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10 Android Apps to Check Out: Fitocracy, Battery Boom, Snap Camera, and More

APPS

It has been a while since we last put together a “favorite” apps list, so today, we thought we’d do just that. Over the last few months, we have seen a number of incredibly well-designed apps pop up on Google Play, many of which that we haven’t had a chance to feature because of a wild holiday phone release schedule. So here are 10 of them that have stuck out or have become a mainstay in our list of daily-used apps. 

Snap Camera

YouTube Preview Image

Jealous of the stock camera that came with Jelly Bean (Android 4.2)? If your device isn’t a Nexus or you haven’t hacked it to be 100% stock, then you likely have a skinned phone with a non-stock camera experience. Snap Camera is a replacement camera app that acts and looks quite similar to the stock 4.2 camera. It’s ultra-minimal, with camera and video buttons. You can access all of the menu options by pressing, holding, and dragging, just as you would in 4.2. It also has filters, editing tools, quick viewing of recently snapped photos, and enough shooting modes to fulfill most needs.

Play Link  ($2.00)

Press

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I switched over to press a few weeks ago as my feed reader application of choice and have not regretted it for a minute. It’s a beautifully designed Android app that fits many of the Android design guidelines. It works incredibly well with Google Reader accounts, even pulling in your categories to display them in a way that puts all of Google’s reader options to shame. It has an in-app browser for those pesky feeds that have “Continue reading!” links, allows you to share easily with your favorite services, and looks even better on a tablet.

Play Link  ($1.99)

DataSync

datasync

Yesterday, we highlighted a new app from Koush, that aimed to sync your apps and app data through the cloud between devices. It’s still in early stages, but an app called DataSync has been out for a couple of months now and already does cloud syncing and more. With DataSync, you can setup scheduled syncs of your apps, link to your Dropbox or Box account for cloud storage, has “true two-way syncing” between devices, is Holo-themed with a tablet-optimized UI, and even allows syncing over NFC or Bluetooth.

Play Link  *Rooted users only.

Fitocracy

fitocracy

The new year is upon us, a time that usually triggers many of us to kick up our workout regimens. With apps like Fitocracy, working out is at least somewhat more enjoyable as you are rewarded for the hard work you put in. The longer and more often you workout, the more points you earn which in turn become rewards or badges (similar to Foursquare). You can battle with friends, reach new milestones, sync workouts between the web and app, and “become more awesome.”

Play Link

Notification Weather Pro

notification weather

We’re always a sucker for a good weather application, but one that takes advantage of Jelly Bean’s expandable notifications might take the cake. Notification Weather Pro puts your current weather and an extended forecast at your fingertips in the notification bar. With a swipe up, you can shrink the constant notification to show current weather, but a double-fingered swipe down gives you more. It’s ultra-minimal while still providing you just enough weather info.

Play Link  ($1.02)

Agenda Calendar

agenda calendar

If you are satisfied with the stock Google Calendar app, then feel free to jump past this one. If not, then think about switching to Agenda Calendar, an app that was originally made popular on iOS. It’s beautifully designed, very minimal, yet still manages to present info in a detailed manner. You have views for year, month, week, day and event. You can use swipes and gestures to quickly change views, use it without pause as it syncs with your current calendar, and create events very quickly. It doesn’t have a widget at this time, but they developers claim to be working on one.

Play Link  ($1.99)

Battery Boom

battery boom

Even though smartphones have become more efficient over the last year, we still talk a lot about battery life. Some of us even obsess over these things, often times wondering why are phone lasted less today than it did yesterday. Is there an specific app or service to blame? With the phone dying and no time for a charge, how much longer can I use it? Battery Boom attempts to answer these questions and more. Battery Boom displays precise level of battery charges, tracks statistics for battery use, includes a widget, and should help you decide if you have enough time to get in another 20 minutes of YouTube.

Play Link

Zime

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The developers of Zime want you to “forget your mobile calendar and to-do list” and use their app to easily see and navigate your time. While Zime initially comes off as a calendar replacement, it’s actually more of a time management tool for your life. Since many of us use our calendars to remind us of our entire life schedules, Zime helps by syncing with your current calendars and then trying to prioritize future tasks. It even lets you grade yourself so that you keep track of your progress for time management. If that all sounds like more time spent that saved, you can at least use it as a beautiful calendar replacement.

