From maps to micro-investments, we covered a lot of ground with new Android apps in October. Here we present you with our selection of some of the best newcomers from the past month.
Nokia’s HERE maps is one of the four major global online mapping services, alongside Google, TomTom and OpenStreetMap. And it finally launched for Android this month, having previously only been available on Windows Phone (though it was on iPhone for a while too).
“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.
It’s a really great app, and genuine contender for Google Maps’ crown. Especially given that it sports full offline access for entire countries and continents. It’s not on Google Play yet though, you’ll need to install the .APK file.
➤ HERE [.APK Download]
Algoriddim has catered for the iOS and Mac fraternity for years, and the German company finally brought its popular Djay app to Android this month, letting you create mixes from Spotify or your own local library of music.
Algoriddim has also teamed up with a myriad of hardware manufacturers, including Numark, Casio and Philips, to build co-branded controllers that work with this app, as you can see in the video above.
➤ Djay 2
Offtime helps you switch off and tune out, letting you access the important stuff, such as calls from your other half or texts from important clients, while filtering out the noise you’d rather ignore.
You basically set up ‘rules’ – for example 4 missed calls in quick succession from someone you know could hint at urgent matters, therefore Offtime can permit the next call from that number to come through.
There are a handful of pre-set profiles, such as ‘Focused Work’, ‘Family’ and ‘Unplugging’. ‘Unplugging’, for example, automatically mutes notifications, calls and texts, while app access is restricted too. You can tweak these profiles too to suit your own needs.
Earlier this year, Google unveiled its Google Fit platform to help people track their fitness goals. It’s essentially a set of APIs that lets developers dig in to rival apps and combine data for deeper insights.
In October, however, Google launched a dedicated Google Fit app for Android, serving to capture all your movements throughout the day, including walking, running and cycling.
Acorns [Us only]
Unfortunately, Acorns is a US-only affair for now, but it’s notable in terms of its uniqueness so gets a mention here.
Acorns helps you get rich by investing all your spare change. It connects up with your credit or debit card and links in with any purchase you make. Acorns ’rounds up’ to the nearest dollar and invests this for you automatically, with the change being put in a “diversified portfolio of index funds,” offered by the likes of Blackrock, Vanguard and PIMCO.
Camera51 is a great little app for improving your photo-taking skills.
It offers onscreen help with composition, and works to ensure that your photos are structured correctly. As you shoot, a series of animations direct you where to aim the camera, with additional information feeding in to help ensure you have set things up as well as possible.
Skype launched a new video messaging app last month called Skype Qik, centered around sharing short, spontaneous clips.
Each video clip lasts exactly two weeks – so it’s ephemeral, but you have a fair bit of time to watch them. Videos can be erased by the sender at any time, however.
In addition to Skype Qik, Microsoft also released a photo-sharing app called Xim, which is built upon simultaneous viewing.
So, the user selects a group of photos and everyone invited sees them on their device at the same time.
Tidal is a music-streaming service with a focus on high-fidelity audio, editorial curation and video content.
Costing $19.99 a month, Tidal uses ALAC and FLAC lossless formats at 1,411 kbps, 44.1kHz/16-bit. Roughly four-times the quality of most streaming services out there.
Samba is a video messaging app that lets you shoot back 15-second reaction shots in response to your friends’ video messages. It proved popular when it launched on iOS earlier in the year, and now it’s on Android too it’s sure to gain at least a few more fans.
What…you want more?!?
If you’re on the hunt for more Android apps, check out some of the best ones from September, peruse through all our other monthly roundups, or put your feet up and check out our pick of the bunch from the whole of 2013.