Our Current Crop of Favorite Android Apps: Tumblr, Google Goggles, Goings On

Goings On: The New Yorker [Free] Traditionalists might sneer as their beloved, 85-year-old weekly traverses the great smartphone divide. “Blasphemy!” they’ll cry to no one in particular, because everyone else will be out on the town, in galleries and theaters, jazz clubs and dance-halls, soaking in the finest culture New York City has to offer. And it will all be thanks to The New Yorker’s new app, a tip-top distillation of the famed magazine’s beloved “Goings On About Town” section. As a bonus, a stable of the magazine’s artists and writers will contribute their favorite in-town happenings, plus it has some distinctly smartphone-esque advantages: in-house maps and GPS, critic-guided audio tours, and zero smudging.

Google Goggles [Free] Ladies and cyborgs, the future is upon us. The latest sign that the machines are rising comes from—who else—Google. The don’t-be-evil empire’s latest innovation is their Goggles platform, an image recognition application that fills in the increasingly scarce blanks. It’s the Information Age kicked up a notch. Can’t remember the name of that big lady holding the torch? Snap a photo of her, and let Google Goggles do the rest. Searching… searching… Voila! It’s Angelina Jolie dressed up as the Statue of Liberty! Or something.

Steak Time [Free] As any self-respecting carnivore knows, cooking the perfect steak is a veritable artisan craft. It can take years of preparation and studying to achieve that perfect pinkness. Well, guess what, meat-heads: the good people of Omaha Steaks want to make sure you never ruin another ribeye, with a beefy app that covers the ins-and-outs of grilling. On top of the 100-plus recipes you can browse through, there are how-to videos, a Steak 101 section, and that precious timer, ensuring a steer will never again die in vain.

Tap Resort Party [Free] Case of the Mondays got you down? Of course it does! Your job sucks. But have no fear, faceless office drone, because we have an app for you. Tap Resort Party is the ultimate tropical getaway, where you get to play head honcho of your own island paradise. In the same vein as the everlasting Sims franchise, TRP wants you to colonize your island with happy-time attractions. Just sit back and watch the tourists flock. The happier they are, the more money you make. The more money you make, the happier you are. As Johnny Depp once said, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness. But it buys you a big enough yacht to sail right up to it.” He was totally talking about this app.

Tumblr [Free] Tumblr is still trying to carve out its niche in a social media landscape dominated by hashtags and wall posts, but their revamped app is a step in the right direction. Featuring a snazzy new look, the ability to manage multiple Tumblr accounts at once, and a user-friendly interface, it should help attract those outliers weary of devoting themselves to yet another online identity. The internet’s creative types have already caught on—Tumblr is on the forefront of the blogosphere. What are you waiting for?

Pano [$1.99] No matter how sophisticated your smartphone may be, its camera can never quite capture the perfection of the human eye. Pano, however, brings it one step closer by giving you the capability to compose seamless panoramic photos. By stitching together up to 16 shots, Pano lets you create digital vistas that can stretch up to 360 degrees, and actually eclipse what human beings, in all their biological supremacy, can see. The iPhone’s version has won mantels of awards and made best-of lists, and now you Androiders can finally see what all the fuss is about.

SoberApp [Free] Putting your life and the lives of others, for that matter—at the mercy of an app might be risky business, but that’s exactly what the creators of SoberApp expect you to do. Essentially a device that lets you know when you’re too drunk to drive, or even trickier, sober enough to try it, SoberApp tracks your Blood Alcohol Content based on your age, weight, and how many PBRs you’ve shotgunned. In the event that you’ve had enough, the app will help you locate a cab. But if it’s a serious buzz you’re chasing, it will also help pin down nearby watering holes. Depending on your neck of the woods, SoberApp will adjust its findings based on local laws. The message here: drink responsibly, sort of.

Droid Rage: This Month’s Best Android Apps

Epicurious [Free] Gluttons of the world unite! From the award-winning food website Epicurious.com comes a mouthwatering app with 28,000 delicious recipes from top chefs, popular cookbooks, five-star restaurants, and renowned magazines such as Gourmet and Bon Appétit. Get tips on how to not burn everything from grilled chicken breasts to roasted beets. Speak the name of the ingredient for which you’re hankering and receive instant recipes and grocery lists centered on that item. Filter searches by what’s in your fridge, what’s healthy, and what’s in season. It’ll really make you hate yourself for ordering takeout.

