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These are the Apps That Google Thinks are Beautifully Designed: Winter 2013 Edition

Over the summer, the Android team released a Summer Edition list of apps that they considered to have “beautiful design.” The list featured apps like Pinterest, Pattrn, Eye in Sky, and Pocket, all apps that we have featured at least once here on Droid Life. As the year is now wrapping up, they have a new “Winter Edition” list that includes some new and familiar names from around these parts. And since we tend to talk a lot about design guidelines and our favorite beautifully designed apps, it seemed only fitting that we share Google’s list. 

On their newest list, you’ll find Timely, an app that is without a doubt the only alarm app you should ever pay for. If you have yet to pick up Timely, now would be the time with its premium price dropping to $0.99. The list also features Etsy’s app (a great spot for buying hand-crafted goods), Tumblr (thanks to its constant UI changes), Yahoo Weather, Circa (for its “sophisticated” effects), and more. Most of the apps you will have heard of, but being featured on this list is usually a good indicator that they have seen changes lately worth noting.

Any other apps you think should be on this list?

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Via:  Android Developers
  • Deeco

    What about ‘Expedia’ app?

  • Bryan Williams

    Doubletwist Alarm > Timely

    Hands down.


  • mgamerz

    No facebook app? Cmon… they follow the guidelines to the T. /s

    • Chris

      No where does it say apps HAVEa to follow the guidelines. This is android. not ios

      • Philip J. Fry

        lol Do you not understand the “/s”?

        • HarvesterX

          %s means that you are inserting a string of characters into what you are printing to output. Example:

          printf (“%s n”, “/s stands for sarcasm :)”);


  • joejoe5709

    A quick internet search didn’t help. Does anyone know of a simple way to hide the on-screen nav bar in Daydream? It drives me nuts.

  • feedhead

    Gentle Alarm > Timely

  • Turb0wned

    Don’t understand the point in paying for an alarm….

    • Chris

      To wake up to. to nset a desire time to be “reminded” of something

      Same as the alarm by your bed just on your phone. Add a charging dock and you have your self one nice alarm clock.

      • needa

        i think his point is that phones already have an alarm.

    • HarvesterX

      You don’t have to pay. You can download the application for free, and it’s more than functional and has all (almost) the basics. It’s an in app purchase if you want to upgrade to pro.

      Off Topic: Anyone here live in Central Virginia? I’m in Louisa and need access to a computer so I can root my G2 replacement (the back buttons are MUCH better… Theyb shipped me a new G2 and not a refurbished one. The buttons are SO MUCH easier to distinguish. now. Seems like they’ve made some minor adjustments, as it’s a night and day difference between my old G2 and this one. The buttons look the same but it seems like the power button is raised up some making it very easy to tell what button I’m pressing. The other’s are raised as well, they kind of sick out more.

      But anyways, if you are nearby and have a computer I could use (library won’t let me log in or run anything as Administrator) and the lab at my old university let’s me log in as Admin but for the love of God I can’t get their computers to recognise my device. Window 7 I think.

  • chocolate8175

    I like timely but can’t figure out how to make the alarm actually go off if my screen is off, am I doing sorting wrong here?

    • Kevin

      Definitely, email the developer. Maybe he can figure out what’s wrong. Could be a number of things. If you know what android version you’re running or if it’s a custom ROM helps if you mention it.

  • engemasa

    Battery Widget Reborn almost looks like an application that’s built into Android. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.hubalek.android.apps.reborn.pro&hl=en

    • NexusMan

      I like that one also.

    • LionStone

      Lovin me some BWR!… 🙂

  • NexusMan

    I’ve been using and continue to love Timely and Yahoo Weather.

  • Mitchman

    Sumer? :

  • Brandon Golway

    I still use sleep as android.

  • AbbyZFresh

    What does Google know about design? All they use is that same white card interface on all of their products. LMAO.

    • Adrynalyne

      And you know what about design, exactly?

      Google promotes minimalist designs, and personally I think they are quite nice. Designing apps that look like they belong on another OS does not promote a cohesive look.

    • mfr118

      Not sure why you find that hilarious?!

