XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (Apr 17 – 24)

XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (Apr 17 – 24)

Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA, we don’t discriminate apps – if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and we usually share and discuss the latest app releases at our virtual office.  Here we present to you some of our favorite apps of this week, take a look!


Iris – Walk While Using Any App [BETA]

irisFirst up is Iris by XDA Junior Member nyomidev. This app is currently in beta, but we gave it a try and it worked very well. The concept is simple: Iris puts a transparent overlay of your camera on top of everything on your phone, and you can modify the opacity to your liking. The idea of using it while walking might sound gimmicky, but the apps works wonderfully well with surprisingly smooth camera action. It’s obviously not the most battery-friendly app out there, but the concept and its execution make for a rather surreal effect that is worth experiencing, even if just once!

SMSmart – Access Apps Via SMS [FREE]

smsOut of data? This application brings back to life a tried and true method of pretend-internet through SMS, and while text messages might not be the best way of getting Google Search results anymore, doing so without using up precious bytes can be a life (or pocket) saver. With this app, you can tweet and read your twitter feed “offline”, do internet searches, read news, find restaurants and even get directions in case you are lost. The app re-structures the information in a tidy interface to make it much easier to read, too, so on the front it functions just like a regular app.

Mortal Kombat X [FREE/IAP]

mkxMany of us grew up playing this game at arcade machines, but now you can get the visceral fighting action right on your smartphone. The game is free with in-app purchases (sadly), but it is still fun enough for those that simply want to blow some steam or check out the remastered fatalities on your 1440p panels. The game features online multiplayer for groups of up to 3 players, and given it is a new game, it has a lot of room to grow and improve. The graphics are phenomenal, but keep in mind the requirements are higher than those of an average game, that it has a “High Maturity” rating and that it is only available in select regions for now.

Glimpse Notifications – Saves You a Button Press! [FREE]

glimpsesXDA Senior Member xrad has a quality-of-life application that will make your notification-checking process more efficient than ever: with this app, you no longer need to press the power button to check your lockscreen notifications. This app lights up your screen with incoming notifications, showing you the contents right on your lockscreen, but it also recognizes when it is facing down or in your pocket to avoid wasting battery. And if that’s not enough, the app has an unpocketing mode that lights up your screen as you take your phone out of you pocket. The best part? No special permissions, no ads and completely free! You can read more about this app here.

Collateral – Notes at Notifications Panel [FREE]

collThis is a simple productivity app with a beautiful interface that allows you to create notes and lists that reside in your notification area. You can use these for reminders, important notes you shouldn’t forget about or to-do lists. Like many productivity apps, this is what you make of it, and given that the notification panel is available throughout the entire OS, there are endless ways to make it handy. The main app features over 300 icons to choose from as well as DashClock extensions, and there is more in the premium version if you are willing to pay. If you love material apps, though, you’ll certainly love this app’s look.

Notable Updates:

  • Google Keep was updated to easily browse notes on your wrist through your Android Wear watch, which goes along perfectly with the voice command integration of the platform. You also get the ability to add reminders to your notes directly from Wear, including recurring reminders. Finally, the Android app itself now allows you to add labels to notes to stay organized.
  • Action Launcher 3.4 is out, bringing a plethora of new additions and improvements such as an improved widget picker, a more customizable All Apps grid, vertical scrolling All Apps and widget lists, font configuration and more. You can read the full change log here.
  • DashClock Widget is perhaps one of the most popular widget apps out there, featuring stylish clocks with a huge number of extensions that add all sorts of data glimpses and functions. The application’s UI was lacking a refresh, though, and in the DashClock Widget 1.7 Beta 1 release you’ll find a Material Design interface that brings the app up to speed.

That is it for this week. We hope that you might have found some of these apps as interesting, useful or entertaining as we did. Whether you are a student, a developer, a designer or a gamer, Android has you covered. We will try to reflect that each week with a variety of picks to spark your interest, and if you see (or publish!) any new apps that you think are worthy of a feature, be sure to send us a tip and we’ll give it a look. Until next time!


About author

Mario Tomás Serrafero
Mario Tomás Serrafero

Mario developed his love for technology in Argentina, where a flagship smartphone costs a few months of salary. Forced to maximize whatever device he could get, he came to know and love XDA. Quantifying smartphone metrics and creating benchmarks are his favorite hobbies. Mario holds a Bachelor's in Mathematics and currently spends most of his time classifying cat and dog pictures as a Data Science graduate student.