Connect with us


10 More Fun, Niche, and Weird Apps for Android (Volume 2)



There are many applications in the Google Play Store. Last time we checked, there were an estimated 3.5 million of them. Not every app is meant for fame. After all, there can only be so many note-taking apps. This list will cover more specialized things. We’ve already written the first volume of Niche and Exotic Apps. This will be the second volume. Here are ten other fun, niche, and quirky apps for Android.

10 more fun, niche, and quirky apps for Android

BuzzKill 2023 screenshot

BuzzKill is a notification filtering app. An example of an app like this being useful is when someone messages you multiple times in quick succession. The app can let the first notification through and then filter the other two. It can also manipulate notifications in other ways. For example, you can get reminder notifications, custom vibration for specific apps or contacts, and more. It’s kind of neat because notifications can come in big waves, and apps like this can keep things sensible. It’s $2.99 ​​out of the gate, but there are no additional in-app purchases.

EKA2L1 screenshot 2023

EKA2L1 is a Symbian emulator. It is able to emulate several versions of Symbial, including S60v1, S60v3, and S60v5. It is mostly used to play old games like many great Android Emulators, as you can see in the screenshot above. As such, some of the features are for gaming. There is custom key mapping and frame rate adjustment for those who want it. Symbian isn’t known for its gaming platform, so this is a somewhat niche product, but it works well, and that’s why it’s here.

MacroDroid 2022 screenshot

MacroDroid is a little less specialized than the other apps on this list. It has over ten million downloads, after all. However, with apps like Tasker and IFTTT getting a lot of the automation love, MacroDroid is often the odd guy out. It’s an automation app, similar to the apps mentioned above, and it can automate quite a few different things. You can select a trigger, define the action, and then configure it from there if needed. IFTTT is undoubtedly more powerful, but using MacroDroid is better if you just want to automate some basic functions on the device. We think he should be in the conversation more.

Purchased applications

price: free

Purchased apps screenshot 2023

Purchased apps are a simple app. It shows you all the apps and games that you have purchased in the Google Play Store. The Play Store lets you see your purchases in the Payments & Subscriptions setting, but this option is a bit cleaner, so it’s still useful. You can also sort by installed apps, uninstalled apps, and purchase type so you can only find apps you’ve paid for, or only in-app purchases. It’s great if you want to find an old app or game you bought years ago.

Sensor test

price: Free / $3.99

Sensor 2023 test screenshot

Sensor Test is an app that helps you find problems with your phone. It can test a variety of sensors in your phone, including the gyroscope, accelerometer, gravity, light, pedometer, heart rate monitor, and any other sensor your phone may have. Obviously, your phone needs an app sensor to test it. Other than that, the app works quite well and can help you narrow down potential issues if your phone is having issues. Some OEMs, like Samsung, have versions of this that you should use instead, but many OEMs still don’t.

Shizuku 2022 screenshot

Shizuku is a powerful user app that most people won’t ever need. Functionally, it helps apps access system-level APIs so that you don’t need root to run something. Normally, you’ll need to grant the app permission for these kinds of things with root or with ADB. Shizuku does it for you so you don’t have to do any of these things. It doesn’t work in every scenario, but there are some apps that can tweak your phone that use something like this to make life easier. Again, you’ll never need something like this, but if you do, this is it.

Square Home

price: Free / As low as $4.99

Square Home screenshot 2023

The Windows metro design wasn’t the most popular thing in the world, but it did have its fans. Square Home is a launcher that brings a similar type of user interface back to your Android phone. It puts widgets, apps, and other functions into tiles on your home screen. It brings a Windows Phone feel to your Android phone in a way that few others do, and gives you a break from the typical icon and dock style of the most popular Android home screen launchers.

