Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA we don’t discriminate apps – if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and here are our top picks for this week.
Tuber: The YouTube Companion [FREE]
Many of us just want to quickly watch our YouTube subscriptions — and nothing else. Sponsored or recommended videos can not only miss the mark, but the fact that in order to get to our subscriptions we are first presented with what many would rather not see is annoying. Tuber is a YouTube client that fixes that, as it takes you to your subscription feed off the bat — with a pleasant and efficient interface to boot! There were easy ways to mimic this on the official client, but this is an app solution that will most likely remain stable and functional throughout time and updates.
Play! Playstation 2 Emulator [BETA]
As our devices get more powerful, we not only expect to play the newest games, but also older gems too. That’s what projects like Dolphin are trying to achieve, and in the past couple of years they have made great advancements in optimization. Play! brings Playstation 2 emulation to Android… though it’s not perfect just yet. Most games – particularly 3D games – will net you a laggy experience. That being said, this is early development, and we are featuring it for our love and respect for technology, old games and hard work. You can join the testing community or get the APK directly. Early alpha, remember!
Star Wars App [FREE]
Since there will surely be some Star Wars fans in here, we know many will appreciate this app to keep track of Star Wars developments. This app allows you to get instant notifications on big announcements such as news about the upcoming movie and the latest trailers. You can also read content from the official Star Wars site and access exclusive interviews. Behind-the-scenes featurettes, quick updates, augmented reality camera features, quick games and more. The Force Closes are strong with this one though, but if your device is compatible you will enjoy it.
Hooks allows you to set custom alerts for events or updates that you might care about, straight to your notification tray. There are over 1 million alert choices, but you can also choose from over a hundred channels to create your own. You can get updates of sport scores, new albums, video game releases, and even the weather (but you surely have an alternative for that by now). If you love saving time, this is an app to check out.
Material Comic Viewer [FREE]
This is an offline comic book reader app with a beautiful and simple Material Design interface. It’s quick and efficient with support for cbr, rar, cbz and zip files and image folders. You can also load content from cloud services, and everything you’d expect out of a good comic reader is in here: folder support, sorting, info generation, immersive mode, favorites and more. There is not much else to say — it’s just a nice app with a nice look, and while there are many ways to read comics on Android already, this one has enough charm, color and polish to deserve a look (and read).
- Google Search can now give you “did you mean…” corrections in search suggestions. This is different from other platforms where the correction appears in the results, not the suggestions.
- Google Maps v9.11 let’s you hide UI elements and you can share My Maps (not my My Maps, your My Maps, I mean).
- You can now send directions from Google Maps on the desktop straight to your Android device. Considering it’s much easier to browse maps on a desktop computer than on a phone, many will enjoy this.
- Google Messenger v1.4 brings location sharing, fast scrolling, new sticker support and more.
- Play Books v3.5 gets a needed visual refresh in the main panels, and a new way to discover books you might be interested in.
That is it for this week. We hope that you might have found some of these apps as interesting, useful or entertaining as we did. Whether you are a student, a developer, a designer or a gamer, Android has you covered. We will try to reflect that each week with a variety of picks to spark your interest, and if you see (or publish!) any new apps that you think are worthy of a feature, be sure to send us a tip and we’ll give it a look. Until next time!