With more than 1 million apps available, the Google Play store offers a varying array of titles, ranging from best-ignored downloads to genuinely useful apps and games. Yet for every popular favorite such as Kindle or YouTube, there are just as many new, underrated, unusually fun, or plain overlooked gems. Whether you want to fill up a new Android phone with apps or just try out something new like a productivity app, fitness tracker or web browser, check out the apps you're not using but should that can be found in Google Play. (Image Credit: Tom's Guide)
If you're going to be spending time abroad, you can breeze through a few lines with the use of Mobile Passport. It's a U.S. Customs and Border Protection-approved app that helps speed you through lengthy immigration lines by letting you submit your passport control and customs declarations from your phone (assuming you've got a U.S. or Canadian passport). By replacing paper forms and providing faster processing in a number of major US airports that support Mobile Passport service is supported, the app will save you a good amount of time in line. Just remember to bring along your paper passport, as this app isn't a replacement for that.
If you're traveling light and looking to save a few bucks, check out Skiplagged, a neat app that can keep your travel costs down by taking advantage of "hidden city flights," where flyers get off at a layover, instead of at the flight's final destination. Users enter their origin and target destination, and Skiplagged will show you the cost of a direct flight, as well as any cheaper "hidden city" flights that have your intended destination as a layover. The caveat? Stick to carry-on luggage, as any checked-in bags will go all the way to the flight's final destination. Skiplagged also allows you to book hotels, including last-minute deals and special offers.
Transit is a fantastic aid to your commute, helping you plan out the fastest public transport routes to your destination. The app provides routes that combine numerous transportation methods — such as trains, buses, and bike sharing — while also factoring in short walks to each stop and wait times. Transit can provide real-time data on arrival times of your bus or train, compare routes, step-by-step navigation, and notifications for service line disruptions. You can even book an Uber or reserve a car2go from within the app if public transport has failed you.
Online TV and movie streaming used to be simple: go to Netflix for almost everything. But as the online video streaming market becomes increasingly fragmented and producers and networks scramble for exclusives to make their own streaming service stand out, it can be a pain keeping track of where to go to watch a particular show or movie series. Enter JustWatch, a service that keeps track of the latest offerings from 37 different streaming services, showing you where and when to watch a particular TV show, covering big names like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime Video. You can search for a particular series or browse through what's new. The app also offers latest movie trailers and showtimes, complete with one-click Fandango bookings for your local cinema.
IDAGIO is taking on a fairly untapped market — high-quality classical music streaming. IDAGIO subscriptions cost $9.99 per month, and let users stream lossless FLAC audio of new, exclusive and rare recordings of concerts and opera performances, all searchable by composer, soloist, ensemble or orchestra so that you can easily track down and compare recordings and performances. Users can check out curated playlists or create their own, and they can stream music through Chromecast or Sonos, as well as download music for offline play.
Unfold is a clean and easy to use creative tool that focuses on creating slick and polished Instagram Stories-ready presentations, with an arsenal of sleek and elegant templates that you can apply to your photos. It's a no-guff approach that focuses on the simple and stylish, eschewing the wacky for the elegant, with 25 free templates and 5 fonts, applicable on photo and video presentations, with more available as in-app purchases.
The old-fashioned pen-pal gets a modern take with Slowly, a social app that's intended for a slower, more deliberate messaging experience that might otherwise get lost in our modern age of instant gratification. Users set up a simple profile with an avatar, location and a list of interests; Slowly will then match you with users with similar interests. Unlike traditional messaging apps, Slowly adds a time delay element to your messages, encouraging longer-form writing at a more weighty, deliberate pace. In addition, the app has a stamp collection feature, with each message coming with stamps based on the sender's location, as well as special seasonal stamps or premium ones available as in-app purchases. You can also share a limited number of photos per day if your pen friend has agreed to receive them.