You need to check out these apps
Ready for some great apps you that you need to try? We've got the new stuff, the fun stuff, the stuff to make your Android look like your Android — and more. Apps are a big part of what we do, both for our job and because we're Android fans, too.
Be sure to check out the apps we're using, and then jump into the comments to share the ones you're using. Stuff like this is why we say the people making our phones need to start offering 64GB (and bigger) storage options!
Richard Devine — Narrate
If you're into keeping a digital journal using your Android device then you might want to check out Narrate. The first thing you'll notice is its hot Material Design look. Looks aren't the most important thing in journaling app, but it makes the experience that much nicer.
It's a relatively new app and the developer is adding new features all the time. Essentially you can write journal entries in plain text or Markdown, add photos, tag locations, date, time and keywords. You can then view them back in a calendar view as well as on a map. It can even integrate with the Google Now "note to self" feature and act as a reminders list.
Passcode protect to keep it away from prying eyes, and if you buy the Pro version you'll also get access to Dropbox, Google Drive and Day One (via Dropbox) sync as well as the ability to request early access to the beta versions. But the basic app is free to use and try out at your leisure. It's such a nicely done application it's well worth a look.
- Download: Narrate (Free)
Simon Sage — Godfire: Rise of Prometheus
Godfire is an action-packed dual-stick beat-em-up game that lands somewhere between Infinity Blade and 300. Hack your way through hapless minions and gnarly bosses, gather up currency, and blow it on extravagant new armor and weapons. Every once in awhile you'll get a puzzle thrown in your way to cool down. Over time, you level up and increase abilities like health, wrath, attack, and defense. Despite the focus on maiming demons of various types, the cinematics between story levels are quite well done, complete with quality, original voice acting. The game is jam-packed with premium currency, power-ups, and video ads, but dang if it ain't pretty. Give Godfire a download if you're in the market for a straightforward button masher.
- Download: Godfire: Rise of Prometheus (Free, IAPs)
Phil Nickinson — Wire
Look, messaging services are a dime a dozen. Some are crap and live forever. Some are great and die fast. Wire is one of the latest. It looks great. It has a lot of potential. And I have no idea if it'll do anything at all to unseat the likes of WhatsApp or Skype or whatever. But at the very least it's a hell of a lot nicer to use than the Hangouts extensions on a desktop computer, and the Android app is pretty darn good, too. If you and your pals are looking for another new way to keep in touch, give Wire a shot.
- Download Wire (free)
Ara Wagoner — Moonshine
I'd like to consider myself a festive girl. And when the holidays roll around, I like to have that festive spirit show on my constant companion: my smartphone. While my vintage posters do fine during the rest of the year, for my holiday theme's dock, I needed something with a little more color to it. Moonshine has been my go-to icon pack for a while, and even though I was able to cobble together a mostly red dock from the icons already in the set, Valiant Pixels helped me out with a custom red set from the upcoming 1.9 icons so that I can get my holiday cheer on.
Valiant Pixels has put out some rocking icons packs in the past, including the now definitely dead Poké Icon Set - rest in peace, buddy - but Moonshine remains number one, even after Project Hera and Lollipop have gone from rumor to reality. While most apps drag their feet updating even their icon to material design, Moonshine is helping keep our Androids looking uniform and awesome. It's also a free icon pack with a wonderful level of support, so if you're looking for something to give your phone just a little materiolo, or just looking for a little consistency, give Moonshine a shot.
- Download Moonshine (free)
Andrew Martonik — Lovely
If you rent rather than own, you know how tough it can be to keep up with the local market — particularly in a large city — and get the best pad at the best price. I'm still a couple months away from needing to look for another rental as my lease comes due, but it's never too early to start looking in my opinion and Lovely has been a great app to use in my searches.
It's a simple and effective rental search app that lets you filter results in your local area by basic metrics — price, bedrooms, amenities — but then also drill down specifically by neighborhood to find the right place. Lovely pulls in all of the pertinent details on each listing, including pictures and contact information if you're interested. Supported rentals also let you message the owner directly through the app, saving you another step in the process.
You can sync your searches, alerts and information with your account to view on the Lovely website, too, which is an added bonus. The app is free, though I'd gladly pay for it considering the wealth of information it provides when looking for rentals.
- Download: Lovely (Free)