From privacy-focused messaging apps, to chatting with friends directly from your lock screen, we covered a lot of ground with new Android apps in July. Here, we filter through the cacophonous crackle to present you with our selection of Google Play newcomers from the past month.
Strictly speaking, MyRoll isn’t an entirely new app, but July saw the previously popular Flayvr app change its name and pivot in a slightly new direction.
MyRoll is an intelligent mobile gallery app that displays all your best photos as ‘moments’, automatically organizing your snaps based on its analysis of each photo’s make-up.
In a nutshell, it prioritizes shots that are in-focus, contain smiling faces, bright colors, and so on.
LokLok is a novel little app that lets you send doodles, photos and messages directly from your lockscreen. It’s a streamlined instant-messaging app in its purest form.
LokLok is effectively a synchronized whiteboard, making it as easy as possible to share notes, pictures and random doodles with anyone, and nobody has to look past their lockscreen to participate.
Lettrs basically transforms your device into a personal writing desk, transcriber and postal service, letting you compose letters digitally while giving them an authentic handwriting feel. Additionally, you can type and even voice-dictate letters, and arrange for them to be posted by mail to anyone.
There are designer themes, location-stamped messages that include photo-attachments, tagging to help you locate all your letters, and more.
Watchup was already available for Android tablets, but July saw it arrive for Android phones too.
The service offers channels of news-related video content from a myriad of publishers and, the more you view, Watchup learns what you like and compiles a daily newscast with recommended videos.
Facetune can be used to perfect smiles by widening the mouth or whitening the teeth, while you can also remove blemishes, smooth-out the skin, remove dark circles from beneath the eyes, refine jaw-lines, heighten cheek-bones and more. Basically, it will let you transform yourself into someone else.
If you’ve ever sent a text message that’s gone a little awry, Cyber Dust could be for you. In addition to its existing iPhone incarnation, Cyber Dust took its Snapchat-style ephemeral messaging service to Android this month, an app that erases each message 30 seconds after its sent.
All messages are ‘fully encrypted’ to begin with too, so this is really for the cautious, security-focused fraternity. It also disables screenshots, making it just that little bit more difficult for the recipient of a message to snap evidence.
Wiper follows a similar formula to that of Cyber Dust, except it adds a little manual input to the process. It’s basically similar to WhatsApp or Telegram, except it introduces a button that wipes messages from the sender’s phone, recipient’s phone and the company’s own servers in seconds.
But that’s not all. Wiper also offers encrypted HD voice calling, and tells you when the other person takes a screenshot of your text-based conversation.
Apps such as Glympse are great for instantly letting people know where you are simply by sending a link. Jink, on the other hand, expedites the process of ‘meeting up’ by enabling a bilateral sharing of locations.
You will need to divulge your mobile phone number to sign up to Jink (just like WhatsApp and other messaging apps), but this is useful insofar as you can see who else in your address book is using Jink.
When you choose to share your respective locations, you can then see each other moving on a map with little avatars representing each person. You can also message each other through the app, which is helpful for establishing the finer details of a planed meet-up (e.g. “I’m sitting in the back of the coffee shop…”).
TimeAway lets you control when your kids can use their mobile devices and apps. Just download the app to your child’s device (and your own device), after which you can pause all connected phones and tablets for family events, and set “TimeAway” schedules, like school time or bedtime.
While there are similar apps out there already, TimeAway also lets you view your kids’ location on Google Maps when they are on the move, while you can also garner a daily summary of how much time your child has spent on his/her device.
Digify is a simple file-sharing app that works in conjunction with Dropbox. But wait – why not just use Dropbox rather than Digify? Well, Digify gives you control of the files once they’ve been shared.
You decide how long a file is viewable for, as well as who’s viewed it and for how long. The file then self-destructs after the timeframe you indicate.
Murtastic lets you create your own live wallpaper from scratch, which for the uninitiated means animated and interactive backgrounds for your Android device, sidestepping ‘static’ for something a little morel lively.
You can add any number of pages to your live wallpaper, and set the interval between the transitions (counted in milliseconds), as well as choose to animate the text.
6Wunderkinder released a completely rebuilt version of Wunderlist at the end of July. Going beyond just to-do lists, the plan is for Wunderlist to become “the home of the world’s lists,” from how-to guides to reading recommendations and beyond.
The app also has a new look and boasts real-time syncing whenever you make a change to a list.
Okay, here’s a handful more too, though these are fairly geographically restricted.
Bolt (New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa)
In what was a fairly unconventional launch strategy, Instagram introduced a new standalone app in July – but only in New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore.
Bolt’s basic premise is pretty similar to that of Snapchat: you snap and send images to friends by tapping their avatar at the bottom, and you can write on the photos too.
Radical.fm (US only)
It’s basically a Pandora-style internet radio service for mobile, but its main differentiator is that it’s funded entirely from donations. You like it? You pay what you think it’s worth via PayPal, either as a one-time payment or a regular monthly fee.
Minibar (New York only)
Booze delivery service Minibar launched an Android app to help New Yorkers beckon booze to their home in less than an hour, though it’s only open to Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Hamptons and Queens.
While it originally focused primarily on wine and spirits, it sensibly broadened its horizons to include beer, mixers and other associated items, including ice.
What…you want more?!?
If you’re on the hunt for more Android apps, check out some of the best ones from June, peruse through our monthly roundups from the year so far, or put your feet up and check out our pick of the bunch from the whole of 2013. Alternatively, you can check out some of the best iOS apps from this month too – some of which you may recognize from the Android incarnations listed here.