Welcome to my new column – here I will be summarising how I have used my phone in the last month, well, in regard to apps anyway. People seem to think that I have an eye for finding applications that others may have missed so hopefully in reading this you will find some gems, or maybe some reasons to reconsider certain applications you have installed.
Below you will see information on applications I have installed, checked out, updated and removed over the last month – some I will talk about in some detail, others I will just be linking to the Play Store. Each month I will feature one stand out application which will be in the header of this article.
Applications I have installed
Homeflip is an overlay that is designed to be used instead of the stock android multi-tasking feature – basically you press home, or use a gesture to open it up where you can quickly switch between your apps. Technically it is a launcher, but you set within this app what you want your “fall-back launcher” to be, so in reality you don’t lose your desired launcher.
The app is still relatively young but is being updated regularly with lots of new and exciting improvements. Personally I love it which is why it is my pick of the month.
Instagram’s changes to terms and conditions were very public so I will not be taken into that argument here – however EyeEm effectively offers the same service but with very open, and basic terms and conditions that you would expect to see. No hidden surprises.
The app itself is also much, much nicer than Instagram, but maybe missing one or two features that Instagram offered. We might see these added in the future. I suggest that everyone who uses Instagram at least take a look at what this app offers.
A word of warning however, I did end up with spam (porn) on my Facebook wall due to this app, but I simply revoked it’s posting permissions. EyeEm said they don’t know what happened but said they were sorry.
This is the second of three launchers mentioned in this article, this one is a proper launcher and can be used with Homeflip. Basically this launcher has been made to look and act like a ‘holo’ app i.e. following Google’s design guide. There is a sidebar to list all your apps with a very quick slide method to get to any alphabetical letter (similar to contacts on a Samsung device). There is also a top (action bar!) bar that has a shortcut to search and the play store.
This is being updated quite regularly and there are plenty more features planned.
You may decide that this is lacking too many features at the moment to replace your existing launcher but I am using it as my main launcher and I am very excited to see what gets added in the near future.
This is the third and final launcher I will mention in this article. This one offers a very unique home screen. It has been designed to look and feel like Google Now and does a good job. It is however lacking a little bit for me to have kept as the main launcher, but I have however kept it installed to see what gets added in the near future.
This is a very well made, but very tricky game. I implore everyone to play, but you must play with sound on! How far can you get?
This is an SMS app that has been made following the Google design guide, it is very nice and at the moment being updated quite regularly. I think it is well worth the few pence that the app is priced at.
This is a turn based multi-player battleships game. It is very nice except for one pretty huge drawback, the free version of this game (linked above) has far too many adverts, you can quickly close them, but they still annoy the heck out of you!
Also the game offers the player a chance to use a sonar, which for any of you that know battleships, is effectively cheating. If you decide to play this then please don’t use the sonar!
Below is a list of other apps I installed without comment:
Has been updated twice in the last month with a total of 50 new levels. I love this game, I don’t find it too hard but I really look forward to new levels being released, it is simply enjoyable.
Has been updated to include Sky Go Extra, a £5 a month subscription service that allows you to have ‘offline’ content and an additional 2 registered devices. The app however still suffers from Sky’s lack of trust in Android, root is blocked (even though jailbreak on iPhone isn’t) but the root check is so ‘strong’ that even un-rooted devices get caught by the root block.
I really really hope sky rethink this, but I doubt they ever will.
This app has been updated several times in the last month adding new features and bug fixes. There is a new notifications tray and has the ability to add links in posts. Community moderator features have also been included.
It is a shame though that Google are not following their own design guide properly.
Finally this app has been brought up to date with all the iPhone features. This includes manage planner and control the tv from the app (without the need for the actual physical sky remote.
The only drawback is you have to be on the same network as the sky+ box, so you cannot for example adjust your planner when you are out of the house, which kind of defeats the purpose of having this feature in a mobile app. Sky say its useful for the times when you lose or break your remote… but that doesn’t really happen too often..does it?
Applications I have removed
None this month.
So there you have it, I hope this helps you find some apps you may have missed, tune in next month for my March picks.