Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
This week's roundup is brought to you by Calculator (formerly Daily Calculator) from TricolorCat. This alternative to Android's built-in calculator features more mathematical functions, more alternative layouts, more color schemes, an easy-to-use history function, and support for Android's clipboard and landscape view. The standard version is free, but you can get an ad-free edition for just 99 cents.
Simple calculator. Made with practicality in mind, Calculator is a simple and easy calculator app, ideal for your everyday use. It is easy to use with large buttons, clean and stylish design, and provides the basic functionalities most people need for daily calculations. For example, Calculator is perfect in situations such as adding up receipts, calculating taxes or discounts when shopping, doing homework study for school, some calculation at your workplace, or even when you calculate a tip at restaurants.
Android Police coverage: SwiftKey Opens New Official Play Store Beta Testing Group, First Beta Up With 13 More Indian Languages And A Special Diwali Theme
SwiftKey has been around for years, but if you wanted to try out the newest features you needed to venture into the browser to download the beta version. Now you can head to the Play Store to get the new version instead - one less thing to hunt down when you're setting up a new phone. The beta for version 6 adds new tools for word prediction and some tweaked UI elements.
Welcome to the SwiftKey beta program - here you can test early performance updates, new unreleased features & customizations, and special themes. Thanks for helping us make SwiftKey the best it can be. SwiftKey 6 is the biggest bundle of new features and improvements we’ve released since making SwiftKey free for everyone last year. We look forward to hearing what you think of the key new features:
- Double-Word Prediction adds a new dimension to the predictions you see, helping you type faster than ever.
- The settings menu has been rebuilt from the ground up to make sure you can find settings and fine tune your experience. Inserting emoji is now faster, smoother and more intuitive.
- Carbon Light is another free theme that’s a distinctively SwiftKey flavor of Google’s Material Design approach.
Custom Quick Settings
Android Police coverage: [Hands On] Custom Quick Settings Adds New Tiles To The Android 6.0 Quick Settings Via UI Tuner
Custom Quick Settings expands on the rather lackluster UI Tuner feature introduced in Android 6.0, which lets you enable or disable certain icons in the notification bar and quick settings area. This app lets you insert new entries in quick settings, either a custom toggle for specific settings, a single app, or a web shortcut. It's an idea that was popular with some custom ROMs during their heyday long ago, but this time you can get it on your stock software without root.
Default quick settings not enough for you? Add app links, web links and custom toggles to your quick settings without root using Custom Quick Settings
- Add as many quick settings as you like to your stock quick settings (no silly overlays or hacks)
- Custom titles (custom tiles only, you can't change the default ones)
- Custom icons, chose from over 1,200 icons (custom tiles only, you can't change the default ones)
- No persistent notification & no battery drain - runs at boot and updates only when you change them
- Action on both short and long click
Who’s Down - Fall 2015
Android Police coverage: Who's Down, A New Invite-Only Google App, Lets Your Friends Know When You're Available
Google's new app is... odd. It's a social tool that tells your friends when you're available and vice versa, but for some reason it's in closed beta (and apparently invitations are only being given to college students). It includes a built-in chat service, but that's about all. It's a strange thing to break out into a separate app - you'd think this would be a Google+, Hangouts, or Google Maps feature.
Who’s Down currently requires an invite to use. If you don’t have one, you can request one from the app. Instantly see which of your friends are free to hang out, right when you are. And with one slider, you can let your friends know you’re down to hang out too. It’s that simple. Who’s Down: always know who is free to hang out, so you never miss out on the fun.
Android Police coverage: New App: Pixolor Is The Live Eyedropper Tool I've Always Wanted For Android
If you're wondering what color is being displayed on your screen, you can take a screenshot with Android's built-in tool, track down a MicroUSB cable, transfer the screenshot to your PC, open it in an image editor, and get an RGB value. Or you could use Pixolor, an app that will give you that exact value right on your phone. The handy designer-focused UI of this app will let you get that information quickly and easily.
Pixolor is a circle floating over your apps showing a zoomed view of the underlying pixels, including color information and coordinates of the central pixel. This app is mainly for designers to know technical pixel-level information. It is also useful for people with poor eyesight who want to effortlessly zoom in on parts of the screen (e.g. to read text more easily). Requires Android Lollipop (5.0) or higher. Note: For Xiaomi (MIUI) devices, please enable the overlay permission in the app's system settings.
Texpand - Text Expander
Android Police coverage: Texpand Lets You Insert Commonly-Used Text In Any App With Any Keyboard
Texpand allows you to assign shortcuts for long strings of text, which can then be inserted into any text field on Android using any keyboard. It's a handy tool if you have one or more long sequences of text that you have to type out on a regular basis, and even as simple as it is, the interface is surprisingly well thought-out. The free version gives you ten automatic inserts, and if you'd like an unlimited upgrade, the paid version is a very reasonable $3.
