We just had to break out the original format for our Apps of the Week post. We missed it. Don't worry — we're still going to focus on best of categories and sort out the great new content as it hits Google Play, but not sharing our personal picks each week didn't feel right.
So you'll find our list of apps we love and think you should try each week on Sundays. Starting right now.
Phil Nickinson - Waze
Now that I once again have an office to drive to, I'm, well, driving more. And I'm also playing around with Waze. If you haven't used it before, think cartoon-like Google Maps, pointing out things you might need to see while you're driving. Traffic jams, accidents, construction, cops, Whataburger. Wait, what? Yeah. Whataburger. Normally I'd be annoyed by that sort of in-app advertising (and it's not like I don't know where the nearest one is — it's safe to say I know my way around the joint), but I happen to like it. So I'll tolerate it.
What I'm dying for is some Android Wear (and eventually Android Auto) integration. See a speed trap? Just lift your wrist, speak a few words and let everyone know. It'll come, I'm sure.
Download: Waze (Free)
Alex Dobie - Timely Alarm Clock
Alarm clocks aren't the sexiest of smartphone apps, but Timely manages to bring useful synchronization features, a unique visual style and a great looking widget into a single package. In addition to timer/stopwatch functionality, timely syncs your alarms across multiple devices and includes features to help you wake gradually. Smart Rise incorporates a slowly fading melody 30 minutes before you alarm time to let you wake up naturally. There's also the option to add a puzzle requirement when your alarm goes off, to make sure you're up and your brain is working. And on top of that, the home and lock screen widget looks pretty slick on any Android device.
Download: Timely Alarm Clock (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Udacity - Learn Programming
Learning some basic programming skills is something I think everyone should do. The issue is that it's never easy to find time and a place to sit and learn. That's changing, and apps like Udacity - Learn Programming are a really great way to get started. You can learn from a huge library of subjects at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. You don't have to stop at the basics, either. Udacity offers courses at the beginner level and for advanced topics. The app is great, and chances are you'll learn something. That's the perfect mix in my book.
Download: Udacity - Learn Programming (Free)
Ara Wagoner - Google Keep
Google Keep is one of my constants, especially now as I try to juggle my new gig here at Android Central with my current commitments. I can put quick notes in for current or upcoming posts, and I use the colors to keep AC material from Google+ musings from my creative writing releases. Keep is my cross-platform copypasta engine. I can use it for quick info I need to transfer from phone to computer and back. And then there's my many lists. Grocery lists, packing lists, writing lists.
Keep keeps me focused and pushing ahead. I'm especially looking forward to seeing it on the Moto 360 I intend to buy the second it is eventually released.
Download: Keep (Free)
Richard Devine - Microsoft OneNote
I don't use much that Microsoft makes, but I use the heck out of OneNote. I haven't yet found a cross-platform note taking app that I think is better. Be it quick notes, more detailed texts with attachments or even handwriting, OneNote caters for everything I could possibly want. And it works great across Android, iOS, Mac and Windows. Create your own notebooks in the mobile app or use existing ones. You need to have a Microsoft account, but it's worth it for this.
Microsoft recently opened up a beta program for the Android app and if you're a heavy user I recommend it. The community is starting to provide good feedback and hopefully it'll help Microsoft to make a great app even better.
Download: Microsoft OneNote (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Amtrak
I hadn't ever taken a trip on Amtrak before I started planning a trip a few weeks ago and decided on taking the "scenic" route on the train. It turns out that the Amtrak app is actually a really great tool for researching and booking travel on Amtrak, with every feature you'd need and nothing that makes you run to the full website for a better experience. You can search routes, save your favorite stations, get information of all sorts and most importantly book and hold your tickets within the app.
Not everyone will use Amtrak on a regular basis, but if you do, this app will be one to keep installed on your phone.
Download: Amtrak (Free)