The past week has been quite busy for the Google Play Store, with a deluge of new apps entering the fray, along with several old ones receiving an update. Google also gave some Material Design love to many of its apps in order to make them ready for Android 5.0 Lollipop's visual design. So, let’s begin with this week’s top apps and games that are worth downloading.
One of the most popular productivity apps, Any.do has now been updated to version 2.0, and it’s now going beyond a single person’s to-do list. Now, you can collaborate on your to-do tasks with your whole team or family, and you can also share your tasks with others. The app is also making tasks more useful by allowing you to attach files up to 5MB in size to each of them, along with the option to link files directly to Dropbox. The developers are also introducing premium features which knock off the limitations of the free version, which will set you back by $5 per month or $50 per year (you can purchase it for $3 per month or $27 per year under the special introductory offer).
BlackBerry’s messaging service went cross-platform just last year, and the app has managed to hold its own against similar apps. With the latest update, BBM is aiming to become even more useful. The biggest new feature is the ability to retract sent messages, even if the other person has read it (though the other person can still take screenshots). Another useful feature is the option to send timed messages, which means you can select a predefined amount of time for the message to be available to the recipient.
With this update, BlackBerry is also moving towards creating a premium tier with the BBM service. After three months, both the Message Retraction and Timed Messages features will become a part of a premium subscription package.
djay 2 is an extremely popular app on iOS, known for its design and simplicity for mixing songs. Now, it’s making its way to Android devices and comes with the same promise of rocking your party. It integrates with Spotify (sadly, not available in India) as well as music stored locally on your mobile device, and allows you to mix them on-the-go or simply enable Automix mode. The app gives you complete control over audio effects, equaliser settings and more for playing the songs.
One of the very first news-reading apps on the mobile platform, Flipboard is receiving a visual refresh with the update to version 3.0. The app is also integrating the technology from the Zite news-reading app it acquired earlier this year. This allows users to get better curated news around their favourite topics (more than 30,000 to choose from). The Flipboard team will also offer a curated Daily Edition magazine everyday at 7:00 am, which displays all the important stories of the day at one place.
Google seems to be on a mission to make emails easy and instant. Just a week after introducing an all-new app dubbed as Inbox, it has updated the Gmail app to the version 5.0. As various rumours suggested, now the app also supports other email providers such as Outlook and Yahoo, ensuring that you don’t need to have different apps to access emails. With the latest update, the app also dons a new design and several new features.
Unfortunately, it seems that the update will take a while to arrive on the Play Store, but if you’re interested then you get digitally-signed apk available on Android Police.
The search titan’s cloud service app has also been updated to reflect the Material Design language. Along with Google Drive, its compatriots – Docs, Sheets and Slides have also got the new design update. Along with the design refresh, these apps have also received various bug fixes and performance improvements.
Back at Google I/O, the Big G unveiled a new health-related app that makes use of the sensors on your smartphone to track activities like walking, biking and running. The app is now out and it also ties in with Android Wear-based watches to display data tracked by them. Like most fitness apps, you can set your daily goals in the Google Fit app. You can also integrate it with other popular fitness apps such as Runtastic, Strava, etc.
Planning for a trip is a mammoth task – you have to find the best mode of conveyance, book tickets, find accommodation and most importantly, finalise places to visit. Tripgator, launched in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, aims to solve this problem by giving users the ability to plan personalised travel itineraries. You can also collaborate with your travel companions to finalise the plan. It even lets you find hotels and restaurants sorted by ratings, along with the option to locate the closest hospital, ATM, etc., with the use of GPS.
Truecaller has established itself as the must-have app for any smartphone user, with its live caller ID instantly giving you info about the person behind the unknown phone number. Now, the developers of the app are taking it to the next level with a smart dialler app monikered as Truedialer. Whenever you call via Truedialer, you will see complete information about the number, either taken from your address book or from Truecaller’s huge directory. In case you get any missed calls from unknown numbers, the app automatically identifies them when you visit the call log.
It's worth noting that the features of the app require a data connection to search its database.
If you’re a fan of the Angry Birds franchise and the Transformers series, the latest game from Rovio’s stable will definitely draw your attention. Unlike the usual slingshot-based gameplay, this game falls under the arcade genre where you play as AUTOBIRDs to save Piggy Island from the EggBots. But it’s a difficult task and so AUTOBIRDS have to partner with their enemies, the DECEPTIHOGS to win. Of course, being Transformer, you can transform yourself from a bird to car, truck or even plane.
The Wolf Among Us is a point-and-click adventure game from the developers behind The Walking Dead game series. In this game, you play as a protagonist named Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown where the murder of a young girl is just the beginning of the things to come. The game keeps the players engaged with its strong storyline, which adapts to the decisions made by you.
Just like The Walking Dead, this game too has five episodes, wherein the first episode is free and the subsequent ones require in-app purchases.
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