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Top 5 Android Apps: January 2014

android apps of the month

During a typical month here at DL, we run through more Android apps than a normal human being can probably keep track of. Some are apps that received big, noteworthy updates, while others are newcomers deserving of a second mention in case you missed them the first time around. In order to hammer some of those home to the community, we have compiled five of our favorites from the month of January and put them in an easy-to-follow format to help get them installed on your devices.

As I mentioned above, some are new, some are oldies-but-goodies, all are certainly worth a look even for a few minutes.

1.  PushBullet:  (Play Link, free)

By no means is PushBullet new, but thanks to an update this month, the app is now one of the most powerful and useful apps you will ever install on both your phone and computer. For those new, PushBullet began as an incredibly useful app that would allow you to “push” links, files, or other goodies from your computer to phone and then back again. We have watched as the functionality for it has grown immensely over the last six or so months, but this month its creators added notification mirroring.

With notification mirroring, PushBullet will show a pop-up in your Chrome PC browser every time you get a notification from any app on your phone (assuming you enabled it). You can choose to dismiss it on phone, turn off mirroring from that app, or go on about your business. I don’t know about you, but the fact that I don’t have to pick-up my phone each time it buzzes, and can keep my eyes glued to my computer, plus wipe the notification from my phone, is freaking ground-breaking. Go install this. Here is the Chrome extension.

2.  Lumos:  (Play Link, $1.99)

You know we love a good icon pack and wallpapers, right? Lumos – from friend of the site KovDev – launched this month after running through a community-driven feedback beta period and is easily one of the best we have seen in a while. Using soft colors, matte finishes, long shadows for dimension, and subtle corner rounding make this look good with any home screen setup. Standing at almost 1,500 icons (with a handful of beautifully designed wallpapers too), you won’t have a problem finding the right icon.

To keep up with all of the hottest icons and wallpapers, be sure to check out our Icons and UCCW series.

3.  Stack Exchange:  (Play Link, free)

Stack Exchange, one of the best Q&A spots on the entire internet, released a beautiful Android app to Google Play this week. It brings all of the goodness of Stack Exchange right to your phone. You can pick from the 100+ communities that include everything from beer making to travel to Android, ask questions, receive answers from experts, and more than likely learn something along the way. Stack Exchange started out as a place for development and mostly geek type topics, but has grown into a Q&A community that covers almost any topic you can think of that you might need help with.

The app is designed beautifully with its slideout navigation menus, swipeable columns, and full Stack Exchange experience. If you have yet to check out SE, it’s a place I’d recommend now that it has grown to include so many different community categories. I can’t even tell you how many times it has helped me solve a problem in life.

f8008 MsMeH (1)

4.  Level:  (Play Link, free)

Unless you won the lottery recently, I think it’s safe to assume that we all worry on some level about how much money we have to spend on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Level is an app that tries to keep track of your expenses so that you know exactly how much leftover cash you’ll have at all times for splurging on that new pair of Gucci loafers. Once your checking, savings, and credit cards are attached, everything should happen automatically. Go to the store and buy groceries; Level will update your remaining balance.

The app automatically detects income and fixed expenses, has a dedicated tablet layout, and will “always” be free.

5.  Beats Music:  (Play Link, free)

Ok, Ok, so Beats Music may not even come close to making this list next month, but since there are free trials to be had for now, we figured it was worth including. We all love free stuff, especially new music services that aim to steal our attention, so why not give it a quick shot?

Beats Music launched last week on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone as a project by the Beats Audio crew with help from all sorts of industry players. The app makes music social by allowing you to follow friends, artists, or curators, but also tries to put music you’ll need now at the tip of your fingers. Want a list of music while you steam up the backseat of your ride? There is a playlist of that. Want to know what Pitchfork is recommending at the moment? Playlist for that too.

You can also build up a music library, subscribe to artist pages, share your music with friends, create playlists, and more. It’s a mostly full-blown music experience that will eventually run $9.99 per month if you aren’t on AT&T. Again, for now it’s free.

Be sure to check out the top 5 Android games of January!

  • srijan

    my ipod app is instaglass app.

  • Hasan

    Can’t find the level money app on the play store :/

  • http://www.androidapplicationworld.com/ Sara Stanford

    Stack Exchange is an awesome app. It runs smoothly and has a very clean user interface. Never like being far from Stack Overflow and this makes it easy to access from anywhere.

  • prakashdeep8

    Use mobile as mouse and keyboard, control your PC via your mobile

    Visit here

  • Jeff

    Nice list man, thanks. I’ve really been impressed with the RealPlayer cloud app as well if you like checking out free stuff. Very efficient for video sharing and includes Chromecast support. Check it out: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.real.RealPlayerCloud

  • Sanjay kumar negi

    Nice list of Android apps, i have written the same article about top android apps here http://www.techgreet.com/best-five-must-have-apps-for-android-smartphone/

  • richie97

    I would like to take this time to whore myself out: if you’re looking for a pedometer app > https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.richapps.steps

  • JRUIV

    Damn, my credit union isn’t supported on Level :( Oh well, I’m using Mint

    • Nicolas Pipitone

      Take a look at Check (formerly pageonce) I like certain aspects of it better than Mint.

