- 1 Apps
- 2 Manufacturer And Tie-In Apps
- 3 Know A Worthy New App? Let Us Know!
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: 'Fingerprint Gestures' app brings one Pixel feature to more Android devices
A lot of Nexus 6P and 5X owners were less than thrilled when the Pixel phones were given fingerprint gestures that were technically possible, but not enabled, on their phones. This independent app brings them down to last year's models, allowing for a staggering amount of direct open actions after a successful read. It's a fantastic tool for any device that can take advantage of it.
Enable the fingerprint actions of Google Pixel on your device. Use gestures like single tap, double tap, or fast tap (swipe) to control your phone and/or tablet. To check your notifications, swipe down on the fingerprint sensor on your phone. Touch your fingerprint sensor and scroll through an app of your choice. To quickly turn your phone to sleep, just tap the sensor. And so much more.
Adobe Photoshop Fix
Android Police coverage: Fix is Adobe's latest 'Photoshop' app, focused on easy portrait editing
Of the three Adobe apps on display this week, Fix makes the most sense to use on a phone... if only because it's basically a more powerful version of Instagram. Fix is an app designed to pretty up your selfies and other photos, mostly with filters and frames and the like, but there are a few Photoshop-grade image editing tools in there as well. It's a surprisingly effective tool for a very specific kind of photo editing. At least it's free.
Adobe Photoshop Fix enables powerful, yet easy image retouching and restoration on your Android phone. Heal, smooth, liquify, lighten and make other edits and adjustments that give you the precise look you’re after. Access edited photos within other Adobe mobile and desktop apps by signing in to Adobe Creative Cloud to further refine them or use them in other creative projects – it’s all powered by Adobe CreativeSync.
Adobe Comp CC
Android Police coverage: Adobe releases Photoshop Sketch and Comp CC on Android, bringing on-the-go creativity to everyone
Adobe Comp is a composition layout tool that doesn't seem to realize it's designed for phones and tablets. The idea is to create wireframe designs for websites, magazine spreads, and similar things, using some standard grid, shape, and font tools. This sort of thing is unavoidably awkward on mobile (especially if you're used to desktop tools to do the same thing), but it might be good for some basic idea exploration on the go.
Lay out an idea with real assets like photos, text, shapes and fonts. Send the wireframe to Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC to refine and finish. Graphic designers and artists can explore a concept using:
• Prebuilt mobile, print and web sizes. Create your own custom size.
• Gestures that drop in placeholder text, basic shapes, graphics and editable text boxes.
• Guides and grids to align and work with spacing controls.
• Professional fonts powered by Typekit.
• Send the idea to the desktop where it will automatically open in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Android Police coverage: Adobe releases Photoshop Sketch and Comp CC on Android, bringing on-the-go creativity to everyone
Come on Adobe, can we please get a real version of Photoshop on Android again? No? Well then I guess we'll just have to live with apps like "Photoshop" Sketch, which is more about basic drawing tools than image manipulation. (So shouldn't it be an Illustrator brand?) With some fairly standard brush and shape tools, the app allows for complex drawing if you have the patience for the mobile-first interface. Like all Adobe apps, it's better with a Creative Cloud subscription.
Draw with pencils, pens, markers, erasers, thick acrylic, ink brush, soft pastel and watercolor paint brushes to create artwork that can be sent as layered files to Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC. Artists tell us they love the:
• Access to 11 tools that can adjust size, color, opacity and blending settings.
• Ability to create an infinite variety of Sketch brushes using Capture CC.
• Ability to add multiple image and drawing layers they can restack, rename, transform and merge.
• Flexibility to organize their favorite tools and colors in the toolbar
• Ability to send their sketches to Photoshop or Illustrator with layers preserved
Android Police coverage: Open GApps launches its own app for quick and easy Google Apps package downloads [APK Download]Gs
Gapps is the community-created package that adds the Play Store and other Google apps and services to open source ROMs like CyanogenMod. It's a pretty simple thing to find, but getting a flashable package directly from your phone can be annoying. This app can track down the latest version, and even install it if you're rooted. If you're not, it can still be installed manually via a custom recovery.
This is the official OpenGApps.org app that enables you to quickly check for the latest Open GApps packages and download them from OpenGApps.org. The app requires access to the filesystem to be able to download and store the Open GApps packages in your Downloads-folder. If your device has ‘root’ enabled and you grant root permissions to the app, it can instruct the recovery to directly install the Open GApps package.
Android Police coverage: Amazon Rapids is a $2.99 subscription for short kid stories written as chat conversations
It's said that children adapt to new experiences much better than adults. It's probably in that spirit that Amazon released Rapids, a series of kid-friendly stories that play out with character profile portraits and speech bubbles, in the fashion of texting apps. If the structure doesn't appeal to parents, perhaps the aim will: it's all designed to get kids interested in reading. New stories are added on a regular basis.
Amazon Rapids offers a playful approach to children’s reading, with illustrated and original short stories written in a unique chat style that brings stories to life, one message at a time. Stories on Amazon Rapids are told through the lens of characters chatting with each other, from an alien texting about invading Earth to two chickens debating if they should cross the street. Your child can quickly immerse herself in a hilarious adventure and enjoy the simple pleasure of a great story.
