Our weekly app picks
It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.
Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!
1. Jared DiPane — Wallrox Wallpapers
Just when I think I have found the perfect home screen set up, right down to the wallpaper and icon placement, I get bored of it. I change wallpapers too much, and I am very picky. Having tried a variety of wallpaper apps from Google Play, once I downloaded Wallrox Wallpapers I was happy to see what they offered. Like many other wallpaper apps, inside is broken down into various categories to browse through.
The app includes black and white, gradient, blurred, crystal,lines, low poly, Material, and many other categories, with various wallpapers in each. What is really great to see is the variety of colors for nearly every design. Everyone has different tastes, and Wallrox has a pretty solid collection to browse.
2. Phil Nickinson — Layout from Instagram
I've never really felt the need to have one of those Instagram feeds full of collages of selfies and duckfaces and whatever. When you're looking at single images with a 1:1 aspect ratio on a smallish screen, simpler is better. On the other hand, I never had a picture of ASUS' crazy new mascot Zenny until the past week. And Zenny deserves something a little more special.
That's where Instagram's new "Layout" app comes in. It's a separate download that lets you take more than one image and mix it up in a number of designs. It's quick, it's easy, and it means more Zenny for days to come.
3. Andrew Martonik — Enpass Password Manager
I've bounced around between plenty of password management systems, and with the latest update to Enpass I'm giving it a try on my phone. The latest release includes a brand new Material Design refresh, which makes it look and perform beautifully, but underneath it still has tons of great features. Just like the other apps in this space you can store all of your passwords and sensitive data with open-source AES-256 encryption, and then sync that data between your phones (Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone) and computers (Windows, Mac, Linux) using whatever cloud sync platform you choose.
There's a built-in browser with auto-fill, which is nice if you need it, as well as a password generator. Enpass has also added the ability to unlock your password vault with the fingerprint scanner on any late model Samsung phone, which is a usability bonus, and is totally free to use (including sync) for up to 20 items in the vault. Once you pass 20 you'll pay a one-time fee of $9.99 — not too much to ask for a great set of apps.
4. Russell Holly — Hexy Launcher
I don't usually feel the need to swap launchers all that often, but at the same time I love the idea of predictive software on my phone. Predictive launchers aren't exactly a new thing, but every time a new one is announced I give it a try for a week and see how well things work. Hexy launcher's default honeycomb grid took a full 24 hours of use to arrange all of the central icons with something other than the defaults, but what you see in the image is reasonably close to what I use most.
If you're into something new and don't mind giving up your traditional homescreen setup, Hexy is a fun way of doing things.
5. Justin Duino — Google I/O 2015
Google I/O, Google's yearly developer conference, is less than a week away. This means that we are less than a week away from hearing directly from Google about new software and possibly even hardware for all of their platforms. Every year Google publishes an app for the conference so that attendees can map out their sessions. Off-site viewers can follow along with the conference as Google live streams and records many of the sessions so that users can watch recorded sessions whenever they want to.
The Google I/O 2015 application is a material designed masterpiece that is free on the Google Play Store for everyone to use. Additionally, three of us (Phil, Jerry, and myself) will be live at Moscone West so make sure to keep an eye on our Google I/O 2015 page so you do not miss a single announcement made by Google.
6. Alex Dobie — Leo's Fortune
With a few long flights ahead of me in the coming weeks, I've been on the lookout for new games to pass the time, and this past week I've finally gotten around to checking out acclaimed platformer Leo's Fortune. Players take on the role of fuzzy mustachioed blob Leo, as he navigates a world of traps and puzzles to track down the thief who stole his gold. With simple controls suited to touchscreens, a gorgeous visual style and a varied game world, Leo's Fortune is well worth your $4.99, and best enjoyed on a larger phone or tablet.