You’ve arrived at the latest installment of our Editor’s Picks! Here we take some time to dig through the multitudes of apps and games available in the Google PlayStore only to bring you 15 of the best! These are apps and games that we find to be the most fun/useful/etc, and will make for a great edition to your Android smartphone or tablet.
Don’t forget if you’d like to keep more in touch with the latest and greatest apps, please give us a follow on any of our pages at Facebook, Twitter or Google +. Feel free to send your favorite Android apps or games through these venues as well, and you just might see your picks appear on the site sometime!
PLEASE NOTE THIS ARTICLE IS SPREAD OVER THREE PAGES
Much like the Moto X’s “trusted Bluetooth devices”, SkipLock lets you bypass your lock screen when connected to one of your devices. Whether you’re leaving your house with your Pebble or coming home and connecting to Wifi, SkipLock will automatically remove your password on your phone.
You would almost think that an app like this should come standard on all Android phones, however, since it doesn’t there’s SkipLock.
If you buy a lot of apps via Google Play Store, this could be a very useful app for you. It can be quite handy if you don’t want to lose track of all of your purchases, or if you would like to keep them all in one place.
The app is relatively straightforward as well. You fire it up, choose an account/e-mail you’d like to get the list from (if you use more than one) and the app will generate a list of all of your purchased apps. Think of it as your purchase history.
Love to see bands or musical artists live but don’t get out all that often? Maybe you’re a responsible adult and you’ve got bills and obligations to worry about. Fear not! You can still check out live shows in both audio and video format with this free application. You’ll have access to an ever-growing library of shows that can be played online or offline as well as the ability to create playlists of individual songs. Sync up between devices and ensure you don’t miss another event.
Mightytext is a service that allows you to send and receive texts right from your computer! Gone are those missed text messages because you were too busy working. You won’t miss another one because they are displayed right on your computer! It also has an auto backup feature for your photos and videos as well as send you battery notifications to your computer.
Mightytext enables you to stay updated with what is happening while you work away! It works well with any messaging app and is easy to set up through your Google account.
Healow is vital in keeping you in touch with your doctor. No more waiting to get a call from a front desk personnel, instead you get the test results on the app along with doctors notes. Healow allows you to look into your meds cabinet as well, letting you set reminders to take medications prescribed by your doctor.
Another great feature is the alerts for your next appointment and a QR code for checking in. This app makes going to and communicating with your doctors office so much simpler. The app is pin locked also so not just anyone using your phone can view your private medical history. This app is a must for any doctors office and should be used universally unfortunately it is not in widespread use yet.
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The Editor’s Picks, formerly known as APPTEASERS, is a collection of apps and games that are new to Android, recently updated, discounted, etc. Whatever the case, we think they’re worth exploring and are willing to bet that many of you would enjoy a few of them.
We understand that we won’t get every single app that crosses our path but we hope to filter things a bit and pass them along to you, dear reader. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as we showcase different apps over on our social network streams.
Most of what’s highlighted in this category is comprised of our App of the Day selections. Be sure to click through to read our individual posts for more details and descriptions!
PLEASE NOTE THIS ARTICLE IS SPREAD OVER THREE PAGES
Twisted Adventure: Little Red Riding Hood
Mechanics really straightforward; tap to jump. You’ll be hopping from one round, spinning platform to the next and you’re always moving forward. It’s not rocket science but it does get harder – and fast. Bats and other shadow animals will try to stop you so you need to think on your toes.
We simply love the graphics and game play of this one and think you’ll appreciate it. The music reminds me of something out of a Danny Elfman score (Beetlejuice or Edward Scissorhands) and really adds a layer of atmosphere. The the whole game spans 60 levels with a goal to collect and free as many items as possible. If you’re fan of trying to achieve three stars or perfect scores you’ll find high replay value here. – READ MORE
Employing a combination of David Allen’s Getting Things Done principles and some secret ingredients, IQTELL promises to deliver a consistent “inbox zero”. You’ll find it merges an assortment of tools and services such as Gmail, calendars, Evernote, projects, and more.
