06
Aug
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If you're anything like me, you're always on the hunt for new apps. No matter how many ways I get my Android devices to simplify my life, I want more – especially when there are so many brilliant, well-made apps arising each month in the Play Store.

In an effort to pare down each month's best entries to a few digestible options, we bring you the top five app roundups. July saw the addition of a ton of new and great apps, but we've successfully narrowed the field to just five apps we think every user should try out.

MyScript Calculator

I know what you're thinking – a calculator app in the top five? MyScript Calculator, released early last month by Vision Objects, is not a typical push-button calculator though.

As you can see from the promo video, MyScript is a calculator that is operated by your handwriting. A handwriting-controlled calculator is one of those concepts that sounds cool, but would only be awesome if it actually worked, and that's what makes MyScript Calculator great – not only does it work, but it works exceptionally well. The calculator recognizes an insanely wide amount of mathematical notations, making complex operations a total breeze.

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If you've been looking for a calculator that's faster and more intuitive than pushing buttons, or  even if you've never used a calculator on your mobile device, download MyScript and start calculating.

Friday

Friday is an ingenious app that invites users to "forget to remember." Based around the concept of passive journaling, Dexetra's Friday brings slick functionality, a fantastic interface, and a great idea to your Android device.

For those unaware, passive journaling is the process by which a user keeps an incredibly detailed journal – down to each daily activity – without putting a pen to paper. Friday executes this brilliantly, tracking multiple sources of information to not only chronicle your activities, habits, and events, but present them to you in a searchable, interactive package. The ability to flash back to a particular day or read a timeline of your interaction with a single individual are things that unfortunately just don't come standard with a typical paper notebook.

The app pulls information from a variety of sources, from Foursquare to Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and your own device to create incredibly compelling journals of each and every day.

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If you've considered journaling – pen-and-paper or otherwise – Friday is definitely worth checking out. If its smooth interface and functionality aren't convincing enough, its price tag of $0.00 wipes out all reasons not to try it.

MixCloud

Well designed and easy-to-use streaming apps (particularly for podcasts) are hard to come by these days. Offering a great solution, Mixcloud released its self-titled app to the Play Store early last month, bringing a simple, well-built solution to users everywhere.

The app not only makes a handy podcast streaming solution, but also allows users to phone in DJ Mix sets and their favorite online radio shows. Users can tune in to sets from a slew of DJs, various radio shows, and a ton of podcasts. Users can follow other users, keeping up to date with their cloudcasts, and even browse other artists and presenters while listening to something else.

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If you've been looking for a super-simple streaming solution for radio shows, music, and podcasts, MixCloud should definitely be on your list. It's free in the Play Store, so hit the widget below and give it a shot.

Seat Guru

For me a traditional, if not sacred, part of booking a flight is frantically racing to the seat selection dialogue to make sure I get an optimal seat. Preferably that one in the front corner, or in the exit row, or – on a longer flight – a seat on the aisle where I can stretch my legs. TripAdviser, one of the top names in trip planning and organization, brought to the Play Store an easier, prettier way to grab your ideal seat last month with Seat Guru.

Not only can users select optimal seating (and see which seats are already taken), but Seat Guru gives users live flight status updates, the ability to shop for great flights at low prices, and even view over 45,000 passenger reviews.

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If you find that a large slice of your time is spent sitting on an airplane, Seat Guru is definitely worth checking out. It packages some of TripAdvisor's best functions into an easy-to-use, well-designed app that, by the way, is free from the Play Store.

Pictarine

Pictarine is another one of those apps that is based on a great idea, and carries a nice presentation along with it. The app is a sort of photo aggregator for all your social media profiles. In an age where Instagram and Twitpic have become staples in the mobile world, photos represent some of the most expressive (and prolific) snippets of your every day social stream.

Pictarine supports up to 11 social networks, giving you a quick, beautiful glimpse at not only photos but other common activities such as "likes," comments, and sharing. The app also attempts to guess which photos matter most to the user, offering the chance to "rediscover your memories." Photos can also be bookmarked for later viewing in "playlists."

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Photos are undoubtedly an important part of our ubiquitous social media streams, and Pictarine brings to the table not only a unique idea, but one that is well-executed and offers a good amount of options without being cluttered. Besides all that, it's free from the Play Store.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're looking to be more connected with social media, less connected with active journaling of your life, find the best seat on a plane, or do complex calculations, July brought to light an app for just about anyone. Like I said before, if you're always searching for the next awesome app for your Android device, these apps are all great starting points. Of course, we'll be back next month with August's best apps. Until then, keep an eye out for our other roundups.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ottermann Jason Heiken

    Journaling in the front seat...
    Passive Journaling in the back seat....

    (bad joke...but at least I admitted it)

  • Dipish

    Mixcloud branding reminds me of Waze...

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