Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Hello Pal: Talk to the World

This week's roundup is brought to you by Hello Pal: Talk to the World. This unique app is a language learning tool that combines an instant message client and universal translator. It instructs you in how to speak and understand short, relevant phrases while talking to other Hello Pal users: you say "Hola," and your opposite partner says "Buenos dias!" which is instantly translated for you as the audio is transmitted. It's a fascinating system that focuses on the core aspect of communication rather than traditional language study. Hello Pal is a free download.

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Hello Pal is the first-ever language exchange app that allows you to easily talk to people of any nationality, in completely foreign languages, within minutes. If Tinder helps you connect with new friends near you, Hello Pal will help you meet and chat with new partners from across the world irrespective of their native language and nationality. Interested in conversing with Chinese people in Mandarin even though you don't know a word of Mandarin? No problem. In fact, you could even chat with your Chinese friend, in Japanese, when neither of you have a clue how to speak Japanese.

Apps

Robinhood

Android Police coverage: Robinhood Free Stock Market Trading App Comes To Android

Robinhood is an app and a service that allows you to make free stock trades. (That is, the process is free - you still have to pay for the actual stocks.) Surprisingly, it also has a pretty fantastic user interface. The developers have incorporated the Material Design standards to an almost slavish degree. Other tools include watch lists, a PIN for security, and SSL encryption.

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Free stock trading. Stop paying up to $10 for every trade. Robinhood for Android is a free download that allows people to buy and sell stocks for free. View market data in real-time, build a personalized watchlist, and place trades with a few taps.

  • Free trading refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities via mobile devices. SEC & FINRA regulatory fees may apply.
  • Access market data and quotes in real-time
  • Build a personalized stock watchlist with historical market data and detailed charts
  • Place market, limit, stop loss, stop limit, and good till canceled orders
  • Quickly tell when the markets are open and closed, with simple color schemes

Landmarker

Android Police coverage: Google Creative Lab Releases Three New Experimental Apps—Landmarker, Tunnel Vision, And Lip Swap

Wondering what that building or weird-looking mountain is? No need to stumble through a dozen Wikipedia pages - just pull out this Google-made app, point your phone towards the landmark, and it will tell you. It also lets you know how far away you are (handy if size is throwing off your perspective) and open up the landmark in the Google Maps app.

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Landmarker is an experimental compass that reveals key destinations around you. Click each result to locate it in Google Maps. Landmarker was created for Android Experiments. Open source code can be found at https://github.com/googlecreativelab/landmarker. Learn more at https://www.androidexperiments.com.

Ninja Snap

Android Police coverage: Ninja Snap Trolls Friends Who Swipe Through Your Photos With Instant Selfies And Kanye... Lots Of Kanye

"Here, check out this photo of my adorable puppy - no, don't swipe! You'll see all my por... pooork chop recipes. Yeah." Ninja Snap actively discourages your friends from quickly swiping through your photos by allowing them to see only a few, then replacing them with photos of themselves stealthily snapped with the front-facing camera. It's disconcerting as all get out. Also, there is Kanye West. For some reason.

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We all have that douchebag friend who likes to casually invade our privacy. You try and show them a photo on your phone and they just swipe away through your whole album uninvited. Open Ninja Snap:

  • choose a few photos from your device with the help of a Gallery like screen
  • give it to your victim
  • they're gonna start to stroll away through your album like it ain't no thang
  • they'll be randomly greeted with photos of themselves that were stealthily taken while they were abusing your phone
  • ?
  • profit

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AMC

Android Police coverage: AMC Has A New Streaming App With Full Episodes For Subscribers, Play Store Links For Everyone Else

AMC's latest app lets you watch episodes of AMC original shows, and not much else. Naturally you'll need to log in with a cable or satellite subscription to prove that you (or your roommate, or your spouse) actually pay for AMC. Everyone else gets links to the Play Store for things they can't stream for free, which is handy... more handy than the app's lack of Chromecast support, at any rate.

