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. Ara Wagoner - Solid Explorer
If you've seen me on social media, you've no doubt seen the gifs that litter my posts. Rather than keep gifs in local device folders - or download them right before I use them like an animal - I keep a nicely curated gif archive in my Google Drive. It's easy to access on my Chromebooks, and until a few weeks ago, I'd been using QuickPic for its Google Drive integration and easy sharing.
Well, QuickPic is under new management, and I've moved on to Solid Explorer. Solid Explorer is more than a gallery app, it's a file explorer, but it's customizable, simple, and -well - solid. It's not quite as fast as QuickPic was, but Solid Explorer's got a lot more to offer than just hosting my gifs. Re-transferring my backups and files to a new phone has been almost seamless, and I look forward to taking full advantage of the batch re-naming tool when I start taming my archives.
2. Russell Holly — Comic Chameleon
I am routinely torn between how terrible the mobile web is and my desire to consume webcomics while I'm somewhere other than my desk. There's not a lot of great experiences out there that also make sure the people making the comics also get paid, and until recently even fewer of those options existed on Android.
This week Comic Chameleon made its way from iOS to Android, and it's everything I've wanted out of a comic reader app. I've got a favorites list assembled, and the way the app jumps from panel to panel makes it thoroughly enjoyable on just about everything.
3. Jared DiPane — Motor Hero!
Sometimes, you get bored and want to play a game. When that happens, you pick up your phone, and look for something to play. There are so many games available it can be hard to decide, but I prefer games I can just jump in and out of. I don't always have hours to kill, sometimes its just a few minutes, other times longer. Motor Hero! fills this void perfectly.
The idea is dead simple. You tap on the screen to give gas to the bike, and try and jump between platforms. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Sometimes they are higher or lower than the previous one was, they have different angles, some have overhead items you have to avoid. Whether you have a few minutes, or longer, you should give Motor Hero! a shot.
4. Jen Karner — Triple Town
Triple Town is a game in the genre that I refer to as combine three. You need to combine three similar items to create a new bigger item, and so on and so forth. There aren't many games like this out there that are done well, but Triple Town is fantastic. Your goal is to build the biggest town you can, while avoiding the bears that will make your life difficult. Three chunks of grass create a bush, three bushes create a tree, three trees turn into a small house, and so on and so forth.
Triple town is free to download and play but you are limited to a set number of moves each day. You can buy more moves in game through coins earned through play, or buy unlimited turns by purchasing the app. There are a few different maps to play on, and modes to try. It's a ton of fun, and easily one of my favorite games.
5. Andrew Martonik — SURE Universal Remote
If you still have a phone with an integrated IR port — like a Galaxy S6 or HTC One M9 — you'll want to give this app a try. SURE Universal Remote lets you program your phone to work as an IR remote for pretty much anything — TVs, cable boxes, media players, and even some AC units. It'll even work to control some Wifi-connected boxes as well.
Getting it set up at first takes a little fiddling since you have to find just the right configuration for all of your devices, but once you do you'll have one app on one device that can act as a universal remote. You can scroll between different sets of buttons on the screen and easily switch between devices, as well as quickly toggle common functions from the notification shade while the app is running.
This isn't going to replace a better dedicated universal remote device, but then again this is a free app for your phone! It's worth a shot to see how well it can work in your entertainment setup.
6. Phil Nickinson — Today's front pages
Newspapers aren't quite dead yet — and that includes the print edition, something I'll always hold near and dear. And part of my daily ritual in that previous life was to check out other front pages across the country. And for that there's only one place — Newseum's front-page gallery, which is now available in Android app form. It kicks things off by showing front pages from your neck of the woods — regionally, that is. There also are options for listings in just the U.S., worldwide, top 10 or you can mark your favorites. Or just slide open the drawer and hit the list alphabetically. Pages then link out to the home sites via a floating action button.
Very cool for you news junkies out there.