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New Android apps you shouldn't miss in February 2017

Update: 4 new apps added for 2017

Keeping track of the best new Android apps available to download is a full-time job, which is why we do it for you. Here you'll only find the ones worth spending your valuable time (and maybe even money) on. All you need to do is download them.

January and February 2017

With all the excitement of Christmas and the New Year, we thought you might need a little time to recover (not that we totally forgot to update this piece, OK?) but now it's time to bring you a few of the best apps that have been released over the past couple of months.

FastKey Launcher

In a world that already has an awful lot of launchers available, adding another into the mix might feel a bit like overkill, but FastKey takes a far simpler approach, making it more efficient than some of its rivals. It's also free to download, which is also a bonus.

Despite being less feature-rich, if what you want from a launcher is one that delivers the app or contact you're thinking of the minute you start typing, then check out FastKey. Just don't expect it to be particularly nice to look at, though I don't find that a problem.

fastkey
Simple, efficient, but not pretty. / © AndroidPIT

By searching across contacts as well as apps, you can start a call just by searching the first letter or two and then tapping the correct contact. Perhaps best of all though is that the slightly ugly keyboard that takes up the bottom section of your home screen (the top sections remain sideways scrolling) doesn't actually replace your default keyboard you use for tapping out messages or any other text.

Customization nuts won't like FastKey - it simply isn't geared to make your phone look a particular way, it's designed to erase that feeling of 'where the hell did that app go?', which it does admirably.

Price Free
Installed Size Around 15MB
Android requirement Android 4.1 and above
Version tested 1.1.1
FastKey Launcher Install on Google Play

Pyrope browser

You might be spending an equal amount of time and effort wondering why you should bother trying another new browser as you wondering why you should try another new launcher, but hush yourself cynic and you'll see that Pryope might be worth your time.

Built on Chromium, it's based on the equivalent of the browser you'll find in LineageOS (née CyanogenMod), so it has all the normal sort of features you'd expect, like private browsing and bookmarking. Beyond those essentials though, it also offers a whole bunch of other useful features.

pyrope browser
Pyrope brings some handy features to the table.  / © AndroidPIT

For example, there's a power-saving mode that restricts certain options, a night mode to reduce eye strain and an immersive mode to set your browser full-screen. Perhaps the feature that you might find particularly handy, though, is the ability to listen to the audio of a video in a background tab while browsing around the Web. Add in edge navigation that lets you move forwards or backwards in a swipe, and some advanced page sharing options and it's well worth considering.

The company says that the app can also speed up your browsing experience if you're using a phone with a Qualcomm processor, but that it'll work with any handset running Android 5.0 or higher. It's free to download and install, but does carry ads.

Price Free
Installed Size Depends on usage
Android requirement Android 5.0 and above
Version tested 42.0.2311.4385
Pyrope Browser Install on Google Play

Energy Bar

In your notification bar, you can already choose between seeing just the icon or seeing a percentage on most phones, but if you'd like to make it even easier to check how much battery you've got left without even seeing what those numbers say, then Energy Bar is for you. It has but one function - to provide a colored bar across the top of your display showing how much battery you have left. As it decreases, it changes color. Simple.

For such a simple app, you get a few options to play around with - like the thickness of the bar, what colors you want to use and at what percentage each is activated. While you're charging, the bar shows how much you've gained since you plugged in.

energy bar
Do you need energy bar? Probably not. But you might want it anyway.  / © IJP

You can also choose to hide the bar, if you want, while watching movies or playing games on your phone. It's free, with an in-app purchase if you want to remove the ads and enable gradients.

Price Free (in-app purchase available)
Installed Size 7MB
Android requirement Android 2.3.3 and above
Version tested EB_6.2.2_BETA
Energy Bar Install on Google Play

CornerFly

This one is admittedly a little niche, but if you have a handset that has rounded corners and a square edged display, it's one that can improve the look of your device a little, if you're a perfectionist. Its raison d'etre is simple: you can round the corners of each app as much as you like to fit in with your handset requirements.

If you are that sort of perfectionist, you'll be paying the 99c upgrade to remove the ads and gain the ability to set custom sizes of the corners on each app.

cornerfly
CornerFly has literally one job.  / © AndroidPIT

You can use different settings for each to ensure they all look perfect, and have the option of quickly specifying the setting for each app from the notification bar, if you don't want to dive into the menus. It's free to download, but you probably will want to pay for it if you like it, just to remove the ads.

Price Free (in-app purchase available)
Installed Size 8.5MB
Android requirement Android 4.0 and above
Version tested 1.08.RC1
Cornerfly Install on Google Play

December 2016

PhotoScan by Google Photos

Here is a new Google application that can be practical on a day to day basis. Its objective is simple: it allows you to scan your paper photos with the camera of your smartphone. With a normal photo application, the results are never really satisfying, mainly because of reflections and glare, but PhotoScan gets around these problems and offers a completely good result.

photoscan2 en
Capturing a photo, and the glare-free end result. / © AndroidPIT

Using it is really very simple: you launch the application and let it guide you. In a few seconds you can get photos of your childhood on your smartphone to immortalize them on the internet or simply just keep them on your device.

Price Free
Installed Size N/A
Android requirement Android 5.0 and above
Version tested N/A
PhotoScan by Google Photos Install on Google Play

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Yet another Photoshop application, you say. If you have a creative soul, you will find joy in it since you can use pencils and other types of markers to create your art pieces.

adobe photoshop sketch
Create a new project, and start sketching immediately. / © AndroidPIT

If you want to, you can also go and look at other community members’ works; some of their pieces are really excellent. I am not a professional artist, but I find it quite difficult to draw on a phone. It might be more pleasant on tablets with a stylus, of course.

