenger a go.

What’s it like? There are lots of other messaging options in the Google Play Store as well, including Viber and Tango Messenger.

Angry Birds Star Wars II update (Free)

Angry Birds Star Wars IIWhat’s it about? Angry Birds Star Wars II combines elements and characters from the Star Wars prequel trilogy with the arcade gameplay of Angry Birds.

What’s cool? By now most mobile gamers have played Angry Birds, or are at least familiar with its slingshot-heavy, physics-based gameplay, but Angry Birds Star Wars II opens up the formula with a bunch of new additions that add a lot of challenge to the addictive series. Players fling birds at pigs in each level in an attempt to wreak as much destruction as possible, but Star Wars elements like blasters, lightsabers, using the Force, and more change how you approach each situation. Levels span the prequel trilogy's story and let you play as both the Light Side and the Dark Side, and Angry Birds Star Wars II's newest update adds eight more characters for players to try, as well as new levels to go with them, in the pursuit of high scores.

Who’s it for? Fans of Angry Birds and Star Wars looking for a new twist on both won't want to miss Angry Birds Star Wars II.

What’s it like? For more great use of the Angry Birds formula in new ways, grab Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Space.