XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (May 8 – 15)
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.
Google I/O App – Get Hyped! [FREE]
Google I/O 2015 is coming on May 28, and there is no better way (other than XDA, of course) to follow the developments and stay up-to-date than this official I/O app by Google. As per tradition, the companion app allows you to visit the schedule, follow news, sync the events to your calendar and, of course, access the livestreams for when the events actually go live. If you are as excited as we are for Google I/O, this is an app you must have. Don’t forget to check out our coverage when the time arrives, and we will also have a related surprise around that time!
Battery Shutdown Manager – Shutdown Countdown [XPOSED/BETA]
This is a module by XDA Recognized Developer & Contributor tonyp that adds an original and useful function for the battery conscious of you: once your battery is about to deplete, your phone will display a timer informing you of just how many seconds you have left until it turns off. It is situational and you shouldn’t be having deep discharges frequently anyway, but it is nonetheless a neat concept, and it deserves some extra exposure. It is in beta right now, so check the thread for compatibility (it currently supports Android 4.2 to 5.0, and should run properly on ROMs close to AOSP).
Hyperlapse Mobile – Amazing Time Lapse Videos! [BETA]
Microsoft has had a turbulent history in the Android app space, and I’ve personally had quarrels with some of their offerings. Hyperlapse is, however, the culmination of years of research that now allow for brilliant time lapse video to any Android phone. The app captures video from your camera, processes it and then outputs a smooth time lapse that is bound to surprise you The technology behind Hyperlapse is rather impressive, and despite this being a beta, it us already capable of putting out some very stunning results. If you love shooting interesting videos or you are curious, you should definitely check this one out.
Bleep – A New Private Messenger [FREE]
Bleep is a privacy-focused messenger app by the people behind BitTorrent. The app has some interesting features such as Whisper mode, where names are hidden and messages get deleted after they are read. Messages also don’t go through a central server in the cloud, so there are no saved copies of sent content. The app has end-to-end encryption that changes keys for every message, and you don’t need to provide any details to sign up. There is no message sync as these are unique to the registered device. Finally, there are also encrypted voice calls.
Flip Flop – Not Flappy [FREE}
Flip Flop is an extremely simplistic, minimal and addictive game that has you flipping and flopping Androids until they break. This is a bare-bones game, so don’t expect anything more than passive casual gaming to enjoy during a toilet run or when relaxing. The graphics are minimal and pleasant, the game’s playable whenever with just one finger and it is polished to the point where we could mistake this for an Android easter egg game. There are various character colors and, of course, custom hats, and the game has Play Games Leader board support as so that you can compete with the rest of the world.
- Google Fit now estimates distances and calories burned, and it also features an improved fitness history in the form of an organized timeline. The update also comes with a new widget and Android Wear watchface.
- WhatsApp was updated to bring more material design in the caller UI, and the new version also got rid of outdated HOLO iconography.
- NovaLauncher hit 4.0 stable with Material Design, bundled wallpapers, new icons, and some extra customization. The app also now supports Android for Work on Lollipop.
- Google Play Music’s desktop web client also got a Material face-lift, which puts it much closer to the Android experience for better consistency. There are some slight UI navigation changes, but nothing you won’t easily get used to.
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!