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.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Expense IQ - Expense Manager
This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ - Expense Manager from Handy Apps. This amazingly complete expense tracking system has a solid and colorful UI, and just about every possible checkbook, alert, and tracking feature you could want. Everything you input can be saved and exported for personal backup and expense reports, and all your data is synced via Dropbox, making Expense IQ a snap to use across multiple phones or tablets. Bill alerts, a PIN lock, and even a homescreen widget are all included in this app's bag of additional goodies. The basic version is free, but to get access to advanced functions you'll need to pay for the full $6.99 version via in-app purchase.
Expense IQ is the long awaited successor to EasyMoney - the number one money manager app that combines an expense manager, a bill reminder, a checkbook register and a budget planner. Expense IQ – Expense Manager provides a rich, detailed window into your personal finances and daily money management needs. Track and manage daily expenses quickly & easily. Business expenses, personal expenses, travel expenses etc can all be managed rapidly using Expense IQ’s simple and intuitive user interface. Interactive reports & graphs let you analyze income, expenses, cash flow and balance over various date ranges and accounts.
Inbox is kind of a big deal as far as Google is concerned - it appears to be the new status quo for the company's email system going forward. The app and web service are beautiful, but it's not all animations and bold colors: Inbox takes a new look at the way users actually interact with email. It treats each one like a task on a to-do list, and automatically groups them together for simple completion and dismissal. You still need an invite to use Inbox, but at this point they aren't all that hard to come by.
Inbox by Gmail requires an invite. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request one. Your email inbox should help you live and work better, but instead it often buries the important stuff and creates more stress than it relieves. Inbox, built by the Gmail team, keeps things organized and helps you get back to what matters.
• BUNDLES - Similar messages are bundled together so you can deal with them all at once. And get rid of them with one tap.
• HIGHLIGHTS - Get the most important information without even opening the message. Check-in for flights, see shipping information for purchases, and view photos from friends right up front.
• REMINDERS: More than mail, you can add Reminders so your inbox contains all the things you need to get back to.
• SNOOZE: Snooze emails and Reminders to come back when you are ready to deal with them: next week, when you get home, or whenever you choose.
Google Fit has been a long time coming: it's Google's answer to Apple's HealthKit (though they probably don't appreciate the comparison). This app basically turns your phone into an activity tracker, plotting out your walking, running, and biking activity in the background. It works with Android Wear as well. Unfortunately it's rather basic at the moment, especially if you want to input historical data.
Make a healthy change in your life by becoming more active, aware and motivated.
Just carry your phone and get access to your walking, running and cycling activity.
Set goals based on either duration or steps and see your progress throughout the day.
Receive performance-based recommendations for activity goals.
Connect third party devices and apps to Fit and we’ll show you all of your fitness data in one place.
We've seen DJ apps for Android before. That's not a big deal, though this one in particular was a big hit on iOS and integrates with Spotify, a very big deal for music lovers. No, the most important feature of djay 2 is that it manages to work around a slight sound input lag that's been plaguing Android for years, at least for pro-level audio recording. (It works on Jelly Bean or higher, so long as you gave some decently powerful hardware.) Other cool tweaks abound, though you'll probably only care about them if you've got some recording experience.
djay transforms your Android device into a full–featured DJ system. Seamlessly integrated with Spotify and all the music on your device, djay gives you direct access to mix your favorite songs and playlists instantly. You can perform live, record mixes on–the–go, or enable Automix mode to let djay create a seamless mix for you automatically. Whether you are a professional DJ or a beginner who just loves to play with music, djay offers you the most intuitive yet powerful DJ experience on an Android device.
Want to know how powerful your shiny new phone or tablet is compared to your friend's? How about compared to your computer? Futuremark has already released its 3DMark gaming-focused benchmark software for Android, and now the more practical PCMark is also available. (I suppose it's something of a misnomer at this point.) The app is free, and it works on Android 4.1 or higher with devices that have at least 1GB of memory.
Use PCMark for Android to benchmark the performance and battery life of your smart phone and tablet. See how well your device performs, then compare it with the latest models.
Benchmark the performance of the whole device, not its isolated components.