Wordfeud [$3.14] We all need a little escape from the midday slump, and nobody understands waning ambition better than the creators of Wordfeud, a multiplayer word game that’s like Scrabble, but without the trademark. Search for friends to compete against or allow the app to play matchmaker by pitting you against a random adversary. The chat option facilitates mutual admiration between players, as well as the odd, “You’re a puerile and onerous nincompoop.”

Fashion [Free] This one tells it likes it is. An unapologetic destination for those who can discern between an Issa and an Issey, Fashion is a must-download for sartorialists in search of the season’s best gets. From Alexander Wang to Z Zegna, Fashion has each of the looks from the runway shows of nearly 600 designers and brands. Collect pictures of the most inspired designs for offline viewing, and check back for a new batch of collections each season—now would be a good time to get scrolling. Thom Browne fanatics beware: This one’s only for the fairer sex.

SoundHound [Free] Having trouble naming that tune? Not anymore, you’re not. With SoundHound, sing, speak, hum, type, or record the song that’s on the tip of your tongue and let the world’s fastest music-identification app work its audio-discerning magic. (Unlike Shazam, where you need to play the actual song.) Not only is it possible to listen to your newly discovered tracks, but you’ll also be able to peruse artist bios, stream video, and purchase similar songs. If karaoke’s your thing, SoundHound also displays the lyrics to each of the offerings in its database. But if it all sounds like music to your ears, be forewarned—after five tries, it’ll cost you.

Fashion Sense [$1.99] Although it has its proponents (see: Mallrats; people who strut around the city brandishing reused Louis Vuitton shopping bags), trolling stores for the perfect out ts and best bargains just isn’t for everyone. That’s where Fashion Sense comes in. A shopping guide that can be tailored to specific style preferences, sizes, and bank accounts, this savvy app eliminates needless time spent dissecting deep V’s in the American Apparel changing rooms. Learn how to shop for your body type by using stylist-approved tips and, once you’re settled on the basics, give your wardrobe the oomph it needs with suggested accessories that won’t destroy your credit score.

Art Academy [Free] If you’re too jejune to discern between a Monet and a Manet, then God help you. If He’s busy, arm yourself with Art Academy, a classic and contemporary art reference app that takes users on virtual gallery tours. Filter by gallery or artist to discover that, say, Gustave Courbet created “A Burial at Ornans,” or that Van Gogh was only 37 when he died. With more than 2,500 paintings in its database, Art Academy is almost as fun as roaming the corridors of a gallery—minus an opening’s shitty wine.

Gigbox [Free] Leafing through the local weeklies to find out about the next Twin Sister concert can get so tedious. Save yourself the paper cuts by using Gigbox to stay informed about where and when bands are playing in your city. Bookmark upcoming shows, keep tabs on your favorite artists, and share gig info via Facebook and Twitter. What’s more, the app has a chat function that allows band enthusiasts to discuss the performance mid-show, rate a set’s success, and upload pictures of the spectacle.

The Summer’s Must-Have Droid Apps: PopEater, NY Art Beat, Easy Tie

PopEater [Free] Whether it’s LiLo’s latest exploit or the newest covert snaps of stars in St. Barths, PopEater can deliver the scoop first. With the gossip-hungry website’s app for your Droid, get the best in celebrity and entertainment headlines on demand—before it all becomes so five minutes ago. Dive straight into the day’s hottest videos and read exclusive interviews, so you’ll never be out of the loop. Getting an insider’s look at tabloid buffoonery just got a whole lot easier.

NY Art Beat [$1.99] Forget art for art’s sake: If you’re missing the best New York shows, you’re officially an aesthete non grata. With NY Art Beat, swill tepid white wine from a plastic cup while knowing you’re at the event of the week. If gallery hopping’s your game, consult maps that tell you exactly what’s within walking distance, and consult a list of what’s hot right now and what’s flying under the radar. Browse through over 600 exhibitions happening in New York at any given moment. Gavin Brown, here we come.

Easy Tie [$2.14] Men, it’s time to step it up a notch (or a Windsor knot). Even if you work at a Scandinavian design collective, knowing how to properly wear a tie is still a modern sartorial essential. Now there’s an app with simple step-by-step instructions detailing the ins and outs of 15 dapper knots. Get detailed descriptions and user-friendly images to guide you through the process (clip-ons emphatically unwelcome). With everything from bowties to the Balthus Knot on file, tie one on before you tie one on.