Play Link

SleepyTime Plus

sleepytime

Quality sleep is something that seems to happen less and less as I get older. Do I need 8 hours or will the 5-6 that I seem to get be enough? With SleepyTime Plus, you have an app that will tell you exactly what your sleep schedule should be. It calculates the times that you should wake up or go to sleep so that you feel great in the morning. If you don’t go to bed at your normal time, it can tell you possible times that you should go to bed and or it can recommend wake-up times. You can also easily set alarms for these new times that are being recommended.

Play Link  ($0.99)

Circ

circ android

Most of you probably use Dropbox to automatically backup your photos, but if you want a more pleasant viewing experience via the web along with an easier way to organize, think about signing up for Circ, a beta application from the makers of Eye-Fi wireless SD cards. They offer unlimited photo cloud backups, automatic uploading immediately after photos are snapped (via WiFi or data), and a way to easily share, tag, and organize your photos.

[Sign-up]

  • Trevor

    Is it wrong that I’m now stalking Kellie Davis?

  • JetBlue

    Top 10 Favorite Games now?

  • joel

    Ever since you guys suggested the spam infested Mario knock off app, I haven’t listened to any of your app posts.

  • Russell Tanner

    “…those pesky feeds that have “Continue reading!” links”

    You mean like Droid-Life?

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      Yup. That way you get more ad traffic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

    Just installed battery boom and Notification Weather (free) Love the minimal yet informative design of N.W. (with two finger swiping for more/less info) but battery boom is a bit disappointing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnathan-Downer/75400936 Johnathan Downer

    now if only i had a phone that has jelly bean!!! can’t wait till i can upgrade in march!

    • KleenDroid

      Why not just install it? Its been available for months.

      • Mack

        I’m assuming he has a phone that will never see anything past Gingerbread, even from developers.

      • JetBlue

        Not every phone has a developer(s) that is good enough to make a ROM that can be used as a daily driver.

  • Tim Swann

    fitocracy isn’t all that great IMO.

    • summit1986

      The recommended achievements are pretty lame… Surfing in upstate NY in the middle of January?

      • Spider210

        Ya the upstate ny still rocking the 3g for about another year sad to say here is a pic of our non-lte tower in upstate burgh area

        • summit1986

          As the snow flies
          On a cold and gray Plattsburgh mornin
          A poor little baby child is born
          In the ghetto
          And his mama cries
          Cause if there’s one thing that she don’t need
          Its another hungry mouth to feed
          In the ghetto

  • philnolan3d

    What a shame that DataSync needs rooting. This was always my biggest complaint about having games I can install on my phone and tablet.

    • JoshGroff

      IIRC, it’s because the secure element blocks installed apps from viewing or manipulating other apps data.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      Koush has said multiple times that the final version won’t require root. Maybe do one click through before complaining?

      • philnolan3d

        Why would I click through when it very specifically says it’s not for me right here? Thank you for sharing the correct information.

  • Droidzilla

    What’s the advantage of Circ (or Dropbox, for that matter) over Google+ for photo backup, viewing, management, and sharing? I just don’t see the need for apps like this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

      I dont believe there are many practical advantages. Could just be name recognition. Dropbox is known for cloud storage and to most, Google+ is just a social network nobody is on (to the majority of folks anyway)

      • Droidzilla

        I bet you’re right. Too bad, since Google+ really offers a lot of features that are free, well polished, and fully integrated into Android’s OS.

        • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

          Bet if they marketed it like the Surface, everybody and their grandma would know about it. (Side note: I love the dancing Surface ad. Even if the product is subpar)

          • Droidzilla

            Agreed on both counts. I’ll never part with my money for a Surface, but the ads are pretty good (even if they only highlight a single feature).

          • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

            *CLICK* lol

          • Kyle

            By marketing only one single feature they’re in a sense copying Apple, I wonder if Apple has a patent on advertising a single feature…hmmm

      • Eric

        That’s the best part about Google+

    • JoshGroff

      It’s mainly just an added bonus for people who already use Dropbox and have it installed.

    • http://twitter.com/Jpliamzon Jerome Liamzon

      I use dropbox instead of G+ because its easier and the pictures can be accessed from my other computers as well. and in case I take pictures that I dont want shared on a social site, they are still backed up and I minimize the chance of accidently posting them online for the world to see.

