09
Dec
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The Google Play Store, as always, was abuzz with new apps last month. More than just new apps, though, the Play Store gained plenty of well-crafted, quality apps. The kind that have spurred the market's recent growth spurt, and which allow users to discover functionalities they never knew they needed. As always, we've sifted through all last month's new apps and selected our top five picks – a kind of short list for those looking to get the most out of their device with awesome apps.

Pixlr Express

Pixlr Express, despite its name, is an impressively powerful tool for on-the-go photo editing. After spending a little time with the app, I was completely sold. Autodesk's latest entry to the photo editing market dwarfs its Pixlr-O-Matic app in terms of functionality, and offers plenty of manipulation and touch-up tools while still retaining (and expanding) a long list of vintage filters and overlays.

The app couldn't be easier to use, relying on an interface made of stacks of tiles that expand with a click allowing you to crop, blur, sharpen, touch up (heal), rotate, color correct, or otherwise monkey with photos in just a few taps. For a full look at its extensive functionality, check out our review.

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This app has something for both the consummate photo editor and the casual instagram-er alike, and totally trumps any photo editing app I've tried before it. Best of all, it's free in the Play Store. Just hit the widget.

Audio Glow

Audio Glow, which we covered at launch, is a music visualizer that also comes in live wallpaper form. At first blush, that doesn't seem so exciting a concept. Audio Glow is made exciting, however, by its capacity for customization, and its beautiful, thoughtful graphics.

The app/wallpaper visualizes any music or sound coming from any app running on your device, turning sound waves into gorgeous bouncing bars and blurry, floating particles. Users can't go wrong with the app's customizations, and can save their favorite combinations as themes using an included Tasker or Locale plugin.

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If you've been waiting for a great music visualizer for Android, Audio Glow is your answer. The app is free, and the live wallpaper is just $0.99, so there's no reason not to give it a shot.

Amazon Mobile (Tablet)

We're always excited when a new tablet-friendly app hits the Play Store. Amazon's mobile app built for tablets was a welcome addition to Android's growing list of tablet apps when it hit last month. The app is more or less like its regular Amazon Mobile counterpart, providing users with easy search, review, purchase, and account management functionality in a neat tablet-optimized package.

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Though the app currently only supports Android 4.1+ and 7" 1280x800 displays (read "only the Nexus 7"), it looks very promising, and is super convenient for those times when you need a nice impulse buy on the go.

PPSSPP

PPSSPP, as Android's first realized PSP emulator, was a highly anticipated app. It made its first appearance in the Play Store last month as a sort of prototype and has been faithfully receiving updates ever since. This is the real story of PPSSPP – it's in development, seems promising, and is still getting attention from the developer, who promises that "over time this will probably become a usable emulator." Indeed, it is usable even in its current state, though it comes with no ROMs (for obvious reasons), meaning you'll need to do things the totally legitimate way – dumping your own PSP titles into ISO or CSO files.

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Another great thing about the PPSSPP project is that it's free and open source. While it may not work perfectly with all your PSP ROMs, you can still read more about the project and grab the source for yourself at ppsspp.org.

Falcon Pro

Finally, we have Falcon Pro, which to many was a prayer answered after the debut of the original Falcon widget. The widget was lauded as the beautiful, well-crafted gem that it was, but it left many people hungry for a full client with the same great interface. Developer Joaquim Vergès answered the call with Falcon Pro, which slid in just under November's deadline, onto our devices, and into our hearts.

The app isn't just good looks. It's a solid Twitter client with all the functionality you'd expect and some nice added features like offline favoriting, tweet drafts, inline photo/video previews, and more. Plus, the app adapts its layout to look great on tablets too.

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Whether you were a fan of the original Falcon widget or just want a superbly designed Twitter client for phone and tablet devices alike, you'll want to grab Falcon Pro. It's worth every single penny of its $0.99 price tag. Hit the widget below.

Final Thoughts

November's lineup of new apps really made a strong showing, offering some of the best looking, best functioning, and best quality apps we've seen in a while. Whether you're into photo editing and sharing, music, social media, or gaming, November had something for you in the app department. Of course, even if none of these suited your fancy, you can always keep an eye out for our larger, semi-weekly roundups of apps and games.

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.

  • Ronnie Friend

    Audio Glow Lwp is the only live wallpaper I have ever kept for more than a few minutes. I used it on my e4gt then immediately after getting my note II it was one of the first apps I put on it.

  • JonJJon

    Hopefully Amazon will bring the tablet version of their app to the UK soon, I've had to instal the phone version on my Nexus 7 via the Amazon app store as the one currently in the Play Store that's available here shows as "incompatible with your device"

    • Matthew Fry

      I have a hard time following the logic of the app title, "Amazon Mobile (Tablet)" when it doesn't support anything but the note 2 and the nexus 7.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        They wanted to start with something and see how it goes, then expand compatibility. I'm willing to bet it'll be compatible with other tablets before year's end.

        • JonJJon

          I agree, let's hope the expansion includes regions too :)

  • Montygue

    Why do people keep making twitter apps? I thought twitter was closing their api for 3rd parties?

    • http://btwnworlds.tumblr.com/ Lou G

      No, you just get 1000 (10,000) tokens for the download. After that number, you can't add anymore.

      • Montygue

        :) Thank you!

      • Dominic Powell

        100,000

        • http://btwnworlds.tumblr.com/ Lou G

          Ah, thank you! I wasn't sure of the number.

  • dsass600

    Are those Marques Brownlee's hands in Falcon Pro?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Considering it's his video, yeah, those are his hands.

  • The hobbit

    Try snapseed as well

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Thanks for the suggestion - Snapseed is great. I'm sure it'll find a spot in December's roundup.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, that's December. It'll for sure be in the next roundup.

    • Nathan J

      I have Snapseed, and it FCs on me on some effects. My phone isn't authorized for Android 4, though it runs JB 4.1.2. However, it won't run Chrome, and the newest Google Now update crashes on my phone (previous version works). Might have something to do with hardware acceleration. I think it's important to know, when looking at both Snapseed and Pixlr Express, that the latter will run on Gingerbread (and Froyo). It's also 1/4 the size. If your device is authorized for Android 4 it's a non-issue, but there are a lot of people who bought phones this year (after ICS came out) that will never get it officially, so the one that works on GB but does pretty much the same thing is definitely worth mentioning.

  • http://seancois.me/ Sebastian C.

    Audio Glow is simply sexy. PPSSPP is a prayer answered. Amazon Mobile (Tablet) loves my Note 2.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MCERGZBEMMYO7SY23NYDXSLOIM db., heyu

    Good Article..

    Thank you for not posting games.

  • John Merrit

    If this Amazon app is Nexus 7 only then why does it say, on the play store,

    "This app is incompatible with your Asus Nexus 7."

    And reading the comments from Nexus 7 owners seem to suggest that this is the case.

    PPSSPP is way too alpha to do anything useful, but every emulator has to start somewhere, I guess.

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