Users can log into the system through a variety of account types but we’re pretty sure you’re most focused about Gmail. With that in mind, you can also start from scratch with an IQTELL account. – READ MORE
So your contract is up and you’re ready to switch to a new carrier, eh? Or, maybe you’ve gotten so aggravated with your providers data speeds that you’re ready to call it quits. Before you sign any long-term agreements or commit to a particular wireless carrier, try out Glove.
Using crowdsourced data the app is able to determine which network gives you the best reception. Not only does Glove make a recommendation but it even hands the user off to the carrier, making it easy to switch. – READ MORE
If you are a shopaholic then Flipp is a must-have-app for you. It’s an app that aggregates retail flyers from all of your favorite local stores such as Target, Macy’s, Sports Authority and Dollar General. Combined, this list is available on your smartphone; making it easy for you plan your shopping.
Offering digital flyers from at least 190 local stores in the US and 80 local stores in Canada, Flipp is an app that will literally innovate the way you shop. If you are interested, download it by clicking the link below. – READ MORE
If you’re anything like we are, then you know that browsing Google and Wikipedia tirelessly when researching a musician or band can get pretty difficult. With MTV Artists, though, you have everything at your immediate disposal. They’ve taken everything and compiled it into one go-to app for anything related to your favorite musician or band.
MTV Artists lets you use Sound ID, and even a lyric search to find that one song that’s been on your mind since you heard it at a friend’s house or on the radio. It also lets you search through an abundance of free music videos/songs to stream, biographies, and even live concert pictures of the particular artist. You can get it at the Play Store for free, and be an expert on any musical artist in minutes! – READ MORE
The post Editor’s Picks: 15 Android apps you should know (May 10) appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google will soon introduce some new icons for its Android applications, reports Android Police. Rumored to be part of what’s called Project Moonshine, the new icons will more closely align with Google’s web-based counterparts. Details appear to include flatter images with more pronounced shadows with some getting more tweaks than others.
Alleged to be picking up some adjustment include
- Play Books
- Play Games
- Play Movies
- Play Music
- Play Store
It’s not clear where Google is in terms of updating the icons or whether any further adjustments are in order.
In the meanwhile, those of you who like to flash your own ROMS, install themes, and play with icons might appreciate Phlash Tha’s latest icon bundle. Available for free, this kit includes .AI files (Adobe Illustrator) for playing around.
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If you are looking for a TV show tracker that is as elegant as it is useful, look no further than CLIFFHANGER. The CLIFFHANGER app is designed to make keeping up with your favorite TV shows a breeze. CLIFFHANGER is beautiful to look at and a joy to use. It is designed to give you all the content you need in one place.
When you open the app for the first time, you are greeted with a blank canvas so to speak. There is a bar at the top of the screen that displays trending shows, giving you ideas of shows you may want to keep track of. If you already have your list together, you can just press the “+” on the top right and start inputing your favorite shows. The app can also sync with Trakt.tv if you are inclined to pay for the premium pack.
Once you get CLIFFHANGER filled with your shows of choice, you gain access to a wealth of information about each TV show. Everything from season and episode lists, IMDB database information, ratings, and comments. You can tap the “upcoming” tab to see your shows in the order they will premiere on television. The “recent” tab lists shows that have already aired. You can also “check off shows that you have watched”, and be notified when new episodes are airing on television.
CLIFFHANGER is as beautiful as it is useful, and is optimized for phone and tablet. The free app currently has a 4.4 rating in the Play Store, and recently got a UI overhaul to make it even more beautiful, without getting tin the way of its utility. I personally use this app to keep up with my family’s favorite shows, and suggest that you give it a whirl to see what the buzz is about.
The post CLIFFHANGER keeps you up to date with your favorite TV shows [App of the Day] appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Like many users, I installed Adobe’s Revel application the day it came out. Well, that was a little over one month ago, and I am just now beginning to feel the crunch that Adobe places on users after the first thirty days. Let me explain.
