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CNET TV leads Fresh Android Apps of the Week

by Ian Black

A fresh new year, and a bunch of great fresh apps to start things off with a bang. This week we saw app releases from popular broadcasters CNET and NPR, an innovative handwriting detection app, and a couple of neat system utilities to keep your Android phone purring along nicely.

CNET TV (Free)

The first step toward recovery is admitting you’re a nerd. Get your tech news on the go with the new CNET TV. Browse and play CNET’s regular shows, product review and daily video content from this app. Sort by new releases, most popular, or featured. Or, drill down into your favorites like CraveTap That App, and CNET Top 5. The app streams live shows or plays archives of older episodes. You’ll also find how-to videos and tips for many current electronic products.

WritePad ($9.99)

Even if you have the sad scrawl of a third grader, this handwriting tool claims it can understand you. The processed input flows to any Android application, including text messages and email. Its handwriting recognition supports cursive, printing, or a mix of both. The app learns your style over time and uses auto-correct technology to fix spelling errors.

For an Android app, it’s expensive at 10 bucks, but if you hate virtual keyboards it might be worth the money.

Science Friday (Free)

National Public Radio’s Science Friday show explores the latest developments in science and explains how they relate to our everyday world. This new app delivers “tasty tidbits” of audio and video from the show, but be aware, phones running earlier than Android version 2.xx will get only the audio.

Ira Flatow hosts the popular radio show and you can hear him interview top scientists and other high-profile people working in science-related endeavors. In this free beta release, the app creators are requesting your feedback. Get your "Sci-Fri," as it’s known to fans, on the go!

CircleLauncher (~$1.31)

Forget all the menus and tapping to navigate around your phone. With CircleLauncher, group your friends and apps into circles – maybe one is personal and one is business. Then, just use one tap from a circle to launch an app, or a web page, or your contacts. Depending on how you create your circles you could end up saving hundreds of taps over a long period of time.

This app first launched a couple of weeks back. But this 1.2 version, with some bug fixes, was just released. CircleLauncher is ready to roll.

Perfect Task Switcher (Free)

Perfect Task Switcher lets your flick through running apps and jump to them or force quit them with a single touch. The app integrates into your home screen button (tap "Home" twice to go to the original launcher screen) and works with some existing home screen replacements like LauncherProand ADW. Best of all, you don’t need to root your phone to run it.