XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (June 20 – 27)
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 here are our top picks for this week.
TouchWiz is not the prettiest skin out there, and although the latest paintcoat it received on the S6 was much better than previous iterations, many found it was not enough. The Theme Engine was promising, but initial offerings were underwhelming and no Stock-like theme came bundled. Luckily, we now have such theme, and it emulates the original Material Design to the best of its abilities. Iconography and panels are all appropriately themed to give you the closest to a Stock Android look you can get without flashing a custom ROM (or theme, like in the past). Find it in the Theme Store!
Rover Floating Launcher [FREE]
XDA Senior Member roshga came up with Rover Floating Launcher (thread here), a floating button that reveals a list of apps and shortcuts for your multitasking pleasure. Rover allows you to switch to or fire up apps quickly and on the fly, and its resting transparency makes it rather unobtrusive. You can also set it to do calls and trigger services like Google Now, which opens up many possibilities and adds an extra layer to navigation. This is very much like Samsung’s toolbox functionality, but cleaner and smoother. If you love navigation or multitasking options, you must give this one a look!
If you visit our frontpage, you probably saw us publish external links to Medium. This service is a blog-publishing platform where professionals and passionate amateurs alike publish interesting stories in a sort of social journalism. These can range from short to long, and from in-depth to editorial, but there are many great things to read and there is no shortage of Android-related content either. The app also allows you to quickly write your ideas down for the site and the interface is simple and dynamic. It’s a pleasant blog reading app with a lot of interesting content — readers can’t miss it!
Office for Android Phones [FREE]
Microsoft Office is a world-renowned document editing platform, and while the Android apps for Word, Powerpoint and Excel came out for tablets a while ago, they now hit phones as well. Here you will find robust editing options that are surprisingly comparable to the desktop version. While Google Docs, Sheets and Slides on Android are decent, Office brings extensive functionality and better synergy with desktop editors. The service will only get better with Windows 10, but keep in mind that you do need a Microsoft account for much of the functionality.
Most Recently Used Widget [FREE]
Our home screens are usually rigid sets of icons, but Most Recently Used Widget (thread here) by registered-user attempts to change that by bringing you a box grid that contains your most used apps. The concept is that simple, and it’s very much like HTC’s solution found in their latest Sense ROMs. You can get quick access to the apps you typically need the most: if you know that your use-case consists of few apps, this is worth checking out. You can also give our review of the app a look in case you are hesitant, but it’s free, so you can just download it and try it.
- AutoRemote plugin for Tasker received a massive addition: IFTTT integration. This allows you to come up with all sorts of new automation possibilities. Check out the announcement video to get some nice examples!
- Google Play Music received a Radio Streaming service that is free, but backed up by ads. The app also received some changes to the navigation drawer and other minor aesthetic tweaks. You can get the updated app here.
- Steam received a Material Design paintcoat that breathes some life back into this apps’ previously ancient design.
- Dropbox also received a Material Design update that brings the Beta version’s improvements to the main application. You can get the updated app here.
- Google Drive’s latest version allows for multiple file downloading and sending and a much better collaborator interface. You can get the updated app here.
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!