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Marvel Comics tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

There were several memorable apps released in the Android Market this week, starting with an official launch from Marvel Comics. Mobile has been a great revival for graphic arts, and as Marvel finds its way in the digital world, the Android platform has a ready audience that spans the generations. American Express and ADT have also launched new Android apps, promising safety and security each in their own way. And for shopaholics, Fab.com has made a swift entry into the Android Market, delivering fresh flash sales for the modern pallet.

Marvel Comics (Free)

After a popular run on the iPad, Marvel is expanding its mobile reach with the launch of an Android app this week. There’s no escaping the digital revolution, and Marvel’s been one comic house that’s survived a few transitioning eras. The new app features new and recent issues, as well as archived greats from Captain America to Daredevil, Spider-Man and X-Men. There’s some interactive options for your viewing pleasure, letting you choose an animated, panel-by-panel guide. Who knows what this means for future collectors, but there’s comfort in knowing your favorite superheroes are somewhere waiting in the cloud, always available for on-demand reading.

Amex for Android (Free)

American Express is ready for the Android tablet market to take off, launching an optimized app for such devices. With Amex for Android, you have the same account management tools that the smartphone app offers. Schedule a payment, check your balance, view recent charges and payments, and manage all of your card accounts from a single interface. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be using this app to regularly check your Membership Rewards.

ADT Pulse BETA (Free)

As connected homes become something of a reality, ADT takes advantage of Android’s widespread adoption to test a new app for its home security system. ADT Pulse is part of their advanced services to help you protect your home even when you’re miles away. Arm and disarm your home security system remotely, control your thermostat and lights, get SMS and email updates for alerts and updates, and view live webcam video to keep an eye on things while you’re away. The app is free to download, but you’ll need to be an existing ADT customer to take advantage of it.

Fab.com Daily Design Sales (Free)

Fab.com launched only a short while ago, unleashing a daily flash sales site for design. With explosive growth it’s no surprise Fab.com’s following up with an Android app, delivering design inspirations and sales directly to your mobile device. The best part about the mobile app is that you’ll never miss another sale. Items are up to 70 pecent off, giving you back door prices for funky lighting, retro prints, handcrafted bamboo furniture and more modern style. As my favorite new flash sale site, I only wish Fab.com’s mobile app had come out sooner.

SlingPlayer for Tablets ($29.99)

Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, has been striving to survive in a rapidly evolving world of mobile devices and on-demand entertainment. Optimized for Android tablets, SlingPlayer lets you watch your home TV from anywhere. New to the tablet version is a revamped program guide for easier browsing, which can be done while still viewing TV. You can also change channels and control your DVR with the app as well. As long as you have the SlingBox (starting at $180) you can have the full cable experience on your Android, bypassing some of the limitations of other on-demand content providers.

BOLT Browser (Free)

The BOLT mobile browser for Android exited private beta this week, and is now available to the public. Version 3.0 has speed, social media integration and other content management tools, hopping on a trend that others like Opera and Dolphin are also interested in. With a focus on speed, BOLT compresses webpages in a special way to reduce data transfer time, boasting speeds that are consistently 25-50 percent faster than its rivals. With Flash and HTML5 support, BOLT is certainly on the right track for mobile users.