Every year toward December, Google releases a list of the best apps it recommends from the Play Store. It's a great way for Android newcomers to discover interesting apps they might want to install on their devices and for platform veterans to find apps that might have flown under their radar. This year's list is out, divided in 8 categories of 5 apps each, with a few added at the top, but the choices are if anything, a little weird.
You'll likely see different lists according to where you live. Some apps seem to be globally recommended like Skype, Google Photos, Twitch, and djay, while others will differ based on where you're consulting the list from.
It really stinks when you've been saving up your Google Opinion Rewards money, but you're just a few cents short of buying something. Google has not thus far allowed you to apply that credit and pay the difference, but it looks like that's changing. We've gotten multiple tips from readers who have been offered just that option in the Play Store.
Like many apps these days, Evernote has a beta program. An interesting new feature just popped up in the most recent beta version on this app. In v7.5 beta 2, there's a feature for making quick notes right from the notification shade. Evernote even pops up a splash screen to tell you about it after the new version is installed.
Google acquired the streaming music service Songza more than a year ago, and it has operated in parallel with Google Play Music all this time. But no more. Songza is being shuttered on January 31st, so existing users have about two months to migrate over to Play Music. The good news, most of Songza's features are already in Play Music.
Remember when we had watches that didn't run apps? What dark days those were. Of course, now we have the problem of finding good apps for our watches. Google doesn't really make it easy to find everything with Android Wear support, but that's what these little (big) roundups are all about. Here are all the best Android Wear apps and watch faces we've come across recently.
TeamViewer started beta testing a big update to its Android app (and other apps) recently, and now it's final. TeamViewer 11 is out of beta with a plethora of features that will make it less awful when someone on the other side of the country needs help with their phone. It'll still be kind of awful, but you won't want to murder the other party (probably).
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.
Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites. DigiCal is a complete calendar solution that integrates with Google Calendar, matching it feature-for-feature and then some. A wide selection of calendar views (agenda, day, week, month, text month, list) and great tablet compatibility means that your calendar will look great and be easy to use no matter what device you're using.
Widgets and pull-down notifications have been a part of Android for a very long time, but what if you combined them? Snap - Widget Drawer is essentially a second notification shade, but instead of notifications, it's populated with widgets. Plus, it's accessible from anywhere, no matter what else you're doing on the phone.
There's a new Google app that will help you get some culture, and you don't even have to stand up. The aptly named Arts & Culture app contains images and data on works of art and relics of the past from more than 850 museums and organizations around the world. And it's free—not even a "suggested" donation.
GPS Status & Toolbox is a very popular app with tens of millions of downloads. It's a useful way to test your device's GPS functionality, but it's also ugly. The app was just updated to v6.0, and the changelog says it includes material design, but it's not very material at all. Luckily, there are some other things in this release too.