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. Russell Holly — Periscope
Twitter's instant video darling has finally come to Android, and it's surprisingly fun to use. It lacks the group conversation I appreciate with Google Hangouts, but the ability to instantly stream video to those in your immediate social circle is really interesting. It's not something I'm likely to use every day, but a fun way to include folks in some of the weird behind-the-scenes things we get asked about so often.
Alternatively, I may just use it so my parents can watch my kids do cartwheels in the front yard. You never can tell with these things.
2. Jared DiPane — FORM Watch Face
Like my wallpaper addiction, I am slightly OCD about my watch face as well. I was finally settled on a simple analog face, and then FORM watch face hits Google Play. This comes from Roman Nurik who is no stranger to making great apps, and it even ties in with Muzei, his popular wallpaper app. The font used here is Google's FORM font, which they used at their first design conference, and then you can customize the background colors.
What really got me interested in this face was that not only did the background color change, but the clock colors did as well. The default colors are blue, yellow, green, red, and grey, and as previously mentioned it also offers Muzei integration. With this, the watch will use the same background that your phone is, and will match the clock colors as well. If you are looking for a new watch face, give this one a shot.
3. Justin Duino — FitHub
I recently purchased a FitBit so that I could track my sleep and get a better idea of just how many steps I took everyday. The main issue I ran into is that I was already using hardware and software that tracked my steps and heart rate — the Moto 360 and Google Fit. The issue is that the Google Fit and the FitBit software do not work together and collaborate the data.
Using FitHub, I am able to connect my Google Fit and FitBit accounts together so that I can see all of my steps all in one place. At the moment you can only sync your steps but there is Google Play Games integration so you can challenge your friends and see who can get the most steps.
4. Andrew Martonik — The Talos Principle
I had the opportunity to play The Talos Principle on the Shield Android TV a little bit before it was released to the Play Store in full, and I'm super glad I can now recommend it since it's now out for everyone (kinda). It's only available for NVIDIA devices and tailored for the Tegra X1 processor (it runs on the Shield Tablet just fine, but you may need to scale back the graphics), which is a bit of a bummer for most people but considering that this is a high-end PC title I can't blame them too much for partnering and keeping it limited to devices that are capable of running it.
This futuristic robot-in-the-world puzzle game puts you through over 100 unique scenarios, solving puzzle-style levels that can really strain your brain. The controls are simple and the imagery looks really good, meaning you can easily spend hours moving through the full game. You'll pay $4.99 up front and an additional $14.99 for the entire game (after you complete the first two worlds, a couple hours of work). That's a bit steep by Android game standards, but there's a lot of content here to play through. I recommend it if you're a fan of these puzzle kind of games.
5. Jerry Hildenbrand — Adult Swim Virtual Brainload (Mature 17+)
Google Cardboard, and next-gen virtual reality in general, is great for educational stuff. Kids (and adults) learning things makes us all feel warm and fuzzy, and the new Expeditions for classrooms is an amazing way for educators and students to have virtual field trips chock full of new ways to learn about the world around us all.
But Adult Swim's Virtual Brainload is probably the coolest thing to ever happen for Cardboard.
For starters, it's rated Mature 17+ in Google Play. There are no naughty bits or crude language, but there is a chance you'll experience blackouts or seizures if you're sensitive to flashing lights and tripped out visuals. Be careful. We love each and every one of you and don't want anything bad to happen — so do the developers. Heed the warnings.
Having said that, Virtual Brainload is a cross between the best Acid flashback you could ever imagine and the world's coolest cartoon. You zoom through a trippy field of lights, colors and trails, and the minute you think it's done and you can breathe you move on to the next. There is nothing to learn here. Nada. Zero. Zilch. But it is a great display of VR, and you'll find yourself immersed into a world that shouldn't exist.
It's the coolest way to turn on, tune in, and drop out on Google Play.