There are more than 1.6 million apps on the Google Playstore, making it one of the largest collection of apps in the world. However, most of these apps provide similar functionality, overlapping features, such as the tons of music players, weather apps, news apps, and so many other genres or categories where developers compete against one another to garner the largest user base.
I’m the kind of person that keeps trying apps that offer something useful, something new, or a better approach at things. When I first joined the Android league, it was an exciting world, so many apps, so many approaches, but lately, I have too started settling down to a ‘standard’ use pattern like many. Stock android like homescreens, stock apps, nothing too fancy. However, while this means a more iOS like ‘standard’ experience, it can feel boring. So here are five apps I think are unique in either the way they approach things or just provide some functionality that is not so mainstream but useful.
For the most part, when you copy text on your Android device, it’s because you intend on pasting it into a different app. Rather than switching between apps to get the job done, you can use Easy Copy to send the copied text directly to the app or function that you’re ultimately copying it for. or instance, you might be looking at the restaraunt details on Google Maps. So you copy the seller’s phone number, then head to your home screen, switch over to your phone app, paste it into your dialer, and finally make the call.
This app from developer Murin can speed this process up drastically by removing the need to switch between apps. Basically, as soon as you tap the copy button after highlighting some text, you’ll get a menu with common system functions to paste this text into, saving you at least two or three taps.
Because of the way cellular networks were launched, we get SMS and voice coverage almost everywhere, while mobile data coverage has far more dead zones. If you ever find yourself in an area without mobile internet coverage, SMSmart can potentially be a lifesaver. The app uses your near-ubiquitous SMS connection to transfer data, which means you can now use common internet services almost anywhere on the planet.
The app allows you to connect to web services such as Google Search, Maps, Twitter, Wikipedia, and the like, using nothing more than SMS messages. So even if your mobile data connection is spotty or nearing its monthly cap, you’ll always be able to connect to the services you need.
Many folks use YouTube as their primary source of streaming music, but the tunes comes to a grinding halt as soon as you open any other app. While there have been root workarounds for this issue, AudioPocket allows non-rooted users to play YouTube music in the background with a unique and simple share intent mechanism.
AudioPocket functions solely as a share intent receiver for any YouTube video that you would like to listen to in the background. This means you don’t even have to open the app to use it. Instead, simply load up a video in the regular YouTube app just as you normally would. From here, tap the “Share” button near the top of the screen, then choose “AudioPocket” from the following menu.
Instant Heart Rate
Many Samsung phones come with a built-in heart rate sensor, but essentially, all this is doing is shining a light through your finger, then recording the light that reflects back to get your heart rate reading. Turns out this same hardware functionality can be accomplished using the camera and LED flash on the back of any phone, and an app called Instant Heart Rate does this extremely well. This app gives readings that rival the purpose-built heart rate sensor in the Galaxy S6 in terms of accuracy, so it’s a great way to measure your heart rate on a phone that doesn’t have an actual heart rate sensor.
Wouldn’t it be nice if each of your home screen pages had a unique wallpaper? You can always take a look at a third-party launcher that has this feature, but for those of you that are perfectly content with the stock launcher, with an app called FiveWallpapers, this can easily be a reality. After choosing a wallpaper for each of your home screens, you’ll get a fresh and personalized look every time you swipe over to a different page on your launcher.