Revel is a fantastically designed photography application, and is nothing short of what you would expect from Adobe. The application was initially released on iOS way back in 2011, but it made its way to Android in March 2014. A bit behind, but forgivable for an application the promises powerful sharing and privacy options. Privacy is at the forefront of this application, and users must be explicit in choosing who has access to view or add photos to specific albums. The application has some simple editing tools, and albums can be updated by anyone with the given permission. Even better, this application syncs across devices, and lets users access Adobe’s Cloud to edit photos in Photoshop and Premiere Elements 12.
Adobe offers the first 30 days with unlimited uploads, and all was going well until I hit my 50 photos/month limit only 10 days into April. I find it incredibly unfortunate, because I truly do enjoy Revel’s interface and sharing options. However, now that I have hit my monthly limit, I will look to different sharing applications that do not require me to pick and choose to meet a limited quota. For those who do use Revel’s service extensively, and need that unlimited upload capability, plans are $5.99/month or $59.99/year.
Instago Map Street View holds true to its name, and takes two things that Google does well, and puts them in front of you simultaneously. The GPS built into Android devices is only as good as the software that accesses it, and whether you use Google Maps or not, replacements for Google Maps’ Street View function is not as easy to replicate. Developer Theredsunrise recognized the awesome potential of viewing a Google Map and Google Street View at the same time, and created Instago.
The concept of Instago is simple- pick a point, and the application will show you an arrow on how to get there. Along the way, the application will also show you a map (you can choose your map type), and the street view as you make your journey. However, the application will not show you directions or a line on how to get there, just the point you have chosen, and the pin to mark it. It is interesting and helpful watching the map and street view adjust in accordance with your GPS along the way, and the application a slick augmented reality feel to it.
There are some limitations in the application, that will hopefully be addressed in future updates. You are unable to search for landmarks, and are limited to either manually dropping a pin on the map, or entering an address. If you know your address, or are trying to return to a point you were previously at (like a parking spot at an arena), this application is useful, but its use as a navigation assistant is limited.
It will be great to see how this application continues to develop, but in the mean time it is one worth checking out.
The post Instago Map Street View: A simple app with great potential appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google has issued revised rules for Google Play apps in its continuing effort to stay one step ahead of nefarious developers. This time, the primary target is apps with pop-up ads that spoof a system, service or app notification and trick you into clicking where you shouldn’t. It’s also cracking down on “promotion or install tactics” that cause downloads or Play store redirects without your say-so, along with apps that send unsolicited SMS ads. Finally, it’s forbidding any the use of “erotic content” to promote pornography and forcing advertisers to clarify when and how they use in-app purchases. Google will allow developers a 15-day grace period before it drops the ban hammer — by which point the bad guys will have likely found workarounds.
Source: Google Play
The gang over at LevelUp Studio has released a new version of its wildly popular Beautiful Widgets app for Android. Available in the Google Play Store in both free and pro clients, the v5.6 sees the introduction of a new Color Widget (4×1 and 4×2).
We’ve long been a fan of the stuff that comes from LevelUp Studio, specifically Beautiful Widgets. Okay, maybe Plume, too. Oh, and PETI. Anyways, this app is one of the easiest ways to breathe new new life into your home screen and the widgets just get better with each update.
While there’s a host of preset options and settings included in the app, it’s the community of designers and users who help create some of the best designs. It’s quite easy to go tripping through the rabbit hole of creations, playing with icons, layouts, and colors.
If you’re in the mood to spice up the way your Android looks, Beautiful Widgets should be one of the first names on your list. It looks just as good on tablets as on smartphones and has an ever-expanding library of choices. For those who like interactive, live wallpapers you’ll dig the one that comes with this app. That is, of course, if you don’t live in an always-rainy climate.
