Welcome back to my column – For those that missed the first here I will be summarising how I have used my phone in the last month, well, with 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
A game has taken my top spot this month. It is an indie game too! I first came across The Room as part of the last Humble Bundle – mobile bundle, which if you are not already familiar with the concept the Humble Bundle packages a number of games for a “pay what you want” price, you can even specify how much of that money is spent on the Humble Bundle website, Developers or Charity. They have recently expanded into releasing games for Android too, and often bring games to Android that have not yet been released on the platform.
The Room was one such game, although it is now in the Play Store as a standalone app for the very reasonable price of £1.49.
The concept of the game is fairly simple, you have to “point and click” various objects to discover hidden items and clues which help you solve a number of increasingly difficult puzzles to work out the story of what is hidden in a box.
The game was very well made with great story and graphics and although didn’t seem too long was probably down to the fact I couldn’t put the game down whilst playing it.
I am eagerly awaiting an update with new challenges.
This month I was looking for a great note taking/ to-do list app and before Keep was released by Google I went through a number of different apps, three of which are further down this page. Of them all I liked Wunderlist the most, and kept that one installed to compliment Keep, but each has their own positive and negative aspects, so you may have to try them all.
Keep is a very good application but we should not forget that it is in a beta stage, it is a shoot-off of Drive and can be accessed from a PC at drive.google.com/keep or via the mobile app.
It is missing some features I would like to see added in the future but I have still managed to use this app a lot since it was released.
I was asking on twitter earlier this month for suggestions as to mobile security apps. Not even one person recommended Norton (based on the reputation that Symantec have built for avid PC users), but I had a free years subscription so I thought I would check out the mobile application anyway, and I am glad I did.
The application itself is well designed and easy to use, as is the counterpart website. It is small so doesn’t take up much space seen as this is an application you will want to install on all devices (up to 5 per subscription).
It offers virus scanning of applications, anti-theft, backups, call blocking and web protection. Of course you don’t need to use all of these features if you don’t want to, personally I don’t use call blocking or web protection, and my backups are in numerous other places so I have no need for that either, but the anti-theft seems to work very well as does the anti-malware (although I don’t personally see the need for this, it does take out that ‘worry’ factor when installing an app you’re not sure about.
Despite the reputation I do suggest you at least take a look at this app, and use the free trial on offer. It may surprise you.
Everyone loves Pacman right? Especially when it is free! This game is great, offers the Pacman experience we all remember, works well on touch screen and has an extra ‘Tournaments’ feature.
Just remember to Greenify it if you can, it has some background processes that continue to run even after you finish playing.
Cinemagram is a great little camera, ‘Instagram’ type app for animated gifs. It brings to android a feature that until recently was only really found on Nokia WP8 devices (or the HTC One). You can easily make your own animated gifs or ‘looped’ videos and share them to the world.
It can be a lot of fun.
Many of you will have already heard of Copy, a new cloud storage service, and lots will think “I already have Dropbox and Box, why do I need another?” – well the answer is simple, Copy offers storage for life, no expiry on additional space earned like with Dropbox, with apps that are nicer to use than Box or Dropbox (in my opinion), this includes web and desktop apps on top of the Mobile apps.
If you sign up using this link – https://copy.com?r=ziyXcZ you will gain 10GB of storage free for life, if you complete the setup guide on the website when you first login and share to twitter you get an additional 2GB as well. You will then earn 5GB for each person you refer.
My moto is you can never have enough cloud storage, just sign up, you never know when you might need it.
Gary did a full review here
Below is a list of other apps I installed without comment:
Updated with new UI and features.
Updated to include ‘quick reply’ options for Jellybean Notifications
Re-branded from “cloud” and includes a new UI.
Updated to include ‘Shutters’ – Shutters are widgets that are in a folder so do not take up space on your home screen, swipe on an app icon and it will open a folder with the widget inside, click the icon and it just launches the app.
Lots of new features and UI improvements have been added to this app following an extensive beta testing program, one noticeable feature is the ability to mute notifications for a given period of time.
This remains the best football scores application in my honest opinion.
Updated UI – Now has a Google Now style ‘Card’ UI that is fast to use and pleasing on the eye – you can switch back to “classic” view if you prefer, but it is not as quick to use.
This is for applications that you don’t quite understand why they exist, sure some people might ‘get’ them, but personally I don’t.
This application rounds the corners of your screen, that is all it does.