This week Android generated quite a few headlines thanks to its Google’s annual I/O conference. Not only did we get a glimpse of the upcoming Android L release, we also got to know about the Android One program along with the fact that the platform will soon be adding intelligence to things like automobiles, TV and wearables. On the app front, we also saw a lot of action and we’ve curated the top apps and games for you.
The Moto X (review | cheatsheet) paved the way of interacting with smartphones via voice commands and now you can make use of a similar feature on any Android device, thanks to the latest update hitting Google Search. Now you can say your query after saying 'Okay Google' from any screen or even if you're on the lockscreen. The hotword can also be detected when your device’s display is on sleep, but only when it’s connected to the charger.
Sadly, the feature is limited to just KitKat users and will be rolled out in the US first.
Last month, Google dismantled its Google Drive app by offering editing functionality separately through Docs and Sheets apps. Now, the duo is being joined by Google Slides letting you create, view and edit your presentations from your mobile device. You can also enjoy the usual benefits of Google cloud service including document collaboration, auto-save and more.
Path has come a long way as a social network for your close group of friends and relatives. Now the developer is unbundling its app to offer Path Talk, a chat app to message your connections individually or in a group. To give your privacy concerns a rest, the app automatically deletes all your messages from its servers within 24 hours. A useful feature offered by the app is ambient status, which sets your status automatically based on the context such as when you’re travelling or when device battery is low.
Slingshot is Facebook’s third crack against the leader in ephemeral messaging space, Snapchat. Although the app was released last week, it was limited to the US only. Just like its rival, it lets you share images or videos with your friends, which will vanish as soon as they see them. But there are some interesting changes as well. To make the conversations two-sided and more spontaneous, you can only see what your friend’s shared with you when you also share a sling with them.
Unlike the social network giant’s other apps, you don’t need to sign in to the app with an FB account.
You’d have shared tons of photos across Facebook and Instagram as well as privately stored them on Dropbox, but what if you want to have a uniform place to access them all? The new app in the town, Trunx lets you do that by sorting all your images automatically. Additionally, you can share albums with your friends or family privately and they can also upload their pictures in the album with the SharedPix option. The app also gives the ability to capture images or videos or even record audio along with clicking the picture, just like the Samsung’s Sound&Shot feature.
Contextual services are the next big thing in the mobile world, with features like Google Now changing the way you use your device. EverythingMe Launcher shows different apps according to the time of the day as well as location (if you have that enabled). All your apps are also available right on the homescreen in different folders. Another feature worth highlighting is the search functionality of the launcher, which shows all your apps installed as well as different web pages for that particular search term. For example, if you’re searching about Harry Potter, you’ll be seeing Harry Potter in the background and pages from Wikipedia, IMDB, etc. giving the exact information you’re looking for.
Udacity is a popular MOOC (massive open online course) for learning programming and with its Android app, you no longer need to sit in front of your computer to learn a new programming language. The biggest benefit of such courses is that they’re based on self-paced module, meaning you can study them whenever and wherever you want, which makes even more sense on mobile devices. Courses included in the app range from algorithms to cryptography, web design, artificial intelligence among others.
You can study the courses for free, though you need to pay for subscription in case you want to give tests and get a course completion certificate.
We have another homescreen replacement for you this week and what’s more, this one also aims to bring intelligence to your smartphone by displaying apps according to your usage and time. So if you’re at work, you’ll be seeing apps like email, which are important during work and likewise when you’re travelling or at home. Not only that, it also brings up relevant apps when you plug in your earphones. Of course, you can also see all the apps installed in the smartphone neatly listed in a categorised or alphabetical manner.
Although the app was already available in the US, it’s now available to download globally.
Not all of us like serious games, and this game from Cartoon Network is perfect for such people. The game’s premise is that a monster has stolen Niko’s birthday cake and now you have to join in his quest to get it back from the monster. Set in the imaginary Gogapoe Island, you’ll be helped by several friendly monsters with different powers, but at the same time, you’ll also be facing evil monsters. You also have to solve numerous puzzles to reach the destination.
The first season of the popular comic and TV series made its way to Android a few weeks ago and now you can fight against more zombies in its second season as well. Similar to the previous season, you can play the first episode of the game for free, but need to pay for the subsequent 2-5 episodes. The gameplay is largely similar with the onus to save the world from zombie apocalypse lying on you. You will also run into some new characters in the sequel.
We hope that you’d have availed the promotional offer on Amazon App Store giving $100 worth of premium apps and games for free. If not, hurry up as the offer ends today.