The post Beautiful Widgets debuts new clock widget in latest update [App of the Day] appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Looking to score some sweet savings on books, music, apps, and other Google Play stuff? Those benevolent Google Play Cupids are at it again, offering up some savings on pretty much every type of content available.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with sweet store-wide deals on apps, games, e-books, music, movies and magazines. Power up a Jelly Splash heart, get relationship tips or lose yourself in a good romance novel. If free stuff puts you in the mood, then you’ll love sending your sweetie an e-card or relaxing at home with the soulful sounds of Marvin Gaye. No matter your plans, now is the perfect time to fulfill your heart’s desires with lovely gifts from the Play Store. Won’t you be our Valentine?
In addition to a handful of freebies you’ll find plenty of discounted stuff; there’s at least two dozen titles spread out as of right now. Bejewled Blitz, Anita Baker, Ariana Grande? We’re in love. Oh, that’s probably the point.
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As Android has evolved, Google’s worked increasingly hard to keep users locked into its ecosystem. The search giant creates new apps, retains users by giving them a thoroughly decent out-of-the-box experience and then charges device makers for a license to embed them on their phones and tablets. Its constant iteration has helped it stay ahead of the pack for some of its services, but many fall short, leaving users to find something better. The official Gmail app: it’s fine, really it is, but if you want unified inbox support, productivity features or the ability to pull emails from more than one place, you’re left wanting. This sort of limitation can be found across Google’s stable of apps, from messaging to the calendar and camera interface. We’ve trawled Google Play to find software alternatives that — dare we say it — do a better job, at least with certain tasks. So please, whip out your phone and give them a go.
What we’re looking for here is an app that can deliver Google-style levels of reliability, while also being open to non-Google inboxes and offering enhanced features for power users. Luckily for us, there’s no shortage of apps that can do just that.
The clue’s in the name, really. Capable of integrating Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Office 365 and IMAP accounts at once, this app uses its cloud algorithms to make your emails easier to find. Unlike Gmail, the clean interface on show here offers a unified inbox that lets you left-swipe emails to perform any one of three actions, a bit like Tinder for the office.
Optimized for both smartphones and tablets, AquaMail offers multi-account support and a simple user interface. Yes, it does look like Gmail, but the team behind AquaMail has constantly refined the interface to make it as easy to use as possible. This includes a dedicated attachments tab at the top of each email, fullscreen modes and a smart inbox. Grabbing the paid version removes the two-account limit and drops the promotional signature attached to all outgoing messages.
With the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat, Google ditched its pre-loaded SMS app to let users choose their own. Hangouts became the de-facto starting place, but plenty dislike the app’s inability to properly unify chats and texts under one contact. So here are some solid alternatives.
In the migration away from Hangouts, some have resorted to Textra, a messaging app that offers deep customization for notifications and a time-saving quick-reply popup that lets you respond to messages without fully opening the app. Simple in design, Textra handles huge inboxes with no noticeable slowdown, something you’ll appreciate if your friends don’t use Whatsapp.
Hello SMS (Free)
Dropping the inbox for tab-based interface, Hello SMS’ minimalist design puts interactions first with contact names and photos on its left sidebar. If you find yourself in a never-ending group text, the app will intelligently combine messages from up to 15 contacts so you’re not left with a messy inbox. Hello SMS’ one-touch camera interface also lets you send selfies to your friends in double-quick time.
Like Hello SMS, EvolveSMS uses a tabbed interface to showcase your messages. It’s better looking than its rival and displays important information like names, numbers, call options and attachment options inside conversations. While group messaging, message popups, gesture support and notification customization come as standard, additional features are available via in-app purchases. If you decide to upgrade, you’ll get extra theme options, social cover photo integration, scheduled messaging and backup options.
Calendar apps have pushed forward on iOS in the past year, but Android users have seen little change compared to their Apple-loving counterparts. Google’s own is functional and intuitive, but lacks inspiration. If you’re looking for something that goes beyond the traditional grid-based format, check these apps out.
