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Fresh Android Apps for May 23: Thumb Keyboard update, Jenga, Doodle Hunt

by Ian Black

While the promise of new input methods like waving your hands (think Kinect for Android) or brain control await us, it’s important right now to have a great virtual keyboard. Check out the newly updated Thumb Keyboard below.

For fresh Android games – old schoolers will enjoy the arrival of Jenga on Android and those who like search puzzles will find their match with Doodle Hunt.

Thumb Keyboard update ($2.49)

This 4.0 update to the popular virtual keyboard delivers some important new features including multi-touch support, a customizable toolbar, better prediction, shortcuts for customizable phrases, and the option to change the width of key blocks.

Choose from among seven different keyboard layouts to find the one most comfortable for your typing style. There’s even a split layout for using only your thumbs on an Android tablet – something that app users rave about.

Find international keyboards – including QWERTZ, AZERTY, Spanish, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish – and the ability to predict words in several languages – like English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Dutch.

Jenga ($2.99)

Remember Jenga? The popular puzzle game where you build towers out of wooden pieces. It’s gone digital and mobile so you can carry it around on your Android phone.

Designed in consultation with the original creator of Jenga, Lesile Scott, it provides a realistic physics app version of the physical game. In Pass ‘n Play mode you hand the phone around to up to four players. You can also compare tower height in real-time with players from around the world.

Sensitive controls let you tap and nudge pieces into place or precisely select pieces to remove from the tower. Play quickly for score multipliers or match colors of blocks for extra credit points. Coins earned while playing let you purchase special powers like the handy Collapse Reverse.

Doodle Hunt ($1.61)

Like to search for stuff? Doodle Hunt will test your skills. This top-rated puzzler first asks your to choose your “stage” – the Mall, House, School, or University – then pick your “room” inside the stage – from there, you’re ready to hunt.

The screen fills with doodles of things typically found in such a room – cakes, muffins, and bread in the bakery, for example – and asks you to hunt for a specific number of particular objects – like three loaves of bread. It’s not just a game of simple matches, as some of the tasks will test your knowledge – like the periodic table label for Sodium or the Finnish flag.

Earning money at each stage lets you unlock higher stages within the first set of 20 (with over 300 different objects). OpenFeint support allows you to brag to your friends and entice them into the fun.