- 1 Apps
- 2 Manufacturer And Tie-In Apps
- 3 Know A Worthy New App? Let Us Know!
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: [Update] Taskbar lets you enable Freeform mode on Android Nougat without root or adb
Android Nougat has a bunch of new features, but not all of them are visible on the surface. Freeform mode, a simple windowing system that allows apps to behave like they're on, well, Windows, is hiding deep in its code. This little app allows users to access it, along with some relevant tools, without root or ADB. It's obviously best suited for tablets, but any of the Nexus devices that have been given updates should be at least somewhat compatible with it.
Taskbar puts a start menu and recent apps tray on top of your screen accessible at any time, increasing your productivity and turning your Android tablet or phone into a real multitasking machine. On devices running Android 7.0 Nougat, Taskbar can also launch apps in freeform windows for a PC-like experience. No root required. (see below for instructions)
Remote for GPMDP
Android Police coverage: Remote for Google Play Music Desktop Player controls Play Music on your computer
This tool allows users to control the playback of the Google Play Music desktop app/website from a phone or tablet on the local network. It's a little clunky and a long way from pretty, but the simple interface is much easier to use than, say, a remote desktop for achieving the same thing. Basic controls, volume, and searching are supported, and the developer says that more features are coming soon.
A beautiful remote app for controlling your Google Play Music Desktop Player. Have complete control of your player from the comfort of your couch.
- Basic song functionality (Play, Pause, Previous, Next)
- Control volume with device volume keys
- Queue up playlists
- Play specific songs
- Search your library
- More coming soon.
GPMDP and Remote for GPMDP have NO affiliation with Google. Google Play and Google Play Music are trademarks of Google Inc.
Opera Free VPN - Unlimited VPN
Android Police coverage: Opera VPN now available on Android, completely free and blocks ad tracking
One of the more interesting features of the mobile versions of the Opera browser is a built-in VPN. Previously it was used primarily for data-saving purposes, but privacy advocates found it useful as well. Now the VPN is available as a free, stand-alone app with an aim to prevent tracking from advertisers and malicious parties. Using it might mean a major hit to your connection speed, but for sensitive applications it can be extremely useful.
Opera VPN blocks ad trackers and lets you change your virtual location. Unblock more content and access your favorite websites and apps from anywhere - completely free. With Opera VPN, you get:
• One of the fastest, most reliable VPN services
• Unblocked access via your choice of five virtual locations (with more coming soon)
• The ability to determine WiFi network security level, as well as connection encryption and protection from threats
• A built-in ad tracker blocker to stop advertisers from following you around the web
Conscient - Context Aware app
This tool allows users to launch an app, shortcut, or other action by tying into Google's Awareness API. So for example, if you know you'll always have your phone docked and charging in the car, you can set it to automatically open Google Maps in Driving Mode as soon as it determines that you're going somewhere. The app is simple but has a lot of interesting uses. The free version tops out at three "fences," with unlimited options for less than five bucks.
Conscient is a very simple automation app that lets you launch certain apps whenever certain conditions are met. In Conscient, it is called Fences. You can assign a complex context like Walking or Running and have your favorite app launch automatically. Some of the possible Fences you can achieve are:
• When Headphones Plugged and Walking open Music app.
• When In car, show a notification to navigate to work/home.
• When Running and Headphones Plugged open fitness app.
Ringer Modes - Quick Tile
Android Nougat opens up some interesting possibilities by allowing third parties to slip new entries into the Quick Settings menu. Here's one that swaps between normal, vibrate, and silent ringer options. Show it to your Samsung-using friends next time you want to brag about your unskinned software.
Quickly switch the audio volume ringer mode between Normal/Vibrate/Silent
Digit Save Money Automatically
Digit is an interesting idea for people who can't bring themselves to save money. Essentially it "steals" money for you: it will examine your authorized checking account, looking for spending patterns. And periodically, if it thinks you can spare a few bucks, it squirrels them away into a savings account. The premise is odd and a little disturbing, but if you're desperate (and you trust a "banking" app) it might be worth a shot. The app is currently in an unreleased (read: beta) stage.
Automate your savings. Digit is the free, effortless way to save money without thinking about it. Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and saves a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it.
- To get started, connect your checking account to Digit. This allows Digit to analyze your income and spending, and find small amounts of money it can safely set aside for you.
- Every few days, Digit transfers small amounts of money (typically between $2-$17) to your Digit savings. Digit never transfers more than you can afford, so you don't have to worry about over-drafting your account. In fact, we have a no-overdraft guarantee.
- Withdraw money from your savings at any time. Digit allows unlimited transfers with no minimums and no fees.
Normally I'd make a crack about how we really don't need any more messaging apps, but Google has taken the wind out of my cynicism by announcing two more. So, Amity is a fairly standard chat app with all the bells and whistles in terms of photos, video, emoji and whatnot, with the added special sauce of a dedicated "saved" section for shared links and media. At the moment the app is in beta.
This Android version of Amity has been released as a public beta v0.9. As a small team, we only have one (yet super awesome) Android developer who’s worked hard everyday to develop this app. More of our story below. With your help using Amity with your friends and giving us feedback, we can make this the best experience possible for everyone. Feel free to email us anytime at [email protected] Thanks for your support.
