February saw some considerable new apps, both in terms of new services like YouTube Kids and Sling TV, and in expanded tools like PhotoMath and Microsoft's first custom keyboard for Android. If you find it hard to see the tiny type on your new ultra-high-res phone, check out BIG Notifications. Below are our top seven picks from last month, along with some honorable mentions.

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YouTube Kids

Android Police coverage: [APK Download] YouTube Kids Is Official, Adorable, And Now Available On Google Play [Hands-On]

YouTube is great. It has lots of excellent videos for kids. It also has lots of excellent videos that are decidedly not for kids. This app shows a curated list of Google-approved kid content, not unlike the "kids mode" for Netflix. It also includes a simplified interface, though I wonder why that was necessary - kids are famously comfortable around video sites. Want to make sure the tykes aren't getting in to anything you don't want them to? You can disable search in the control panel.

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The official YouTube Kids app is designed for curious little minds. This free app is delightfully simple and packed full of age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists. YouTube Kids features popular children’s programming, plus kid-friendly content from filmmakers, teachers, and creators all around the world. We’ve taken out the complicated stuff and made an app even little ones can navigate — that means big buttons, easy scrolling, and instant full-screen.

Sling Television

Android Police coverage: [Update: Now In The Play Store] Sling TV Available To US Cord-Cutters Starting Today, Android App Must Be Sideloaded

Sling TV is a new venture from DISH Network (not to be confused with Slingbox, a separate company) that allows you to subscribe to and watch some popular cable channels completely online. It's what cord-cutters have been wanting for years, and though the selection is pretty sparse at the moment, it's off to a promising start. $20 a month with no equipment or contracts gets you a handful of channels including ESPN, with more programming blocks available for $5 each.

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Watch Live TV over the Internet without the cable company. See ESPN, your favorite shows, breaking news, big games, new movies and more. This free app allows you to watch the best live TV instantly on your Android device anytime, anywhere. Download the app for free. Sign up for Sling TV inside the app or at www.sling.com. Then watch instantly with this app. Enjoy the best in U.S and International TV (available in the U.S. only).

Palabre (RSS, Feedly)

Android Police coverage: Palabre Is A New RSS Reader With A Simple, Material Design And Feedly Compatibility

The wind went out of the RSS reader market after Google Reader disappeared, but it now seems to be recovering. This RSS and Feedly API client comes from the same developer as well-regarded Twitter client Plume, and it has the same dedication to expanded features. The application looks good and works well for devotees of the format, including both magazine and list interfaces and a Readability function, but unfortunately there's no widget in the initial release.

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Palabre is your unique source for daily/hourly news from RSS feeds and Feedly. By the author of Plume (Twitter client), Beautiful Widgets and Bright Weather. Featuring a modern material design, this application will help you reading news and articles from your favorite topics. Did you take a look at the screenshots? You will understand how much love we put in Palabre in order to provide a clean, beautiful and easy to use news application.

Telegram+

Android Police coverage: WhatsApp+ Developer Releases Telegram+ After Being Forced To Drop The First Project

After being unceremoniously blocked from integrating with WhatsApp, the developer of WhatsApp+ decided to go to the greener and more open pastures of the Telegram messenger service. This client includes a standard Material Design layout that can be further customized with themes, plus audio file sharing. This one shouldn't be shut down by Facebook, either.

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Telegram+ is an UNOFFICIAL messaging app that uses Telegram's API. Telegram+ adds some extra features to official Telegram app:

  • THEMING: Change colors and sizes of many objects as texts, icons, headers... and create your own theme.
  • MEDIA: Audio files can be shared easily from Chat Screen
  • PRIVACY: Mobile number can be hidden from Menu Drawer and Settings menu
  • SOCIAL: Community to report bugs, share ideas, get in touch with with other Telegram+ users... https://plus.google.com/communities/106927015963860485525

PhotoMath

Android Police coverage: PhotoMath Arrives On Android To Help Your Lazy Brain Do Math

PhotoMath is simple: it lets you take a picture of a math problem and then solves it for you. Wait, that's not simple, that's freakin' awesome! Just to make sure that hundreds of millions of grade-school kids don't completely rely on computers for their education, the app can also show the steps towards solving an equation, even for complex algebra. Unfortunately it doesn't support handwriting just yet, but it's still an amazingly useful tool, especially for a free version.

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PhotoMath is the world's smartest camera calculator. Just point your camera to a Math problem, and PhotoMath will instantly display the answer. Join millions of users worldwide and make your learning progress faster and more enjoyable. Use it to get help when you're stuck with a problem. Hit the steps button, and see a full step-by-step solution. Students can use it as a tool to learn Math, while parents can use it to quickly check their kid’s homework. With PhotoMath, you can have a Math teacher in your pocket.

Keyboard for Excel

Android Police coverage: Microsoft Releases An Android Keyboard Just For 10-Key Addicts To Use With Excel

10-key enthusiasts, your app has arrived... from Microsoft, of all developers. This keyboard is specifically designed for use with Excel, specifically those power-users who rely on the 10-key layout to rapidly fill and edit spreadsheets. But since it's a standard Android virtual keyboard, it will also work with just about any program you like, including competing spreadsheet apps from Google and others. The only downside is that it's restricted to tablets, but to be honest, it would be pretty difficult to use even on large phones.

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Keyboard for Excel, a Microsoft Garage project, provides a keyboard optimized for numbers. It delivers speed and efficiency to Excel users entering data. Key Features:

o Keyboard layout optimized for numbers
o Excel operators prioritized in the keyboard layout
o 10-key number layout for fast number entry
o Tab key for quick navigation across columns

Current limitations: This is an experimental keyboard that supports only English characters without auto-correct and gesture typing.

BIG Notifications

Having bad vision sucks, especially when you're trying to read tiny text on a screen. BIG Notifications does just one thing: enlarge Android's default notifications to make them easier to see. The standard version includes a handy toggle for the universal service (great if you use glasses or contacts), and the paid version adds variable text size and text-to-speech support.

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A great companion app to the award winning BIG Launcher interface. Can also be used separately. Specially designed for seniors and people with vision problems. Compatible with Android 4.3 and newer.

  • Zoom the system notifications and display them full-screen with big font
  • Show them automatically or via the shortcut in the top notification area
  • Use enlarged notification actions directly without opening the original app
  • Easy to control - no hidden gestures
  • Large buttons with one tap control

Honorable Mentions

That's all for February. There were also a ton of new apps, tools, and watchfaces for Android Wear, which aren't placed in the normal bi-weekly roundups - wait for the next Wear roundup (which should be coming soon) or just check out this category page to see them all.