free apps

AirDroid updates with easier browser access

We've mentioned AirDriod before: it's a great way to access and manage your Android phone or tablet from your computer when there isn't a USB cable handy. The free app's latest update adds a host of new features, most of which are designed to make accessing your phone from your desktop browser even easier. In addition to a permanent shortlink to web.airdroid.com, you can now scan a QR code displayed on your computer monitor instead of entering a random password.

Zelda-themed live wallpaper is cooler than the Master Sword

Generations of gamers have come to know and love Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, and the latest entry on the Wii is no exception. But The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has inspired more than the usual fanart: developer Abusive Studios has released a sweet live wallpaper modeled after the Gate of Time. If you're a Zelda fan you'll no doubt enjoy it, but the wallpaper is so well done that even those who have never hurled a boomerang will find enough to like. Download it now in the Google Play Store.

Classic PC racer Death Rally gets another lap on Android

It's a good time to be an Android owner and a classic gaming fan. The latest 90s-era game to come to Android is the racing/shooting hybrid Death Rally, a Twisted Metal-style game that pits your customized war machine against other on the highway to he... er, Arkansas. The tongue-in-cheek game was released for iOS last year, but now it's available on Android for free, bupkiss and nada. Imagine it as Reckless Racing with machine guns, and you're just about there.

Draw Something gets 50 million downloads in 50 days

Angry Birds? Small stuff. Instagram? Hipster fodder. Apparently the real mobile gaming sensation is Draw Something from startup OMGPOP!. The Pictionary-style Android and iOS game has racked up an incredible 50 million downloads in as many days across both platforms. At least 10 million (and probably a good bit more) come from the free Android version, and another 500,000 to a million have paid for the upgraded game. iTunes doesn't publish its app numbers, but Draw Something has consistently held the top spot among games there and in the Google Play Store.

Papyrus note app launches with HTC and Lenovo stylus support

With all the styli floating around the Android tablet world, it was only a matter of time before someone made a really excellent notation app for pen-based input. That app is Papyrus, a long-term project from indie developer Steadfast Innovation. The free app introduced its first beta version today, and you can download it on the Google Play Store. While it's technically possible to use standard finger input in Papyrus, it's specifically designed for Android tablets running 3.0 or later with stylus input options.

GO Launcher HD hits the Google Play Store for ICS and Honeycomb

There's no shortage of custom launcher apps for your Android smartphone, but when it comes to tablets, options have been somewhat lacking for the better part of a year. One of the first to release a true tablet launcher comes from a familiar place: the Go Launcher team. Their new app, titled Go Launcher HD for Pad, is designed for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich tablets, and it's a free download in the Google Play Store. If you're looking for something beyond the standard launcher that's built for tablets from the ground up, you should check it out.

The CW Android app means you’ll never miss The Vampire Diaries again

If you're between the ages of 13 and 25, female, American, and at least mildly interested in romance topped with fantasy and science fiction, odds are pretty good that you're a regular viewer of at least one show on The CW. While Hulu's rather antiquated views on mobile content mean you've got to pay to watch The Vampire Diaries or Gossip Girl on Hulu Plus, there's now an alternative: the official CW app. This brand-spankin' new video service brings all of the CW's original content to Android, and you won't even have to dip into your lunch money to watch it.

Readability app headed to Android on Monday

In the latest round of iOS hits making the pilgrimage to Android (and taking a lot less time than that other one) Readability has announced that it will be available on the Google Play Store on Monday, March 12th. The free app is a certified hit on the iPhone and iPod touch, thanks to its ability to reformat web content into a more, well, readable presentation. It's not the only app that does it, nor is it the first, but it's been a long time coming and should be a boon to iOS converts.

AutoCAD WS adds 2D editing, plans a lot more

If you're in the architecture, manufacturing, fabrication or 3D animation, odds are you either use or know of AutoCAD, the standard desktop application for computer-aided design. Publisher AutoDesk has a variety of Android apps available, but the one that's probably of most interest to CAD designers is AutoCAD WS, a remote viewer for DWG, DWF and DXF documents. The latest version (1.4) adds editing to 2D AutoCAD designs, in addition to GPS-enabled perspective viewing and access to files stored locally, on remote servers, email attachments or on the AutoCAD Cloud web app.
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