Tests are based on everyday activities, not abstract algorithms.
Scores reflect real-world performance, not unachievable maximums.
Tests use real applications and native APIs whenever possible.
See every test in action instead of watching progress bars.
Our guide tells you what is being measured and how scores are calculated.
100% free. No ads. No in-app purchases. No restrictions.
Android TV can run side-loaded Android apps, but it doesn't have a dedicated app launcher - the system really isn't set up for anything except video content and games. The venerable Chainfire (of SuperSU fame) has a solution, a very basic icon-based launcher that plays nice with a remote control. You don't even need root to use it.
While certainly not as streamlined or seamless as the average user would wish for their TV, many apps can still function on some level on these devices if you sideload them, but they don't show up in the Leanback Launcher (the Android TV homescreen). So for that there is this app, the Sideload Launcher. A simple app that shows you the normal app launcher icons that a phone or tablet would show you, but which are hidden on Android TV, allowing you to launch any sideloaded app.
For audiophiles, Tidal is a godsend. Compared to other premium music services, it's not all that innovative, but Tidal hangs its hat on offering music that's completely uncompressed. It's also unusually wide with 25 million tracks in its library, not to mention an additional 25 million videos. The service offers the usual curated playlists, plus a few extras like downloaded tracks. It's quite expensive compared to competitors at $20 a month.
Tidal is the world’s first music service with High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and Curated Editorial by music journalists, artists and experts, making for a simply superior experience. Try it out and see for yourself. No compromises. Just pure sound. With our lossless audio experience, you can enjoy your music the way the artists intended. Unlimited access to over 25 million tracks.
Got a bunch of Disney Blu-Ray discs? Then odds are pretty good that you've also got some vouchers for digital copies of those movies. You could redeem them for the Play Store version of the same movie before, but now you can get some free stuff for doing it in the Disney-specific movie app. Disney Movies Anywhere also includes links to the Play Store for digital only-purchases (also good for points), not to mention the usual trailers and clips. Connect your Disney and Google accounts to get Wreck-It Ralph for free.
With Disney Movies Anywhere, you can enjoy your Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies anywhere you go. It's free to join -- no subscription needed. And when you sign up and connect your digital movie accounts, you get a FREE movie on us. You also get exclusive videos, special offers, and earn reward points for all your eligible digital purchases. And it’s great for kids, with parental controls built right in.
Surprisingly, Android users don't have a lot of alternatives when it comes to audiobooks. There's the Amazon-owned Audible and a bunch of indies, but no real options with big libraries (including the Play Store). Now Barnes & Noble has made its NOOK audiobook selection available to all, and it's a welcome addition. The app itself is pretty sparse, but it works, and you've got thousands of books available as a straight purchase (no subscription) at decent prices.
Thousands of bestselling audiobooks are just a tap away – and no subscription required. Welcome to the BETA version of an exciting listening experience for Android tablets and smartphones. Sample audiobooks FREE, or download entire audiobooks to listen via the NOOK Audiobooks App ™ in your car, while you’re walking the dog, exercising, lounging on the beach, or doing other activities.
Surprisingly, this app doesn't go in the manufacturer section of this roundup. That's because ASUS released it with wide compatibility with most recent phones, and the shutter control app it remotely installs can go to any Android Wear watch. So if you've got an LG G Watch or G Watch R, a Gear Live, or a Moto 360, you can try it out now. It's too bad that the "shake to fire" shutter mechanism is so awkward.
ASUS Remote Camera is a companion app for your ASUS ZenWatch or other Android wearable that turns it into a remote control for the camera on your smartphone or tablet. Remote Camera opens up new photographic opportunities by displaying your smartphone's camera viewfinder remotely on ZenWatch, freeing you to take photos from creative angles where the viewfinder would be difficult to see, such as when holding the phone overhead at a concert or other crowded event.
Bitcoin dominated the international news in 2013, despite the fact that it's still hard as hell to actually buy anything with the "cryptocurrency." Circle hopes to take the mystery out of it by managing your Bitcoin encrypted file for you, making transactions (at least those that are possible) as automatic as PayPal transfers. Converting from Bitcoin to US Dollars is simple, as is sending or requesting money to third parties via email.