SuperImage screenshot 2023

SuperImage is an AI-powered image upscaling tool. This means that it uses artificial intelligence to take blurry photos and make them clearer and better looking. It’s a neat piece of technology that actually works. We just understand that the photo upgrade market is not particularly large. Anyway, SuperImage is one of the newer apps on this list, released in 2023. We think it’s a fun app that works well, even if its audience isn’t that big. We even include it in our list of best AI apps for Android.

Water resistance test

price: Free / $0.99 – $99.99

Water Resistance Tester is an app that has gone viral since its release. All you have to do is hold your phone down, and the app tells you if the water resistance is still intact. The funny thing is that it actually works, and it works well. You press the phone, the application measures the pressure, and if the pressure exceeds a certain limit, it gives everything. Obviously, it doesn’t work with every phone, so that’s something to keep in mind. However, it worked just fine on all three of our tested phones. The price seems steep, but it’s an optional donation, so you can pay as little or as much as you want.

What3Words screenshot 2023

What3Words is a navigation app. It takes a site, divides it into 10-foot squares, and then each square is given a unique three-word identifier. You can then use these identifiers to find the exact location of where you need to go. Obviously, navigation apps can do this since today’s GPS locations work well.

This app is very useful when searching for things in a crowded area where the location is not terribly clear. For example, a certain apartment in a complex with a unique design. This is a list of niche apps, after all, this obviously won’t usurp Google Maps, but you can actually send the location you find here to Google Maps or other great navigation apps, so they work in tandem instead as a substitute.

If we missed any great video compression apps, let us know about them in the comments.


Source link


Smartphone scams are dead – Android Authority




Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Ten years ago, the 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 was a technological marvel. Android phones had only been around for a few years at that point, and it seemed like the Galaxy S4 could do a lot despite its small size. As consumers, we were delighted. So much so, that to this day the Galaxy S4 remains the best-selling Android phone of all time, with over 80 million units sold.

However, that was ten years ago – an eternity in the tech world. Things have changed dramatically since then. The smartphone tricks we saw in the Galaxy S4 — like the Smart Scroll, which let you scroll the contents of your screen by moving your head up or down — would be completely ridiculous to see in a 2023 phone.

Today, smartphones are ubiquitous gadgets, not technical marvels. Consumers are using their phones more than ever before, yes, but that has faded the shine. Modern smartphone buyers don’t want gimmicks. They want a phone that fixes the basics and hides in the background.


In 2023, if a smartphone manufacturer thinks that some cool new trick will be the backbone that sells its phones, it will be in a world of disappointment. Not only will consumers care, but investing in research and development for this trick could do more harm than good.

What are the tricks of the smartphone?

Google Pixel 4 XL Long Range 2 review

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The term “gimmick” can be used broadly. In general, when it comes to smartphones, we think of gimmicks as features that are only applicable to very specific situations, appeal to a limited subset of users, or offer no real value (or some combination thereof).

One of history’s most egregious examples of smartphone scams was the Soli radar system in the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Soli was a set of front-facing radar sensors that could track your hand movements. They let you do things like pause the music simply by waving your hand near the screen. While Soli performed as advertised, consumers simply didn’t care, and the Pixel 4 series was the biggest failure in Pixel history.

If your star phone feature only appeals to a few people, it’s probably a gimmick.


A more recent example came with the OnePlus 10 Pro last year. This phone was equipped with an ultra-high resolution camera with a field of view of 150 degrees. This was essentially a fish-eye lens, creating highly distorted images that looked unreal. Although software trickery helped fix images in post-processing, critics and consumers alike saw no need for such a bizarre lens. OnePlus eliminated the lens on this year’s OnePlus 10T and OnePlus 11.

