Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
From ephemeral Facebook messaging apps, to ones that simply let you say ‘Yo!’ to your buddies, we covered a lot of ground with new Android apps in June. So by way of a quick recap and to help you filter through the debris, here’s our pick of the newbies from the past month.
There’s already no shortage of email clients for Android, but MailWise is a nice addition to the party.
MailWise covers a lot of ground in terms of the range of accounts it supports, including Gmail and Exchange, but its core selling-point lies in clutter-free conversations. Yes, it strips out repetitive information such as signatures and headers within a thread.
With bubbles for browsing and bubbles for translating,’bubbles’ seem to be the in-thing with Android developers just now. Copy Bubble is the latest bubblicious app to hit Google Play.
Copy Bubble is a brilliantly simple way of accessing multiple copied items from your clipboard – you can access your recent copy history from the main floating bubble on your screen, allowing you to delete an item, share it (e.g. to email, Facebook, Dropbox), or paste into another application.
Being able to easily share multiple contact details with groups or individuals can be useful, which is why Contact Box could find itself a fan-base.
In a nutshell, Contact Box allows users to create and organize contacts into easily shareable lists – which can be sent via email or SMS message.
It was almost three years since we’d last covered Trover, a travel-themed, user-generated, photo-exploration app that counts Expedia and Zillow co-founder Rich Barton among its creators. While an Android incarnation had previously existed, it was pulled from Google Play due to resource restrictions a while back, but it has now reappeared again.
Users can (visually) share stories about their favorite hotels, restaurants, parks, swimming spots, and more. It’s essentially a geo-tagged, photo-based social network for curious explorers, one that helps create a sense that you’re walking through a neighborhood finding new things along the way.
Following an accidental false start, social networking behemoth Facebook (you may have heard of it) launched a new standalone messaging app called Slingshot this month, kicking off initially in the US only, though it was later introduced globally too.
Jumping on the ephemeral bandwagon, Facebook wants to remain relevant to the younger generations. The gist of Slingshot: to see a photo or video sent to you by a friend, you have to reply with a photo or video.
Ginger Page & Grammar Keyboard
Ginger Software specializes in ‘language enhancement’ tools to make it easier to write English correctly – native-speakers and learners alike.
The Ginger Page & Grammar Keyboard goes beyond in-line spell-checking to give you tools that instantly rephrase certain words and options for contextual synonyms, translations or definitions – all of which can be very useful, regardless of what your first language is.
➤ Ginger Page & Grammar Keyboard
You may remember that Yahoo acquired Aviate back in January, and just this month the Internet giant launched the Android homescreen service out of beta.
Aviate is a beautiful thing, as it aggregates your personal and local data on your device’s homescreen and strives to help organize your day. This includes weather forecasts, email shortcuts, transit information and calendar.
Oyster [US only]
Oyster has often been referred to as ‘the Netflix of ebooks,’ serving up an unlimited supply to digital books for $9.95 a month. While it remains a US-only service for now, you may be pleased to know it’s now availabe for Android too, joining the company’s existing iOS app which launched last year.
If you’re a speedy and regular reader, Oyster will likely appeal. If you’re not, and tend to plough through books at a rate of one-per-quarter, you’d maybe want to give Oyster a miss. That said, you can at least ‘suck-it-and-see’ before committing to any given book, which is nice.
Some might reckon that the less said about Yo, the better. But for one reason or another, the app really hit a nerve this month due to its sheer simplicity (read: lack of features), coupled with the fact that it’s VC-backed. So it’s worth a mention again here in this roundup.
Yo is a single-button, “zero-character communication tool.” Rather than saying ‘Good Morning’ to your buddies, you simply ‘Yo’ them. That’s all you can really do with it.
Perhaps two years too late, Nike finally unveiled an Android app for its FuelBand activity tracker.
Indeed, Nike has come in for a lot of criticism for not supporting Android with the FuelBand, and many suspected this app would never materialize. However, it did – though it only supports the second generation of the wristband, those with the first incarnation are still restricted to iOS from a mobile perspective.
BillGuard [US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand]
BillGuard isn’t a new app per se, but June saw the service finally roll out of North America and truly into international waters, starting with the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The service sells itself as the world’s first ‘people-powered antivirus system for bills’. Predictive algorithms alert you when there’s unexpected charges such as hidden fees, billing errors, scams and fraud on your credit card or debit card. It also delivers warnings when a similar dubious charge has been flagged by other users.
Amazon Prime Music [US only]
Amazon’s first music-streaming service, Prime Music, went live this month, which resulted in its existing Amazon Cloud Player app being rebranded as Amazon Music and updated with streaming capabilities.
The bundling of free music-streaming for Prime subscribers remains US-only for now.
Path followed in the footsteps of Facebook this month by launching a new standalone messaging app called Path Talk.
As with other similar messaging apps, Path Talk wants to replace SMS (and, as before, Facebook), letting you converse with friends, family and groups, with messages that are automatically erased from Path’s servers within 24 hours. Sound familiar? But it does have some nice features – for example, ‘Ambient Status’ automatically tells your friends whether you’re in transit, nearby, or even low on battery.
Strictly speaking, EverythingMe isn’t a new app. But after shedding its beta tag in February and launching in the US, UK, Germany and Spain, June saw it roll out to users worldwide.
Yes, EverythingMe is one of many Android launchers on Google Play, but it is beautiful and very useful, serving up a swift way to change the look, feel and functionality of your mobile phone.
The quantified self movement may well be in full swing, and you can track and monitor every movement, but with so many different apps and gadgets for tracking different facets of your life, it can be difficult to keep on top of everything.
Nudge aggregates your health and fitness data from multiple apps and trackers, with an overall ‘Nudge Factor’ ranking your health and fitness holistically. It’s nicely designed and has a lot of potential, but there needs to be much wider support for third-party apps and devices – for now, it only taps Moves, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Fitbit and UP.
June saw Udacity expand its online learning platform with the launch of a brand new Android app, in addition to four extra courses designed in collaboration with Google.
Udacity lets you stream lectures and test your knowledge with quizzes, as you learn all about programming and big data.
What…you want more?!?
If you’re on the hunt for more Android apps, check out some of the best ones from May, or put your feet up and peruse through the pick of the bunch from the whole of 2013. Alternatively, you can check out some of the best iOS apps from June too – some of which you may recognize from the Android incarnations listed here.
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