Best Apps for Android, February 2012

Wind Up Knight

No chicken may keep him from his princess.

A perpetually propelled knight runs endlessly across the countryside – slaying giant chickens jumping over pits of stakes rolling through tight passages and protecting his head from falling rocks – for the promise of protecting a princess. While many may find this sort of life exhausting this particular knight is made from different stuff to you and I. No literally: he’s clockwork.

With no ‘brakes’ the pace of this game makes it feel more like a rhythm game than a platformer with later levels being more about committing a series of keystrokes (touch strokes maybe? But that sounds a little nasty) to memory rather than reacting to what’s appearing on screen. This is a good thing as it presents a serious challenge and is thus addictive.

Those not able to cope with the challenges can pay (actual) money to unlock levels or buy upgrades (handicaps) which is the way of gaming these days. Usually having to make more than one purchase for a game gives me the cranks but with this game like with my other recent addiction – Tiny Tower – it comes free and can be played end-to-end without paying a cent (and unlike Tiny Tower actually has a final goal in sight).

Free > Robot Invader > Link

Smart Keyboard

If Android is the best phone OS (in my opinion) because of its customisability then Smart Keyboard is the best keyboard. There isn’t a dang thing you can’t change on this thing.

With a plethora of available skins a ton of languages different layouts including old-skool T9 the ability to remove buttons adjust the space between the bottom of the keyboard and the edge of the phone countless predictive text options and even more there’s a keyboard with your name on it.

Free (Ad supported) $2.74 (ad-free) > Dexilog LLC > Link

SD Maid

If you’ve got a rooted device that is filled to the very brim and in desperate need of some extra storage SD Maid offers 9 (7 in the free version) different ways to gain some extra room.

With SD Maid you can easily remove files left behind by deleted apps remove known unnecessary files clear your logs empty your caches optimise and shrink your databases and eliminate duplicate files. It also includes a fully fledged file browser with search function.

$2 (Pro) Free (Lite) > darken > Link

Sixaxis Controller

Connect your PS3 Sixaxis (or Dual Shock 3) controller to your rooted phone/tablet for that semi-authentic emulator experience. You first need to pair the controller using a PC (Windows Linux or Mac OS X) utility available from here. You should also install the Sixaxis Compatibility Checker from the Market to make sure your device works before purchasing the full app.

Then all you have to do is fire up the app change the input method to Sixaxis Controller and game like it’s 1989.

$1.60 > Dancing Pixel Studios > Link