android app of the month

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July Android App of the Month: The Guardian

The UK based newspaper, The Guardian, has been my favorite newspaper for some time.  The Guardian’s webpage is organized so you can take a broad look at the news (including a US site) or a very narrow look at a particular topic.  The Guardian app is an extension of that flexibility.

Through the Guardian app, you can select 8 sections to appear on your homepage.  That’s pretty good.  Here’s where it gets crazy good.  At the end of each article there is an extensive index of topics related to the article.  In a recent article on Julian Assange you can select Julian Assange or Wikileaks as a favorite topic; you can also select “extradition” as a favorite topic.  In fact, you can select any of those index topics (left) as one of the 8 sections on your homepage.

I want to assure you… in fact, I would like to emphasize that extradition isn’t one of my topics.  One of my topics though is the theatrical Prime Minister’s Question Time, during which members of Parliament and especially the oppostion leaders hold the PM’s feet to the fire.  Not only can you read articles about PMQ as it is known, you can also listen to the audio.

The one complaint about the Guardian’s coverage is the play by play blog coverage of major events.  Their real time coverage is a  disorganized rat’s nest of news.

It’s edgy coverage of Europe, the Arts and the US is a perfect fit for me.  The Guardian doesn’t have the boots on the ground of the Beeb.  But it does have maintain a focus on Europe, Russia, the US and Arts that the BBC lacks.

If you do pick up the Guardian App, be sure to follow columnist Marina Hyde.  Her witty, snarky columns are the epitome of that dry British humor which makes being an anglophile so much fun.

June Android App of the Month: Air Control

I don’t play video games at home, nor is my phone loaded up with games, but I LOVE Air Control.  Touch the aircraft and drag it to the runway/helipad.  There are four different kinds of aircraft — each of the four flies at a different speed.  As more aircraft are added to the sky, the flight paths become a tangle.  Eventually a couple of the aircraft will collide: game over.

Here is one of two free airports you can choose.

Because the game requires such a high degree of focus, it really clears my head.  The game is easy to put down, and it doesn’t take long to play.

Air Control is a completely engrossing, satisfying distraction, and it is free.  My high score is 164.


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