Decorate Like a Celebrity [$1.38] Remember watching MTV Cribs and drooling from your ratty couch over some star’s fireplace-adorned bathroom? Now you can make your own home look just as chic—or gaudy—and for a hell of a lot less. Using Decorate Like a Celebrity, browse the dos and don’ts of interior design, cultivate great ideas, and learn how to decorate on a budget slightly smaller than that of an LA Lakers point guard. Choose from a variety of styles, including “Shabby Chic,” “Paris Apartment,” and “Tropical Chic.” Home is where you paint a swamp-themed accent wall, after all.

Wikitude World Browser [Free] From the rim of the Grand Canyon to the New Museum on the Bowery, augment the world around you with Wikitude. Using the camera on your phone, peer at your surroundings while the app overlays the camera’s display with geo-referenced interactive content and information. Find events, tweets, restaurants, and user reviews of your ever-interactive world by holding your phone up as you walk down the street.

Ethereal Dialpad [Free] Ethereal Dialpad takes a radically different approach to music-making by emulating a synthesizer. Choose between four dialpads, each featuring cool graphics and colors, or select the option that overlays notes and color codes to create what looks like a really pleasant acid trip. Control the pitch by moving your fingers across the pad as you compose everything from soothing ambient sounds to electrifying music fit for a night at the Roxbury. Once you get a feel for the app, add more dialpads to create a denser sound. Marching to the beat of your own drum never looked so good.

Savingstar Grocery eCoupons [Free] Paging TLC’s Extreme Couponing: Save a ton of money on necessities without the hassle of collecting flyer clippings. With SavingStar, use paperless eCoupons redeemable at over 24,000 supermarkets and drugstores across the country. Just select an eCoupon and the app will link it to your registered store loyalty cards. Your tab won’t shrink at the checkout counter, but money is automatically added to your StarSavings account, and once you’ve earned $5, you can collect your payout or, if you’re feeling benevolent, put that money toward a sponsored charity.

May’s Must-Have Droid Apps: Lapse It, Spinal Tap, Oprah

Lapse It [$1.99] Who doesn’t love watching a flower bloom in a visually delightful, the-passage-of-time-blows-my-mind kind of way? That’s what we thought. Try your hand at playing God (or Heidegger) with Lapse It. Shoot your own time-lapse videos using your phone’s built-in camera. With amazing resolution and daring eff ects, capture everything from a busy a ernoon on Madison Avenue to the sun setting over the Hudson.

Spinal Tap Soundboard[$.99] The Droid now goes all the way up to 11. Unleash your inner rock star with the new Spinal Tap Soundboard. Featuring the best quotes and sound bites from the film, the app delivers jokes, one-liners, and deadpan observations that are sure to have you reliving your days on the road with Motörhead. As Michael McKean’s David St. Hubbins famously said, “I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.” We couldn’t agree more.

Oprah Mobile [$.99] Unless your name is Stedman, you can never have too much Oprah in your life. Spend more time with the queen of daytime television (and the world, really) using Oprah Mobile. Watch highlights from your favorite episodes (Tom Cruise’s public meltdown, anyone?) and backstage interviews with your favorite stars, and read articles from O, The Oprah Magazine, all while listening to Miss Winfrey’s radio show, featuring her favorite co-host, Gayle King.

Guitar Lessons [$.99] Everybody wishes they could shred like Steve Vai or Jimmy Page, but who has the time, money, or willpower to sit through proper lessons when you could be collecting groupies right this second? Now you can take your very own private guitar lessons using your Droid, without having to step out of the house. With tons of easy-to-use instructional videos to watch and learn from, the pros will help you perfect your plucking skills in no time. Wait a minute—Is that “Crazy Train” we hear?

Cookie Locator [Free] From Samoas to Tagalongs to the perfect, elegant Thin Mint, Girl Scout Cookie month is better than your birthday and Christmas rolled into one. But sometimes, as anyone who lives in a four-story walk-up knows, getting your hands on the goods can prove difficult. Not anymore! With the Girl Scout Cookie locator, find cookie sales in your neighborhood and discover who’s hoarding all the Caramel DeLites. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? The app offers a helpful quiz to determine your real cookie personality. (We just hope to god you’re not a Peanut Butter.)

