13
Jul
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Looking for some new apps but don't have time to go through our longer roundups from the past month? No worries, we're back with a whole month's worth of apps boiled down into five picks guaranteed to improve your catalog. Not all the great apps of the month could fit on our list, so we'll follow up with some honorable mentions. Without further ado, let's get started.

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DialApp

DialApp is a dialer replacement that retains some semblance of its stock counterpart, while seeking to drastically improve performance by guessing who you want to call, and making your call log infinitely smarter.

The general idea behind DialApp is context-awareness. The app will learn from your habits based on time, location, and calendar info, presenting a shortlist of contacts you probably want to talk to at a given time and place.

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The app isn't quite perfect yet, but it's free and shows plenty of promise. Check it out below.

Space Colony Live Wallpaper

I'm generally not excited by live wallpapers. The live wallpapers that I feel take full advantage of the feature to deliver something awesome are few and far between. Space Colony by Maxelus, though, is an exceptional entry in the history of LWPs, delivering gorgeous, enthralling visuals and enough dynamic elements and functions to keep it interesting. We could add screenshots below, but they really don't do the wallpaper justice. Instead, watch the demo video of version 1.0.

Space Colony will cost you about $2.00, but if you've ever even wondered what your device would look like as a futuristic alien metropolis, it's well worth the money.

Vine

Vine was a hotly-anticipated app for Android, there's no doubt about that. The Twitter-linked microvideo sharing service opened up its doors to Android users last month and hasn't looked back.

Though competitor Instagram stepped up the video-sharing game in a major way with the announcement of video support, "Cinema," and longer videos, Vine has stayed strong, pushing out updates at breakneck speed and adding great features like a quick capture widget, new capture tools, discovery-boosting video channels, and the ability to "Revine" (think retweet/repin/etc) videos.

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With a simple interface, established community, and the promise of even more rapid updates to come, Vine is still a winner despite very strong competition from Instagram. After all, micro-video sharing isn't a zero-sum game.

Google Keyboard

Under the mantra "typing, just easier," Google released the stock Android keyboard to the Play Store last month. Besides being a great keyboard alternative, its introduction was important enough to warrant a spot on our list for a couple of reasons.

First, it's another app (like Calendar) that has been separated out from core Android, now able to get updates right from the Play Store. A feature like Gesture Type, which was baked into Jelly Bean 4.2, could be introduced at any time via a simple Play Store update now that the keyboard is freely available.

Second, this gives users of non-AOSP devices easier access to Android's stock keyboard, which by most accounts is a good thing.

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If you're looking for a free keyboard replacement with pretty good suggestions, gesture functionality, and a simple aesthetic. You've probably already found Google Keyboard. Just in case you haven't, there's a widget below.

CPU-Z

Rounding out our top five is an app for power users – CPU-Z. As you might guess from the name, the app monitors your CPU. That's not all, though. Within CPU-Z's dead-simple interface is information about your device's SoC, System, Battery, and Sensors, providing an extremely detailed look at the state of your device, right down to battery temperature and magnetic field sensor state.

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The app's concept is super simple, and CPU-Z won't allow you to adjust clock speed or actually change the device's hardware settings, but it requires no special permissions, and gives an excellent look at device hardware, for free.

Honorable Mention

Not every app from June could fit on our list – there were a ton more that are definitely worth your attention. For that reason, we've got a few "honorably mentions" you should have a look at.

Final Thoughts

Utilitarian, social, or otherwise, June provided a ton of great apps to check out. Not all of them made it onto our list, but if there's one you think should be in our next roundup, let us know! If none of the apps above hit the spot, just wait for our semi-weekly longer roundups for a more complete look at the very best 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.

  • HellG

    You guys really should make (What's on [editor name here]'s phone)
    where you show case your favorite apps/games that are currently in your phone and even your screen setup.
    One other thing that would be great is your [all time favorite] apps and games, its great for us who always had an android phone to know the NEW games, but what about people who just got their phones? knowing only new games is not really helpful.
    Thank you for another great roundup, from the best android site, you guys rock :)

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Thanks for the ideas! We ran a "What We Run" feature a while back where each of us talked about the hardware, software, and other things we can't live without, but a more app/game-centric look might be beneficial!

  • Rob

    It's nice (and refreshing) to see the AP Staff take the time to respond to reader comments. Keep it up. ;-)

    • John

      Agreed. I enjoy seeing and/or reading their interaction with the community here.

  • Vasilis K.

    Cpu-z is really great, but it lacks one VERY important feature for such an app: cpu TEMPERATURE.

    • Mehmet Fatih

      Lol, you can even see it in the preview pictures

      • Melissa Peterson

        No, there is not a temp for CPU. There is however, a temp for the battery.

      • Vasilis K.

        Better think more before posting...

    • Melissa Peterson

      I didn't really notice that before, until you pointed it out. Just email the dev and ask if they could add it in?

      • Vasilis K.

        I already did long ago. No reply. I've read somewhere that this feature is kernel-depended.

        • Melissa Peterson

          That's a bummer, but I guess it wouldn't be worth it to add it then if it would only work with certain kernels.

  • Melissa Peterson

    I love that cpu-z put out an Android app, I've been using one for PC for a long time now and like being able to know what kind of cpu I've got. A great thing about the app is it has no ads and requires no special permissions either.

  • johnforamerica

    Can I ask how Eyeprint got an honorable mention? Do you folks even review the ratings in the play store?

    I'm aware that ratings aren't the only, or even best, metric. But when you see basic functionality issues, it makes you wonder...

    Just one example:

    "First...you printed your apps name all over the lock screen. This is bad because I can just find this app and uninstall the security app and have full rights. Other methods to bypass this app include force stopping the app in app manager and clearing the cache. ... Update: I found 4 more holes to bypass.(Hint 1: A widget lets you in.)"

  • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

    Last time I tried CPU-Z, it drained my battery. Uninstalled it. Maybe bug or something.

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