The Play Store is full of wonderful mysteries. With well over a million apps out there, many of them are doomed to remain undiscovered due to not quite being eye-catching or PR-friendly enough, even if they're extremely useful and brilliantly designed. This list is a tribute to the best unknown apps on Android, and will hopefully give them the exposure they rightfully deserve.
If you're a regular AndroidPIT reader, you've probably heard us rave about Pushbullet in the past, but did you know the Pushbullet team just released an awesome new app called Portal? Portal is a Wi-Fi file transferring app, so you can quickly transfer files from your PC to your phone over Wi-Fi, avoiding data charges and link following on your phone.
Simply make the connection via a QR code on your computer, drag and drop on your computer and watch your automatically sorted files appear on your phone. It's fast, it doesn't use your data and it's easy. Brilliant.
If you're of the micro-bladder persuasion you probably find yourself struggling to get through a film without missing chunks of narrative every time you need to hit the restroom. But what if an app existed that could tell you the best times for a pee break where you wouldn't really miss anything on-screen? Well, it does.
Run Pee can alert you with a timer at the most opportune toilet break moments and provide you with a brief synopsis of what you're missing while you're out of the theater. You'll get pee break durations, recommended pee breaks and breakdowns of why a particular pee break is a good or bad choice. Welcome to the future, my friends.
If you love knowing what's going on – but don't exactly want to invest the time or energy into constantly paying attention – then Hooks is the app for you. Hooks lets you set up notifications for basically anything you care about: it's kind of like a DIY Google Now. Choose from existing recipes (to borrow an IFTTT term) or request a new one.
Sure, it takes a little while to set up, but one you've done it, you'll always be informed about the stuff you care about. Set up notifications for shows you like that are about to start, sports team goals, Twitch streams, lottery results, weather, concert and festival info, horoscopes, shipment tracking, new online courses - whatever.
Comics are a perfect fit for the increasingly vivid screens that feature on new phones and tablets. There have been plenty of attempts to faithfully bring the comic/graphic novel experience to Android devices, but this is one of the best. Challenger Comics Viewer is a free app with no ads, which lets you view comics in countless formats.
You can pinch-to-zoom, change viewing modes, and adjust settings like contrast and brightness to optimize whatever you're reading for your eyes. Nothing quite recreates the experience of holding an actual vintage comic in your hands, but Comics Viewer gives it a great shot.
Putting the accelerometer in your Android phone to the best possible use, SleepBot - Sleep Cycle Alarm monitors your movements in bed when you're asleep. This app tracks fluctuations between deep sleep and light sleep cycles throughout the night, and lets you set an alarm 'window' during which it wakes you up when you're in a light sleep phase.
There is scientific evidence that suggests waking up during a light sleep phase can be more valuable to your wellbeing than an extra couple of hours sleep, so this alarm clock could be a life-changer. Even just knowing what your sleep patterns are like can help you plan a more restful night's sleep.
If you're a fan of deal apps and sites, don’t miss Secret Escapes, an app which offers deals all around the world for up to 70% off the original price. It’s free and also offers an offline mode so you can select reservations while offline, plus you can set reminders for upcoming sales.
You can choose from hand-picked hotels and holiday destinations up to a year in advance, be inspired with great recommendations and make use of the last-minute feature for those quick weekend getaways. Now you really have no excuse not to take a holiday.
Last but not least on our list of unknown apps that don’t get enough recognition is Ask Me Anything - reddit AMA. This is the official Reddit app that exclusively features interviews between people of interest (celebrities, inventors, sports stars, politicians) and the reddit community. The best part is: you're the interviewer.
If the wormhole that is reddit is a little too daunting for you, the AMA section is one of the most popular and informative parts of the entire site. The AMA app lets you choose from a bunch of categories, track upcoming AMAs, read old interviews, ask your own questions or be alerted when a particular interviewee is active.
Have you tried any of these? Which unknown Android apps have you discovered recently?