    • NexusMan

      Um. No. They design an entire os as well as apps for iOS that are repeatedly heralded as some of the most beautiful iOS apps and as being better designed than Apple’s in house designed apps.

      • Chris

        before or after iOS 7?

    • chris_johns

      u high…u must be high…hes high

  • Adrian

    I love Timely. It’s beautiful and laid out so well. The only reason I stopped using it for a while was that I really don’t care for most of the alarms that come with it and after several updates, we STILL can’t choose our own alarms like you can with just about every other alarm app. It’s a glaring omission and I get that it can sync with other devices but a simple “use alarm sounds on the device” override would solve all of that. Most of the alarms are as bad as the ringtones and alerts that come standard with the phones. I found one that is tolerable, but honestly, it’s an annoying compromise to have to make for a paid app.

    • Well, that settles that. Glad I read ^this before I downloaded it. Thanks.

    • NexusMan

      I love Timely also. The alarm sounds don’t bother me. When I 1st downloaded it, they did seem different than what I was used to, but I quickly got over that. An alarm is supposed to wake you up, not to make you sit there and jam to it. And I suppose the best alarm to wake you up, would be the one that annoys you. LOL.

      • Adrian

        They advertised as the alarm that wakes gently so you’re not cranky when you wake up. That’s why the sound ramps up and also starts softly a few minutes before you want to wake up. Their alarms are usually too silent or just generic and bland.

        • NexusMan

          You can change the setting so it does not start the sound low and gradually ramp up.

          • Adrian

            Oh, I want the setting to be on. It’s a better way to wake up to me.

          • Karen James


            ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ֌ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ ▇ On their newest list, you’ll find Timely, an app that is without a doubt the only alarm app you should ever pay for.

        • mgamerz

          I’ve found I’m a light sleeper, so their ‘lowest’ setting still wakes me up. I’d rather have my own sound that fades in rather than jars me awake, that way even at quiet, it doesn’t jar me awake. I only use it cause of the sync with devices (have many ring at once!)… but that doesn’t always work either :/

    • David Lutz

      Agree 100%! I stopped using Timely because I got tired of waiting for the ability to choose custom sounds, plus the snooze button worked inconsistently (no response sometimes unless I powered the screen off and back on) on my SGS3.

      • Adrian

        I kept missing alarms because it immediately deadens the sound when you bump or move the phone. I want to have to explicitly turn it off.

        • sweenish

          It doesn’t kill the sound, it lowers it because it’s assuming you picked up your phone.

          • Adrian

            That’s bad design. It should be an option. I don’t need an alarm to assume I picked up the phone. Actually turning the alarm off is all it needs to do. If I’m asleep and reach for my phone, I don’t need it to assume that I turned it off. It really should be an option and not the default.

      • NexusMan

        Maybe, as is the case with many apps, it works better on some devices more than others. I’ve been using it primarily on a 2013 Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus and Moto X and have had no such problems.

    • ChuckDz3

      I agree. Timely is beautiful and very user friendly. However for a paid alarm clock it is missing a few very important features for a good alarm clock. Like you mentioned that ability to not set own alarm clock sounds, which is a pain but a not a big downside for me as I don’t mind the tones. Since I am a heavy sleeper there are some missing features that other alarm clock apps offer. There are no options to set a max number of snoozes or simply to disable the snooze options, so you could literally snooze your way through getting up on time. The challenge option to dismiss the alarm clock is nice but lacks an actual challenge. For example the math challenge (which I think is a great way to alert you when you wake up) gives you an option to answer a math question to dismiss the alarm. The problem with this feature in Timely is it gives you a 4 multiple choice answer option which you could easily just guess to dismiss. It should force you to manually enter an answer and actually think or have a few math questions to be answered before you can dismiss it. Now this is only my opinion but until these features are added I keep using Alarm Clock Xtreme with a gingerbread UI.

    • darioqqo948

      my Aunty Alice just got
      a nice 9 month old Mercedes E-Class Diesel only from working off a macbook…
      this contact form B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • turdbogls

    I still dont get all the hype over Timely. I used it when it came out….its really nice looking and customizable….but it doesn’t have all the features of the stock clock app….and its not like I set an alarm every day, or even go into the clock app more than once a week. it just wasn’t worth keeping it on my phone….but thats just me.

