GroupMe leads Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

Blame it on SXSW, but social networking apps were all the rage this week, topping the charts in the Android Market. A fresh update from Facebook enhanced photo uploads for group and wall sharing, while group chat tools like GroupMe helped friends stay connected during one of the largest geek fests of the year.

Keeping in touch

GroupMe gained some traction at SXSW this year, an app offering free group messaging with all your friends. Group phone contacts accordingly, and send messages direct or via SMS. You can attach media files, start conference calls and see your group members’ location on a map. The free Android app is a great way to centralize communications, especially at large-scale events.

Facebook updated its Android app this week, letting you upload photos to entire groups of friends. Version 1.5.2 also lets you share photos on friends’ walls, by-passing your profile all together. The added sharing features make the social experience a little more customized, keeping Facebook in line with its regular upgrades to its free, mobile app.

GO Contacts is a new Android app from the GO Dev Team, offering an extensive communication tool for your phone. Orienting your actions around your contacts, you can search, group friends, send batch messages and assign contact shortcuts. Your contacts are also backed-up to your SD card, to be restored when needed. This Android app is free.

Related: St. Patrick’s Day Angry Birds update tops Android Games of the Week

Being resourceful

Allrecipes has made its way to Android, adding another cooking app to the Market. A highly visual tool, this recipe search app features photos and reviews from its extensive online community. Search by dish, ingredient and prep time, helping you filter down to the type of recipe you need. Recipes can be bookmarked and shared via email, or across social networks. This app is free.

StubHub is another new entrant, rising the ranks with its ticketing marketplace. Search events and venues, see upcoming concerts and find tickets you previously thought were sold out.  StubHub lets you sell tickets too, and its free Android app taps into your account so you can manage orders and sales on the go. Create, edit and delete listings, track upcoming events, and even adjust ticket prices as the event date nears.

Car Dashboard is a centralized account for drivers, taking over your Android home screen when you’re in the car. Watch your speed, access streaming radio stations, and see incoming messages. The free app has information you wouldn’t even think of, like speed alerts, temperature and altitude, along with custom shortcuts to launch various apps, make calls or navigate to saved locations. Get more features with the $1.99 pro version.

Staying entertained

Adobe’s Flash 10.2 update is likely to hit the Market this weekend, releasing an improved version of the Player that won’t slow your phone down (as much). Handset makers like Motorola, along with Google’s own Honeycomb 3.0 platform, have already pledged support for the newest Flash edition, powering online videos and games galore.

Heyzap is a game discovery and recommendation app, that makes things fun with check-ins and rewards. It’s another way to build a mobile game library, and socialize around your activity. See what your friends are playing, share game tips, and earn badges and unlocked gaming rewards. This Android app is free.

Download the free Appolicious Android app