Do you type the same text repeatedly throughout the day? Did you know that you could save your time by using shortened forms of your frequently typed texts? Texpand is a text expansion app and it helps you do just that. Define a shortcut for your frequently typed texts for example ‘@cell’ for you cell number. Save yourself thousands of keystrokes and most importantly save your time and be more productive by using Texpand in your android device. Before you get started watch the demo video above to get the most of Texpand.
Alto Mail: Organize Your Email
Android Police coverage: AOL Releases Alto Mail, A Multi-Service Inbox That Manages Your Mail With Automatic Tags Plus Image And Attachment Views
If you hear "AOL" and "Mail" in the same sentence, your response probably isn't good. But Alto is actually worth a look, as an alternative to both standard mail clients and more recent options like Inbox. Its core feature is a unified inbox for all mail, but it also includes a Google Now-style card view that extracts relevant information for a more accessible card look, and some other interesting takes on the general inbox idea. Check it out if you're looking for something different - it's compatible with most of the popular webmail services so far.
Email used to be simple. Now, we’re faced with a flood of messages arriving in multiple inboxes. It’s getting harder to manage, creating more stress than it relieves. That’s where Alto comes in. Add all your mail accounts to our app and you can see everything in one place, including Gmail, Outlook.com, AOL Mail, Yahoo., iCloud, and others. Beyond the typical inbox display, Alto provides organizational tools that automatically highlight important information so you can find what you need, when you need it.
Perch - Simple Home Monitoring
Android Police coverage: Got A Spare Android Phone Or Tablet? Perch Turns It Into A Home Security Camera
If you'd like a cheap and easy security camera for your home and you also happen to have a spare Android phone or tablet lying around, Perch will give you one. Point your device towards some place in your house or apartment, plug it into power (this isn't actually necessary, but it's a good idea), and log into GetPerch.com, and you can view it from any compatible browser. You can also view the recordings and flagged moments from another Android device.
Requires Android 4.1 or higher — now in beta. Perch turns your phone or laptop into a live home monitoring service. Set up your laptop or webcam – or a spare phone or tablet — to record what’s happening in your home. Then visit getperch.com to see what’s going on, review historical video, or set up motion alerts. Perch lets you take action around your home: turn on the lights, flip power switches, and control appliances using your home automation system. Or just reach out to your kids using our real-time video chats.
Android Police coverage: Two New Root Apps, Naptime And Doze Settings Editor, Let Users Adjust Marshmallow's Doze Settings
Android 6.0 includes some new functionality that lowers the battery usage when your device isn't actively being used. Doze is pretty cool, but as with all aspects of Android, it's being modded. This root-only app from Francisco Franco lets you tweak some of the hidden settings for Doze, allowing you to make it more aggressive or more passive to your taste.
Gives you the power to configure how Doze mode behaves to achieve better battery life. Each entry has its own description so it's easy for you to find your perfect settings. You need *Root* just like it says on the title.
Android Police coverage: Microsoft's Arrow Launcher Is Out Of Beta
Microsoft is now making dozens and dozens of Android apps, everything from a cloud storage file manager to a music player. The latest Android app to come out of Redmond is a launcher. Arrow has been in production for some time, but now it's officially out of beta. And it's worth a look: Arrow Launcher de-emphasizes traditional functions like widgets to focus on some integrated tools like a notes viewer and a contacts manager. It may not be your cup of tea, but it's free to try out.
Arrow, a Microsoft Garage project, is the simple, personal launcher for Android that offers a radical simplification of the Android experience. Arrow makes it easy to find, launch and get back to your favorite apps, keep in touch with friends, and stay on top of the important things in your life. Arrow learns from you – the more you use it, the better it gets. It does the heavy lifting so you can spend less time managing preferences, and more time enjoying your phone.
Android Police coverage: AT&T Launches Data Perks, A Service That Offers Miniscule Amounts Of Extra Data For Completing Partner Offers
You know when you see some online ad that promises you something free - maybe it's an iTunes gift card or a Visa gift card or any number of other gift cards - if you agree to sign up for a bunch of shady services and credit card trials? This app is that, only given a veneer of legitimacy because it comes from AT&T. Take a bunch of surveys and sign up for some subscriptions, and you'll earn free money. Wait, no. Not money. Data. You get free data for your mobile account. Which, at the prices that AT&T charges, is basically the same thing. Too bad you can only max it out to 1GB, and you have to use it in the current bill cycle.
Data Perks, brought to you by AT&T and Aquto, makes it easy for AT&T customers on an eligible plan to earn extra data and transfer it to their wireless plan. More data equals more fun on your phone. With Data Perks, the equation is simple: Take surveys, shop, sign up for subscriptions and more from popular brands to earn data, measured in megabytes (MB). Your earned data is added to your Data Perks account. Each bill period, you can transfer up to 1,000 earned MB from your Data Perks account to your AT&T smartphone line for that line to use within your current bill period
Boomerang from Instagram
Android Police coverage: Instagram Releases Boomerang App To Make Brief Mini Videos That Totally Aren't GIFs
The tiny 10-photo slideshows that Boomerang creates are not GIFs. No sir, not GIFs at all, and the reason is that we're not calling them GIFs, and also because they aren't exported into an easy-to-use and near-universal file format. For some reason. The app comes from Instagram, which means the little micro-videos can be shared directly to Instagram or Facebook.
