The past week, Google’s Play Store welcomed a number of new apps and games, along with seeing several others updated with new designs and/or features. But how do you know which one of those are worth your attention? Well, worry not, as here’s a look at the top apps and games of last week for Android devices.
CM Browser comes from the team behind Clean Master, one of the most popular and feature-rich apps for taking care of your phone’s security, speed optimisation and more. The same fundamentals have been used for developing this browser, which is lightweight, speedy and secure. The minimalistic UI brings forth the usual features such as speed dial, bookmarks, and multiple tabs, along with some useful features like the ability to change the user agent, enable do-not-track option, download protection, among others.
With Google Now, El Goog is showing us the first signs of futuristic artificial intelligence, since it surfaces information exactly when it thinks you need it. However, till now, it was restricted to only show info from Google services. With the latest update, the service has integrated with over 40 apps such as AirBnB, Shazam, The Economic Times, and The Guardian among others. But it must be noted that Google is only connecting these services with Google Now cards, and your device should have these apps installed if you want to get info from them.
It seems that messaging apps are keen on becoming full-fledged services. While Facebook-owned WhatsApp seems to be working on voice-calling functionality, India-based Hike Messenger has beaten it by offering this feature. The company acquired US-based ZipPhone a few weeks back for their prowess in this particular area, and now users of Hike Messenger can call each other without incurring any charges. Of course, data charges do apply and hence we would recommend you to use this feature on Wi-Fi instead of cellular networks.
With the biggest extravaganza for cricket fans all over the world set to take place soon, ICC has brought an official app for making it easier for fans to keep track of the Cricket World Cup 2015. The app offers live scorecard feature to let people follow ball-by-ball action even on the go. It also provides notifications for scores and wickets, along with detailed tournament stats and match results. Users will also get access to breaking news, exclusive interviews, match videos and highlights among others.
We do try to bring you the best apps and games for Android every week, but if you want to get recommendations for apps based on your interest, then take a look at Jungl. The app helps you know about the apps your friends are using, along with displaying those that are relevant for you based on the ones already installed in the device. You can also recommend apps to your followers by putting them in JunglBucket.
In a new era of Microsoft headed by Satya Nadella, the Redmond giant is bringing its services to all platforms. The company isn’t stopping at just that, as with its latest Outlook app, users can use it to get emails from Outlook as well as other email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc. The app has several useful features as well, such as the ability to see important mails bucketed under ‘Focused’ inbox, and deleting, archiving or scheduling messages by simple and customisable swipe gestures, and scheduling emails so that they resurface later at the stipulated time. The email app also integrates with your calendar allowing you to schedule your meetings. Another handy feature is the option to see the people you interact with most, and see all related mails, meetings and files at one place.
Runtastic is one of our favourite apps for keeping track of physical activities and in turn, our fitness. The app is quite comprehensive as well thanks to its workout diary, the ability to map one’s workouts, etc. and now it has received a Material Design makeover. The whole UI of the app has been updated to align with Google’s latest design language. Apart from the new design, the app has added a new Story Run, The Tetradome Run.
It seems that 2D photos will soon become passé as technology is becoming advanced allowing you to do cool things such as capture depth-of-field of the scene for bokeh effects. Seene, a new Android app, aims to take that a step further by combining depth and movement with the image itself to create a 3D photo, video or gif. The app also gives you the option to enhance your photos by using creative filters. Once done, you can save the captured images in high-res format or share them via social networks.
Ephemerality, as a concept, has been pioneered by Snapchat allowing users to send texts, images and videos to each other which are set to disappear in a few seconds. However, now the app is expanding its wings with the latest feature dubbed Discover. With Discover, the app provides snippets of editorial content from partner websites such as CNN, ESPN, and National Geographic among others. You can swipe through these snaps and swipe up if you want to know more details. Staying true to its ephemeral nature, older snaps disappear when the new content arrives.
The micro-blogging network, which started back in 2006 as a simple a service to update your status, is now adding more features to its roster to compete with other social networks and messaging apps. Instead of direct messaging between just two people, now the app supports private messaging between up to 20 people. The good part is that the people in the messaging thread needn’t follow you. The other feature it offers is the ability to capture, edit and share short videos (up to 30 seconds) on Twitter.
Don’t let the graphics of the game fool you. While the game seems to be inspired from last year’s hit Monument Valley, similarities only exist in their visual aspects. Skyward involves one-tap-one-step gameplay where you have to tap on the next block to move ahead. It might sound simple, but it certainly isn’t and since the game falls in the endless genre, you can play it as long as you want. You can also gain several powerups on the way, and if you score higher, then you’ll also unlock new patterns.
Outlook wasn’t the only app outed by Microsoft this week, as its Office Suite in the form of Word, PowerPoint and Excel has exited the preview stage and can be downloaded by anyone for use on Android tablets.