Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out
New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play Store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.
Description: HomeTube transforms your Android device into a safe, child-friendly haven where kids have instant access to watch whatever YouTube content they want from a list of content you deem suitable.
Description: You simply record a voice message using the Toymail app from your smartphone, hit send and our Mailmen™ toys will speak them back in a funny voice (or your voice if you prefer). Kids can reply to you right from their toys.
Description: Now call any phone number in the world from your Hangouts app. Download and install the Hangouts Dialer to activate phone calling functionality in the Hangouts app. After installation, you can access all phone calling features directly from Hangouts or use Hangouts Dialer for a shortcut to the dialer screen in Hangout
Description: Use your camera to capture people, places and things around you as amazingly realistic 3D models. Capture friends, sculptures, buildings or anything else you can photograph. Automatically transform them into interactive 3D models that can be shared with friends, family and an ever-growing community of 3D photographers.
Description: Get the latest episodes of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, South Park and @midnight, plus other shows. There are hours and hours of funny stuff to watch: log in with your TV provider to access everything, including Tosh.0, Key & Peele, Drunk History, Nathan For You and more.
Blood – American Red Cross
Description: The American Red Cross Blood Donor App puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. Donating blood and platelets is easier than ever. Find nearby Red Cross blood drives, schedule appointments, earn rewards from premier retailers, follow your blood’s journey from donation through delivery (when possible) and create or join a lifesaving team and track its impact on a national leaderboard.
Acompli Email & Calendar
Description: Mobile email just got a promotion. Do more with the only inbox that surfaces your most important email, includes a full calendar and enables file sharing from Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
Ask Me Anything – reddit AMA
Description: Discover “Ask Me Anything” interviews with everyone from movie stars to astronauts to artists in the official AMA app from reddit.
Description: Boxer is a faster, smarter mobile email app that adapts to the way you work. Boxer supports your Gmail, Exchange, Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail, iCloud, AOL, Office 365, IMAP and POP3 email accounts.
Samsung WatchON Plus
Description: Here comes a new WatchON, it’s WatchON Plus for S4 and Note3 users! It gives you an enhanced UI/UX to discover, search, enjoy and share linear, on-demand and even free web contents in one place!
Google makes 2-hour refund window for paid apps and games in Play Store official
By Evan Selleck
Google has officially opened up a short period of time where Android users can request a refund of a purchase application or game from within the Play Store.
The new refund policy is now official. Google has updated their Google Play support guidelines, as reflected on the official support site, and the 2-hour window is now clearly stated as the window of opportunity for anyone who wishes to get a refund for a paid app or game they purchased within the Google Play Store.
This is a change for the better, especially for anyone who has been burned by the previous 15-minute refund window that Google initiated in 2010. It’s a far cry from the original 24-hour refund window, though. As noted by Android Police, this change has been in place for a little while now, but Google has made it official as of September 10.
Size showdown: Apple iPhone 6 Plus versus the Android competition
By Nick Gray
Over the past two years, Android phones were the only real option if you wanted a device with a large display. Yes, Nokia has had a few larger devices recently, but it’s nearly impossible to buy those phones unless you’re willing to import them from Europe. Despite the rumors, I think we were all a bit surprised to see Apple introduce the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display. Apple had us all convinced that a 4-inch display was the perfect size for one-handed use. Going to 4.7-inches was a big enough leap, but 5.5-inches? Preposterous!
But we’re not here to talk about Apple’s change of heart. We’re here to talk phone sizes. The iPhone and its minuscule 4-inch display has always been small when compared to Android devices. Now that the iPhone has been bigified (pretty sure that’s not a word), we can truly see how the Apple iPhone 6 Plus sizes up to its Android competitors. Fortunately, there are plenty of new Android phones with 5.5-inch displays that we can compare Apple’s new phone to.
The new HTC Desire 820 is probably the biggest Android phone with a 5.5-inch display. The device had front-facing stereo speakers above and below the display and an unsightly black bar with HTC’s logo. Despite all that, the Desire 820′s length is .4mm shorter than that of the iPhone 6 Plus. Things get even worse when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which has a 5.7-inch display, and we probably shouldn’t even mention the LG G3, which is 11.8mm shorter that the iPhone 6 Plus.
Google Hangouts now offers free voice calls and MMS
By Sean Riley
The inexorable death of Google Voice is almost complete with the announcement today that Google is bringing voice calls to the Hangouts app.
The functionality is rolling out today to Android, iOS and on the web. It’s a staggered rollout on Android, so if you don’t have the Hangouts 2.3 update available yet, it should show up in the next couple days (or if you are feeling impatient you can track down the .apk pretty easily). On Android you’ll need to download the Hangouts Dialer as well.
Calls to other Hangouts users regardless of their location are naturally free and calls to phone lines in the US and Canada are free as well. If you insist on calling internationally and not just having the person on the other side install Hangouts, those rates can be found here.
MMS support is also available to all for the first time, although it’s not exactly seamless yet, with the images coming through as URLs that you have to click to view. Hopefully they clean this implementation up in the coming months, but it’s good to see it finally arrive regardless.
If you have downloaded the update and given it a shot already, we’d love to hear your experiences.
Size showdown: Apple iPhone 6 versus the Android competition
By Nick Gray
The new Apple iPhone 6 has quite a few of the same features found in most flagship Android phones, but how does the phone and its larger 4.7-inch display fare when it’s sized up against the Android competition. While Android phones come in many shapes and sizes, there are no new flagship phones that have a 4.7-inch display.
The image and chart below show how large the Apple iPhone 6 is when compared to the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, the new Motorola Moto X and the HTC One (M8). The iPhone 6 is the second smallest of the bunch, but that’s not because Apple has found a way to reduce the bezels around the 4.7-inch display. In fact, our measurements show that the HTC One (M8) would be roughly the same size as the Apple iPhone 6 if it had a 4.7-inch display – despite the fact that it has front-facing stereo speakers and that despised black bar below the screen.
Android 4.4.4 hitting the T-Mobile Galaxy S 4 today
By Alex Wagner
Is there a better way to get over the mid-week hump than with a fresh Android update? I’d say no, and soon I’m sure that T-Mobile Galaxy S 4 owners will agree.
T-Mobile is pushing an Android 4.4.4 update to its flavor of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 starting today. Along with an upgrade to 4.4.4 and the security upgrades that that brings, the T-Mo GS4 is getting Wi-Fi calling enhancements and a bump to build M919UVUFNH7.
Android L may be on the horizon, but right now Android 4.4.4 is the latest version of Google’s mobile OS that’s available to the public, and it’s nice to see another major Android device getting this bump. If you’ve got a T-Mobile GS4 that you call your daily driver, you can check for the update by going into Settings > More > About device > Software update.