With November 2013 now consigned to the history books, we thought we’d take a retrospective look at some of the more notable apps to hit our radar over the past month. So without further ado, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the best Android apps to launch.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
JumpCam lets users compose videos and solicit clips from friends to build a well-rounded collection of any specific event. Up to 30 clips can be added, each one lasting up to 10 seconds. The app works with all devices running Android 4.0 and above.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star
Disney unveiled its first Star Wars-themed game for mobile last month in collaboration with game studio NimbleBit.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is an 8-bit builder game for iOS, Android, and Windows devices, and players find themselves on the dark side of the force helping Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader build a fully functional Death Star.
Of course, Star Wars wouldn’t be what it is without the Rebel Alliance, so players must prevent Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and others from escaping.
Band of the Day
Band of the Day is the perennially popular iPhone app that was pipped to pole position in Apple’s 2011 app of the year awards. And as of last month, it’s available for Android users too, serving up a beautifully designed app that surfaces one new artist each day, hand-picked by the good folks working behind the scenes at 955 Dreams.
The calendar-style grid lets you jump back in time through the archives, and you can listen to a full-length, ad-free song for each artist, while perusing biographies, videos, and more. The music is streamed directly from 955 Dreams’ servers, and the company works with labels and the musicians to secure the rights to stream featured artists.
Tophatter first arrived on the Web back in 2012 before hitting iPhones earlier this year. It sells itself as “the world’s most entertaining live marketplace”, letting buyers and sellers chat and network as they bid on items. We described it as “eBay on speed.”
In addition to the Android launch, Tophatter also landed outside the US for the first time, starting with Canada, the UK and Ireland. South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand will join in the near future.
Back in October we wrote about a Chinese photo app that went viral, holding lofty rankings in main app stores in Western markets, despite almost all the users being unable to understand the instructions. Now, however, MomentCam is set to get even more popular as the app recently arrived with an English version, on both Android and iOS.
The photo-capturing and editing app comes with a range of customization options to transform your photo into a comic character. It uses facial recognition to paste your face onto comic caricatures, and you get to make edits after that happens. You can alter the shape of your face, get a different hairstyle and eyebrows, and choose from 200 post-editing templates.
If you’re often required to share screenshots, ShotDrop is well worth your time as it lets you upload directly to Dropbox and generates a Web link that you can share with anyone.
ShotDrop automatically detects when a screenshot is captured and only those images will be uploaded, so not anything saved directly to your camera roll — and it’s all done in the background.
Though there is a free option, it limits users to five screenshots per day after a “generous” 100 screen-captures. Plus, it includes ads. For those that don’t want these restrictions, there’s a Pro version for $0.99.
Rormix helps you find new music videos from unsigned artist based on bands you already like. So, a search for ‘Beyonce’, for example, will turn up artists that sound similar to the iconic singer.
The team at Rormix hand-pick the bands included to ensure a certain level of quality, and future plans include incentivizing users to become influential tastemakers within the app by offering tickets and merchandise.
Hitlist for Android aims to help travelers find the best deals to their favorite destinations, taking the hassle (and some of the expense) out of booking air travel.
It’s a well-designed, simple app that aims to help you complete your bucket travel list on your own (financial) terms. You tell Hitlist where you want to go and it keeps an eye on a myriad of travel sites, letting you know when there’s a good deal to fly to any of your chosen locations. The one downside is that Facebook log-in is required.
Lifecake for Android is an app designed to make it easy to share photos and videos with family and friends, and launched last month under the guidance of ex-Skype and ex-Yahoo execs.
Lifecake is striving to set itself apart from the pack by aiming for families –parents that wish to keep other family members and friends up-to-date on their kids’ progress, but away from the prying eyes of an open social network.
Available for smartphones and tablets, Lift is replete with coaching plans, goal tracking, community support, and reminders via push notifications.
Branches for Android is a Twitter client that groups together tweets by individual users and shows them chronologically.
The main appeal is that it allows you to track what’s going on in Twitter, well, chronologically, and keeps your timeline from becoming a mess through individual branches encapsulating each user you follow.
HTC launched a new Android app for European football last month, serving up the latest goal data and stats from both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in real-time.
HTC FootballFeed delivers team news, live match updates with a rolling feed for each match, post-game analysis, and more. The interface is based on HTC’s BlinkFeed homescreen, which basically means it’s customizable so users can follow the teams and games they’re interested in most.
The new app is available for all Android smartphones (not just HTC) across Europe.
The Newsstand app serves as home to around 2,000 publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Wired, The Guardian and more. Naturally, they’re formatted nicely for mobile consumption too. As well as including traditional magazines and newspapers, it also includes content from blogs and other news sites.
Don’t miss the top iOS apps from November 2013.