Top Android apps and games of the week #46

Google continued its app revamp spree this week, bringing them up to speed with its new Material Design language. While some apps like Google Keyboard and Cloud Print only got the visual refresh, many other apps under El Goog’s umbrella offer new features. There are several others apps and games that are worth your attention, which we have listed in this week’s edition.

GaanaGaana {Update} (Free)

One of the most popular music streaming services, Gaana has been updated to version 5.0 bringing a slick new black theme along with a number of new features. Now, the app offers ‘Playlists of the Hour’, which are updated throughout the day to reflect time or occasion. You can also update  your language preferences in the app so it will only search for songs in your selected language. You can also choose to listen to music based on your mood. Perhaps the best feature is for users who like free goodies, as Gaana has started a referral programme wherein you will get a free recharge if you invite others to use the app.

Gaana 1 Gaana 2 Gaana 3

Google KeepGoogle Keep (Update} (Free)

Google’s note-taking app Keep has gotten a fresh coat of Material Design paint with the version 3.0.01. It has also received several bug fixes and performance improvements. Recently, the app was updated with support for Android Wear devices, allowing users to take notes, view reminders and also check off lists, all from their smartwatch.

Google Keep 1 Google Keep 2 Google Keep 3

GoogleGoogle {Update} (Free)

The Google app that takes care of your web searches and brings forth the intelligent Google Now functionality has also received an update this week. As expected, it features a Material Design look. In terms of new features, the app now tracks your emails even if they don’t have any formal calendar invite to remind you about included events. Recently, Google announced that its voice-search capabilities can be enjoyed by other apps and now the company has implemented it in this update. So, you can search on compatible apps like Tumblr, TuneIn, YouTube, etc. using your voice. The app also understands a new voice command – “OK Google, flip a coin”, and suggests something to do at the moment if you’re finding it difficult to plan anything.

Google 1

If you liked the Moto X’s (review | FAQs) always-on listening functionality, the app now brings those features to the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (first impressions | FAQs).

InstagramInstagram {Update} (Free)

Facebook-owned popular image sharing platform Instagram has been updated to v6.10.0. The update brings one of the most-requested feature to the app – the ability to edit captions, so that you can fix your typos or even edit locations. The update also features typeahead search allowing you to search faster. Plus, it displays interesting accounts for you to follow under the Explore tab.

Instagram 1 Instagram 2 Instagram 3

Google MessengerMessenger (Free)

Don’t confuse this app with its namesake Facebook Messenger, as this app comes from Google. As the name indicates, it’s a messaging app for sending SMS and MMS. While it’s questionable and rather confusing as to why the Mountain View-based company is offering so many ways to send messages, the Messenger app comes with a beautiful design, and simple ways to share pictures, videos and audio messages with others.

Google Messenger 1 Google Messenger 2 Google Messenger 3

SidechefSideChef (Free)

Android apps aren’t just for connecting with your friends or sharing photos, they can also make your smartphone useful in Kitchen. SideChef, a Kickstarter-funded project is a recipe app with a twist. Not only can you search for recipes based on the ingredients you have from a vast database, but you can also get step-by-step instructions in the form of audio or video. This is a particularly useful feature since you can access the recipe totally hands-free. The app also has an integrated timer to make cooking easier.

SideChef 1

Sleep Better with RuntasticSleep Better with Runtastic (Free)

Runtastic, the popular fitness-tracking app is now aiming to make sure you have a good night’s sleep with its latest app. The app tracks your sleep, its duration and also whether it was a light or deep sleep. Based on that, it allows you set a smart alarm so that it can wake you up at the ideal time. It also offers a variety of alarm sounds to choose from. You can enter your daily habits like caffeine consumed, exercise info, etc., which helps it to know what affects your sleep. You can also maintain a dream diary with the app and it will provide you a percentage of good or bad dreams you’re having. However, some of these features are available as in-app purchases only.

Sleep Better with Runtastic 1 Sleep Better with Runtastic 2 Sleep Better with Runtastic 3

StrawStraw (Free)

Most of us ask our friends to help us make decisions such as what to wear for a party or where to have dinner. However, asking them on social networks isn’t as easy task as the comments are very open-ended confusing you further. That’s where polling app Straw comes in. The app is beautifully designed and allows you to create simple polls with images and share them on social media for your friend’s opinion. The good thing is that they don’t even need to download the app to participate in the poll.

Straw 1 Straw 2 Straw 3


Jet Car Stunts 2Jet Car Stunts 2 (Free)

A sequel to the award-winning Jet Car Stunts game, Jet Car Stunts 2 has finally made its way to Android devices after being launched on iOS. The game, as the name indicates, requires you to perform crazy stunts on extremely-difficult tracks. It has visually-stunning graphics and requires gamers to have good control over the steering. The game has 120 levels with three different modes of difficulty. However, only the first 10 are free afer which you will have to make an in-app purchase.

TwoDotsTwoDots (Free)

From the makers of extremely popular and addictive game Dots, comes TwoDots where you follow the journey of two brave dots across tundra, fiery jungles and even depths of the ocean. While in its predecessor, you simply had to join dots in a line, now you can do much more to clear dots such as create bombs and fight firea. The puzzle has a beautiful graphics and a relaxing background score.

Do check out the AmazonApp store, where you can get apps worth Rs 5,000 totally free this week.

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One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.