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Stay current with the latest full episodes and video extras from your favorite AMC original series. Full episodes of our original series are available in season. Extras are always available. You can also track recently viewed episodes and resume where you left off. Show premieres are often made available with no login required, along with video extras. Additional full episodes usually require a login provided by your cable or satellite provider.

iGrand Piano

Android Police coverage: IK Multimedia's Pricey iGrand Piano And iLectric Piano Apps Simulate Some Of The World's Best-Known Instruments

You might recognize IK Multimedia as that company behind the iRig music tools for mobile devices. This app (and its brother below) are designed to simulate concert-quality pianos and let you synthesize them for music creation on a phone or (more likely) a tablet. They're compatible with the company's piano-style MIDI controllers, which might explain why they're so expensive. Here's a free trial for iGrand Piano - the various synthesized instruments can be unlocked with in-app purchases.

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iGrand Piano is the ultimate grand piano instrument that puts an extraordinary collection of ultra-realistic acoustic pianos at your fingertips. Use the iRig KEYS and KEYS PRO portable keyboards (www.irigkeys.com) and you’ll be ready to jump start your mobile playing with the absolute best sounding piano instruments for your mobile world. Edit your sounds and save up to 4 user variations per instrument.

iLectric Piano

Android Police coverage: IK Multimedia's Pricey iGrand Piano And iLectric Piano Apps Simulate Some Of The World's Best-Known Instruments

This is essentially the same app as the one above, but designed to synthesize electric pianos instead of traditional ones. I guess that's... easier? The price is the same, and it has the same free trial app.

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iLectric Piano is the ultimate electric piano instrument that puts an extraordinary collection of authentic electric pianos and vintage keyboards at your fingertips. Use the iRig KEYS and KEYS PRO portable keyboards (www.irigkeys.com) and you’ll be ready to jump start your mobile playing with the absolute best sounding piano instruments for your mobile world. Edit your sounds and save up to 4 user variations per instrument.

Encore Music

Encore attempts to unify streaming and local music into a single service. Playing local music files is easy, but the app also includes a plugin for Spotify (and only Spotify, at least for the moment) that allows you to create playlists with both local and cloud music. The interface is solid, and so are the extra features: the app can recognize music a la Shazam, stream to a nearby Chromecast, and it includes a Drive Mode for car docks.

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Encore Music brings all of your music, online and local, to one open-source app. Want Spotify™ Premium music streaming alongside your local music? Just download the Spotify™ Plug-In (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fastbootmobile.encore.spotifyprovider). Add various audio plug-ins and other streaming providers as well. Ever wished you could listen to the streamed, album-version of "Freebird", followed by your local copy of the piano version in one playlist? Now you can with Encore Music.

Cinnamon Grocery Shopping List

Here's a solid little grocery list app with a real focus on Material Design. It includes some surprising features, like an online cross-device sync, a running Pantry tracker that lets you know what you already have at home, and both pre-defined and custom categories (very handy if you need to shop at multiple stores). A search tool lets you add items and prices without manually editing them each time.

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Cinnamon is a beautiful and efficient grocery shopping list app. Cinnamon has features that are guaranteed to improve your grocery shopping and grocery list building experience. Here are some amazing features that make that possible:

  • Sync and share your shopping list with others. Shopping lists sync within mere seconds of each other.
  • Bundles allow you can group multiple grocery items together and add them to your list all at once. Create a Bundle for your weekly grocery staples, create a Bundle for all the ingredients you need for a recipe, the power is in your hands.
  • Keep track of what you already have and never buy the same item twice. Purchased items are automatically sent to your Pantry. Once you've used up an item in your Pantry, you can send it back to your shopping list with a single swipe.

Pintasking

Pintasking is an alternative UI for multitasking. It lets you "pin" apps to a floating button that's accessible from any other app, meaning that you won't have to use the task button to get to it. It's especially handy for tablets (if you happen to be in a very particular workflow). There's also a "most recent task" button which basically emulates the Alt-Tab command in Windows. Root users get even more tools.

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This is an app for power users that miss the old good Taskbar, ALT-TAB shortcut, WIN+[n] shortcut or workspaces on their Android devices. PinTasking allows you to create floating shortcuts in form of pins, on demand and based on their current task and workload.

