6 Android Apps I Discovered Recently

I finally have a new phone! It’s an Asus Zenfone C, running Android 4.4.2. It’s a great phone, and thanks to the better specifications and OS, I can use and test newer apps unavailable on my old phone.
I still want to follow the same rules I imposed myself when using my old phone (install the smallest apps if possible, don’t install large, graphics-heavy games, throw away apps you rarely use, etc) but it didn’t stop me to discover good new apps on the Play Store.

(Note: The sizes refer to the size the apps use in my phone, ignoring the data and cache. Yours my vary)

1. Mahjong
There are countless mahjong games on the market, but most of them are only playable on tablets, thanks to the way they squeezed the entire board to the screen. And when there are versions that has tiles large enough to click, the board would be really small; it has far less tiles than it normally is.
This mahjong implementation fixes those problems by featuring zoom in/out buttons and the ability to navigate the board by dragging, making it playable on both small and large screens, in both portrait and landscape. It also has 215 layouts, hints, tile shuffling, and undo function. It has ads on top of its screen, but you can disable them by deleting your cache and switching off your data connection.

Developer: Magma Mobile
Size: 9.14 Mb
Requirements: 1.5 and up
License: Adware
Link: Google Play

2. TrackID
If you like listening to music, you must’ve heard of Shazam, an app you can use to identify a song by recording a short sample. TrackID is like that, but a little more straightforward and with less features.
TrackID is created by Sony Ericsson and uses Gracenote to identify songs. After identifying a song, you can search the song on YouTube and Spotify, listen to song samples, read the artist’s biography and see their most popular songs, and see the music chart for any countries. If you don’t have internet connection, you can still record the sample you would like to submit and search for a match later.
This app has been helpful in identifying songs from my favorite radio station. Also, check out the interface. It’s gorgeous.

Developer: Sony Ericsson
Size: 28.14 Mb
Requirements: 2.3 and up
License: Freeware
Link: Google Play

3. Mini Desktop
This is the simplest launcher I’ve ever used. Forget multiple homescreens-the only thing you’ll have is a single vertical scroll drawer with a dock on the bottom for quick access. There is almost no customization options either – you can only sort how apps are displayed, hide apps, and move apps to the dock.
To my surprise, I like it enough to use it as my default launcher. Too much customization options can be tiring sometimes.

Mini Desktop
Developer: AtomicAdd
Size: 452 Kb
Requirements: 2.3 and up
License: Freeware
Link: Google Play

I’ll be learning Chinese in college soon, and since it’s a language I’ve never learned before, I thought I should learn some basic words and rules.
Memrise is a service you can use to learn new languages and other topics. I used to be a Duolingo user, and I found it pretty similar.
But the lessons are less repetitive, requires less typing, and there are ‘mems’, which is user-submitted ways to remember new information, such as associating it with shapes or phrases. Unlike Duolingo, I can also see the words I’ve learned and will learn, even without internet connection. I still need it to access my lessons, though.

Developer: Memrise Ltd.
Size: 24.52 MB
License: Freemium
Link: Google Play

5. Audials Radio
I previously used XiiaLive to listen to internet radio, but recently I found out that Audials Radio took slightly smaller space.

In Audials Radio, stations are grouped by genres and countries.  After playing one, you can record the stream.  There is also a few extra features such as equalizer, alarm clock, and sleep player. You can also control Audials Radio from the lock screen.

My problems with this app are pretty much trivial, but still pretty annoying. All this app need is a share button (not ‘tell Audials Radio to your friends’, but ‘share this song/station’), smoother animations, and a throbber.

Audials Radio
Developer: Audials Software
Size: 14.05 MB
License: Freeware
Link: Google Play


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