13
Aug
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It took us a little longer than usual this time, but we're finally back with a short selection of last month's best new apps. It wasn't easy to narrow them down, but those readers who don't have time, spare cash, or patience enough for our longer semi-weekly roundups can't go wrong with the five apps we've chosen. If, by some chance, none of the apps below suit your fancy, we've got plenty of runners up too.

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Krome

If you've got rich notifications turned on in Chrome and have been waiting for something awesome to happen, your answer is already here – Krome.

The app is beautifully designed, simple to set up, and functions brilliantly (in my experience). To connect up to Chrome, you need only download an extension and enter a code.

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The only caveat to Krome is that users need to disable certain things like Android's System UI to prevent superfluous or unhelpful notifications about system activities (like opening the keyboard or taking a screenshot).

If you receive an SMS message, you can reply to it right from the extension with a popup dialog that looks ever bit as aesthetically pleasing as the app itself.

Krome has a few very minor issues to work out (the most obvious being several typos within the interface), but it's an excellent app that provides great utility and costs just $0.99. If you want to see more before you buy, check out our full hands on.

Flashify

Flashify is an app for the consummate ROM'er, flasher, recoverer, or modder. As its name would imply, Flashify aides root users in flashing. It can flash custom recoveries, kernels, and boot images from the app itself, and can make backups (of your current recovery or kernel) and deposit them either on your SD card or into your Dropbox.

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The app, so far, has only been tested on Nexus devices, so potential users would be well-advised to – as always – use caution. That said, the app is free, and definitely worth checking out.

Homestyler

There's no question that Autodesk produces excellent mobile products. The latest entry in their catalog (which already includes apps like AutoCAD 360, Sketchbook Mobile, and Pixlr Express) is Homestyler. As you may expect, Homestyler will help, well, style your home. The app provides design tips and project ideas, but lets users snap a photo of their own rooms to redecorate without even standing up. Users can insert "high-quality" 3D models of actual products into their rooms including furniture, lighting, and colors/textures.

The app's "Design Stream" provides access to images, articles, and similar content, along with the ability to share designs through Facebook or email. Homestyler can also get you connected with local design professionals.

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If you've got a burgeoning interest in interior design, or just want to change things up virtually before committing to a redesign, Homestyler is worth a look. Did we mention it's free?

Floating Toucher

When interacting with a device, timing and the number of movements required to complete an action can have huge impact on your overall experience.

Looking to bridge the gap when switching apps or toggling settings, Boat Browser Design introduced Floating Toucher last month.

The app basically draws a touchable graphic on your screen (which you can customize with images, colors, etc.) which opens up with a neat shutter animation to reveal your shortcuts.

Besides the default eight spaces, users can add folders that contain settings or apps, allowing for a ton of actions to be stored just one tap away.

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If you like having quick access to what you use most, love customization, and don't mind seeing a (customized) dot on your screen all the time, Floating Toucher is great. For more customization features, the app does require an in-app purchase of about 2 dollars, but the rest of the app is free.

Sparky Lock Screen

Finally, we've got one more entry for fans of customization. This time, a lock screen replacement called Sparky that, while lacking in granular customization, lets you have a lock screen that is by all accounts unique.

Limited to phones for now, Sparky Lock Screen turns your device's lock screen into a donut. Or carnival tickets. Or a volume knob. Or any of the app's other themes.

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What's great about this app, besides its visual acumen, is that it works smoothly, and does offer up some enhanced functionality to go with its good looks. The free version comes with three sample themes, but for $1.99, you can get the full set of eight thoughtfully crafted scenes.

Runners Up

Final Thoughts

That's it for July. Check back in early September for our next shortlist. In the meantime, if you didn't find enough to quench your thirst for awesome apps, keep an eye out for our larger 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.

  • mau

    How is DraStic not on your list, that emulator is nothing short of magic... (Or was that August?)

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      If AppBrain's not mistaken, DraStic came out about five days ago. We'll keep it in mind!

      • mau

        August list confirmed :p

  • Angmancy

    Xprivacy's link does not work. Does not appear on Play store. Only the Pro enabler. We can get it only throught Xda I guess? http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2320783

  • AllenA

    I like the potential of Krome, but even including yesterday's update, and i have tried various computers with the latest Chrome, but I never could get Krome to connect to Chrome.

    • http://www.mojdroid.pl/ Damian Piwowarski

      Hey.
      Write to me: brjoszka@gmail.com. I will help you :-)

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      Try "Desktop Notifications" - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.hcilab.projects.notification

      It's free and does the same thing. Working for me on Galaxy Nexus. I'm wondering why every android blog is promoting Krome but not mentioning this app...!

      • AllenA

        Thanks for the tip.

        • AllenA

          Tried it, ugly app. I will wait until Google comes out with something like this.
          BTW, you should read Desktop Notifications privacy policy, this is a research project for them. Pass

  • angel_spain

    I've been waiting for something like flashify since I bought my Nexus 4. Thanks AP!

  • Aaron Huffman

    What about DraStic?

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    I love Floating toucher. Using it in combination with T9 app dialer and I have no need of aokp ribbons / sidebars etc. And then I discovered "Toucher" from Go launcher dev team. This has more features but doesn't allow custom image for the floating icon. :( So, right now I'm running both of them, wondering which one to keep.