• pin apps/tasks/documents to access them quickly from any screen and app
• jump quickly to your most recent task
• or your whole tasks history
• doesn't restart your tasks under Lollipop like similar apps
• [ROOT] Disable the app-switch-delay
• extremely customizable
• smooth & cool animations
• Material design
• integrate your browser in PinTasking to:
• easily pin your browser whenever you open a link
• collect / preload links without to leave an application
• quickly share or open links in another app
• works with nearly all browsers

Blynk - Arduino, Raspberry Pi

Do you tinker with Arduino or Raspberry Pi hardware for personal projects? Then download this app and control programmable functions on your tiny PC with your phone. Blynk includes pre-programmed tools for specific actions and a repository of community widgets that you can upload to and download from. It also works with dozens of other similar hardware standards, but unfortunately won't work over Bluetooth.

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Want to control Arduino, Raspberry Pi and other microcomputers with the smartphone over the Internet? Create beautiful interfaces by dragging and dropping various widgets like buttons, knobs, graphs, displays and many more. Everything is made so easy that you'll start tinkering in under 5 minutes. No complex configurations and no documentation readings.

1. Set up widgets with a just a few clicks
2. Upload Blynk sketch code to the board
3. Enjoy Blynking.

Knock Knock

Here's an interesting idea: install this app, go out with some friends, and "knock" on your phone when you meet up. The app will remember who you've been with and let you know who's around. It's a neat implementation... but like all the other chat apps, it requires your friends and contacts to also be using the app. Also, it's an absolute travesty that this app's description doesn't include the phrase, "Knock knock. Who's here?"

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Knock Knock is the easiest way to connect, chat and exchange contact information with people around you. By just knocking twice on your phone, Knock Knock remembers the names of the people you're with and where you met. For anyone who has ever forgotten a name 10 seconds after meeting someone, has given out a fake number or walked out of a room wishing they’d had the courage to talk to the cute guy a few tables down, the world is about to get much less awkward.

 

neutriNote BETA

NeutriNote seems to be a notation app that's aimed at engineers, mathematicians, and programmers. Users can write in markdown language, and the app supports extensions for cloud syncing and odd extras like Tasker and Barcode Scanner (with more on the way). The app is still in beta, so expect a few bugs.

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Let neutriNote be part of your forward thinking note taking process. With neutriNote, you can:

  • preserve your notes in universal UTF8 format
  • write in rich Markdown mixed with LaTeX
  • use multifaceted search to get back to your data in more than one way
  • extend the app with Tasker, ColorDict, Barcode Scanner
  • connect to your favorite cloud: from open source P2P Syncthing to Dropbox, just to name a few.

With an uncluttered and streamlined user interface, essential functions are always just few taps away.

Vurb: Apps & Friends, Together

Vurb is an app that... well, it's trying to do quite a lot of things. In addition to a standard instant messaging service, it has a Twitter-style follow and share function, listings for local businesses and entertainment venues, reviews for places, and "cards" that attempt to bring it all together. Could this app replace five or six of the apps currently on your phone? Maybe, if you're OK using its somewhat cluttered interface and you only use the services it supports.

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Vurb connects your apps to bring your favorite people, places, and things together. Go out. Find new places to eat. Get movie times. Use Vurb Chat to sync up with your friends - all in one app. With Vurb, you can discover great places, make restaurant reservations, plan with friends, and order an Uber or Lyft. Best of all, you don’t have to hop from app to app to do it. Finally your phone works the way it’s supposed to.

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Pictyear

Here's another app that lets you create and order real photo albums by uploading your digital photos. This one focuses on a sharing aspect: friends send you photos (presumably of a wedding, because that's why these apps exist) and you can share them among others via the standard social networks for free. Integration with Instagram, Dropbox, and Flickr is included. The prices for printed books seem pretty reasonable, too.

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A new game-changing app to create photobooks. Try it – you will love it. It allows to create photobooks by inviting your friends to add their own photos on the go – it’s simply magic. Everyone collaborates to its creation and in just a few clicks your photobook is ready and you can share it on social media or privately via email for FREE. Pictyear turns your pictures in gorgeous photobooks that will be delivered to your doorstep at the end of your trip.

