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Google Reader, Winamp lead Fresh Android Apps of the Week

by Caitlin M. Foyt

It was a great week for Android app releases. Google put out a stand-alone app for its news reader to accompany its already popular mobile version, Winamp finally came out of Beta, Southwest Airlines produced a very functional Android app, and there were a couple of great apps to help you explore your more creative side: MusicMapper and SketchBook Mobile.

Google Reader (Android) FREE

Google’s RSS Reader has finally made its way to Android. It’s a free service that lets users add RSS feeds from several resources and read them in one browser window. This way, you can keep up with important world news, your favorite blogs and updates from the websites you visit most frequently. The app supports all the basics you’d expect from an RSS reader, like unread counts, friends, sharing, liking, and starring. It also includes a few Easter eggs, though: search functions, full subscription features, synced preferences and the ability to log-in to more than one account at a time. The developers of the Google Reader app have also added some shortcuts that can make navigation more quick and easy.

Winamp (Android) FREE

Winamp has just released an updated version of its popular music player, introducing a Wi-Fi syncing feature which allows users to synchoronize their music collection between their computer and Android phone. By wirelessly syncing up your music, this means that every single change that is made to your music library on your desktop will also show up on your phone. You won’t ever have to never go a day without your latest downloads. This app also allows you to create your own playlists and you can stream Shoutcast, a service that provides thousands of Internet stations, for free. To get started, just create a username and password.

Southwest Airlines (Android) FREE

Southwest Airlines now has its very own application for Android. Unlike other airline travel apps out there, Southwest allows you to actually purchase your flights from within the app rather than being re-directed to the airline’s browser-based site. In addition to booking flights and managing those reservations, you can also use the app to check on the status of your flight, check-in, review flight schedules and add or manage rental cars. It also gives you direct access to your Rapid Rewards account.

MusicMapper (Android) FREE

MusicMapper is a social networking application that’s similar to popular FourSquare, with emphasis on the importance that music has in our daily lives. This app allows you to write your own audio autobiography by tagging songs to specific locations and writing stories about what this music means to you. Then, you share these stories on Facebook and Twitter. You can also snap photos, create special blurbs and check-in at locations. Because this app is created by organization behind The Grammys, you can also use it to check out tons of different Grammy-curated content.

SketchBook Mobile (Android) $0.99

SketchBook Mobile is a high quality digital sketchpad, one that’s comparable to the expensive drawing tablets used by professional artists. This particular app provides users with many different kinds of pens, pencils, markers and airbrushes to create pieces of work you’ll be proud to show off. There are also lots of sophisticated specialty tools that allow you to do things like blend layers, do dynamic resizing, and export your work in different formats. There is also a free version of this app available, called SketchBook Express, so you can give that a try before you decide if this is an app that is worth owning.