Revolver TV [$1.99] If you’re looking for some serious rock reading, you’re in luck. With the Revolver TV app, get exclusive content from the loudest music rag around. Read articles, listen to tracks, and watch videos you can only find here. See your favorite artists perform live and go behind the scenes as you enjoy exclusive backstage access. New videos are constantly being uploaded, so you’ll always have the latest rock royalty right at your fingertips.

Google Sky Map [Free] Whether you’re staring up at the cosmic unknown from a city rooftop or contemplating the star-covered abyss in the mountains, let your Droid be your window to the sky. Using Google Sky, point your phone at the heavens and the app will show you stars, planets, and constellations visible (if it weren’t for all that light pollution) from where you stand. Learn to identify all the celestial objects in and out of view as you tap into your inner Galileo.

Droid Rage: The Best Android Apps to Download This Month

PARALLEL KINGDOM [Free] This role-playing game, admittedly for total nerds, doesn’t just drop players into a wholly fictional world; it enhances real life by using your location on Google Maps and overlaying your environment with special challenges. Parallel Kingdom, for example, reveals hideous creatures lurking on a street corner, or mythical beasts standing in front of your local bodega. Battle it out with a host of characters in real time while talking to—and hunting down—other players. Trade resources with allies in this parallel world, and then stake out land to found your own kingdom on this invisible plane of existence in your own city. Reality bites, so escape into this enhanced one.

BRAINWAVE TUNER [Free] Do you have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder? Use BrainWave Tuner to control your mind, settle down, and focus on the task at hand. The (somewhat terrifying) concept is one part subliminal message and one part Mozart, enhancing your state of mind by generating beats that direct your brainwaves towards your mood of choice. Choose from over 19 preset sound patterns, including headache therapy, self-hypnosis, and sleep induction. With its well-designed and easy-to-use interface, you needn’t waste any more time feeling unbalanced.

PSYCHO [Free] Of all the iconic scenes in pop culture history, the shower sequence in Psycho stands out as a masterpiece of cinematic terror. Thanks to the magic of modern technology, we no longer have to imagine what it feels like to wreak such violence on our enemies. An eerie soundboard plays the sinister music from the Hitchcock classic, while the app transforms your phone into a butcher’s knife. Just touch the screen to enable the blood effects, and allow yourself to go all Norman Bates on an innocent bystander. Go ahead, take a stab at it.

PORTABLE ART [Free] The editors of The Dirt Floor, an online magazine devoted to underground, contemporary art, insist, “We have no direction, motivation other than a cursed reflex to purge our anonymous mental overflows in a public forum and then run away from it and hide behind our cloak of digital anonymity.” Right. As such, they’ve created an app, which features articles and images centered on aesthetic appreciation in its many forms—from artist interviews and new stories (a recent headline reads, “Banksy Partnership with Wal Mart”), to pictures of street art from around the world. Peruse while, well, exiting through the gift shop. SNESOID LITE [Free] At the nexus of cult and current lies Super Nintendo, and this app recalls the absolute awesomeness of the gaming system that only accepted cartridges labeled Street Fighter Turbo and Super Mario Brothers. Play all three versions of Mario and Donkey Kong, as well as classics like Contra, Yoshi’s Island, and Zelda. It’s the grown-up, cartridge-less, cordless Super Nintendo you always wanted as a kid.

GOOGLE GOGGLES [Free] Your smart phone is sometimes much smarter than you are. This app is a living Google search engine that utilizes the Droid’s camera to scan your surroundings and offer search results related to whatever object it focuses on. If you’re too lazy to type, but want to know more about a DVD before buying, take a picture and find reviews, plot synopses, and virtually any other relevant information about the movie. Goggles can act as a personal tour guide if you’re in a foreign city and need to navigate between recognizable landmarks. It’s all but omniscient, taking artificial intelligence into that creepy realm we always knew it could go.

PLUME [Free] Become a functioning social media addict with the Plume app for your Droid. It’s a Twitter client that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is efficient, allowing you to use multiple twitter accounts with color-coded separation, so you can stay up to date on the Twitterverse around you. Originally named “Touiteur,” which, when said aloud, sounds like “Twitter,” the app had to change its name for infringing on the original social media source. With an app this clean and user-friendly, we can see why Twitter had their panties in a bunch.