We have the pleasure of seeing a ridiculous number of new and interesting apps come across our devices each and every week. That's why we round up an app pick from each of the folks here at Android Central on the weekend, giving us an opportunity to highlight our favorites. This week we have yet another set of great apps covering a few different genres, so read along with us and see our picks.
Ara Wagoner — Jack's Music Widget
When you're using an app's widget, you typically don't have much choice in the matter. And so when your beloved Play music Widget turns from lovely darkness into a shining white beacon on your homescreen, there's nothing you can do, right? Wrong! That's where Jack's Music Widget comes in. It has the benefit of not only allowing you to reclaim your luscious darkness or opting for a more neutral transparent theme, but it works with more than one media app. If my music's playing, that's what it shows. If I'm in the middle of casing Netflix, I get the poster and a quick homescreen control for it. It even works with the new Disney Movies Anywhere app.
While you can only open one app when you tap the widget - and I suggest setting it to whichever media app you use most - right now, I'm hopeful that eventually it'll open whichever app it's pulling the current controls from. And in the meanwhile, it's a slick-looking app with just enough customization to help you mesh it with whatever homescreen you place it on. There's a basic free version and a one-time purchase to unlock more features.
Download: Jack's Music Widget (Free)
Alex Dobie — Equalizer
Some Android phones come with their own built-in equalizers, but some aren't so great (Motorola), others are completely missing (HTC, LG) and others don't work with Bluetooth (Samsung). The simply-named Equalizer app by Smart Android Apps gives you a full set of equalizer options, including presets, bass boost, surround sound and amplification features. There are 11 presets loaded by default, and you can create your own after applying the $1.99 unlock key. For certain music players, Equalizer will automatically toggle on and off; if you're having difficulties with the effects being cut out on older phones, there's also the option to use a notification shortcut to keep the app in memory.
Most importantly, though, it's just a really great little sound enhancement app that works with just about everything, even when listening over a Bluetooth connection.
Andrew Martonik — VSCO Cam Beta
I've had VSCO Cam installed as one of my go-to photo editing apps because of its simplicity and power when you need it, and now the developers have opened up a proper beta testing program for Android users to try and test the latest features in version 3.1 of the app. Beta testers aren't allowed to go into specifics on the new changes and features, but I can say things are definitely improving and it's worth checking out if you're a photography buff
In order to become a beta tester for advanced releases of VSCO Cam, you need to shoot them an email (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and they'll get back to you with a link to join the group. After that it's standard Google Play beta testing — join the Google Group, then hit the Play Store to confirm you want to be a tester and the new beta versions will be pushed to you as any other app update would. Sure you have to jump through a few hoops, but then you get a great new app to try out!
Phil Nickinson — Reddit News
If you're still on the hunt for the perfect Reddit app, you need to check out Reddit News. It's a free app with in-app purchases (you'll need to go that route to get rid of the banner ads) that incorporates some rather nice Material Design aspects and basically makes it as easy as ever to find all the cat gifs and goat gags your heart desires. It's a dream on tablets as well, previews all the material you'd expect and provides helpful tooltips for finding your way around.
Just give it a shot already.
Download: Reddit News (Free)
Richard Devine — Xbox One Smartglass beta
If you own an Xbox One then you absolutely should have the Smartglass application for Android. The functionality gets better with each update, even allowing live TV streaming in Europe when you use the TV Tuner accessory with the console.
Beyond getting a look at new builds first, the beta version right now is a great idea if you're using the Lollipop preview or the Nexus 9. The regular app encountered issues for me with Android 5.0 but switching to the beta app fixed those right up. The regular app will follow but sometimes it pays to be on the bleeding edge. And it's still a great remote when you're too lazy to pick up the controller.
If only it'd make it so Halo was here quicker...
Download: Xbox One Smartglass beta (Free)
These are the free shows we're enjoying right now on Amazon Fire TV
Now is a great time to binge tons of free tv shows and movies on Amazon Fire TV. Here are some of our favorites that are currently running on the various free services like Prime Video, IMDbTV, Crackle, and others.
Amazon says employees are not being forced to delete TikTok
Amazon is the latest entity to lash out at TikTok, with the retail giant now requiring all of its employees to delete the app from their phones.
Everything we know (so far) about the Google Pixel 5
We're still months out from Google unveiling the Pixel 5, but that doesn't mean it's too early to speculate what it might offer. Here's everything we know so far!
Time to dump Chrome: 8 alternative desktop web browsers
If you getting frustrated with the lack of privacy, slower speeds or difficulty using extensions in Chrome, it's time to switch to one of these web browsers.