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 on your current device, check out the apps you're not using but should that can be found in Google Play. (Image Credit: Tom's Guide)
Google Trips turns your smartphone into an all-in-one travel assistant, consolidating travel itineraries and reservations from your emails into automatically sorted trips. Google automatically collates your flight details, hotel and car reservations, tour itineraries and other information available in your emails. The app also provides recommendations, suggested day plans, and related local sights and attractions based on your tastes, interests and local travel tips. Users can save their trip details locally to their smartphone, allowing for offline use away from local Wi-Fi or pricey roaming rates.
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.
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.
Triple Agent has you and five to nine friends trying to figure out who among you is an agent of the Service or a nefarious VIRUS infiltrator in this quick-playing game of social deduction. Inspired by party classics like Mafia and Werewolf, Triple Agent brilliantly condenses the deduction game into a single round of clues, with the smartphone app taking on the role of facilitator. At the start of each round, players pass around the phone to learn their allegiance to the Service or VIRUS, and then the app provides each player with a single Operation that can reveal clues about other players or change the nature of the game. At the end of the round of deductions, players vote on who to imprison, and once the vote is tallied, that player and their entire team loses the game. The game is free, with an in-app purchase unlocking more expansions and variant rules.