Ambi-Turner (Ambient Display)
Android Police coverage: Ambi-Turner gives Pixel owners the ambient notification powers they've been missing
Google deleted some of the ambient display screen capabilities in the move from the Nexus 6P/5X to the Pixel. This app brings them back. It's specifically designed to bring back pocket and motion detection for the Pixel and Pixel XL lockscreen, but it might work for similar AOSP-based devices. A $1 upgrade unlocks all of the advanced options in the app.
Ambi-Turner can turn on your default ambient display whenever you take your phone out of your pocket, or turn it from face down to face up. Android's default implementation of ambient display on pixel and other devices doesn't include gesture support or pulse notifications like some other phone manufacturers. Ambi-Turner adds those features to your existing ambient display or third party lock screen.
Android Police coverage: Microsoft Selfie is a fast and easy way to enhance your own selfies, I.e. not Microsoft's
Microsoft's latest Android app isn't being coy with its title: it's a selfie photo app called Selfie. The "beatification" and colorized filters on display aren't anything you haven't seen before (and considerably better in apps like Prisma), so it's not clear what Microsoft thinks is so much better here. The "Intelligent enhancement" isn't much more than a Vaseline filter. Oh, and as one commenter noted, the app's screenshots are not actually selfies.
Fast, easy and natural. Microsoft Selfie is a selfie and photo-enhancement application available on Android, iOS and web. Backed by computer vision technology, Microsoft Selfie intelligently considers age, gender, skin tone, lighting and many other variables – all with one click. Users can transform average photos into enhanced, natural photos in seconds. Currently we don't support X86 platform, like ASUS ZenFone, tablet and etc.
Poundaweek - Calorie Counter
Here's an interesting twist on the dieting app: a system that focuses on shedding a single pound a week as an attainable and safe goal. Aside from the unique hook, Poundaweek offers compatibility with most of the popular "systems" of weight loss, and doesn't require a login or signup. The app works with a variety of external fitness trackers as well.
With weekly nutrition goals rather than daily diet restrictions, this smart calorie counter never lets one bad day stop you from getting lean and becoming body confident. Lose a pound a week. Reach your goal, every week. Eat less than your Poundaweek weekly calorie limit. Poundaweek tells you EXACTLY how many calories, carbs, fat and protein to eat every week on your personalized weight loss diet.
Dingless - Notification Sounds
Here's a neat little app that turns off all notification sounds and vibrations for a set amount of time. That doesn't sound all that useful, but consider that if you're in the middle of a Twitter storm or a flurry of text messages... that you'd rather ignore for a few minutes. The interval can be changed, or set to turn off when you turn your phone's screen off manually.
1) Dingless eliminates notification sound alerts while using your smartphone. Uhh.. Who needs them anyway? Alerts will be restored automatically once the screen is switched off.
2) Pre-set time lapses between two successive notification sound while you are away from your smartphone.
a) If you have a rush of notification sound within a certain time frame, only one alert will be played.
b) Control how often you need to be notified when smartphone is being charged or nearby. Pre-set time is defined in app settings.
Simple Habit Meditation
As someone with all the mental discipline of a rabid badger, I don't know much about meditation. But apparently this app offers a "meditation service" - a huge selection of guided, focused mediations with specific themes - for a premium subscription. Each session is just five minutes long, despite that targeted intention, but some of the subscription options are very expensive.
5 minute meditations designed by a Harvard psychologist. Reduce stress, improve focus, breathe, and sleep better with meditations guided by world's best meditation teachers. Recommended by Business Insider. Download for FREE today.
• Free to download - you have nothing to lose.
• Only 5-minutes per day to improve your life
• New meditation guides by the world’s best teachers, from mindfulness experts at Google to former monks
• Perfect for busy lifestyles - meditate with Simple Habit's On-the-Go meditations
• Guided meditations for specific symptoms and goals (sleep, stress, depression, and more)
• Guided meditations for specific life situations (morning, commute, tough day at work, and more)
Artem. Why are you doing this to me, Artem. Please. I'm begging you. I used to have pride. I don't want to... FaceRig is an app that lets you replace your boring human face with a cartoon fox or an anime girl or something. It works with photos and live videos. The technology isn't new, but the in-app purchases for a bunch of different avatars are.
FaceRig is an application that enables you to embody awesome digital characters anywhere. You want to impersonate a dragon? We've got you covered. You want to be a bad-ass soldier? How about a cute, loving, fluffy, Red Panda? Don't ask how he got in there, take the app for a spin right now. In a pocket, in a bus, in a bar, on a tower, on a plane? Everywhere.
Manufacturer And Tie-In Apps
Google VR Services
Android Police coverage: Google VR Services gets an update in preparation for Daydream VR
This app doesn't do anything for users, it's a backend service for Google's virtual reality tech, specifically the one that enables the new Daydream View. As such, it's limited to Pixel and Pixel XL phones for the moment.
Google VR Services provides virtual reality functionality for Daydream and Cardboard apps. This includes functions such as displaying notifications while in VR, pairing Daydream-ready headsets and controllers with your Daydream-ready phone, and entering and exiting VR apps. Daydream apps will not work if you uninstall Google VR Services.