Boomerang from Instagram makes everyday moments fun and unexpected. Create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth, then share them with your friends. Find something (or someone.) that's moving, or create a video selfie by switching to the front-facing camera. There’s just one button. Tap it once and Boomerang does the rest: shoots a burst of 10 photos and turns them into a delightful mini video. Share it on Facebook and Instagram right from the app, or save your video to your camera roll to share later.
Pulsar Music Player
Pulsar is a local music player that doesn't attempt anything fancy, but should be appealing to anyone who isn't a fan of the newer streaming services. The interface is considerably more streamlined and intuitive than Google's own Play Music, despite adhering to Material Design standards, and multiple color themes are included. The app can automatically catalog several music types, or you can browse your device's folder tree manually.
Pulsar is intuitive, lightweight and full featured music player for Android. Features:
- Gorgeous user interface and animation with material design.
- Manage and play music by album, artist, folder and genre.
- Smart playlists with most played, recent played and newly added tracks.
- Automatic sync missing album/artist images.
- Fast search across albums, artists and songs.
- Home screen widget.
- Gapless playback support.
- Various colorful themes
- Sleep timer and more.
WON - Wake On Notification
This little app turns on your screen for a few seconds when you get a new notification. Basically it's an alternative to the "breathing" notifications first introduced by Motorola a few years ago, particularly handy if you sit at a desk with your phone out for a large part of your working day. The deeper options allow you to enable pocket detection to keep the screen off, timers to keep the feature disabled at night, and a standard on-off toggle for notifications from specific apps.
WON turns your screen on for a short time upon receiving a notification
• Wake On Notification, turns your screen on for a short time
• Pocket detection, prevents the screen from turning on in your pocket
• Downtime, prevent the screen from turning on for set period
• App list, choose which apps the screen should turn on for
• Material design
Backdrops - Wallpapers
Backdrops is a wallpaper app. We tend to avoid those, if only because there are a metric ton of them on the Play Store, most of which simply "borrow" a bunch of images from the internet and repackage them to sell banner ads. Backdrops is different, not only because it actually looks good and follows the principles of Material Design, but includes properly-formatted images and new content every day.
It's time to get rid of all those other wallpaper apps. Say hello to Backdrops. Sift through hundreds of original wallpapers hand crafted in house by the the Backdrops team. Enjoy exclusive walls designed specifically for your devices. Join in on the action and upload wallpapers yourself. Share your own original pieces of work or photography. The Backdrops team will be side by side with you sharing high quality public domain photos.
Toggle Battery Saver 5.0
Android 5.0 and subsequent versions include a battery saver mode that can extend your phone's runtime after the battery reaches a certain limit. You can set it manually, but you'll have to dive into the settings menu. This toggle widget lets you turn it on and off at will. Nice. It also integrates with Tasker and allows you to insert a custom image for the toggle. You'll need root to get it working, which is a bit of a downer.
Widget to toggle the battery saver on Android™ 5.0/5.1/6.0. With Locale/Tasker support. Easily toggle the battery saver with this widget. Works on Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow) and Android 5.0/5.1 (Lollipop). Important: This app requires root. Use at your own risk. If you don't know what "root" is, then don't install this app. It won't work without root.
● Locale/Tasker compatible plugin
● Support for custom icon images
Audify Notification Reader
Audify is a little tool that reads out the text in your notifications. It's not a new idea (the various "vehicle mode" apps that manufacturers are fond of tend to do something similar), but this is available to any current Android user no matter what hardware they're using. The app allows you to selectively enable or disable the feature for notifications from specific apps, and it's compatible with Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and car stereos.
Audify helps you to be informed about your notifications without any effort. It speaks out your notifications through your phone speaker or headset or via any connected bluetooth device and intelligently ignores the notifications that might annoy you. Once Audify is enabled, It starts to work automatically as soon as you connect a wired or wireless headset/speaker and stops itself as soon as you disconnect your headset/speaker.
Vet On Demand
Vet On Demand is a sort of "call a veterinarian" app that specializes in video conferencing. So if something is wrong with Rover, you can actually show a participating veterinarian instead of trying to make that hacking noise over the phone, only to discover after a $100 vet visit that it was a hairball. It's a neat idea, but there are some drawbacks. It's extremely expensive - two sessions a month cost $15, whether you use them or not - and the vets you're talking to are staff members, not the people at your local clinic.
Using the power of interactive video conferencing, Vet On Demand allows pet parents and pet lovers alike to consult face-to-face with experienced Board Certified veterinarians on the go, at the touch of a button. Real-time virtual examinations from trusted veterinarians help you make informed decisions on how to get your pet back on track and on the road to feeling pawsitive.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
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