During October we've been positively innundated with new versions of apps, mostly from Google as the company plasters Material Design over nearly its entire catalog. But there have been some notable launches as well, dominated by Google's own Inbox (and the scramble that comes from an invitation system). For some other highlighted picks from October and a few honorable mentions, read on.
Inbox by Gmail
Android Police coverage: Google's 'Inbox By Gmail' Email Replacement System Is Live, But Invite-Only For The Moment
Inbox is kind of a big deal as far as Google is concerned - it appears to be the new status quo for the company's email system going forward. The app and web service are beautiful, but it's not all animations and bold colors: Inbox takes a new look at the way users actually interact with email. It treats each one like a task on a to-do list, and automatically groups them together for simple completion and dismissal. You still need an invite to use Inbox, but at this point they aren't all that hard to come by.
Inbox by Gmail requires an invite. Email [email protected] to request one. Your email inbox should help you live and work better, but instead it often buries the important stuff and creates more stress than it relieves. Inbox, built by the Gmail team, keeps things organized and helps you get back to what matters.
• BUNDLES - Similar messages are bundled together so you can deal with them all at once. And get rid of them with one tap.
• HIGHLIGHTS - Get the most important information without even opening the message. Check-in for flights, see shipping information for purchases, and view photos from friends right up front.
• REMINDERS: More than mail, you can add Reminders so your inbox contains all the things you need to get back to.
• SNOOZE: Snooze emails and Reminders to come back when you are ready to deal with them: next week, when you get home, or whenever you choose.
Google Fit has been a long time coming: it's Google's answer to Apple's HealthKit (though they probably don't appreciate the comparison). This app basically turns your phone into an activity tracker, plotting out your walking, running, and biking activity in the background. It works with Android Wear as well. Unfortunately it's rather basic at the moment, especially if you want to input historical data.
Make a healthy change in your life by becoming more active, aware and motivated.
- Just carry your phone and get access to your walking, running and cycling activity.
- Set goals based on either duration or steps and see your progress throughout the day.
- Receive performance-based recommendations for activity goals.
- Connect third party devices and apps to Fit and we’ll show you all of your fitness data in one place.
- Compatible with all Android Wear devices.
- Also access Google Fit on the web at http://www.google.com/fit and on your tablet.
Android Police coverage: Autodesk Releases Pro-Level SketchBook Drawing App On Android
Another Sketchbook app from Autodesk? Indeed, this is a full Androidified version of the celebrated desktop drawing software, ideally intended for big, powerful tablets with pen input. The full app and its host of sketching and rendering tools is a very reasonable $3.99, but if you're a pro who has already paid for Autodesk on your PC, you can unlock it for free by signing in with your account.
Autodesk® SketchBook® is a professional-grade painting and drawing application designed for all your mobile devices. With the same paint engine as its powerful desktop counterpart, SketchBook delivers fluid pencils and sophisticated brushes in a simple and easy-to-use interface. SketchBook allows you to capture everything from your smallest doodles to your biggest ideas all in one place, no matter where you are.
Notif Widget Notifications
Android L, sorry, Lollipop, redesigns the lockscreen to put notifications front and center. This app seems to want to do a lot of the same things for older devices: it's basically a mirror of your notification bar that can be used as a lockscreen or homescreen widget, or even as a little-used Daydream. Notifications are reproduced more or less exactly, and you can swipe or activate notifications just like you would expect to.
NotifWidget is a widget that let's you interact with your notifications on your lock screen, home screen, and DayDream screen saver. Main features:
- The notifications look exactly like the original ones. No custom, ugly appearance. Everything just looks as it should.
- Full control of all actions and media players. If the notification has a reply action or a play/pause action, you can use it directly with this app.
- Customization: you can choose different clock sizes, colors, background colors, filter notifications, and more.
- Create as many widgets as you want. One on your home screen, one on your lock screen, use it on DayDream. All can have different options.
Android Police coverage: Algoriddim Releases Popular Turntable Music App djay 2 On Android With A Fix For Audio Latency
We've seen DJ apps for Android before. That's not a big deal, though this one in particular was a big hit on iOS and integrates with Spotify, a very big deal for music lovers. No, the most important feature of djay 2 is that it manages to work around a slight sound input lag that's been plaguing Android for years, at least for pro-level audio recording. (It works on Jelly Bean or higher, so long as you gave some decently powerful hardware.) Other cool tweaks abound, though you'll probably only care about them if you've got some recording experience.
djay transforms your Android device into a full–featured DJ system. Seamlessly integrated with Spotify and all the music on your device, djay gives you direct access to mix your favorite songs and playlists instantly. You can perform live, record mixes on–the–go, or enable Automix mode to let djay create a seamless mix for you automatically. Whether you are a professional DJ or a beginner who just loves to play with music, djay offers you the most intuitive yet powerful DJ experience on an Android device.
PCMark for Android Benchmark
Android Police coverage: Futuremark's PCMark Arrives On Android To Provide More Allegedly Useful Performance Metrics
Want to know how powerful your shiny new phone or tablet is compared to your friend's? How about compared to your computer? Futuremark has already released its 3DMark gaming-focused benchmark software for Android, and now the more practical PCMark is also available. (I suppose it's something of a misnomer at this point.) The app is free, and it works on Android 4.1 or higher with devices that have at least 1GB of memory.
Use PCMark for Android to benchmark the performance and battery life of your smart phone and tablet. See how well your device performs, then compare it with the latest models.
- Benchmark the performance of the whole device, not its isolated components.
- Tests are based on everyday activities, not abstract algorithms.
- Scores reflect real-world performance, not unachievable maximums.
- Tests use real applications and native APIs whenever possible.
- See every test in action instead of watching progress bars.
- Our guide tells you what is being measured and how scores are calculated.
- 100% free. No ads. No in-app purchases. No restrictions.
For audiophiles, Tidal is a godsend. Compared to other premium music services, it's not all that innovative, but Tidal hangs its hat on offering music that's completely uncompressed. It's also unusually wide with 25 million tracks in its library, not to mention an additional 25 million videos. The service offers the usual curated playlists, plus a few extras like downloaded tracks. It's quite expensive compared to competitors at $20 a month.
Tidal is the world’s first music service with High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and Curated Editorial by music journalists, artists and experts, making for a simply superior experience. Try it out and see for yourself. No compromises. Just pure sound. With our lossless audio experience, you can enjoy your music the way the artists intended. Unlimited access to over 25 million tracks.
- Sideload Launcher - Android TV
- Potential Beta
- Clue - Period Tracker
- Microsoft Xim
- Greyhound Lines
- Taco Bell (forgive me, colon)
That's it for October. Remember that new apps for Android Wear are covered separately - check out Ryan's Wear roundups for an easy-to-browse collection of new apps and watch faces for your wrist-based computer. We're entering the lull around the Christmas season (and the lead-in to CES and other events in early 2015), so picking might be slim next month.