XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (May 1 – 8)
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.
PingPongRoot – Bypass KNOX! [GALAXY S6 ONLY]
Some people are afraid to root devices due to warranty concerns – at XDA are a little braver than that. However, Samsung phones come with the infamous KNOX trigger (and its mythical hardware fuse) that makes the whole process more of a headache. Every now and then, root methods that don’t involve ODIN nor flashing KNOX-tripping software/firmware pop up – and when they do, they get a lot of love. PingPongRoot is the latest in S6 rooting, and if you want your warranty safe, this is where you should go. Make sure to thank the developers in whichever way you can, things like these are Samsung phones’ Holy Grails!
AIDA64 – Know All About Your Phone [FREE]
AIDA64 for Windows has been a favorite for many PC power users, and now the information utility comes to those of Android. Sure, there are many apps to get similar information (CPU Z is a personal favorite), but this is one of the most data-packed ones out there, with plenty of facts and numbers about your phone and real-time information displays of important hardware and software bits. If you are a power user who loves to test tweaks, needs poll sensors, or wants to remember system properties, this is the app for you. Oh, and it has an native app for Wear Watches too. These are great tools for power users, so keep one handy at all times!
ChronoSnap – Pictures Every Now and Then [FREE]
There are applications to automatically take pictures between intervals, but mostly do so off video and the resulting images don’t have the full resolution, or sometimes have terrible video compression artifacts. This is where ChronoSnap comes in: it is an open source application that allows you to set up the intervals, capture or time limits and run the app with the screen off. The app also has a simple and efficient material design, and the developer will continue to add features such as RAW capturing, changing camera parameters and a persistent focus location. If you are runny a bare-bones stock camera, this is a great solution to a common photography need.
One Second Song – Fast Hearing and Guessing [FREE]
This is a simple game where you listen to a single second of a song, then have to guess which one it is from a list of options. It is more intuitive than it seems, and the database contains all sorts of genres and artists from many time periods, ensuring that the game stays fresh and relevant to your music knowledge. The design is not all that interesting, but the concept proves fun in short burst and among friends. There’s also a mode where you can select from short a list of popular artists in case you want to focus on a single performer, but the current list to choose from is rather limited.
Grim Fandango – A Jewel Back From Death [PAID]
Grim Fandango is a beloved game that many old-school gamers might recognize, and now it comes to Android in remastered glory. This is a neo-noir comedy adventure game with an unforgettable cast of characters. It follows Manny Calavera, a travel agent at the Department of Death in the Land of the Dead, and his investigation on crime and corruption in a surreal mexican-themed world. This game is priced rather steeply (currently at $10 for the launch week), but it might bring you an experience you will never forget, and the portable and touchscreen nature of phones and tables make Android a neat platform to have this game on.
Lollistat – Tinted Status Bar For Apps with Black Bar [XPOSED]
Some applications have yet to be updated to make use of Lollipop’s tinted status bar. Many new apps don’t feature tinted bars either, but this Xposed module aims to fix that. This is like the Tinted Status Bar module that exited before Lollipop, but for Lollipop and it only affects apps that do not have tinted bars. It also automatically makes icons white if you want, which helps making the status bar pretty no matter what. Hopefully we won’t have a need for this module sometime in the near future, but for now this remains a quick way to make your UI more consistent. Make sure to read the thread for compatibility before jumping in!
- SELinuxModeChanger survived the Playstore Purge, and you can now find it on the F-Droid repository where you can download the app and the source code if you choose to. This new easy-access and trusted location of the changer is a handy development, but you can still follow new versions in the XDA thread.
- The latest Flickr update brings refreshed functionality such as automatic picture uploading and better picture editing straight from your photos. There is also a new timeline view for improved browsing, organization and sharing.
- A new Feedly update brings Google Now integration so that you can receive card updates for the best stories of the day.
- Servicely was also updated to fix a bug that had been introduced in a previous update.
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!