The Google Play Store, as always, was abuzz with new apps last month. More than just new apps, though, the Play Store gained plenty of well-crafted, quality apps. The kind that have spurred the market's recent growth spurt, and which allow users to discover functionalities they never knew they needed. As always, we've sifted through all last month's new apps and selected our top five picks – a kind of short list for those looking to get the most out of their device with awesome apps.
A few days ago, we were treated to a lovely look at what Tasker, the highly-customizable Android automation app, could look like if it got a nice facelift. Unfortunately, this was done by the Android team and was not representative of any real work being done by the developer. As it turns out, though, the developer behind said application is working on a holo conversion. There are quite a few obstacles to deal with in the meantime:
While there is no shortage of security apps on the Play Store, aeGis one stands out a bit for a few reasons. For starters, it's dead simple to use. Set up a specific trigger phrase and you can text your phone to lock the display, remotely wipe, find the address of, or sound an alarm from your phone. There's no web interface, unfortunately, but this app trades the elaborate suite of services of something like Avast for simplicity.
Ok - here's the deal. A Google Search update happened, which means it's teardown time. Normally I post about unreleased, work-in-progress stuff, but Google Now is so context dependent, that it's pretty much impossible for me to tell if something is implemented or not. The one thing I've learned from my months of using Now is that Google Now is in charge, and you're just along for the ride. So, for today's post, we're just going to shoot for "new things that didn't make it onto the 'What's New' list." If you can get them to show up, awesome.
If you've been lusting after Samsung's S-Memo functionality (found on numerous Samsung devices like the Note II, LG has something similar too), but for any piece of Android hardware, a new app called Ink Over Apps is definitely worth looking into. Its functionality is pretty limited at this point, but what it does, it does well. And what it does is let you draw on your screen and then save a screenshot of what you've drawn.
SoundCloud may not be the most famous app around, but when it comes to sharing a simple audio clip or a song, it's hard to beat. Now, the company's mobile app is getting an overhaul and with it comes a shiny new interface that doesn't suck. The UI upgrade makes use of the action bar, side navigation panel, notification controls and all the other fancy new features that we've grown used to since Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.
There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011.
Back in late October, SwiftKey announced a new feature called Flow for its hyper-intelligent keyboard. SwiftKey Flow takes everything you (and I) love about SK, and combines it with gesture typing, like that of Swype, or the Android 4.2 stock keyboard. Then, just a few days ago, they debuted the newest feature that would be available in Flow - called Flow Through Space - which allows users to swipe through full sentences without having to lift their finger from the keyboard by sliding down to the spacebar after each word.
Have you heard of QThru? If not, welcome to the club - before tonight, I didn't even know it existed. Basically, it's a cool take on self-checkouts at brick-and-mortar stores. The idea is simple: carry your phone around, scanning barcodes of the stuff you intend on buying. Once you're finished, head over to the QThru kiosk and use it to scan the QR on your phone, essentially closing the transaction. All of your credit card info is stored within the QThru app on your device, so once you've scanned the QR, you're done.