Human's activity and fitness tracker has been available on iOS since 2013, but it has just decided to get its running shoes on and ride to the Android side. The app takes a passive approach to activity tracking, working in the background on your phone to figure out everything (walks, runs, bike rides) you've done throughout the day. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's very similar to Google Fit or to the previous "celebrity" in the category, Moves.
Where Human is slightly different is in its focus on trying to make you actively move more throughout the day.
HTC raised more than a few eyebrows when it announced the Vive, a VR headset that ostensibly competes with the more well-known Oculus Rift. But far from being some one-off excursion like the Re Camera, the Vive has gained critical acclaim from those who've had access to its pre-production developer units, and HTC's partnership with Valve gives the company an in with one of the gaming industry's most influential players. At CES 2016, HTC revealed a new model, the Vive Pre, with some very interesting additions to the original.
On top of some ergonomic adjustments for more comfortable wear, the Vive Pre adds a front-facing camera to the design, which allows for easy viewing of the real world without having to remove the headset.
Twitter always set itself apart from the competition by keeping things succinct. The 140 character limit forced everyone to get to the point rather than drone on a la Facebook. However, the company is now said to be close to essentially doing away with that limit. Multiple reports claim Twitter is planning to make the new character limit a whopping 10,000, just like Direct Messages.
Introduced with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Live Photos was a new iOS feature that created a more dynamic photo experience. Instead of being limited to the single shot that users see when they press the shutter button, the camera would capture several shots around that moment, allowing you to move a few seconds or milliseconds and choose a better timed picture. Another benefit was the creation of a small stop-motion or gif-like animation of the different photos, to capture the breadth of the moment instead of fixing one frame in time.
I liked the Live Photos idea and was certain that some enterprising Android developers would soon bring it to their third-party camera app.
When I'm browsing a comments section on Reddit on the Android version of Chrome, I prefer to open links in a new tab, because opening them directly will make the current page "forget" which threads I've already minimized. But when the links are to a YouTube video, they open in a tab with the mobile version of YouTube, instead of in the dedicated Android app. This little app fixes that: Open Link With allows you to open a web page with any compatible app. It's perfect for quickly switching over to YouTube for that link I opened wrong, or for opening a page in an alternate browser that isn't set to the Android default.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Blown Away: First Try
Blown Away is an interesting little platforming game. The chief mechanic is a quick teleporting move - zapping from spot to spot basically replaces the main character's jump move, and creates some interesting puzzles and progression.
AccuWeather is one of the most popular dedicated weather apps in the world - on the Play Store it's racked up somewhere between 50 and 100 million downloads, and that's just for the free version. The latest update actually started sometime around Christmas, and it's been going out in Google-style stages, so it's taken us this long to spot it. Version 4.0 significantly updates the user interface of the app to bring it more in line with Material Design standards... sort of.
The developers behind the Telegram messaging service are starting off the new year with a few additions to their app — perhaps with the hopes of keeping their 5.7 million new users hooked. Version 3.4.0 brings faster GIFs and inline bots that are accessible within chats.
Here's the full changelog:
GIF revolution: up to 20x faster downloading, autoplay, save GIFs to a dedicated tab on the sticker panel.
More about GIFs:
Inline bots: A new way to add bot content to any chat. Type a bot's username and your query in the text field to get instant results and send them to your chat partner.
Local music players (as opposed to online radio and cloud storage players) sometimes seem like dinosaurs now that everyone and their dog is offering a connected music option, but there are still plenty of users who prefer high-quality playback of local files. For them, the years-old PowerAmp remains a popular choice thanks to its excellent codec support, extensive equalizer, and a long list of musical creature comforts. Developer Max MP has now made version 3.0 of the app available as a public alpha; you can download the APK directly from the app's user forum.