Must-have Android apps

CNET.COM | Updated 1/3/2013

"Air Patriots"

With the holiday season fully under way, there's a good chance many of you are planning to pick up a new Android phone or tablet. Heck, you might even be looking into one of these new "phablet" thingies that people are talking about. And, no question, you're going to want some killer apps to test its limits. Lucky for you, we've put together a list of some of the hottest ones.


★★★ out of four stars

The good: All of Crackle's content is completely free. Some popular movies and relatively new TV shows are available for streaming.

The bad: No HD content, and no search function.

The cost: Free

The bottom line: With a good selection of free TV shows and movies to stream, this app is a worthwhile download, even if the videos are standard-definition.


★★★ 1/2 out of four stars

The good: It adds a unique twist to the popular tower defense genre, and the variety of its unlockable units makes the game addictive.

The bad: With only four enemy types, gameplay can get repetitive.

The cost: Free

The bottom line: It's a unique tower defense-style game that strikes just the right balance between challenging and fun.


★★★ 1/2 out of four stars

The good: It has an impressive variety of programming, including more than 70,000 stations. DVR-like recording capabilities are a nice touch.

The bad: Performance bugs sometimes affect track and station info.

The cost: 99 cents

The bottom line: As a total package, it's one of the best streaming apps we've seen. With its DVR-like capabilities, it is well worth 99 cents.


★★★★ out of four stars

The good: It has a stunning visual interface, and its features are almost on par with the full Web version.

The bad: The file is about 30MB. There's no built-in button for sharing posts on Twitter and Facebook.

The cost: Free

The bottom line: It's a must-have whether you're a regular Google+ user or interested in a few features such as Instant Upload and Hangouts.