Best Android Apps in January 2021
Though it seems that we already have all the apps we may ever need, developers keep proving that wrong. There is always someplace for improvement, some idea for inventions, and some space for discovery. This February also had something up its sleeve; not all of them are potentially as epochal as TikTok or Likee that became musts in months, but some of these new Android apps are potential hits too. Here are the ten apps we consider the best of the new arrivals, so do some taps and check them up!
But if there is a potential super hit among these, it’s Byte. The name is already familiar, and so is the idea. Short videos (like those we loved on Vine) are always in demand, and Byte delivers. With it you can record short videos and loop them and edit pre-recorded videos as well. The length of a video is limited to six seconds, so watchers can consume them by dozens or embed them in their posts and even comments on social media – that’s the way they are designed. In terms of usability, it resembles the aforementioned TikTok (except for video editor, so you may need an external one for effects and montaging). But while TikTok is already a famous overcrowded place, Byte is the trampoline if you’re just starting your climb.
It might seem strange that such a famous hub is just launching its app. In fact, it’s rather relaunched: the official GitHub app has been around for a while, but now it’s completely redesigned after a hiatus. It allows for all the things you might want on GitHub: browse projects, download files, view pull request, read comments, and, of course, view the code right in the app. Gee, the developers even bothered to introduce night mode! It’s not an app for everyone (unlike Byte), but pros using Github will appreciate it a lot (though it’s a beta, but it’s beta than nothing).
Malwarebytes Call Protection
It becomes less polite to call without warning, and there are more spammers and scammers among those unknown numbers calling you. A famous security-oriented developer features its special app meant to protect you from scam calls. It’s a sort of TrueCaller thing, with a built-in cloud number identifier and blocker, working with calls and SMS. Its database is updated with crowdsourcing, and that’s the way.
Microsoft Launcher Preview
Since Microsoft jettisoned Windows Phone, its presence on other platforms (like Android) gets more and more noticeable. Microsoft Launcher seems to be the ultimate replacement for its own OS, based on Android. This time it’s quite different from Microsoft Launcher we have got used to. It has new features, like a native dark theme (regardless of your Android version), landscape mode on all sorts of devices, and so on. Though it’s still a bete version, it’s already said to consume less resources and prolongate battery time, and yet it performs even better than the default Android launcher or analogs by phone vendors. Let’s see.
Nvidia GeForce NOW
One of the greatest trends of the last year was game streaming, and here it is on Android phones. Nvidia has introduced its cloud service that lets you play console or PC games on mobile devices for free or with a paid subscription. Unlike Google Stadia, it offers no free games (at least no confirmed ones), but you can access your Steam and Epic Store collections. Premium access (for $4.95/month) activates ray tracing and allows for sessions up to 6 hours long, while free access only lets you play for 1 hour without interruptions. In addition, paid users enjoy bandwidth and performance priority. If you’re in, get yourself a controller if not yet.
Not a game, but a hub for all Pokémon fans, this app is one of the longest-awaited. It is compatible with the most popular Pokémon games, so you can transfer your caught or hatched Pokémon from there to Home. Within Pokémon Home you can also trade your Pokémon with other users. It requires a subscription ($2.99/mo, $15.99/yr), but if you’re a Pokéhead, it’s quite affordable.
Social media for exposing your life are already there, and even more of them than you’d like. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Privy is just for your closest. Invite your family, your friends, and no one else. Thus you can inform them all on important events in your life without crying out loud to all the world. Your profile just cannot be seen from the outside, even by other users. The developers say no third-party entity can collect your data from it. Not 100% trustable, but still preferable to Facebook or Instagram.
If you happen to live in the US, you know what nature is about here. Or rather you know that you never know, unless ready for last-minute warnings. QuakeAlertUSA is here to deliver that last-minute warning about earthquakes, quite literally. It gets you prepared within 10-60 seconds, so you can at least run outside. The app informs you about the epicenter of the earthquake, its depth, magnitude, and location, based on data from ShakeAlert and USGS.
If you haven’t bothered to buy a smartwatch and aren’t planning, you may need this app in case you want to use your phone as a camera remotely. What this app allows for is connecting two Android phones, so one of them acts as a camera, and another as a remote shutter and viewfinder. It has its focusing tool, delay timer, and other things we have got used to seeing in regular camera apps. There may be some bugs, as this sort of apps is highly sensitive to device compatibility.
As if we haven’t seen enough notetaking apps, here comes another one! Steno Notes offers nothing specific but extreme minimalism, while all the necessary features are there. Along with just typing or writing, it supports dark mode, hashtags for notes, colored sticker-like previews (like sticky notes on a board) and so on. It’s just a notetaking app, but you may just prefer its interface to its rivals, unless you need cloud features – then you better stick to Evernote or Google Keep. The app is in early access, but it looks quite decent already.
If you know any other great apps released recently, do some namedropping in the comments. We’ll appreciate that! And other readers will, too.