Android offers developers an unprecedented amount of access to the nuts and bolts through a huge range of APIs; and is also by far the most used mobile OS in the world. Although iOS apps might get more publicity there are some incredible gems hiding amongst the over 1 million titles in the Play Store – and we thought we’d dig out some of our favourites!
Tasker really epitomises the value of the “under the hood” access which developers receive to your phones inner workings. In short, Tasker (£2.99 from the Google Play store) is a way to automate commands to apps based on your pre selected inputs. Want your WiFi to turn on when you get near home? Tasker can do that. Load up your favourite high tempo playlist as you approach the gym? No problem.
Tasker users have become competitive in finding new and innovative ways to use the app; from security, to power saving and convenience. Although the initial command list may be somewhat confusing you can easily find helpful step-by-step guides and how tos. For those that enjoy both nerdy fun and optimising life efficiency; Tasker is an absolute must!
The latest Android OS version, Lollipop, wasn’t exactly a roaring success initially, with adoption rates only beginning to pick up now months after release. However Lollipop did contain several APIs for on board cameras, allowing apps more control than ever before.
Manual Camera (£2.01) takes advantage of this by giving you more control than ever when taking a shot; allowing you to set shutter speed, ISO, exposure and white balance just as you could with an SLR or top range point and shoot.
Although there are many casino apps in the play store Betsafe is the undisputed market leader. Through the Betsafe app you can bet on thousands of sports markets; in advance or in play as well as playing their full range of casino classics and slots wherever you are.
Android betting apps offer a wider selection of games than their iOS equivalents and Betsafe also do a very nice range in mobile special offers and bets – making it the perfect app for a betting man!
Email apps never used to be particularly complex; they simply gave you the most basic necessary functions of reading, deleting and composing messages. However, given the deluge of messages most of us now receive on a day to day basis a new generation of readers have emerged promising to simplify the chaos.
Google Inbox gives Gmail users the ability to group and sort messages or pin them for later. You can also “bundle” all messages on one topic for easier access and control which emails you see at different times of day (saving your personal mail until after work, for example).
It can be tough to get to grips with at first, but Gmail users have reacted warmly and the clamour will only grow as the beta stage bugs are ironed out.
Swype is a replacement keyboard for Android devices and at first glance it doesn’t look very different from the original. What Swype promises however is much faster typing speed due to the fact you never take your finger off the pad: you write in one continuous motion, only lifting a finger between words.
Of course this leaves some margin for error, but the accurate readings and error correction software mean that there are very few downsides – although it takes a while to get used to you’ll never look back!