I'm going to assume that you've never heard of Reserve, because unless you live in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco, there hasn't been much of a reason for the product to enter your radar. The concierge service lets people in these four cities pick a place to eat, reserve a table, and pay for the food all from a single app. It's cool, and now it's available on Android.
BIG Launcher takes a smartphone's core functionality and crams it into an interface that's easier on senior citizens and other people with vision problems. BIG Notifications, a new app from the same developer, gives a phone's notifications the same treatment.
While BIG Launcher is simply a homescreen replacement, BIG Notifications doesn't seamlessly replace your notification shade. Instead, the app creates a copy that's written in a bigger font, which you can access through a persistent notification.
Dedicated Google users may not be aware that the Bing homepage consists predominantly of a giant background image, sometimes animated, that changes by the day. In perhaps a fit of creativity, Microsoft has decided to release a lockscreen replacement app by the name of Picturesque that takes this background and makes it your phone's lock screen.
The Internet has made buying things as effortless as possible. You don't need to go to the store or even roll out of bed. You don't have to bother with cash, and in places where you frequently shop, you can do without pulling out a card either. A series of mouse clicks or finger taps is all it takes.
The inverse isn't so simple. Mailing packages typically requires making a trip to the nearest postal service and wrestling with packaging.
There are no shortage of ways to get links from one device to another, but this often involves signing up for a service and leaving behind a record of what you're sharing. CaastMe is a new Android app that has an innovative way of getting around this, account-free.
The software relies on QR codes, but it uses them in the opposite of the way you would expect. Instead of prompting your device to open a URL, CaastMe tells the computer displaying the code where to go.
MakerBot has brought its mobile app to Google Play, empowering users to control their MakerBot printers from an Android-powered device. The app accesses 3D models saved in your cloud library, which you can now print, monitor, and cancel from your phone or tablet.
This is MakerBot's second Android app to enter the Play Store. Its first, Thingiverse, came to Android roughly a year ago. Following the latest update (version 1.3), the two pieces of software can work together, enabling you to print 3D models straight from Thingiverse.
Accessing voice mail has traditionally been a pain, and while visual voice mail takes much of the aggravation away, it seems many of the supplied apps are designed to capture the essence of the mundane experience and inject it directly into our eyes. To continue the trend, Motorola has added a Visual Voice Mail app to the Play Store that looks about as exciting as a confirmation dialogue.
The app adheres to material design enough not to make a device running stock Lollipop wince, but with awkward spacing and little in the way of color, it could be better.
Update: With the Google Classroom mobile app, teachers and students get some features that aren't available on a traditional computer. For starters, they can use their phone cameras to take photos and attach them directly to assignments.
Intuit has released a new version of TurboTax into the Play Store that shouldn't look jarring on your Lollipop-powered device. Despite focusing on something as dense and complicated as taxes, the app is rich with color and comes with plenty of whitespace. This is about as friendly as taxes can look.
The Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock is the kind of tech that reminds us that we're living in the future. With one of these installed in your home, you can get inside just by tapping a finger against the lock. Before you panic, this only works if your phone is in range and on the right side of door (i.e. the outside).