      • Droidzilla

        G+ will auto backup; you can choose any time, only over WiFi, and/or only when charging. Backups are by default shared with no one, and you can access them from anywhere that you can sign in with a Google account (so, basically, everywhere). 5GB free at full size, unlimited at about 5MP size. Share with anyone you want (and using Circles you can make it very easy to limit who sees what), share via link, disable the link, enable/disable downloading or resharing, share photospheres that can be viewed on any computer or Android device; the list goes on. And the UI is very nice on both Android and desktop browser. I just don’t get the advantage of a third party offering. Nothing wrong with using one, of course; choice is fun!

        • SA

          For me it’s just that I don’t want to be on G+. Not on FB either; social media just isn’t my thing. And like many people, I find Google continuing to try to jam G+ down my throat to be highly unfortunate.

          • Droidzilla

            I don’t really get that. You can use G+ for photo backup and it’s better than just about anything else out there. There’s zero need for you to also use it for social interaction. Why not use the free software suite?

          • TheOiulkj

            Why are you trying to shove G+ down everyone’s throat? Nothing is wrong with dropbox as an alternative, especially for power users because of all the 3rd party support for apps such as wappwolf.

            I don’t have anything against G+ either, so I’m not going around trying to convert G+ users to Dropbox. Just use what freakin works for you, we don’t need no monopoly here.

            I swear, the Android community is becoming the new Apple community. Just because someone owns an Android, doesn’t mean they have to worship Google.

          • Droidzilla

            I just don’t get why the need for third part solutions. I don’t recall being rude about it. No offense intended; if I got your panties all in a twist it was sheerly incidental and in no way volitive. I’m just trying to see what the possible advantages are over a first party offering that seems to already do it all. Feel free to overlook my posts in the future so you won’t be upset by my apparent Google proselytising.

          • Ry.D

            Then just use it on Picasa. Still Droidzilla has got a point, so long as you make your albums private, there is no social aspect to it all.

          • philnolan3d

            Really you don’t have to make G+ private, instant upload photos are already private until you purposely share them.

          • philnolan3d

            You don’t have to use it for social media if it’s backing up your pictures.

        • http://znewman.com/ Zachary Newman

          It’s actually around 3MP size which I do not consider the same as 5MP.

          • Droidzilla

            But you also have 5GB for full res photos (you can purchase more, too; see my post above this one).

          • Chiaroscuro7

            The reasons I like Dropbox over G+ are:

            a) I have space of about 15 GB (through referrals etc) compared to 5GB on G+ for full sized uploads (and yes, I would like to not pay for it if possible – so the paid options are not useful for me)

            b) The main reason I like Dropbox is that – I prefer having the actual jpeg files and dropbox on my laptop allows me easy access to that through its desktop app, I can have all pics synced to my laptop pretty easily this way and access them while offline as well. I don’t think I can do that using G+ – I don’t want to mess with links, or online browsing each time (though I love how easy it is to share pics from G+). Picasa is not a good option.

            Would love to hear your take on this Droidzilla

          • Droidzilla

            a) Can’t argue with that. More free storage is straight up more storage. For those who didn’t get any promotions or anything, There’s no advantage there (I have a free 50GB Dropbox from a promo a while back, but I simply don’t ever use it).

            b) You can most certainly download photos to any device in full res from Google+, but I don’t know if it has a “pin” option. I’ll scurry off and look.
            . . .
            Nope; no pin option. So you can basically straight download them and have them on your device, but it won’t be such that you’re viewing what’s on your device through the Google+ interface (like how pinned music works on Google Music). If offline viewing in the native UI of the program is what you’re after, then I don’t think Google+ fits the bill (you could also have your photos stored on Drive, but that has the same issue).

            Picasa used to work like that, but it’s really been swallowed up by Google+. Makes sense to me as I don’t want my photos is five different places. My usage is mainly Android and Chrome, so I’m online 95+% of the time I have a device being used. Google+ works great for me for viewing, and I can download an image in a pinch if need be. If you’re going to be needing robust offline capabilities, though, I don’t know that Google+ is really the best bet for you.

