XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (Apr 25 – May 1)
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!
Clarity Keyboard – Swiftkey’s Multi-word prediction [BETA]
Swiftkey’s pet project is a new keyboard with an emphasis on simplicity: Clarity is tall, minimal, and a little ugly. If you can look past this, however, you will find a rather solid Beta keyboard. This keyboard sports the latest in Swiftkey’s renowned correction, featuring multi-word revision that makes your text re-shape itself in rather scary ways. The best way to understand this is to try it for yourself – even if you aren’t used to this keyboard, if you have a general idea of where the keys are, you can type paragraphs with your eyes closed and you will be presented with scarily accurate corrections. It’s an early release, but it a promising one at that.
AppHunt – Discover New Apps! [FREE]
This application is meant for app-discovery, and while there are many ways you can get to the latest or best apps, the design here makes the process more engaging. While it was released before April 25th, it is now beginning to get the user-base it needs to be useful. Instead of a rigid list like seen on App stores, the system here is similar to how Reddit works: users submit an app, and it hits the frontpage. From then on, the number of votes determines its position and with time it goes to the bottom of the ranking – but at a fast pace and more democratic system, unlike on the Google Playstore. You can then sort the apps like you can on Reddit as well, and have discussions of the app.
AppChat – Talk About Apps, or Whatever! [ALPHA / EDITOR’S CHOICE]
If a social network to “meet apps” is too much, you can instead try AppChat, a chatroom to chat or discuss in real time with people who have the same app. It is still a new project, but it allows you to connect with users that have the app, and then chat, share screenshots, give likes to content and more. This project originated in this XDA thread and to us at the Portal Team it is, by far, the most original app to come out this week. This adds a social element to non-social apps, but it also adds a meta-social element to social ones. What’s more, it is reminiscent of the famous Miiverse for Nintendo consoles – so it has huge game discussion potential!
PinTasking – A New Way of Multitasking [OPEN BETA]
There are many amazing multitasking solutions out there, but PinTasking is perhaps one of the best task switchers to come out this year. The concept is simple: pin apps, access them later. You can set up and customize gestures to summon the pin or switch between tasks, and a floating button to quickly access applications. You can also queue up links from browsers or apps to check out whenever you please. The only downside is that it requires root on Android Lollipop, but most of us at XDA have root anyway. It is also worth noting that the app is as beautiful as it is functional, with smooth animations that fit Material Design perfectly. Check the thread!
Priced at, $7 his can be considered an expensive game, but it packs a lot of content by giving you two complete titles: Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, originally released for home consoles and PC. This game will take you through the 6 episodes in the Star Wars movie series, but now acted out by LEGO brick people, aliens and robots. There are 120 playable characters, tens of levels, hours of content, and lots of laughs to be had. Now that “May the Fourth” is approaching, this can be a very fun way to re-live the movies.
- Fleksy will be free throughout the first week of May. It is an interesting keyboard alternative with an emphasis on customizability and features such as sending GIF animations. If you love colorful keyboards and sending reaction images/GIFs, don’t pass on this one.
- Flynx’s latest beta removes the 4 tab restriction, improves performance and page load times in reading mode and has a neat dark theme for AMOLED screens. Flynx is an acclaimed reading application that loads articles in the background for you to read whenever, so all of these are handy improvements.
- Google Now’s latest update expands third party app integration with 70 more third party services to add a lot of functionality. You can now receive cards from a plethora of extra applications to make Google Now even more useful than before, so check out the supported app list here!
- Finally, the Project Fi app hit the Playstore, as Google’s mobile operator service was unveiled a little over a week ago. The app allows you to activate the service, manage your account and settings and check relevant information. It might be of no use for you yet, but you can read all about the service in our coverage to figure out if it is worth jumping into!
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!