Any.do decided to take a different approach with Cal. Sure, it still features gCal support, but it also includes a number of social and productivity features that stand out thanks to its stylish UI. If you have a task listed in Any.do, it’ll pop up in your schedule beneath your planned events. Connect your Facebook account and you’ll be notified of everybody’s birthday, letting you send them a text, email or post on their wall in celebration.
With stickers and various themed widgets, SolCalendar is certainly different than most calendar apps on the Play Store. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’ll let you add events with a single touch, litter them with birthday cakes and smiley emoticons and display them using any of its 40 home screen widgets. SolCalendar’s neat weather notification also checks the elements, giving you the chance to pack an umbrella before you head out the door.
Coming to Android a little while after iOS, Agenda’s, erm, agenda, is to display all of your calendars in a single and easy-to-read feed of upcoming events. All of the traditional daily, weekly and monthly views are there, letting you create appointments with a single tap. The simple black-and-white interface might not be for some, but it’s certainly helpful if you like to mix work, play and everything else in between.
Keep an eye out for: Sunrise — expected to launch on Android in the coming months.
One of the weakest built-in Android apps is the default camera app. Google admited it isn’t as good as it should be, prompting it to improve the camera on the Nexus 5 and roll out additional photography settings on newer Android devices. If you’re stuck with an older phone or want to try something new, try these camera app replacements.
Apps like ProCapture go heavy on features and skimp on glitzy UI to make your photos stand out. It offers a high-quality panorama mode, timer, burst, wide shot mode and noise reduction, keeping the focus on shooting modes instead of after-effects. The full version includes support for higher resolutions and touch-to-focus, so we’d recommend the upgrade.
Camera Awesome ($1.87)
SmugMug’s Camera Awesome looks a bit like Apple’s iOS 6 camera app and comes packed with clever features like two-finger focal adjustments. Even better, you can tweak the ISO, white balance and exposure settings all from the screen. Add in a full screen shutter button, burst shot, HDR mode, timer, panorama and social sharing and you’ve got yourself a whole lot of camera app for very little money.
Camera Zoom FX ($2.99)
If filters and after-effects are exactly what you’re looking for, Camera Zoom FX has more than you could possibly need. Without ruining your original images, the app features over 90 built-in filters, frames and effects that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. If you ever wanted to have a virtual photo taken with the Queen, look no further.
While Google’s Keep is a supremely fast and extensive app, self-confessed productivity nuts may feel its simple approach doesn’t deliver enough features. Although Android is overflowing with apps focusing on lists, notes and photos, many don’t hit the right notes. Here are our recommendations.
Evernote is a heavyweight note-taking app, in terms of both features and actual size, supporting lengthy text input. It provides an easy way to add lists and save audio notes, indexing them for later searching. With apps on every major platform (including the web), you can tweak your grocery list anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Any.do, a to-do list app from the makers of Cal, is an amazingly powerful to-do manager that offers cloud sync, time-saving gestures, missed call integration (ever wanted to turn them into reminders?) and auto-suggestion features as standard. Once you become a little more acquainted with the app, you should try its voice support: not only will it transcribe your words into text, but you can do so in a variety of languages.
Before we finish up here, we can’t resist a few more recommendations. Google’s done a great job of porting Chrome from the desktop to mobile, but Dolphin Browser and Mozilla Firefox both offer unique features not found in the search giant’s app. If you wake up one day and find you don’t like the default Clock app, we suggest you check out Timely, even if it is now owned by Google. Also be sure to take a look at QuickPic if you’re after a solid replacement for Google’s Gallery and Photos apps — just don’t ask us why Google decided it needed two apps to handle the same function.
If sampling the best Google Play has to offer isn’t for you, Android’s default apps are constantly being refreshed to deliver additional features. Apps are one of the reasons why the OS has passed one billion activations, after all. Developers focusing only on a handful of apps may be the first to innovate, but it often prompts Google to incorporate features it’s seen elsewhere. While this list won’t stay up-to-date forever, some of these apps have remained popular since Android’s early days and the newer suggestions still have plenty of life in them yet. If you think you have better app recommendations, we’d love to hear them.