This week, Android apps seem to be looking into the future. Whether they’re bringing features from forthcoming mobile operating systems, attempting to filter Twitter to save its users from information overload, or getting extreme makeovers to reel in more users, Android users have plenty of downloading to look forward to this weekend.
While it’s not exactly an emulation of Ubuntu Phone OS, the community over at the XDA Developer forums have shed light on this gem for Android users. Glovebox essentially emulates the side panel navigational bar that may come standard with Ubuntu Phone OS when it launches. It's free to download, though you’ll have to fork over $3.83 for premium features like the ability to pin widgets to the side panel. It's also a little buggy—none of the applications I added to the sidebar list would show up until I exited the app and entered back in, and it did force quit a few times while in use. Regardless, when it did work it afforded some extra room for widgets on the home page. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the side panel so that you’re not annoyingly grabbing while you’re in an app.
Neatly, Free (Beta)
Twitter has become the only way that I communicate with people through social networking because it is so free, fleeting, and rampant. Sometimes those tweets cloud the information that I actually want to read, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to unfollow the offending accounts. Neatly helps with this conundrum by enabling users to sort and filter tweets based on relevance. Brought to my attention by the Android Police , Neatly considers itself the "smarter" Twitter client that scans your timeline and helps you choose your Twitter experience based on your own usage. The app also offers stats about how those you follow interact with Twitter, which allows you to assess whether or not they're really worth following.
Unfortunately, it's not readily available for Android users (though BlackBerry 10, Symbian, and iOS users can check it out), but there is a beta APK available to download for users who don't mind side-loading apps onto their devices. Do note that you'll need to tweak your Android settings to allow you to install applications from unknown sources (available under the Security tab in Android’s settings).
Slacker Radio, Free
In addition to a newly revamped mobile interface, this week Slacker Radio also updated its business model by introducing an Rdio- and Spotify-like subscription service for $9.99 a month. That means you can listen to all the music you want without any annoying commercial breaks—those do get annoying when you're attempting to get into the groove—as well as skip through as many songs as you like and download music directly to your Android device.
Plex for Android, $4.99
In other big app news this week, media storage service Plex announced its completely revamped application for Android. It’s targeted specifically for Android 3.2 users and above and enables Google Cloud Messaging, includes lock-screen music controls and global search integration, and supports PlexSync. This particular application only works with any existing Plex Media Servers.
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