Circle lets you store and use bitcoin. We believe that bitcoin is the future of money, and we want to make it approachable and convenient for anyone to use. Our new Circle app is full of well-designed features:
Connect your bank account and credit cards to easily move money to and from your Circle account.
When you convert money from a linked bank account to bitcoin, you don't pay any fees.
Send bitcoin to contacts via email.
Scan bitcoin QR codes to make instant payments.
Request bitcoin from contacts via email.
Generate your own QR codes to receive bitcoin from others.
Get started with a new Circle account in minutes.
Set a PIN code for easy access to the Circle app once you're signed in.
Goldstar is a combination event directory and coupon app. That is to say, for at least some of the events in its 27-city directory, the app can offer steep admission discounts as well as basic "what's happening" information. Use it regularly and it will learn your interests, suggesting new events that fall within your pattern. Of course, all of that doesn't help if you happen to be outside of the service area.
Goldstar: An event discovery app with the most half-price tickets to live entertainment in the world. Use it to experience more and spend less on the hottest tickets to concerts, theater, nightlife, comedy events and more in your city. Never miss out on the best events happening near you or in any of the 27 cities we serve. You can cheer on your local team, go to that must-see concert tour, hit up a show, take in a food and social event and so much more.
Good God, Microsoft is releasing a ton of Android apps. The latest one is halfway between a social network and a geotagging app, which allows you to leave notes at specific locations for other users. It also functions as a basic travel journal. Journeys & Notes is light on utility but high on charm, and it syncs with the Microsoft Garage web service of the same name.
Journeys & Notes, a Microsoft Garage project, is a delightfully curious social app for the space between an origin and a destination. Whether you're taking the bus to work across town, or jet-setting across the globe, checking-in to your trips with Journeys & Notes unlocks a community of people who have traveled the path you're on. The road may be long and lonely, but we help connect you with others along the journey.
Here's another one from Redmond. Next Lock Screen is part agenda, part launcher... but it lives on your lockscreen for some reason. If you're looking for something that gives you a little more functionality than Android's built-in widget function, this could be it... but there are a few drawbacks. First, there's no way to add widgets as well, and second, there's no embedded security. So if you want a PIN, password, or pattern lock with Next, you basically need two lockscreens.
Next Lock Screen, a Microsoft Garage project, saves you time with quick app launch and access to the information you need. It’s a time saver lock screen built for busy professionals. See your calendar, missed calls and text messages all at a glance. Connect to a conference call in a single tap without unlocking your phone. Next Lock Screen even surfaces the apps you use most based on your location.
Trust us when we say that there are a lot of people who don't know how to promote their business. The Android Police inbox is like a Death Valley of poor pitches. If you need some basic marketing pointers, install this official Google app for some introductory techniques for marketing, PR, and advertising. Every little bit helps. Here's a free tip from us: if someone didn't respond to your email the first three times, they probably don't want to get a fourth.
Made for busy startups, this no-nonsense, jargon-free app quickly teaches you how to promote your business, build your brand and get new customers. Each lesson takes 5 minutes or less and gives you best practices, case studies and interactive quizzes.
Flying sucks. I will drive for about a thousand miles just to avoid the airports on either end of the journey. Often a bus trip can be cheaper and more comfortable, albeit much longer. The official Greyhound app lets you check routes, find stations, book tickets, and accrue rewards for multiple trips. And no one tells you to throw away your water bottle because it's bigger than three ounces.
The Greyhound mobile app is here. Put the booking experience in the palm of your hand with all the features of the website including searching schedules, booking a trip, accessing Road Rewards, saving with our discounts, finding your terminal location and more. Users can only book trips originating in the continental United States on the app.
This is an app that creates customized avatars for use on social networks and chat apps. Yeah, it basically lets you make personalized smiley faces or "emoji," if you really insist. Speaking as a writer, I think resorting to a cartoon to express your feelings betrays a poor grasp of the written word. Speaking as a blogger, I know this app will get a metric f#$^-ton of downloads.