          • Chiaroscuro7

            Maybe I wasn’t clear earlier when I implied that you can’t download full res pics from G+, I do know you can d/l full res pics – what I mean is I don’t want to go to the web interface each time to download pics/albums from G+ – the dropbox desktop app works well since it shows up like a folder on my desktop (much like Drive) and I have all pics automatically downloaded – so just easier to see / edit them or have access to them whether online or offline – and I don’t want to use both G+ and then transfer to drive when I can have the same thing with dropbox in one step -

            anyway.. good that G+ works better for you; finally options are good for everyone – like others have said above. Just posted my opin :) Cheers!!

          • Droidzilla

            Absolutely; choice is good! I’ll still contend, though, that for the majority of people’s usage pattern I believe Google+ is the superior option. I just don’t get why G+ photo backup, editing, sharing, etc. is never highlighted by most of the tech blogs. Not dogging on Dropbox; I just think more people could use the built in solution on Android but they may not know about it.

    • http://twitter.com/RunHitWunder RunHitWunder

      For photos, Google+ doesn’t backup the full resolution, original image, does it? I thought it downscales the image a little. To me, this is an advantage of a file backup service like Dropbox- keeping the full resolution, untouched pictures.

      • Droidzilla

        It will d up to 5GB for free for full resolution photos, and you can then purchase more storage from there. You can also do unlimited photos downscaled to something like 5MP size. For paid plans, Google is pretty darned good.
        Dropbox:
        $9.99/month for 100GB
        $19.99/month for 200GB
        $49.99/month for 500GB

        Google:
        $2.49/month for 25GB
        $4.99/month for 100GB
        $9.99/month for 200GB
        $19.99/month for400GB

        $49.99/month for 1TB

        They go up to 16TB storage, and any purchased storage automatically ups your GMail storage to 25GB. Add to that the slick UI, photo editor, robust sharing features, and deep integration into Android OS and I don’t see why they aren’t a contender simply for photo backup purposes. The only reason I can see to use DropBox is if you got in when they were doing the 50GB for free bit. I did, and I still don’t use them.

    • TheDrizzle

      Well, before the update to G+, the advantage of Dropbox was full sized photo upload. But apparently G+ does that now, so there is no point in wasting your DropBox space on photos.

    • Nicolas Pipitone

      As for photo backup there isn’t really an advantage to Circ, Dropbox or Google+ Though as they point out in the article Circ’s focus is on UI and easy organization. But it really comes down to where you want your pictures to end up and if your already using any of these services. I use Dropbox for everything. Have it on my laptop, desktop, tablet and phone. I make one change to a document save it and then instantly its updated across all of my devices. It’s saved my sanity as I used to have files all over the place. The picture upload is nice too cause when I take a picture it automatically syncs and i can go to my computer and its already there on my hard drive no browser opening, signing in and having to download something. Just saves time. Anyways that’s just my input. Thx

      • Droidzilla

        Well reasoned response and makes total sense. Thanks!

        • Nicolas Pipitone

          No Problem!

  • moelsen8

    Why would you want to install the 4.2 camera if you don’t have it? Ick. I miss 4.1 and buttons to zoom with. Not everything has to be a god darn pinch-to-zoom. Pretty much kills one handed operation.

    • philnolan3d

      It’s usually not a good idea to use digital zoom anyway.

      • derek connolly

        True because it doesn’t really zoom, rather crop.

        • moelsen8

          Sometimes its nice to zoom a little bit, however I agree mostly.. Pictures too “zoomed in” always look pretty bad on phones.

          • philnolan3d

            Yeah, digital cameras too, even DSLR’s. The first thing I do with any camera I buy is disable digital zoom.

      • Droidzilla

        This x1000. All it’s doing is cropping, which you can always do afterwards.

        • philnolan3d

          Not only cropping but also blowing up the pixels so you have the same size image file but with a blurry mess of pixels.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnathan-Downer/75400936 Johnathan Downer

      i think they were offering it for those who have a 4.2 phone but who’s makers skinned the phone with their own software and camera app. that way they can have a more stock styled phone.

  • Detonation

    How does Press compare to Feedly? I’m yet to find anything that rivals it.

    • DroidzFX

      Feedly has improved greatly with the latest update.

    • Xious

      I have always used Google Reader because I couldn’t find anything that worked with my RSS feed the way Reader did. I tried Feedly a long time ago and it just frustrated me (has probably improved a lot though). However, I use Press on every device I have now. It’s so much nicer that I wish they had a webapp that I could replace going to Google Reader completely.

    • Jim

      I love Reader (formerly Reader HD). Press is very good but is not yet as good as Reader.