There are nearly 1.5 million applications currently on Google Play and with so many to choose from, finding interesting new experiences can be a hassle. As we did last month today we’ll be showing you 5 different Android apps that you should definitely give a shot, so let’s get started.
The best gifts for Android users
Let’s just get this out of the way. Nintendo and Niantic launched a Pokemon app. It has basically taken over the world. It’s awesome. You should download it. Here’s the link.
Next, let’s talk about two different launchers. My personal favorite is Evie, a new Android launcher from a company of the same name. As we told you a few weeks ago, Evie brings iOS-style quick and easy universal search direct from your homescreen to your Android device, as well as an app drawer available with a quick swipe from the left side of the display.
While universal search is available on many other launchers, including the Google Now Launcher, Evie stands out as a unified and polished experience that is a real pleasure to use. Everything is fast, well designed — and best of all, it’s free. There are no in-app purchases within Evie (yet) and I’d highly recommend giving it a shot. Currently Evie is limited to the US, but the developers have already confirmed it’ll be coming to other regions soon.
Evie is available now on Google Play.
Sticking with the theme of simplicity, let’s talk about ASAP launcher. This very unique Android launcher brings a stripped down experience focused on one thing, speed. Along the bottom of your single homescreen is a dock of 5 apps which you can customize. There are no widgets and there is no way to add to the homescreen; it’s just dead simple. This experience definitely takes some getting used to, but you might actually come to love it.
Gestures power this launcher with a swipe to the right revealing a weather card and a swipe to the left revealing another custom page. You’ll be able to select from a to-do list, contacts card, and a full screen calendar widget. I wasn’t a huge fan of the to-do list option as an avid Todoist user, but the other cards became very valuable, especially the gorgeous weather page. A swipe up on the main screen will also reveal two more rows of pinned or most used applications.
To fill in some dead space on the homescreen, ASAP adds “cards” to the top of the screen which show the time, weather, a Google Now shortcut, and music controls. Like Evie and Action Launcher 3, ASAP also sends the app drawer to a menu on the left side of the display with a search bar available at the top. Custom icons packs and wallpapers are also supported.
This launcher is of course free to use, but unlocking some of the custom theming capabilities will require an in-app purchase. You can download it over on Google Play now.
By now you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Amazon Echo and the powerful brain behind it, Alexa. Amazon’s in-house voice assistant is insanely powerful, but most people think you can only get it on an Echo. Well, those people would be wrong, Alexa is available in a lot of places, but with the app Lexa, you can easily access it on any Android device.
After downloading Lexa, you’ll need to sign into the app with your Amazon account and right away you’ll be presented with quick and easy access to Amazon’s virtual assistant. Simply tap the button within the app and start talking to interact with Alexa.
Unfortunately Lexa doesn’t support the full library of services that the Amazon Echo does, but it can still answer questions, control smart home products, and interact tons of other Alexa skills. Lexa is free to download on Google Play.
WiFi Manager for Android Wear
WiFi has been available on Android Wear for a while, but to connect you need to use your smartphone. To make the process a bit easier, WiFi Manager for Android Wear allows you to connect to WiFi networks directly from the watch without any need for your smartphone.
Why is this useful? Perhaps you have an Android Wear watch on you but forgot your smartphone at home. At work you’ve got full access to WiFi. With this app, simply input your network credentials and then you’ll have full access to your phone’s notifications, texts, and calls yet again.
Better yet, this app also includes a “Radar” feature that shows the strength and rough location of nearby networks. I’d almost argue this is the more useful functionality within the app. Regardless, WiFi Manager for Android Wear is free to download over on Google Play with an in-app purchase of $2.99 required to access all the features.
Have suggestions for what apps we should feature next month? Drop a comment down below! We’d love to hear your recommendations.