Another month, another great set of apps released to the Play Store. Amid the Nexus season hysteria, plenty of worthy new apps entered the fray, vying for attention from Android users looking to spice up their catalogs.
Out of that list, we've chosen seven of the very best new apps, saving you the hassle of going through every entry. Of course we've got a brief list of runners up as well, but we'll take a closer look at the top six first.
Microsoft Remote Desktop
Offering a "rich multi-touch" experience, Microsoft's remote desktop app made a welcomed addition to the Play Store this October. As you'd expect, the app allows remote access to your PC giving you the ability to use and manipulate remote assets wherever you are with your Android device.
The only clear drawback to Microsoft's tool is that Windows 8 users must be running Pro or Enterprise. Likewise the app requires Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate. Essentially no Home copies of Windows are officially compatible with the app. If you're running a compatible version, though, you should be ready to go in no time.
Last month, Aereo finally hit Android (in beta form). The service, which rebroadcasts over-the-air TV to internet-connected devices, so long as you're able to get a subscription and have Android 4.2 or higher.
Aereo allows users to stream their local TV channels from anywhere, storing up to 20 hours for later viewing. The only downside (for now) is that the service is only live in certain US cities - New York, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Houston, and Dallas. In order to sign up for the service, you'll have to be a resident in one of these cities.
Despite Aereo's restrictions (and potential turmoil from recent legal issues), it deserves a spot in the top six this month based on its potential to change the consumption of TV content. Being able to watch TV without the TV is a huge convenience, and despite its flaws, Aereo still offers impressive streaming and unbeatable value to those who can use it.
In an effort to make important news more friendly to readers with small screens or time constraints, Circa news has created a beautiful app that conveys short versions of top stories to you any time you want.
Unlike other short-news services that synthesize content automatically, Circa uses "an entirely new and unique format" to create short versions of stories that convey the requisite facts and images on the fly.
Besides a simple yet wonderful UI/UX combination, Circa has a simple, YouTube-style widget for your home page. Circa only offers stories from a limited set of categories, but if you like to stay up to date on news but don't have a lot of time to read every story, Circa's definitely worth a look.
Themer, from the awesome website MyColorScreen, came to the Play Store as a closed beta on October first, offering those invited a simple way to change up their launcher with tons of themes or designs from MyColorScreen in just moments. For fans of highly customized home screens, the app is a boon. By the end of the month, Themer began an open beta period, following over half a million signups and 1.5 million theme downloads. The app's success so far is nothing if not amazing.
If MyColorScreen had to make an app, this is probably the best of all possible worlds. An app that doesn't just let you browse the collection of stylized screens available, but lets you make your screen the same in a snap.
Perhaps the easiest way to think of Dessin is like an app similar to Tasker which relies on visual organization of tasks or "mind-maps". Instead of the dry approach Tasker takes, Dessin offers what essentially amounts to stylized, interactive flow charts to lay down a course of action for your device.
It's worth noting that Dessin has essentially no first-run process right now - no tutorial or real explanation is offered. The developer says this will change eventually, but until then there's a definite learning curve.
The free version of Dessin (which by the way is pronounced like "design") is limited - only certain nodes are available. If you're willing to take the plunge for $2.99 though, you'll get the full experience.
Claiming "the most ROMs available in any app you will find on the Google Play Store," ROM Installer - JRummy's latest creation - hit the market last month.
ROM Installer does what you'd expect and then some. Besides simply downloading and installing ROMs, the app can perform backups, install a custom recovery in one click, and notify users of OTA updates for both ROMs and recoveries. All of this is tied in to goo.im for browsing and selecting ROMs easily.
The app is in beta at the time of writing, but if you like JRummy's previous work and are an avid flasher, ROM Installer is worth checking out.
Call Popout, an app from Root Uninstaller, seeks to make the experience of receiving a telephone call less intrusive when you're trying to get something done. To do this, it essentially creates a "popout" alert for incoming calls, with which you can then interact in various ways. It's customizable, lightweight, easy to use, and - perhaps most importantly - visually pleasing.
The app does have a few compatibility quirks, so check out the Play Store listing before installing. Still, Popout is a brilliant idea and definitely worth a look.
- RealPlayer Cloud
- Google Shopping Express
- MyScript Stylus (Beta)
- Edge: Quick Actions
- Mercury Browser
- Runtastic Six Pack Abs
- Holo Text Clock
- doctape Viewer
- Google Maps Engine
- Motorola Camera
That's it for this month's roundup. If nothing on our list suits your fancy, just hang tight for one of our larger, semi-weekly roundups where we'll list out a ton of brand new apps and games for your enjoyment.