Welcome back to our roundup of the top Android apps and games of the week, where we surface the best titles from the Play Store that deserve your attention. This week, we bring you updates to some popular apps, along with some interesting apps for live streaming and mirroring your phone’s screen to your computer. We also have some games to help you unwind over the weekend. Let’s begin.
Even though Flipkart is the leading online shopping platform in India, the company is trying to push the envelope to stand out from the competition. Its latest update brings forth an interesting feature dubbed ‘Ping’, that adds social aspects to the app. Currently an invite-only feature, it allows users to ask for help and suggestions from their friends while shopping. Users can chat with each other, drag and drop products, or even share the screen so they can browse together.
Without a doubt, Instagram is one of the most popular photography-focussed social networks. However, it had one major limitation – it only supported images or videos in a square resolution. The latest update changes that as it now offers support for even landscape or portrait modes. By default, images will be cropped to a square resolution, but you can now simply click on an icon to view the image in its original orientation.
Live streaming seems to be a hot thing these days, with the apps like Meerkat and Periscope letting you broadcast anything to the world, and YouTube having just launched its app called Gaming that lets users stream their gameplay. Mirrativ, a portmanteau of mirror and narrative, allows you to stream any content from your smartphone by sharing your screen in just three steps. The audience with which you are sharing can also interact with you via stickers and comments.
Even with advancements in sharing technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC, it’s not an easy task to get access to photos your friends have captured on their smartphones. Facebook thinks that it has a solution with its Moments app. It privately stores all your images, and sorts them automatically on the basis of people who are in the them and where they were taken. The app then gives you the option to sync images with your friends. You can also share the images via Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. The app can also combine multiple images to make a video, which you can customise if you want.
If you like reading articles or watching a lot of videos on the interwebs, Pocket should be your go-to tool as it allows you to read / watch them later, even when you’re offline. The popular read-it-later service has added a new feature called ‘Recommendations’ in its latest update. As the name suggests, the app will now intelligently suggest articles or videos based on your interests.
Popular for its short six-second videos played on loop, Vine is now adding some music-centric features to its app. Its new feature called ‘Snap to Beat’ allows the user to create a seamless loop with audio. The feature can work automatically, though you can also choose the audio segment you want to use for the video yourself. The app also has a featured tracks section that you can visit to add a music track to your video. The app even lets you know which track is being used in a particular video.
Our roundup traditionally features only apps, and this is perhaps the first time when we’re highlighting a Chrome extension. Vysor comes from the popular developer Koush, who has previously launched apps such as AllCast and Helium Backup. His latest project allows you to mirror your smartphone or tablet’s screen to your computer, without needing to install any app on the device. This is possible by enabling ADB on the device, which also means that the phone needs to be connected to the computer via USB, although there would be a wireless ADB feature in the future.
In FRAMED, you play a thief running a heist, and your goal is to not get caught. Not exciting enough of a story? Well, the title brings an entirely new way of playing games with different panels on the screen which can be moved around to change the fate of the game. If you’re being shot at for instance, and the screen has a table somewhere, you can change its position so that you’re using it as a shield. The slick graphics and jazz soundtrack add to the fun.
Lara Croft is one of the most iconic female gaming characters, and in this title, you’d be playing as her in a turn-based puzzle adventure. The game has intriguing graphics with the background set in an ancient civilisation. The gameplay is based on Hitman GO, where all your actions and decisions shape the story. The title has more than 75 puzzles that are split into five chapters to keep you hooked.
Telltale Games has made a name for itself with its games series spread over various chapters. This time, it has updated Tales from the Borderlands with the penultimate fourth chapter dubbed Escape Plan Bravo. You play as Rhys, who along with his partner Fiona will need to search for the Vault beacon by Vallory.
Before we sign off, also check out popular floating browser called Link Bubble, which has just gone free with all its premium features.
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