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Android Apps for September 2011

Hipmunk (Free): Hipmunk is a favorite service amongst the frequently traveling ReadWriteWeb staff. It functions a lot like Kayak but with a better user interface in aggregating flight and hotel information when searching to make a trip. The great part about Hipmunk for Android is that it works in just about the same way as the desktop version, which is just about what you want from a native travel search app.

Washington Post (Free): Really, the Washington Post coming out with a decent Android app is long overdue. When local competitor launched (note, I worked there) in 2010, it already had an Android app on its first day. It can create a headline feeding widget to the home screen of an Android device, which is a good feature for a news app. The Washington Post has been making a concerted effort recently to modernize its Web and mobile presence and bringing a dynamic app to Android is a good first step.

Flickr (Free): Flickr continues this month's trend of major Android apps that were released by prominent Web companies. Flickr is still one of the best photo services available online and has been sorely missing a good mobile presence. The app allows you to upload from anywhere and capture with an in-app camera. Flickr provides filters and Twitter and Facebook sharing. Instagram what? (Free): provides a software developer kit for Android developers to easily accept credit cards for in-app purchases. It allows users to scan credit cards with their phones' cameras to use the information to make purchases. It does not actually process the payment or save information, but rather just imports credit card information that the app can use.

Smozzy (Free): One of the coolest and most disruptive free apps we have seen in a while. It is in a public beta stage and technically is only supported for T-Mobile phones including the Nexus S. Smozzy lets you browse the Web without a data plan, entirely through text messages (SMS and MMS). You text what you want to see and Smozzy will go get it and deliver it via text. It has experiemental AT&T and Sprint use and untested Verizon use. Best used with unlimited messaging plan. This is the type of service that may not be available if T-Mobile is acquired by AT&T because Ma Bell would never allow users to purposefully skirt data usage.

Cut the Rope ($0.99): Cut the Rope has been available for iOS since July but is just making its way to Android. It is a game similar to Fruit Ninja but is more complex in that you have to cut ropes in a puzzle format to feed Om Nom, a little green monster that has an insatiable appetite. Om Nom want candy.

Invisible Universe (Free): This is one of the most dynamic apps that I have seen in a while. Imagine Google Sky mixed with all the cosmic currents and nebulae that you cannot see. That is Invisible Universe. It is like an augmented reality of the night's sky except the reality is not augmented because you could not see it with your eyes in the first place. It uses GPS to track where you are, what you are looking at and show you the universe as you would never think of seeing it. A similar app is called Weather Reality, where you point your phone in a direction or towards the sky and it gives you what is happening with the clouds or rain or temperature in your viewfinder. Invisible Universe is like that, except with the cosmos.

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