Bitmoji is your own personal emoji.
• Create an expressive cartoon avatar
• Choose from a growing library of moods, stickers and comic scenes - featuring YOU.
• Put them into any text message, chat or status update
If you’re one of the millions of people with a Bitstrips avatar: Just download and sign into the app with Facebook – your unique collection of Bitmoji is already waiting for you.
We've seen a lot of cookbook apps on Android. Asparagus (why? Why would you name your app after the world's least desirable vegetable?) doesn't really change the recipe, but it adds in a ton of extras that make it more interesting. Material Design UI? Check. Backup and syncing across devices? Check. Android Wear support for cooking without holding a pound of plastic? Check. Cooking-slash-Android enthusiasts should definitely check it out.
Asparagus is your new personal recipe collection manager. Your digital cookbook. Beautiful modern design, simple interface according to the latest Android design guidelines (Material Design). App features seamless between all of your devices and automatic backup to the cloud. If you own Android Wear or Pebble smartwatch, you can even cook with Asparagus on your wrist.
Here's an interesting idea: a live map for disease. Sickweather scans health reports for unusually high levels of especially infectious diseases like the flu and whooping cough, then displays them on a map a la a weather report. It also issues notifications when you enter a "sick zone," letting you know to be more careful. This could be a great tool, especially for parents and medical workers, or anyone with a particularly susceptible immune system.
See what's going around with Sickweather, the world's first Doppler radar for sickness. As featured on the Today Show, Sickweather provides real-time alerts whenever you enter a Sick Zone: areas where others have recently reported being sick. Be alerted for Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye, Whooping Cough, and 19 other illnesses. Sickweather uses a patent-pending process to track and map reports of illness from social media in addition to crowdsourcing directly from our user community.
Despite the look, Hype Machine is not, in fact, a subscription music service. Nope, it's a well-known "MP3 blog," focusing on independent music from a wide variety of artists-slash-bloggers. The app functions as a jukebox in any case - you browse the music that's been uploaded to the site with each "blog" working something like a hyper-personal playlist. The interface is pretty good too, especially considering how much is actually going on behind the scenes.
Discover the most talked-about music from blogs around the world. This is Hype Machine in your pocket. Every day, thousands of people around the world write about music they love — and it all ends up on Hype Machine. We watch for new posts on over 800 of the most interesting blogs and make it easy to follow this chaotic world. You can listen to the newest tracks posted just minutes ago, the most popular tracks of the day, and check out what your friends have discovered on the service.
There is no shortage of gallery apps available in the Play Store, but this one combines a unique interface with gesture-based commands to make something a little different. Images can be browsed by the usual filters plus a location-based city view, and there's a simple but attractive "calendar" screen that apes the usual layout of a paper photo calendar. Best of all, the "share" function includes the capability to re-size photos for quick uploads before sending.
Meet Piktures by DIUNE. The first gesture-based Gallery app to manage your photos and videos. It's Fast, Simple and Free with no ads.
What makes our app so great:
■ Free, Fast and Beautiful
■ Gesture-based, you just have to swipe and slide
■ Calendar view, scroll vertically for fast browsing
■ Location view
■ Resize pictures before sharing
■ Hide albums
Hey look, another one of those side-swipe launcher thingies! Sloth Launcher distinguishes itself with specific sets of apps that are triggered by locations and other events (some of which are only available via the $2.50 premium IAP): GPS points, Bluetooth or WiFi connections, even Tasker states. There are a lot of theming options, starting with the vaguely Material-style default. It's an interesting implementation, but I think I'd prefer a static list - it takes a lot to drag me away from SwipePad.
Sloth Launcher is a sidebar-overlay which allows you to quickly access the right apps at the right time. It is displayed on top of your screen when triggered and works with your existing launcher. Features:
• A contextual overlay gives you quick access to your apps for the right situation
• NEW: Assign quick-toggles to your szenarios (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Silent mode, Flashlight)
• Intuitive user interface (Material Design)
• Create endless scenarios using 8 different Trigger types
• Theme Editor: customize your Sloth Launcher overlay to match your style (Premium-Feature)
• Woks with your existing launcher