Our weekly list of must-have apps
We're here this week — and every week — with more of our favorite apps that we want to share with the class. It's a little thing we like to do every Sunday where we look and see what apps we're using the most and spread a little love so you know that you should give them a try if you haven't already.
With over 1.25 million apps in Google Play it can be a little tough to find the ones worth keeping. We share ours here, and we love to see yours in the comments afterwards.
Russell Holly - Wikipedia
I'm a sucker for a well designed app, and the new Wikipedia app is exactly that. It's fewer button presses than using the browser to get to the information I want, and with the new update information is displayed in a much nicer format. It's just plain better as far as I'm concerned, and since Wikipedia is my go-to service for settling random factual disputes among my friends it has earned a spot on my homescreen.
- Download: Wikipedia (Free)
Andrew Martonik — MLS soccer
The official MLS soccer app has been redesigned leading up to the start of the 2015 season, and I have to say this is the best design in terms of looks and content since the first launch. The new app brings in some Material Design styling, a new color palette and plenty of nice smooth animations.
That all shows off new content, with more focus on video and news — both of which now scale properly on tablets, even in landscape mode. There are also better controls to manage what you see in the app based on your favorite teams, including schedules. Overall it's tough to find a flaw in this latest release, and I know it's going to be planted on the home screen of all my devices from now to December.
- Download: MLS soccer (Free)
Phil Nickinson — Falcon Pro 3
It's been a while since I've used anything other than the official Twitter app. I know. I know. But I had to put my needs first, you never could quite tell when the latest and greatest third-party Twitter app would run up against the token wall. But I gave Falcon Pro 3 a go when it was released last week, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Images are large. Scrolling is fast. And best of all is that it reminds me that there are a lot of good developers out there doing good things, even while swimming upstream against Twitter's rules for third-party apps. Falcon Pro 3 was well worth a few dollars from my wallet (additional accounts will cost a little extra), and it's found a new place in my social apps folder.
- Download: Falcon Pro 3 (free to download, but you pay per Twitter account you want to use)
Ara Wagoner — QuickPic
Anyone who follows me on Google+ — and I certainly hope you do — knows that I post a fair few gifs. And while looking through the collection I keep in Google Drive, I often found myself waiting and waiting for the folders to load in the Drive app, and so I sought out a better way to quickly find and share my nerdy gifs with the world.
That way is QuickPic.
QuickPic is an old friend. When the gallery on my old Samsung Captivate Glide was screwed up, I turned to QuickPic to get me through and get my pictures back in order. The app's come a ways since those days, adopting Material design, immersive mode, but keeping that dark theme that just makes me wanna curl up and scroll through a massive slideshow of gifs and DCP pics.
QuickPic's ability to log into cloud services such as Drive, Dropbox, and Flicker means that I can access my folders of gifs easily, and once I've opened and loaded the full folder once, it instantly shows back up when I return. No more waiting for a sea of thumbnails to load, and the quicker I can get back to important things like writing, engaging with other nerds, and sleeping. #oyasumi
- Download: QuickPic (Free)
Justin Duino — ClockworkMod Tether (no root)
While running from one convention hall to another at CES 2015, I came across a problem that almost every reporter was having — no internet access. Thanks to the fact that we live in the 21st century, we are able to wirelessly tether from our phones so I was still able to be connected. The issue with this is that I quickly went through my carrier's tethering limit and before the end of the first day, I was stuck with no internet access once again.
I needed a way to bypass my carrier and I quickly found Koush's ClockworkMod Tethering application. By simply downloading the app from the Play Store, installing the companion software onto my Mac, and connecting the two with a USB cable, I was up and running. The beauty of Tether is that it doesn't require the user to have root access on their device but you must keep your phone connected to your computer with a USB cable while tethering.
The reason you do not need root is because the companion software creates a VPN connection which allows the phone to give your computer internet data without your carrier knowing that you're tethering. ClockworkMod Tether is free in the Play Store and comes with a 14 day trial. After the trial period you are limited to only tethering 20MB per day or you can purchase full access to the application for $4.99. ClockworkMod Tether should be compatible with all major Android phones on the market and the companion application is available for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Koush even gives you direct links to any and all drivers you will need to make Tether work for your Windows machine.
- Download: ClockworkMod Tether (no root) (Free 14 Day Trial — $4.99 in app purchase to unlock full functionality after trial)