Manufacturer And Tie-In Apps
Android Police coverage: JifiCal is Samsung's attempt to make a voice control calendar app
Android users can already get some basic voice control function for their calendar with Google Now, but Samsung wants to take it a step further. This app allows for more natural and complex commands for a calendar, provided that it's on a Samsung phone, of course. As a controller app (not a stand-alone calendar itself) JifiCal is a bit barebones. At the moment it's in beta.
JifiCal is all about managing your favorite calendar app in a most natural manner. JifiCal uses state of the art natural language understanding technology to understand your requests and your text conversations to create events and reminders in your calendar. All you need to do is to open the JifiCal App and make a request. This could be something simple like: “Remind me to call john tonite at 8” or “I need to Pick up Joe from school after work next Monday.”
Moto File Manager
Android Police coverage: Moto adds its file manager app to the Play Store for easy updates
Motorola has a file manager for its branded phones. It's nothing special - certainly nothing as feature-packed as third-party options - but it allows for basic file management and SD card transfers. It's been placed on the Play Store to allow for easy updates.
Manage your files efficiently and easily with Moto File Manager. Moto File Manager helps you handle all your files whether they are stored in your device's main storage or microSD card.
- File category - Browse files easily by category right from Moto File Manager’s home screen: picture, music, videos, archive, documents and recent files. It’s quick and easy to access files in each category.
- File operations - allows you to copy, move, rename, delete, compress and decompress ZIP files, create encrypted ZIP files and share files.
- Storage info - Easily see the location of each category file and the SD card usage.
- One key transfer - One click to transfer all picture, music and video files from the phone’s internal storage to the external SD card. Transferred files are stored in the FileBrowser folder in the external SD card.
- Global search - Search in all folders and files of the device.
Android Police coverage: Parrot announces two new drones, the Parrot Swing and Parrot Mambo
Parrot, the company behind the original AR Drone, has a couple of new toys for you to check out. The Mambo is a teeny tiny quadcopter with an attachable Nerf canon and a grabber, like the Jason Jr. from the Alvin submarine. This app allows prospective pilots to control the drone, its camera, and its attached toys with a phone or tablet. It's also compatible with older "minidrones."
FreeFlight Mini’s easy-to-use interface makes piloting simple, even for beginner pilots. The app connects to your Minidrone via Bluetooth Low Energy. Once connected, select your preferred piloting method and take-off. You can pilot using virtual joysticks in Joypad mode (default setting), or by tilting your smartphone/tablet in the direction you want your drone to go in Accelerometer mode.
This controller app is for the Jumping Race, Jumping Night, and Sumo, models of two-wheeled drones (which I suppose are just tiny remote-controlled cars, right?). Remote camera operation, jumping commands, and video recording are supported.
The official app for Parrot Jumping Minidrones. Get FreeFlight Jumping, the free app to pilot Parrot Jumping Night, Race, and Sumo. With FreeFlight Jumping, piloting your Jumping Minidrone is ultra-simple. The app connects to your Minidrone via Wi-Fi. The accelerometer and touch controls on the piloting interface help navigate your drone based on the movements of your smartphone or tablet.
Samsung has a dedicated sleep monitor that lives under your mattress. It's kind of like the monster that terrorized you when you were a kid, except it helps you get to sleep instead of keeping you awake. And that monster probably didn't have a Wi-Fi connection or a dedicated Android app.
Samsung SLEEPsense is an under-the-mattress sleep monitor that tracks your sleep through the SLEEPsense app on your smartphone. Track your nightly sleep statistics and review your overall sleep score, average heart and respiratory rates each morning, with tips and recommendations on how to improve your sleep. SLEEPsense works with the Samsung SmartThings family, as well as Samsung Smart TVs, allowing you to customize your sleep environment.
Home Theater Control
This Android TV app is a built-in settings menu for Sony's Bravia line of smart TVs. Obviously you'll need a compatible set to take advantage of it.
Latest audio systems are supported. This app is only compatible with BRAVIA TVs.
Sense sells little independent widgets that you can stick around your house, connect to your network, and control with your phone. They're sort of like decentralized gadgets for a connected home, including a thermometer, sleep monitor, a wireless power button, and a pill reminder. This official Android app allows you to see the output and manage the connection for all of them.
The SensePeanut App has been designed to offer a simple and uncluttered view of all your Peanuts. It gives easy to understand and comprehensible charts, straight forward features for a quick and easy setup as well as advanced features for savvy users. Download this App to connect your SensePeanuts with your Android phones and tablets using Bluetooth Smart.
Sense Home Energy Monitor
And here's the app for a connected home energy monitor, from another company named Sense as well. It allows you to view energy drain from individual devices or your entire home, with a history view for determining patterns.
The Sense app in combination with the Sense home energy monitor let you understand what every appliance, light, and device in your house has to say. See what’s on. Know what’s happening in your home. See how much TV you watched, what time your kids got home, or when a basement light comes on. Get alerts when you leave the iron on, or the wash is finished.
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.