Manufacturer And Tie-In Apps

The Weather Network TV App

This app lets you view the weather on your Android TV set-top box. That's about it. It's notable because the interface works so well with the leanback launcher and general UI of Android TV - it beats the crap out of similar apps for devices like the Roku and standard smart TVs. Video on demand from The Weather Network is included.

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The Weather Network TV App is a weather experience unlike any other providing both a live TV App Channel as well as an interactive app all native to Android TV devices. Access your local forecast information 24/7, a live channel providing the latest weather story in your region. Our technology provides weather as close as one-mile from where you live and weather warnings, alerts, radar and traffic flow maps help you stay safe and plan your day.

HTC Service–HTC Account

Android Police coverage: HTC Account App Hits Google Play, Does Nothing Besides Help You Sign In To The Company's Other Apps

This app seems a little redundant. And maybe it is: all it does is let you log in to HTC's various services and tools with a single Google or Facebook account. But believe it or don't, that could save you some serious time when setting up a new phone.

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The HTC Account service lets you sign in to other HTC services on your phone. Some examples of services using HTC Account include HTC Backup, HTC Print Studio and Themes.

HTC Motion Launch

Android Police coverage: HTC Uploads Its Motion Launch App To The Play Store

This app manages HTC's various tap and drag gestures for when your One series phone is asleep. It's included with your phone, this Play Store app is just a way for HTC to update it without having to wait for an OTA update (and wait for the carriers to get in gear).

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HTC Motion Launch lets you interact with your phone while the display is still off. Turn on these gestures in Settings and try them for yourself:

- Double tap to wake up or sleep
- Swipe down to turn on voice dialing
- Swipe up to unlock where you left off
- Swipe left to go to your Home screen
- Swipe right to launch BlinkFeed
- Press the volume button to launch HTC Camera

Live Wallpapers

Scared Creature Live Wallpaper

The Scared Creatures will populate your home screen in this Live Wallpaper. As soon as you touch or shake your device the scared creatures will disappear, only to reappear immediately. With the latest android animation technology this Live Wallpaper has almost no influence in your battery life. In the settings you can decide if the Scared Creatures should go away by touching or shaking the device. In addition you can set the number of creatures.

WTF App(s) Of The Week

Boo!

Hey Google, are you guys OK over there in Mountain View? It seems like some of the apps you've been creating lately are... weird. To put it mildly.

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Cute little creatures crowd the screen. But as soon as they see your face, they all run away. Try sneaking up on them to catch their antics before you are spotted. An open source Android experiment illustrating algorithmic animation and face detection via the front facing camera. Source can be found at https://github.com/larvalabs/boo. For more information about this application please visit http://www.androidexperiments.com

Lip Swap

Android Police coverage: Google Creative Lab Releases Three New Experimental Apps—Landmarker, Tunnel Vision, And Lip Swap

Yup, things are definitely getting weird...

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Lip Swap is an experiment that lets you switch parts of your face with other parts of your face. Talk through your eyes and look through your mouth. Create hilarious videos to share with friends. Lip Swap was created for Android Experiments. Open source code can be found at https://github.com/googlecreativelab/lipswap. Learn more at https://www.androidexperiments.com.

Tunnel Vision

Android Police coverage: Google Creative Lab Releases Three New Experimental Apps—Landmarker, Tunnel Vision, And Lip Swap

ARGH IT'S LIKE GOOGLE'S SERVERS ARE PUNCHING MY EYEBALLS

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Tunnel Vision is an experiment that lets you record your surroundings through a collection of transformative filters. Each filter can be pinched or panned. Tunnel Vision was created for Android Experiments. Open source code can be found at https://github.com/googlecreativelab/tunnelvision. Learn more at https://www.androidexperiments.com.

Know A Worthy New App? Let Us Know!

If you have an application in mind for the next issue of the roundup, feel free to send us an email and let us know.

Important: there are 2 requirements in order for the app to be considered, listed below.

  • the app's launch date has to be no longer than 2 weeks ago
  • it has to be original, ground-breaking, well-reviewed, interesting, fun, etc - the cream of the crop

Now, if and only if the above requirements have been satisfied, fire up an email to this address: [email protected].

1 sponsored placement per week is available (your app would be featured at the top and marked as sponsored) - please contact us for details.