One of our favorite things to do here at AndroidGuys is to help Android users get the most from their devices. Whether in the form of app reviews, news and rumors, or something else, we aim to please.
Our Editor’s Picks column is designed to help existing Android owners discover apps and games. What you’ll find below are some of the apps that we at AndroidGuys enjoy using ourselves. Some of what follows are new titles while a few are classics we can’t let go of. Whatever the case we’re certain you will find something fun to play with this weekend. Let’s get to it!
GMD Auto Hide Soft Keys is an app that hides your on-screen navigation buttons so that you can utilize your entire screen for content and no black bar on the bottom taking up your screen real estate. This is of course for phones that don’t use capacitive buttons. It does require root, because it tricks the system to acting like you have a Galaxy device, which uses capacitive buttons. There is a non-root version, but I have found that it doesn’t work as well (buggy and keyboard sometimes fails to pop up).
There are various customization options you have in the app, such as changing the size and button spacing of the navigation bar when you bring it back up, adding more buttons (and with functions when you hold them), choosing the behavior of the navigation bar (whether you want it to hide automatically or at your trigger), and ability to use legacy Android button themes (if you don’t want the Lollipop buttons).
With all sorts of different cloud services that are used frequently including Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, keeping track of everything in the cloud tends to get annoying. Unclouded fixes that issue, and allows us to access all of your cloud files, from those services, within one beautiful application.
Are you having problems with sending large files to another phone? We present to you SuperBeam. It is a great app for sharing media files. All you need is Wi-Fi or data connection and you are good to go. The app detects your Wi-Fi connection and sends a QR code or a pin to the user you want to share your files with. It is the one of the best apps that uses Wi-Fi direct.
Haystack TV presents you with trending news videos in a news channel personalized for you. Watch it on your phone, tablet, Chromecast or Android TV. Haystack TV allows you to cast to your TV News, Trailers and more, including the latest tech news, like new gadget announcements. You can even create favorites by simply typing in a subject and then Haystack categorizes it either by business sports entertainment movie trailers etc.
Haystack TV allows users to break away from the normal network and cable news stations and their many commercials – cable cutters will love the opportunity to watch news, but news that they are interested in viewing. Working much like Flipboard and other customizable news services – you pick the topics that peak your interest and it will find and present them to you whenever you open up Haystack TV’s app. The more you use it the more it ‘learns’ about your tastes as you pick and choose certain stories to read – the selections continue to get ‘smarter,’ and you will always have something new to watch.
“Because movie theaters don’t have pause buttons”. This app has a team that watches a movie in theaters, and then provides you with the best opportunity to go “run pee” when the action/development is slow. It then provides a summary of what was missed while you were in the bathroom. It also has a plethora of other features, from buying tickets, to giving you a flashlight (for when you drop your keys under the seat) to ratings and even a timer to let you know when the next pee break is. It even will tell you if there is anything extra during or after the credits, which is very handy. All-in-all, a super useful app.
HBO GO is the streaming service from HBO that lets you enjoy your favorite HBO shows, movies, comedy specials, sports, documentaries – plus behind-the-scenes extras and more. “Game of Thrones” is an incredible show, and with HBO GO every episode is available for replay. It is the only show that gets better when you watch it a second time, and possibly even a third time. But that is not the only show available, all TV series created by HBO are available – John Adams, Band of Brothers, The Wire, The Sopranos, Veep, Entourage just to name a few. There are also quite a few gems in the documentaries section and tons of hit movies in the movie section.
With more than 200 cloud-based wallpapers to choose from there’s a little something for everyone. Broken up into 16 categories, the images are high resolution and look fantastic on any size screen. Because the images are not stored on your device you have access to a huge, growing library that does not eat up your storage.
Monument Valley is an original and unique 3D puzzle game that uses architecture (monuments). You walk about optical illusions (like Penrose stairs) to determine how you get to the end of each stage. It is pretty addicting right off the bat. And it’s not boringly repetitive. The creator put a lot of thought into creating different situations and challenges at each level. The attention to detail in level layout is also astounding. The graphics have this refinement and smoothness to them that just get immersed in.
Boom Beach is similar to Clash of Clans where you build up a home base, research technology, collect resources, and go out to hunt down enemy bases. Enemy bases consist of computer generated bases as well as real human enemies across the world. Every enemy base is different and requires a different attack strategy.
If you want a more social experience, you can join a Task Force of up to 50 members where you take on common missions as a team. The better your Task Force performs, the better the rewards. As with most free games, there are in-app purchases but this is one game where in-app purchases are not needed to compete with the best in the game. Supercell struck gold once again with Boom Beach.
Heroes Charge is an ultimate battle strategy game. I know what you are thinking. Another clash of clans type game. Well, no it isn’t! This game takes you on an adventurous journey with some mystical characters, termed as Heroes. Working in team of 5, you can fight monsters, dragons and other mystical characters each with their own special abilities. More Heroes can be collected and/or bought with in-game currency. The developer always keeps the excitement high by pushing out new heroes every month as well. Heroes Charge also supports multiplayer and you can join or form your own ‘Guild’ to add to the fun.
Modern Combat 5 is Gameloft’s popular first person shooter game. Modern Combat 5 has amazing graphics, an exciting storyline, and online multiplayer mode. Each iteration of the series has been the best shooter action game available in regards to graphics, and Modern Combat 5 is no exception. The graphics are outstanding, and the game play is even better. The improved multiplayer and enjoyable single campaign mode still makes it one of the finest first person shooter games to play on a smaller screen.