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

    Beats Music? Really DL?

    • John Legere

      That sponsored data ;)

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        lol

        • Avril111

          My Uncle James recently got a new black Mazda
          MAZDASPEED3 Hatchback by working at home online. you can try here B­i­g­4­1­.­ℂ­o­m

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    +1 on the StackExchange app.

  • wtf

    These lists are pretty lame

  • j

    Is Level better than MINT?

    Why?

    • YEMan0443

      I still use mint. Don’t think it’s worth loading all bank and credit card info to another system. Mint gets the job done for me just fine.

    • gambit07

      Haven’t used it personally, but the reviews don’t seem to be too favorable.. I’ve never had a problem with Mint.

    • Nicolas Pipitone

      Take a look at Check (formerly pageonce) I like certain aspects of it better than Mint, especially on the Tablet. Though I use both at the moment.

  • Jared Denman

    With pushbullet I can’t respond to the text? Also no tablet support yet? I guess I’ll stick with Motorola Connect on my moto x until Google updates hangouts to integrate with sms better.

  • gambit07

    Not sure if you guys reported on this yet, but MightyText also recently released a chrome extension that allows you to do all of your texting from within gmail. It’s really handy, and show’s pretty much all the info you get from the mightytext website but integrated into gmail. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gtext-from-mightytext-sms/iffdacemhfpnchinokehhnppllonacfj

    • mjmedstarved

      Looooove me some MightyText!!

    • DeAnna Sowder

      I used to LOVE MightyText. And was even more excited about this chrome extension. However, it never worked properly for me. And I tried it for weeks. I would have to re-login and refresh gmail every time I wanted to send a text. I have since switched to AirDroid and it is AWESOME! I highly recommend!

    • aaronratner

      MightyText is so important for me. I teach and don’t want to take my phone out in middle of class when I get a text. But I use my tablet for my lessons. So now I can just check out the text on the tablet and dismiss it or, if it’s important, I can respond. While I’m not exactly spending the class texting there are times when I might receive and important, time sensitive text and it’s great to be able to respond without having to be rude.

    • michael arazan

      Mighty text is a god send. It is also instantaneous to my tablet at the same time as my phone, I have a few times got a text to my tablet before my phone too. Really frees up my phone while playing games to keep answering text messages as I play games during commercials and slow periods of prime time tv or movies.

    • guest

      MightyText is more than a year old. So is the chrome extension. It may have been updated but it’s an old app.

    • chjapa

      MT is the greatest most useful Android app.

  • eidylon

    Level sounds cool… but i am not keen on anything needing to “link” to my accounts…

    as for icons, i prefer KovDev’s other gorgeous pack, NOX. :)

    • SplashMTN

      I bought Lumos for the wallpapers and to support KovDev, but I actually ended up preferring the Lumos icons over Nox. Both are great though.

  • Walter Partlo

    Thanks Kellen, i just reinstalled push bullet, and it actually seems like something that i would use now.

  • John Legere

    I love Push Bullet!

    • turdbogls

      I’m curious what all you do with it? Just downloaded it and outside of the desktop notification thing, and pushing web sites from PC to the phone, I dont know what else to use it for…..it sure is pretty though :)

      • John Legere

        The mirroring and notifications is great. Like others have said, i don’t need my phone with me at all times to get updates.

      • Walter Partlo

        I use it a lot like I used to use chrome to phone. I wish that it would open something from maps on my pc in the app on my phone though.

      • j

        I just use it to push links from pc to phone,.. but honestly I use linkpush more.

    • EvanTheGamer

      Couldn’t agree with you more on that. Incredibly useful app! Notification Mirroring ROCKS! Now every time I leave my phone in my room, I don’t ever have to worry about missing a call or a text, etc. Super awesome!

    • Ej McCarty

      cool story bro…

      • John Legere

        Good enough for you to make a useless comment.

    • WK

      too bad it doesn’t work that great for firefox.

      • John Legere

        Who uses Firefox?

        Chrome though

        • JoshGroff

          IE on work PC, Firefox at home. (Ubuntu for life!) Chrome is a marginal step up from Firefox with a major step down in customization and features.

      • flosserelli

        Firefox is so 2012…

        • michael arazan

          I use firefox beta for flash on my tablet, it’s always forceclosing when to many flash ads are on a page or during video playback, sometimes just loading a page. Dolphin jetpack does the same as well, but they are the only two that’ll work on my N 7 2012

        • Carlo Vincente

          And?

      • WK

        wow, didn’t realize there was so much hate for FF. to each their own i guess.

    • Philip J. Fry

      Couldn’t agree with more if I wanted to.

    • Trent Callahan

      Not sure why you’re receiving downvotes, I’ve used it a lot more than I’d like to admit.