Android Police coverage: The official Daydream app is up on the Play Store
And here's the official Daydream app, which is more of a homescreen for your VR content than anything else. It also has a few settings to fiddle with, and the interface for adding or removing Daydream apps is accessible in phone mode.
Daydream brings high quality virtual reality (VR) to Daydream-ready phones. With the Daydream app, you can launch your favorite virtual reality experiences and browse from an ever-growing collection of apps and games. Explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema, and play immersive games that put you at the center of action. Plus, the app brings featured content front and center so there’s always something fresh to return to when you put on the headset.
Android Police coverage: YouTube VR app now available [APK Download]
This is the same YouTube you know and possibly love, but for VR. The standard YouTube videos are available in their 2D glory, but the app highlights stereoscopic 3D and 360-degree content that's made for VR platforms like the Daydream View. The app's interface even supports most of the functions of a YouTube account, like subscriptions, likes, and picture-in-picture browsing.
Experience every YouTube channel, video and creator in virtual reality. The YouTube VR app turns every video on the platform into your own virtual reality experience and reimagines YouTube as a 3D world you can explore from the inside. Available first on Daydream View. Experience YouTube like never before:
• Step inside YouTube and explore the site in 3D VR setting
• Watch and browse every video on YouTube, from 3D 360 videos to standard rectangular videos
• Get a full, signed-in experience that lets you view subscriptions, playlists, watch history, and more.
Google Arts & Culture VR
Android Police coverage: Google Arts & Culture VR app is now available [APK Download]
Google's first major Daydream app is a gallery of some of the most famous Western art in the world. Is there any reason that you should see these two-dimensional pieces in full 3D environments with your VR headset and exclusive phone? Not particularly, but it's cool nonetheless, and it comes with audio narration for some interesting bonus info.
View art from museums around the world with the Google Arts & Culture VR app. Step inside a virtual gallery to see works by artists like Van Gogh or Rembrandt. You can zoom in to see every brushstroke, and and hear audio guides from expert museum curators. The Google Arts & Culture VR app requires a Daydream-ready headset such as Daydream View and a Daydream-ready phone such as Pixel. Learn more at http://g.co/daydream.
Android Police review: Microsoft Teams, the company's Slack competitor, is now in preview
Every other week I seem to go through another couple of these office chat apps, and every other week the description is the same: this is only useful if your office is already on the desktop and/or web version. Ditto for Microsoft Teams, and doubly so since it's still a preview product. You'll need a full Office 365 subscription to use the tool... or you could just go back to using Slack like everyone else.
This app requires appropriate commercial Office 365 subscription. If you are not sure about your company’s subscription or the services you have access to, please contact your IT department. Microsoft Teams is your chat-centered workspace in Office 365. Instantly access all your team’s content from a single place where messages, files, people and tools live together. Take it with you on your favorite mobile device.
Android Management experience
This is an official tie-in app for Google's enterprise tools that lets managers create a standard "work" profile, then disseminate it to all of the company-owned phones in the building. It's a novel approach to keeping work and personal stuff separate, but considering how little Google has progressed in this particular market, I can't help but wonder how many people will actually use it.
This is the companion app for the Android Management experience
• Create a secure work profile to keep your work data separate
• Your administrator can manage policies in your work profile to keep work data secure and keep your personal data confidential
• The managed Google Play Store gives you access to your companys favourite work apps
The 2016 election is over, so now CNN needs to come up with an actually compelling reason for you to tune in. How about a VR presentation of the news? There doesn't seem to be a lot of actually breaking stories in this Daydream app, but there's... um, 360 degree tours of the White House! And... 360 degree tours of... the CNN newsroom? Maybe they'll have something interesting to show at some point.
CNN connects you to the world – now like never before. The CNNVR app brings you the latest breaking news, global coverage and world events in a brand new, fully immersive 360-degree format – exclusively on Daydream. With CNNVR you can explore your favorite news topics and interests first-hand in a fully immersive environment. From inside the White House to on location in an international hot spot to behind the scenes of your favorite CNN show, CNNVR takes you inside the news stories of the day to give you a new perspective and richer understanding of the events shaping your world.
The Guardian VR
The Guardian's use of VR makes a lot more sense, if only because it's contextual - the "experience" is more like a game than a 3D tour, and it's meant to be informative on issues like solitary confinement. Unfortunately the app is only compatible with Daydream at the moment - Google Cardboard users need not apply. New virtual experiences are planned semi-monthly.
The Guardian VR places you inside the story. Marrying our experience of rigorous journalism with innovative storytelling. Whether it’s experiencing what it’s like to be in a solitary confinement cell for 23 hours a day or exploring London’s Victorian sewer system with an urban explorer, these first-hand experiences present a new form of journalism. We’ll be bringing you new pieces every month or so, on Daydream and soon other platforms.
HTC BoomSound and Adaptive aud
Here's an app that updates the audio profiles for latter HTC phones. If you have a compatible device, install it for updates outside of the standard OTA timeline.
Fist release on Google play update for AND N
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.