Here are some other smartphone tricks we’ve seen:

  • foreign matter: OnePlus recently announced the Jupiter Rock Edition of the OnePlus 11. It has a back that is basically made of rock. Who asked for this?
  • Macro lenses: While a great telephoto lens can be an interesting addition to a solid lens collection, most of the time that’s not the case. Often, OEMs will throw in cheap 2MP macro lenses to make a phone look more premium than it is. In other words, the thought process is that more lenses = better cameras, which consumers are no longer fooled by.
  • Super fast charging: While it’s crazy to see 240W charging speeds on a smartphone (that’s fast enough to charge from empty to full in about ten minutes), who really needs that? These speeds are also said to be detrimental to the health of the battery, thus shortening the life of your phone.
  • Cooling systems: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 – a gaming phone – had a cooling fan built into it. While this is practical for a phone designed for gamers, it also made the phone unwieldy, prevented an IP rating, and made wireless charging impossible. It solved one problem at the expense of basic smartphone features. Likewise, OnePlus’ latest concept phone has a liquid cooling system that didn’t even work.

These gimmicks don’t help sell phones because they don’t give us what we really want: a great overall experience.

But what about phones in specific niches, like rugged phones? Is the rugged phone a gimmick? I’d argue it isn’t, but they also don’t sell in the numbers we’d see with something like the Galaxy S series. These phones exist for specific purposes for a specific consumer, so they get a special pass.

The current smartphone successes are all the evidence you need

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

We know why smartphone manufacturers invest in these kinds of tricks. They obviously think they’ll help sell the phones or, at the very least, help their products stand out from the crowd. This is an odd strategy because the most successful phones tend to be relatively gimmick-free.


Here in the US, the iPhone is by far the most popular smartphone. For the first time ever, Apple has more than 50% of the market in the US, leaving the other half to Android OEMs (mostly Samsung). The iPhone doesn’t have a lot of tricks. One could argue that Dynamic Island is a gimmick, but it’s one that consumers seem to enjoy, so it doesn’t really count.

Unsurprisingly, the most successful phones are also some of the most gimmick-free.

In second place, Samsung’s Galaxy S series also stands out as being gimmick-free. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen may be a bit gimmicky for some. However, it’s also incredibly popular and a calling card for a premium Galaxy experience, so we’ll be happy to let this feature slip. Despite this, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty boring with how functional and no-nonsense they are. And guess what? The Galaxy S23 line is selling better than the Galaxy S22 line.

Of course, we can’t forget about Google’s pixel font. The Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have any weird tricks up its sleeve, and was voted the best Android phone of 2022 by both Android Authority And our readers. It’s interesting that when Google gave up the tricks, it ended up selling more phones than ever before.

Obviously, phones can reach consumers without gimmicks. However, Dynamic Island and the S Pen show that there is still room for fun and doing things differently.


However, phones can still be fun

None Phone Number 1 graphic on the back

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

We’ve already discussed plenty of examples of stupid smartphone tricks that get in the way of a good experience. However, some tricks work.

Take Nothing Phone 1, for example. The lights on the back of the device — officially known as The Glyph — appear to be a ridiculous gimmick. Once you use the phone, you will realize that it is actually an Android smartphone with a strange light show added. In other words, The Glyph can be ignored, and you’ll still get a great Android experience with a very fair cost-to-value ratio.

I’m not against the trick. There is plenty of room for fun features.

This is a great example of how doing tricks properly can be beneficial. Nothing crammed into The Glyph comes at the expense of wireless charging, a premium feel, or a decent camera system. Use the trick as a light garnish on top of a satisfying meal. It’s a beautiful detail that highlights an already well-done dish.


Google’s Magic Eraser is another example of a gimmick that works. With the Pixel’s camera experience already being one of the best (if not the best) phone camera experiences available, the Magic Eraser feature exists as a useful tool for people looking to fix otherwise great photos. It was not Need Magic Eraser, but it’s practical and fun when you want it to be.

That’s all to say that smartphones don’t need to be boring. There’s plenty of room for fun gimmicks, cool aesthetics, and thought-provoking twists. But gimmicks can’t be the phone’s selling point. They must be side players.

OEMs will need to shift focus — or dump

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 1

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Remember Lenovo Legion Duel 2, the phone with an integrated cooling system? Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work out very well for Lenovo. Recently, the company confirmed this Android Authority He shut down the Legion’s smartphone arm.

