Facebook Messenger tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

Facebook Messenger launched in the Android Market this week, bringing an inclusive means of staying in touch with friends. With a separate app for the messenger tool, you can send texts to individuals or entire groups. DSLR Controller also brings an innovative app to Android, allowing you to control your Canon EOS camera via USB. Other interesting apps this week include Fox Sports Mobile and SmartyPig.

Facebook Messenger (Free)

Facebook’s launched a standalone app for messaging with friends, with an air of privacy that many users will enjoy. Send texts to individuals or groups, saving the profile updates for the regular Facebook app. You can share photos and links as well. The best part of the app is that it will send a message to a Facebook friend or contact even if they don’t have the app installed on their phone. Messages can be sent as text, email or to the regular mail service on Facebook, depending on their main profile settings. Facebook Messenger came at just the right time, as rival Google+ offers similar group messaging features.

DSLR Controller ($8.56)

A range of camera-compatible apps are emerging in the Android Market. DSLR Controller gives you full control of your Canon EOS DSLR camera from your phone through your USB cable. It streams a live view of the camera directly, far slicker than the iPhone version of the app. Manage your camera settings including exposure, focus point, shutter speed and more. Then just snap away! The app is in early beta, so expect some quirks as testing takes place.

FOX Sports Mobile (Free)

FOX Sports has a new Android app for fans, covering the full gamut. From NFL to NBA, NHL to golf, this app delivers news, scores, stats and standings. There’s also video highlights, pre- and post-game interviews and news and analysis from your favorite FOX Sports writers and anchors. With the football season ramping-up its a good time for FOX to to expand its Android offerings. Local news is also included in the app, and you can select news to follow on the "My Sports" tab.

SmartyPig (Free)

SmartyPig, the app that lets you reach your savings goals along with the collective help of friends and family, is now helping you find nearby deals. With an update to its Android app, SmartyPig searches for local cash-back rewards, mapped out in real-time. This appears alongside your account balance and transaction history, so you know exactly where you stand financially. You’ll even earn cash-back on some purchases, which you can also track on the app. And if you need to transfer funds, you can do that with the SmartyPig app too.

Norton Mobile Security Lite (Free)

Norton had expanded its family of Android security apps, launching a free version for users. It offers a few necessary features for keeping malware and thieves away from your phone’s content. You can remotely lock a lost or stolen device via SMS, and scan files and apps for malicious malware that could steal your personal data and slow your phone down. Norton’s got a couple other mobile apps, including one for data backup, and another for managing your Android apps. This new security app from Norton rounds out its protective mobile tools.

Scottrade Mobile (Free)

Secure online trading, now on your phone. Scottrade’s launched a new Android app with real-time streaming quotes, market news, analyst reports and details from its network of insiders. You’ll also get price alerts for changes in the market, with account management features and trading for existing users. Given the turmoil in the US economy, it’s a fine time to have mobile access to investment information, and keep a close eye on the market.

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