The growing internet-savvy population in India isn’t just catching the attention of smartphone manufacturers and mobile operators, but popular global services as well, presenting to them an ideal opportunity to acquire a large user base. That's evident with our apps of the week section as well, as a couple of global names debuted their services in the subcontinent. But that's not all, as this week, we also have some useful apps, interesting updates and an update to an extremely addictive game.
Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular and comprehensive photo editing tools available, and now the company is bringing the same power to your smartphones. It must be noted that however, that the app can used in conjunction with the desktop app, and also requires a paid subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. The app allows you to edit photos captured from your phone’s camera easily, and also uploads them to the cloud, so that you can resume where you left off while using its desktop app.
The rapid growth of technology has given way to an entirely new economy called sharing economy (also referred to as peer-to-peer economy), wherein people can share services and goods with others leveraging technology. Services like AirBnB and Zipcar are prime examples of this. A popular European startup called BlaBlaCar has debuted its services in country allowing users to travel between cities with other users and share the cost. So, if you’re driving to another city, then you can give a ride to other members, who will also share the cost, and vice-versa. For safety purposes, it also authenticates profiles of members and users can also rate each other.
Camu is a photo-editing app that made its way to Android devices just last week, after getting more than 3 million downloads on iOS. It differentiates itself by being a one-stop solution for all your editing needs, allowing you to shoot, edit and share photos or videos – all from one app. Apart from the usual features of the ability to create collages, add text, etc., it also lets you use live filters and capture depth-of-field effects with super-focus option. For easily shooting selfies, it has an auto mode that shoots self-portraits when it detects no movement.
Every Wednesday, El Goog updates a few of its apps (also called as Update Wednesdays), and this time, it was the turn of its popular navigation service. The latest update to Google Maps also has something special for Indian users as it comes with a new voice-enabled lane-guidance feature. This will prompt you to drive in or move to a particular lane, although it’s only available for major roads in 20 cities. Another useful capability with this update is the ability to share directions directly with others, which is more convenient, instead of sending just the destination.
It seems that there are quite a few apps this week which are telling examples of how far technology has come. The latest update to the Google Translate app offers real-time translation capabilities – yes, you read it right – it can translate the live speech of a person in the language of your choice. You can also use the app to translate anything captured via your smartphone’s camera, even your handwriting. The app can translate between 90 languages, and while the translation might not be perfect, it's incredibly useful to have such functionality on a handheld device.
While there’s no dearth of internet music streaming services in India, the debut of Rdio is definitely a big thing. The service brings with it a huge library of more than 32 million songs, both English as well as Hindi and regional languages, since the latter come from its acquisition of Dhingana last year. While users can listen to its pre-programmed radio stations for free with ads, Rdio offers online as well as offline access to any song or album along with radio stations for a monthly fee of Rs 120, making it one of the most affordable music streaming options in the country.
If you bought a Google Chromecast, then you can also cast Rdio’s content to your TV.
Gone are the days when you need to shell out hundreds of rupees for just a few minutes to make an international call. With the advent of VoIP, all you need is a good internet connectivity to connect to your loved ones, but that’s also not reliable and seamless, and that’s where Ringo comes in. The service doesn’t require internet connectivity to work and gives users the capability of calling numbers abroad at super-cheap prices. What’s more interesting is that you need to call the number via this app only, and it will connect to the number at the background, but the receiver’s CLI will still identify your number.
Wikipedia needs no introduction, and with its latest update, the app has undergone a makeover with a pleasing Material Design-like UI. The app has also been improved to engage the readers with a cover image for every article they’re reading, along with the ability to open any image in an article and scroll through all images. If you’re interested in reading more about a certain topic, then you can click upon the “Read more” option, which links up to three related pages.
With apps like Snapchat, users are in control of what they say or share, since everything is ephemeral and vanishes after some time. But what if you want a similar experience in the social networks you’re already using? Xpire aims to do just that, allowing you to post tweets on Twitter, which are automatically deleted after a preset time (favourites and retweets will be gone too). Not only that, the app also lets you go through your old tweets or search for them via keywords and then delete them. Another handy feature is that the app calculates your ‘Social Score’, which determines how much potentially risky content you share on the micro-blogging network.
Tis’ is the winter season and if you want to make the chills more enjoyable, then give the latest update to popular Plants vs. Zombies a try. The update, dubbed as Frostbite Caves Part 1 brings forth 16 more levels with freezing winds and new plants to attack zombies. The update introduces eight new zombies, while you get four plants to melt them and top them from coming towards you.
Psych is a simple game with even simpler gameplay, but thanks to its psychedelic experience, it's difficult and addictive at the same time. All you have to do in this game is to avoid colliding with black obstacles. The game has endless levels and with seven unique psychedelic effects, and it’s really fun.
That brings us to the end of yet another exciting week of apps and games for Android. Have a ‘appy weekend!