New Android apps worth downloading: Google Search update, Nextdoor, Contra: Evolution

Aug 23, 2013
Tech
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Google’s Search app just got an update that adds new voice features and Google Offers integration, and that makes it a worthy entry in the lead spot for today’s apps worth downloading column. Following it is Nextdoor, a social network designed to allow neighbors to have a space where they can communicate with one another, share information and more. Finally, we’ve got Contra: Evolution, a remake of the shooter classic, with revamped graphics and new features.

Google Search update (Free)

What’s it about? Search for all kinds of information from your mobile device with the help of Google Search.

What’s cool? Tap into all the information on the Internet with Google’s dedicated search app. It allows users to search quickly for all kinds of different things using text, like a usual web search, and voice, giving users the opportunity to use speak their search terms to their devices in order to skip the typing. Google also provides personalized results based on your location, as well. Its latest update brings up your saved Google Offers when you get near to a place where you can redeem them, adds new voice commands that let you listen to songs from the Google Play store, and brings U.S. users information about TV shows they’re watching on their Google-connected TVs.

Who’s it for? If you ever find that you need information while you’re out in the world, you need Google Search.

What’s it like? Some alternatives means of looking up information include Bing and Yahoo!.

Nextdoor (Free)

What’s it about? Social network Nextdoor is designed specifically to appeal to neighbors, giving them a network specifically for them.

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What’s cool? Nextdoor gives users a space where they can connect directly with their neighbors in a social network that’s only for them. It’s great for quickly sharing information among neighbors, like spreading the word about a break-in or organizing neighborhood activities and information. Nextdoor lets users share info like they would on other networks, and provides categories to keep posts organized and the ability to add comments to various posts, as well.

Who’s it for? Groups of neighbors who could use an easy way to contact one another and spread information should try Nextdoor.

What’s it like? Facebook, of course, is also a great social network for groups of people to get in touch with one another.

Contra: Evolution ($0.99)

What’s it about? Contra: Evolution brings the classic side-scrolling shooter to Android devices, updating the graphics but providing all alien-shooting coolness of the original.

What’s cool? Back in the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Contra provided players with lots of intense side-scrolling action as they blasted through level after level of enemies. Players fighting through the game could grab power-ups to strengthen their weapons and play cooperatively, and in Contra: Evolution, all the classic action and features are back for Android devices. The mobile update brings new power-ups to the game, as well as new characters, and has updated the graphics to make the game look a bit more modern.

Who’s it for? Fans of classic shooters and NES games will enjoy Contra: Evolution.

What’s it like? For more great classics, check out Sonic the Hedgehog and Atari’s Greatest Hits.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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