Tyler Longman

Former Digital Strategist

Posted in app

Google’s Android Operating System (OS) has come a long way since its launch in 2007. The Android OS is now run on 80% of cellphones in the mobile marketplace and with over 50 billion apps downloaded to date, the Google Play Store has become the heartbeat of Android. Taking design, function, and usability into consideration, we dug into some of our favorite new releases and updates for 2014 thus far.

In no particular order, let’s begin!

Spotify

Boy is Spotify branded beautifully! Their website is amazing, and the Android app falls nowhere short. As soon as you launch the app, you’re greeted with a well-made video and a simple UI to get started. Hosting the nav in the top left flapjack button, the clean drop down menu offers easy access to important features. Moving throughout the app happens quickly, and the square icons for album covers and stations pop out. This app will please any fan of good design and good music.

Download it from the Play Store.

www.spotify.com

Mailbox

Dropbox’s app to manage your mail shines. Very simplistic and clean, Mailbox makes handling your email a joy. As soon as you launch the app, the fun and well designed tutorial showcases its features. By far one of the standout features is the short and long swipes to the left and right to help organize your inbox. This makes cruising through your inbox a breeze. The top left flapjack button (similar to Spotify) offers quick access to the folders you just swiped all your emails to, and color-coding adds an extra layer of simplicity. If you’re looking to upgrade your mail experience, give Mailbox a try.

Download it from the Play Store.

www.mailboxapp.com

VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam has been updated quite a bit this year to match it up with its dominant partner on iOS, but this app has now become a staple photo tool on Android. VSCO Cam is a little complex getting started, but once you get going, it offers a multitude of amazing photo features. The UI is engaging and attractive, and the features are robust. Using the same flapjack nav icon as the first two on this list (I see a trend here), you can quickly access the multiple features the app has to offer. VSCO Cam carries some of the best photo-editing tools in the market, and can help inspire your photo creativity.

Download it from the Play Store.

www.vsco.co/vscocam

Timely

Timely is one of the simplest, but prettiest apps on the Play Store. Timely offers the  standard alarm clock feature, a stopwatch, timer, and even just a pretty clock display to set on your desk.  Giving you the option to change background colors and themes, you make it your own. To top it off, this app is fast and smooth. Using sharp textures, and a clean UI, setting your alarm clock has never been so appealing.

Download it from the Play Store.

www.timely.com

Feedly

Looking for a great and easy way to gather the information you’re interested in? Then Feedly is the app for you (step aside Flipboard!). Feedly is one of, if not the best, mobile RSS readers available because the UI  makes gathering information easy and exciting.  Against other apps in the same category, Feedly’s clean design is appealing to the eye. Images fill the screen in attempt to make your catered news stand out. Swiping up on the screen makes flying through news fun and quick. Features like, “Save For Later,” folder categories, news suggestions, and a quick easy sharing button make this app complete.

Download it from the Play Store.

www.feedly.com

A balance between beautiful clean design, and simple functionality are showcased on all of these apps. The best part is that they’re all free to download! These apps also live on iOS for the Apple users out there.

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