XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (May 15 – 30)
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.
Inbox by Gmail [FREE FOR ALL USERS]
Inbox is perhaps one of the most innovate and organized e-mail clients out there, and while it was previously limited to those who received invitations from other testers, Google has now made it available for all users. What does Inbox provide over a run-of-the-mill client? You can undo sending an email within the first few seconds of sending it, you can see your Keep and Now reminders, your e-mails are neatly organized in categories that get updated and bumped to the top of your feed, you can snooze e-mail notifications, and much more. We love this app, and so should you!
Hotline Miami [PAID]
The PC sleeper hit now gets an Android port to bring all of its high-octane action to your pocket screen. This is a game with pixel graphics that depict raw brutality in an unforgiving and challenging world. If you like games with good mechanics and fun gunplay, this will keep you entertained for a while. Sadly, it requires a game controller (it would be pretty hard to play this on a touchscreen anyway), but that way you can make every bullet count. If for some reason you missed this surreal gem on PC, here’s your chance to give it a go. Read some reviews and you won’t be disappointed!
Earth Roads [FREE]
Earth Roads brings an interesting twist to the Endless Runner genre, featuring speedy maneuvering in a blocky universe. Like others of its kind, this game features a lot of replayability. Where it differs is that the game adds extra layers of dimension to the “running”, as it has you jumping around different layers to grab coins and evade obstacles, and there is not always a single correct way of clearing an obstacle course. Moreover, the game features peaceful music and different vehicles to unlock. All of you “toilet gamers” should give its trailer a look.
Google Spotlight Stories [FREE]
Motorola used to have the exclusive spotlight stories in their devices, which added a neat little touch to their products. Now, Google is releasing the same functionality for everyone else (well, sort of, some devices are incompatible even if the Play Store allows the download to go through). These are 360° spherical cinema-quality videos that take you through stories which unfold all around you. Since we are approaching the Age of VR, we thought it was appropriate to mention this new app so that everyone who missed the experience when it was exclusive can experience it!
Office Lens [FREE]
Microsoft is killing it when it comes to Android apps, and while we sometimes feel this could be part of a subversive strategy, their resources allow for applications that are of very high quality. Office Lens allows you to scan and crop not just paper documents, but also whiteboards and posters. The app automatically detects the angle and then analyzes the contents to transcribe them into a very legible and clean format. This is very much like Samsung’s exclusive S-Note implementation. Office workers might want to give it a try!
- Twitter’s Periscope allows you to livestream video to your followers, and the app also tells you which people you follow use the application as well, making for quick and easy entertainment… for twitterheads, of course.
- Roadie App is a neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network: kind of like Uber, but for deliveries; “carpooling for cargo”. No bidding, no bartering. We still can’t comment on its effectiveness, but the concept deserves a mention.
- Google Photos received a major update. Read our summary on the new features here, or check it out for yourself. It’s free!
- Netflix for Android TV now supports 4K shows and Dolby Digital pass-through for those that pay the premium $12-a-month plan. The latest version of the regular app also introduces Smart Lock support.
- Dashlane password manager already works with the new Android M fingerprint security system. As always, remember to be cautious.
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!