    • I think I love it so much because of its cloud syncing. Since I’m constantly grabbing different devices, it’s nice to be able to quickly toggle alarms on and off of different devices.

      • chris_johns

        we all dont have this luxury big guy lol but def wish i did

      • SirLance99

        This is my main reason for using Timely. I have way too many devices to keep resetting all my alarms and this apps solves this issue.

      • turdbogls

        yeah, i can defenitely see the usefulness there.

    • NexusMan

      Well, of course you don’t appreciate Timely if you’re not an alarm clock person. I do set an alarm almost every day, and multiple times in a day, so it comes in very handy. Not sure what “all the features of the stock clock app,” it lacks, that you are referring to. A stopwatch and world clock? If you need those, they are available to you in the stock app, however, Timely offers tons of features NOT found in the stock app. It has a lot of features that I find very useful, like device syncing, the ability to set it as your default alarm, ability to have the sound start low and gradually get louder – to wake you up peacefully, rather than abruptly, it looks gorgeous and you can customize it’s appearance, the alarm can get quieter once you pick the device up, and it looks SOOOO much better than the stock alarm app.

      • HarvesterX

        All those extras are in my stock alarm except cloud syncing. G2

      • turdbogls

        different strokes for different folks i guess.
        I need one alarm per day…and that is the one to wake me up. i have a song wake me up every day, it automatically starts out quite and gets louder. I have no need for syncing because my phone has been my alarm clock for the past 5 years and nothing else has.

        the look and feel of the app are top notch, i really like it…but its just not worth the download to me. nothing against the app, its just not for me.

        and the features i was talking about was the world clock (folks travel a lot, need to know what time it is where they are) and the stop watch.

    • bimsebasse

      Yep, I guess the people who like it have use for alarm cloud sync. I’ve tried it several times as I have a weakness for eye candy, but it just doesn’t do anything my stock alarm clock doesn’t do at least equally as good. Superfluous. Like a really good looking calculator app which doesn’t do anything the stock calculator doesn’t do, except cloud sync, if you need it.

    • chris_johns

      kinda have to agree with this guy here…i dl it also to see what the hype was…then i realized the stock alarm was much simpler/quicker and already there…pretty yes…necessary for me…no

    • HarvesterX

      The UI is nice and you’re correct though. It doesn’t even have a stopwatch like my stock alarm. UI is gorgeous though

      • sweenish

        It has a stopwatch. Always has.

  • Philip J. Fry


  • mustbepbs

    Definitely agree with Yahoo Weather. I’m also surprised that something positive and nice looking can come from Yahoo.

    • turdbogls

      haha….same here. i was a strict user of “1weather” for a while….but was amazed at the yahoo weather app and downloaded it and its been great since.
      all they need to do is integrate true “hamburger manu” and transparencies for KitKat and it would be amazing.

      • needa

        i am a 1weather fan myself. i guess i will go check out yahoo.

    • NexusMan

      Not surprised one bit. Marissa Mayer is now running things over there.

      • mustbepbs

        lol @ “running:.

        She’s sinking it.

        • NexusMan

          Except you love this app, and no one including the people who work at Yahoo cared one bit about Yahoo until her tenure.

      • stang68

        I don’t understand the obsession with Mayer…she hasn’t done anything to impress me. (Little ol’ me, of course)

    • miri

      I like Yahoo and use many of their services, but honestly I think that’s one of their worst apps :/ The main weather UI mostly great, but otherwise it’s quite terribly designed.

      • Leo Marvin

        Not to mention the battery drain

  • cornflahkes

    Live from Sumeria 😉

    • Blaming the slow holiday week…or something. 😛

      • Pedro

        Blame it on the newborn for as long as you can.

        Until someone comes out and notes that the ‘baby’ is out of college, it works for parents 🙂

  • Ben Murphy

    Love Timely. I read the title of the article and was pretty sure Timely would be on the list.

    • Eric R.

      I don’t care for alarm apps. I’m staring at my phone while I’m sleeping

      • mgamerz

        I didn’t know people could sleep with their eyes open