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Google updates lead Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

Google’s wowed us this week with a real-time voice translator, adding some really cool features to its Translate Android app. Another update for Google Goggles reminds us that the company is relentless in its approach to utilizing its own mobile platform, improving the visual search aid for magazine ads and more. Our own site updated its Android app this week as well, so be sure to check out this week’s top apps straight from your phone!

Google updates

Google Translate has added a real-time translation feature, converting your spoken words into another language. Supporting English and Spanish for now, Google Translate will speak the translations aloud, making this free Android app something of a personal translator. Now you can attempt to have conversations while traveling, or simply practice other languages.

Google Goggles has a few updates as well, including a barcode scanner for product searches, and image recognition for print ads in magazines and newspapers. Free, this Android app is a visual search aid, pulling up Google search and shopping results for just about anything your phone’s camera can capture.

Keeping track

AK Notepad has been a top app for a while, and recent updates and a category change ensure its top position. With this free app you can jot down anything, in a simple notepad format. Set reminders, share notes via email and SMS, add notes to your home screen and make them searchable with tags. Notes are backed up to so you’ll always have access.

Download our new Android app!

A new tool you can use to write down those notes is WritePad. It’s a new input method for Android users, looking to replace your on-screen keyboard with something that better resembles handwriting. Aimed at the tablet sector, WritePad is $9.99 and works better on larger screens. With the Swype craze taking over Android, it’s clear that keyboard alternatives are making gains.

Got a Dodge Charger? Then you’d best take care of it. The new Android app from Chrysler can help. Free, the Dodge Charger Vehicle Info app combines owner manual info with product features and benefits, letting you monitor your car, access the data you need, and even learn about the Charger’s heritage. Chrysler has similar apps for other Dodge and Jeep vehicles.

Mobile Security is a self-explanatory app, bringing added safety to your Android phone. A free trial app from Trend Micro, Mobile Security filters incoming messages and calls, scans your browser activity and includes parental controls as well. With malware increasing on mobile devices, now’s a good time to look at security offerings.

Locus’ map viewer is gaining popularity, with an aggregated approach to viewing your local surroundings. With offline and online settings, Locus syncs with Google, Yahoo! and Bing maps, pulling contact and venues based on your settings. The interface is pretty easy, considering this free app’s lofty goals. While still an early concept app, it’s got plenty of features to explore.

Instant access

Appolicious AndroidApps is a great way to share your app collection, making app search easy, fun and social. Get recommendations based on your app preferences, share what apps you have on your phone, and rate the apps you like (and don’t like). Get alerts for price drops, keep up with Android news and manage your library from your phone. This app is free.

Splashtop has got a new Remote Desktop app for accessing your entire computer on your Android phone. The $4.99 app is designed to pull your desktop, and even use your regular web browser, complete with Flash, access to your bookmarks and more. Now you’ll never be without that file you need, even if you forgot to sync it with a file-sharing app.

Online video is getting popular, thanks to mobile viewing. Droid TV’s Android app has been climbing the charts, with full HD-480p resolution for viewing content. The free app has a series of channels to check out, with full episodes from several major networks. It’s not much different from other online TV apps, though its premium version offers a more personalized subscription model.