Top Emerging Android Apps: Tap Fish, TeamLava, Sentinel 3: Homeworld and Lots of Sports

This week the Android charts showed a lot of variety, but not much change. While it didn’t take the #1 spot on the top grossing chart, Mojang’s Minecraft continued to do very well, landing at #4. The real winner was TeamLava though; the Storm8owned studio currently has six games on the top grossing chart. While games were the most popular genre, sports also did surprisingly well, with a sports app making the cut on every chart this week.

New Titles on the Android Top Grossing Apps List

(Update) Tap Fish – Mountain View, California-based and DeNA-owned Gameview Studios is on top of the Android charts again this week. Top grossing app, Tap Fish has proven to be an enduring favorite on Android, with installs rising steadily in the last 30 days despite no significant updates. The aquarium simulator, which pioneered the free-to-play game genre monetizes through the purchase of Fish Bucks, which players must purchase to acquire items, specimens and to speed up time dependent tasks like fish breeding. Gameview was acquired by Japanese mobile developer DeNA just over a year ago.

(Update) Minecraft – Pocket Edition – While installs have been gradually dropping off in the last 30 days, Mojang’s Android version of Minecraft is still the #4 top grossing app this week. The $6.99 game allows players to build anything they want in an enormous virtual world. A stripped down version of the game (which is scheduled to finally go out of beta this November), Pocket Edition doesn’t support survival mode and all the different kinds of items and materials that can be found in the desktop version.

Bakery Story – Despite not being updated since July 29th, TeamLava’s Bakery Story is still holding strong in the top grossing charts, sitting in the #8 spot. The free social game allows players to create their own bakery, and customize both the decor and the goods on offer. Supported by in-app purchases, Bakery Story is just one of six TeamLava games currently in the top 50 on the Android top grossing charts: Fashion Story is #7, Restaurant Story is #11, Farm Story is #21, Zoo Story is #40 and City Story is #45.

(Update) 7 Little Words –  A unique puzzle game from independent studio Blue Ox Technologies, 7 Little Words is the developer’s first Android offering. Currently #35 on the top grossing charts, the game got a big push after being featured in the September 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. The puzzles challenge players to find seven words that match seven clues, and then using those words, spell out the mystery word using pre-selected groups of letters. Part crossword, part anagram and part word-find, 7 Little Words comes with 30 free puzzles and others are available as in-app purchases.

NHL GameCenter Premium – With the hockey season underway, the NHL’s official GameCenter Premium app is making big gains on the top grossing charts, sitting in the #38 spot. The $19.99 app gives hockey fans access to scores, schedules, play-by-play commentary, news, in game video highlights, live game game radio, and extra video content not available in the free version. The app was last updated on October 13.

New Titles on the Android Free Apps List

Voice Search – Installs for Google’s Voice Search app have risen sharply in the last month, perhaps promoted by the sudden popularity of the iPhone 4S’ Siri. Currently the #6 free app, Voice Search allows users to search the web and their phones via voice control. Users can send texts, make calls, play music, send emails, control their phones and even get directions without having to physically type anything. Voice Search is only supported on Android devices running Froyo (2.2) and up and currently only supports US english.

Amazon MP3 – A combination of Amazon’s MP3 Store and the Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon MP3 is this week’s #12 free Android app. Giving users an alternative to iTunes, Amazon MP3 lets users choose from a selection of 17 million songs, which can be purchased and either saved directly to the users’s device or into an Amazon Cloud Drive account for free. Users can download songs from their Cloud Drive at any time, and the service allows for 5GB of storage before users must pay for the service.

Layar – The Augmented Reality app Layar sits in the #19 spot on the free charts this week. Updated on October 20th to allow users to interact with real world objects using a function called Layar Vision, users of the app can scan objects like posters to find out more about events and order tickets, scan pictures of groceries to order them online and even play around with specially designed posters that support small AR games. The app, which comes pre-installed on many Android devices was developed by Layar, an Amsterdam based company founded in 2009.

ESPN ScoreCenter – Sports fans have kept the ESPN ScoreCenter app on the charts consistently, with installs holding steady enough over the last 30 days to put the utility in the #43 spot. The ESPN developed app gives users access to live scores, news and standings from almost every sports league in the world, whether it be Premier League Football, Formula One, Tennis or the NFL. Sports junkies can also use the myTeams feature to follow all their favorite teams, no matter what league they are in or sport they play, on one card.

(Update) Contract Killer: Zombies – Glu Mobile’s zombie themed update of their game Contract Killer has proven to be a big hit.  Last week we reported Contract Killer: Zombies was the #34 free app on the iPhone, and this week we find it in the #46 spot for Android devices. The game tasks players with saving the last few remaining humans from a zombie horde, taking NPCs on supply runs, rescuing survivors and shooting as many zombies as possible. As with Contract Killer, the game monetizes through the purchase of in-game currency, which is used to purchase better weapons.

New Titles on the Android Paid Apps List

Sentinel 3: Homeworld – Origin8‘s new game Sentinel 3: Homeworld has performed well since its debut last month, currently holding the #3 spot on the paid chart. For $2.99 players get the third installment in the Sentinel tower defense series and tons of content. The game comes with a lengthy 20 level campaign, classic and endless modes, and in a twist on the tower defense genre, an AI controlled commander unit that can act autonomously to assist the player and boost the performance of other units. Sentinel 3: Homeworld also features OpenFeint integration to add achievements, global scores and friends lists, and a dubstep soundtrack.

(Update) WeatherBug Elite – Moving all the way down to the #16 spot we find WeatherBug Elite, the  ad-free premium weather information app from Earth Networks. The $1.99 app gives users a plethora of weather information, covering everything from temperature to humidity to lighting strikes. US users can also set a live active wallpaper so they don’t even have to open the app to check on current conditions.

PicSay Pro – A mainstay of the Android charts is #27 ranked PicSay Pro. For $3.99 users can clean up their photos with basic image editing tools like red-eye removal and filters, but the app also gives users the ability to add silly things to their photos like text, speech bubbles, stickers, and captions. PicSay Pro was developed by Dutch company Shinycore Software, best known for their Photoshop and Illustrator plugins.

Wolfram Alpha – Next up in our roundup is computational search engine Wolfram Alpha. Currently the #30 paid app, Wolfram Alpha doesn’t simply point users to websites, it actually calculates the answer to queries based on available data, meaning the search engine can solve everything from calculus questions to how many calories are in a serving of green tea ice cream. The app costs $1.99 and was developed by Wolfram Research, the company started by British scientist and inventor Stephen Wolfram.

(Update) MLB.com At Bat 11 – Last but not least in our roundup we have MLB.com At Ball 11, the official app from Major League Baseball. Currently the #37 paid app, MLB.com At Bat 11 is on sale for the World Series Price of $0.99. The sports app gives users the ability to listen to live radio broadcasts of the Rangers vs. Cardinals 2011 world series, as well as access to breaking news, rosters, stats and pitch-by-pitch tracking. The series is currently at game 2.