We’ve also mentioned OnePlus several times in this article. This company is not doing well either. There is a rumor that it could pull out along with sister brand OPPO from the European market either this year or in 2024. OnePlus has lost all carrier partnerships in the US, and its latest flagship — the OnePlus 11 — hasn’t gotten strong reviews. Again, tricks don’t seem to have helped here.


What do you think of smartphone scams?

146 votes

This all supports my central argument: scams don’t sell phones. We’ve settled on wanting phones that excel at the essentials: battery life, camera, screen, usability, performance, and so on. I could also argue that design is just as important here, though it’s more subjective than something like battery life. What doesn’t matter are the extra lenses, radar systems, cooling fans, rock-solid backboards, and all the other tricks we’ve seen.

Companies that are stuck in 2013 and think cool gimmicks will sell a lot of phones will need to wake up from that dream sooner rather than later. Apple and Samsung eat your lunch and do so without relying on gimmicks. Make your phones awesome at a competitive price and we’ll buy it. Simply.

Source link

Continue Reading


All of my favorite games this year are old




I also installed the original version Final Fantasy, the game that debuted when I was three years old, on Sony’s most advanced console yet, I came to a realization: everything I played this year was outdated. Between remakes, new releases, and vintage collections, there’s been a flood of nostalgia. I personally welcomed it.

These kinds of releases aren’t new, of course. What was different during the early months was the huge amount of classic releases. Two of the biggest movies so far this year – dead space And Resident Evil 4 – is a remake of titles from more than a decade ago. Both are slick, slick updates that don’t look out of place among recent big-budget releases, but part of what makes them so attractive is how straightforward they are. There are no open worlds filled with endless quests or live service items to keep you coming back. And most of these design decisions date back to their ages, as these games were made at a completely different time with very different expectations. In my review of Resident Evil 4 A remake, I called it “a video game like this,” and I meant that as a compliment.

Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp.
Image: Nintendo

But they can also be a lot of work, frequently setting in to be all-consuming experiences that keep you hooked and never let go. Oh I love Fortnite Like everyone else, but that’s not all I want from my video games. Whether it is as complicated as RE4 Or simply put a scene from the opera Final Fantasy VI On my PS5, these games have returned a simplicity and focus I often find missing from their modern contemporaries. vampire And Final Fantasy They are very different experiences, but they give me the same feeling of a whole solo journey that I’m supposed to play through from start to finish. Same goes for the other old games I’ve been playing.


Playing—and in many cases, replaying—these games was an exercise in reminding myself of what could be so great about a medium. The largest modern versions tend to imitate each other to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from one another. That’s what makes a lot of indie releases so exciting, and likewise, what keeps me coming back for all these new releases of old games — so it’s good to me that this trend shows no sign of stopping.

Source link

Continue Reading


NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell leaves Comcast due to ‘improper conduct’




NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will leave Comcast, effective immediately. The telecom giant made the surprising announcement in a brief press release Released on Sunday. After an investigation prompted by a complaint of improper conduct, Comcast says it has reached a “joint” decision with Shell that he should resign from his position.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a joint statement. “I am really sorry that I left my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal, they are the most talented people in this field and the opportunity to work with them over the past 19 years has been a privilege.”

Comcast has not named a successor to Shell. in a note obtained diverseComcast CEO Brian Roberts and President Mike Kavanagh told employees they were “disappointed” to share the news. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You must count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace,” they wrote. “When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”


Shell joined Comcast in 2004. He became CEO of NBCUniversal in 2020. That same year, he oversaw the launch of Peacock. Shell leaves NBCUniversal without making the streaming service profitable. At the beginning of the year, Comcast told investors that it had done so Added five million paid subscribers During the last three months of 2022. However, over the same period, the company lost nearly $1 billion while operating the service.

Source link

Continue Reading