Price Free
Installed Size N/A
Android requirement Android 4.4 and above
Version tested N/A
Adobe Photoshop Sketch Install on Google Play

Fingerprint Gestures

If you have a newer smartphone, it may be equipped with a fingerprint sensor. The problem is that most manufacturers have implemented only two functions in this sensor: device unlock and making payments. Some devices such as Huawei and Google allow you to customize the button to perform specific actions with a simple gesture with the sensor: show the notifications menu, open an application etc....

fingerprint gestures
Configure your fingerprint sensor. / © AndroidPIT

Fingerprint gestures allow you to configure your device so that it reacts when you tap, double-tap or when you touch it. Among the possible actions, you can choose to associate an action with a button, to open the notifications panel, manage music, and more.

Price Free (in-app purchases available)
Installed Size Around 4MB
Android requirement Android 5.0 and above
Version tested 1.6
Fingerprint Gestures Install on Google Play

November

Pepo

Pepo is an application dedicated to communication that just came out in October, so it will definitely keep evolving. The concept is pretty simple: you can share the elements of your life with your contacts or with the public. In itself, it's nothing really revolutionary since all social networks offer basically the same thing. But, Pepo is a little different.

On the main screen, there are several public topics of conversation listed in which you can participate, from technology, to sports, to pictures of animals. In the side menu, you can access the conversations/topics published by your friends, friends of friends and those nearby. 

pepo app
There's still work to do, but the application has potential. / © AndroidPIT

You will be able to communicate text, pictures and even video. You can also have secret chats. The app is inspired by the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Slack, and allows you to follow and have followers.

Price Free
Installed Size Around 30MB
Android requirement Android 4.1 and above
Version tested 1.0.3
Pepo Install on Google Play

Ivy

In short: Ivy is a sidebar launcher. It allows you to access your favorite applications instantly, from any application. Simply grab the menu bar on the right side of your screen to open it. You can configure it to access not only shortcuts to applications, but also to different information.

ivy en
A different kind of launcher. / © AndroidPIT

By default, the launcher is on the right, and has a white background. You can make various changes, including changing the background or transparency.

Price Free
Installed Size Around 4MB
Android requirement Android 4.4 and above
Version tested 1.1.20
Ivy (Sidebar, Widgets, RSS) Install on Google Play

SnapNotes

At first glance, this application is intended primarily for students, but may extend to the workplace. It is sometimes difficult to take notes and listen at the same time, either in college class or at a professional conference, and that's where SnapNotes comes in.

snapnotes
Primarily for students, but could be useful for professionals. / © AndroidPIT

You can organize your notes according to your schedule, then take pictures of the notes taken by your peers to reference later. You can also export them to PDF if you wish. The application is interesting, but will not be useful to everyone.

Price Free
Installed Size Around 10MB
Android requirement Android 4.0 and above
Version tested 1.0.2
SnapNotes Install on Google Play

What are your new favorite Android apps that you've come across in the last month? Let us know in the comments below.

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67 comments

Write new comment:
  • wow!
    really awesome, i like photo editor and i will install these apps.
    i am keen on snapnote. it is quite suitable for an old student like me.

  • Thanks for the recommendations, energy bar adds the touch I've been looking for

  • For Pete's sake don't use the comments section on this post to recommend your own favorite apps. Please restrict yourself to commenting on the apps presented in this article.

    • Bastian Siewers
      • Admin
      • Staff
      1 week ago Link to comment

      I went through the comments earlier and cleaned them up. If you find one (in general) that looks like spam etc. please use the report button found at the bottom of any comment. Thank you! :)

  • Yahya 2 months ago Link to comment

    still a lot of programs in this list, you can add

  • I recently installed Photoscan by Google its a Very nice app Never thought it would be so possible to get high quality scans from my phone. This app is amazing. I've scanned many photos & I'm really happy with the results.

  • still a lot of programs in this list, you can add

  • Thanks for this bro

  • Thanks for this list, but you have missed the
    "Google Play Music"

  • I like prisma & Google Duo, These two apps are awesome

  • steve 5 months ago Link to comment

    Just waiting on everyone else to download duo.

  • Why not a monthly list of games? Because I'm missing good puzzle games since the release of cut the rope...
    I luckily found a new one "Catch My Berry" in the android play store. Even though I'll have finished it in a couple of days... :-(

  • Hermit it is.

  • Andrea 5 months ago Link to comment

    After reading some of these comments, those of us who can remember, what it was like when we didnt have any apps! Gosh what did we do then? Really think about it! Now, however I must admit I have app install addiction! Yes we are all APP ADDICTS!! LOL.
    It would be fun if Scott did a piece about this. All of our little thrills when we install apps. All the little icons all over. You name it, there is an app for that.


    P.S I could create an app for app addiction.

  • Ryan 5 months ago Link to comment

    The whole video thing is completely stupid if you are not able to use it across ALL DEVICES, including Apple. Having video calling is cool but if the person has Apple or vise versa Android you can not video chat... Like how stupid is that. This is how they trap you brand specific Apple products only Apple to Apple video chat or iMessage, same with Google's new video chat keeps you trapped to Android users only so if your friend or family member had a different phone it's not possible. So to me this whole video chat is just stupid until they fix that.

  • I like the idea of Google Duo because there's this friend of mine who can't use Skype and when we tried to do a video call through Facebook the picture quality wasn't that good. I'm hoping that if we try this app the quality of the picture will be much better.

  • Linu S. 6 months ago Link to comment

    Prisma is good

  • This is quite helpful. Thanks for sharing.
    I downloaded some apps listed. hahaha. They're awesome.

  • My favorite one was Habitica both because I have trouble following through with keeping my goals in sight and completing them and also because it is in the form of an RPG, which I love. I may definitely have to give it a shot.

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