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. Jerry Hildenbrand — Fi Spy
We know that there aren't very many people using Project Fi, but this one is so handy I'm including it anyway.
Sometimes, Project Fi makes the "wrong" choice and connects you to the network that's not as strong as the other network. Let's be honest — some places Sprint works better, other places T-Mobile works better. It's frustrating when you're connected to the slower one.
You can use dialer codes to refresh the Fi network or switch from one network to the other, and while that's not extremely difficult, automation is always better. Fi Spy to the rescue. It tells you which network you're connected to (as well as a history of your connections if you like stats and such) and gives you an easy way to switch. Press a button, paste the clipboard into the dialer, and you swap.
The app is currently in a testing beta phase, and the developers say they have more planned. If you're using Project Fi, or planning to with your new Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X, it's worth a look. It's free and sign-up details are linked below.
2. Jared DiPane — Realtor.com Real Estate, Homes
Home buying is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Trying to sell a house, then buy a new one is even worse. Knowing when to list, what the competition is like, where to begin, it's enough to drive a sane person crazy. We are getting ready to list our house and upgrade to something bigger, so I have been doing a lot of research on the whole transaction.
With selling comes the need to buy again. Knowing where to buy next is a difficult choice, and there are so many things on the want list it can be hard to keep track of. The worst thing is looking at a house, liking it, and finding out its not available anymore. Realtor.com does a great job of keeping up to date with listings, providing all of the pertinent information, and attempting to make things easier.
Having all of this information in my pocket with me is great, I can check things wherever I am, show people things I like, and things I don't. If you are in the market to buy, you should definitely check the app out.
3. Phil Nickinson — SwiftKey Neural Alpha
How do you make one of the best Android keyboards even better? You make it smarter. And you make it smarter with an artificial neural network. That means better prediction. Better correction. And it quite possibly puts us one step closer to all-out war with the machines. But what a way to go, right? Im' still in the early stages of using this one, and it's very much an alpha thing. But we can all use better keyboards, right?
4. Jen Karner — Nibblers
You may have already heard about Rovio's newest game, Nibblers. It's a colorful match 3 game in which you match up fruits to take out monsters and continue along your way. Some of it is what you'd expect from a match 3 game, but Rovio has also added some new tricks. Knock enemies off of bushes or sand before you can knock them out, deal with baddies that hide unless you hit them with a powerup, and with levels that constantly shift from the currents in the water. It's a fun twist on the usual genre and with over 200 levels there is plenty of fun. It's a bit more difficult than some of the other contenders which definitely adds to the fun — at least if you're a simple game addict like I am anyway.
5. Russell Holly — Revolution
I needed something new to shut my brain off this week, and found someone standing in line at the bank playing this game on their phone. Revolution is a simple vertical climber where you jump the little block from level to level, only surrounding each level is an increasingly insane motion puzzle you have to solve before the walls close in on you. If you're anything like me and the woman standing in line at the bank, it'll have you shouting at your phone in no time.
6. Andrew Martonik — Amaze File Manager
File managers are never the flashiest or coolest apps on your phone, but if you're a nerd like us here at Android Central chances are you have one installed at any given time. My latest favorite is Amaze File Manager.
It's brilliantly simple and fits the Material Design elements perfectly, which for something like this works just fine. You get a nice bit of configuration as far as themes and colors go, and of course it has all of the standard file manager functions you'd expect. You can manage and remove files, backup and restore apps, cut/copy/delete files and compress and extract folders.
Even better yet, it's free and open sourced. Give it a look.
7. Richard Devine — MixRadio
Music services are more common than ever but one I always keep around is MixRadio. It's been known as other things in the past, such as Nokia Music. But MixRadio is no longer part of Microsoft which means we're able to sample it on Android, to our benefit. The app has already gone through a redesign since it first launched, but the core of what makes it so good is its music recommendations.
Somehow MixRadio continues to offer a better, radio-style stream than anything else I've tried. You tell it what you like, create a massive My Mix of a wide range of artists, and it'll serve up suggested tracks. There are also tons of curated mixes, created by real people, but I'm rarely disappointed by it. Currently there's only a free, ad-supported model with limited numbers of downloads for offline listening. But eventually a paid tier should come back to remove the restrictions. But if you're into music it's definitely worth a try. I don't think it'll disappoint.