From vertical video-killers to location-based tweeting, we covered a lot of ground with new Android apps in September. Here, we sift through the rubble to present you with our selection of the best Google Play newcomers from the past month.
Horizon lets you shoot horizontal videos irrespective of how you hold your device.
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
You can rotate the camera from vertical to horizontal and back again, and the aspect ratio remains the same. It’s all thanks to your device’s accelerometer, which auto-levels the video to ensure it remains constant. This naturally compromises the quality of the finished video, but it’s pretty neat technology all the same.
WhoSampled scans the music on your phone to tell you who has sampled, remixed and covered each song.
You can dig into more granular detail to see where samples or covers have popped up across the music sphere. Users can drill down and find the exact part of the song that has been repurposed and compare it to the original, with full-length tracks streamed via YouTube (where possible).
WhoSampled also helpfully reveals if that favorite song of yours is a cover version itself.
Findery can best be described as a user-generated travel guide, letting anyone add context to any random point on a map. Courtesy of Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, Findery lets you explore places through adding notes, video, audio, text and images.
Email productivity app Acompli arrived on Android last month with its unified inbox in tow. Acompli promises to push forward your most important emails, and also lets you share content directly from cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
With the Android launch, it introduced Focused Inbox and Email Scheduling features – the former works similar to Gmail’s Priority Inbox by pulling out emails it thinks are important, based on your history. Scheduling works as you’d expect, allowing you to bury emails for a set period of time.
Users can switch between trending, recent and all-time popular AMAs — each one is summarized and laid out to let you skim-read the questions, answers and conversations that may be buried deep within the platform.
In short, HomeTube consists of child-friendly content curated from YouTube, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Peppa Pig, with the child choosing which they’d like to watch. It basically means you can give your kid your phone to amuse themselves, without them finding any unsavoury content on YouTube.
Angry Birds Stella
Angry Birds Stella is a female-focused variant of Rovio’s ridiculously popular Angry Birds franchise. You’re basically battling to save Golden Island from a baddie and the ubiquitous green piggies.
The gameplay uses the familiar slingshot approach, with a few new moves thrown in for good measure.
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Twitter can often be difficult to search for tweets based on where they originated. And that’s the problem that Castround for Android is setting out to fix.
When would this be useful? Well, perhaps you just want to see what people are tweeting about at a specific spot nearby, or maybe you landed in a new city on vacation. It’s also useful just to look at what people are talking about around key events (e.g. elections or football matches).
Amazon Instant Video (US/UK/Germany)
Many wondered when Amazon would ever launch an Android version of its Instant Video/Prime Instant Video streaming service. Well, that finally happened in September – though not in the form of a new standalone app.
You must have the regular Amazon e-commerce app installed which is used as the launcher for the streaming service. Then you’ll need the new Prime Instant Video player, which you can only download from the Amazon Appstore – which must be downloaded itself if you don’t have it already.
A lot of messing around for sure, but it gets there in the end.
It’s a bit of an odd, quirky beast this one – but this makes it into our monthly roundup as it’s notable. In short, Wakie encourages random strangers from around the world to wake you up with a phone call. No more boring alarm clocks.
For now, Wakie is open to those in the US, Canada, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong – if you’re the one wishing to be woken. But if you’re happy playing the exclusive role of ‘waker’, you can sign up from anywhere.
Following its rebrand from Taskbox last year, Mailbox-rival Boxer finally brought its hybrid email client/to-do list app to Android last month.
Boxer’s ambitions extend beyond simple email management into the productivity sphere, with a built-in ‘to-do list’ feature letting you shift your chosen messages to your own to-do list within Boxer with the deftest of swipes.
BitTorrent launched its privacy-focused P2P messaging platform Bleep in public alpha last month, almost two months after it was first announced.
Bleep is a peer-to-peer (read: no central server) encrypted messaging app that lets you make voice calls and send messages.
FIFA 15 Ultimate team
EA launched FIFA 15 Ultimate Team (UT) last month, introducing more than 10,000 players from 500 teams.
It lets you build your dream team and see how they fare against your rivals, and differs from the main FIFA games insofar as you ‘unlock’ players for your team.
Checky is setting out its stall to answer one, simple question: How many times each day do you check your phone?
It really is that simple – it may lead to life-changing habits that encourage you to keep your phone in your pocket more often. But more likely, it will just let you compete with pals to see who’s the biggest mobile phone addict.
What…you want more?!?
If you’re on the hunt for more Android apps, check out some of the best ones from August, 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. 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.