After my last post ‘Top 5 Paid Android Apps‘ I quickly realised a top 5 could hardly be called definitive. And there was plenty of good paid apps I’d neglected to mention. So I thought it might be worth turning it into a series of paid app recommendations.
I’ve been meaning to write a review of my new phone for a while, but haven’t quite got around to it yet. I recently splashed out on a Sony Xperia Z Ultra and though most things about it are indeed ‘ultra’ the camera is absolutely shocking. I mean poor, really really poor. Now this is not an app issue, it’s clearly a terrible lens that’s causing plenty of digital noise on any photograph that’s not taken in perfect lighting. Nonetheless, I paid for the phone, I’m stuck with it. So I hoped there might be an app out there that at least improved the situation a little.
I’d already purchased Camera Zoom FX in the past and that’s got a lot of nice features, but it still wasn’t cutting the mustard, neither was Pudding Camera. Then I saw an article on the interwebz along the lines of ‘new camera app comes to Android, blah blah, rave reviews on iOS, blah blah, blah, discounted price’. Hmmm, might be worth checking out.
It’s currently just £1.87 which seems like a reasonable price to pay. I’m not one for fannying around with settings too much, I like to be able to just point and shoot. So the extra settings on Camera Awesome were realtively unappealing. However, initial impressions are good. I took a few low-light photos and they were much more impressive and had far less digital noise than with the standard Sony camera app.
Basically Camera Awesome lives up to its name.
Although technically a ‘free’ app, you can pay to unlock extra features in Dynamic Notifications and once you’ve tried the free app you might want to do just that. This app basically replicates the style of lock screen notifications otherwise seen exclusively on the Moto X phone and brings it to your own Android device. It’s a nice app with plenty of customisation options and it makes it easier to quickly and easily access your notifications or dismiss them directly from your lock screen, even if you have some sort of security in place – very handy and well worth the pennies and time investment in setting it up the way you want it.
Nova Launcher Prime
Nova launcher is a homescreen replacement for Android that I briefly mentioned in a previous article. It’s absolutely jam-packed with customisation options and you can really make your phone your own. There’s far too much that’s good about Nova Launcher to go into any amount of detail here, really it deserves a post of it’s own, but I don’t think I could do it justice.
It is worth noting that the Nova team is currently running a beta program that gives access to new features they’re trying. You need to join their Google+ community in order to access it, but there’s plenty of reasons to do so. Android Police recently highlighted how Nova Launcher had added settings and features to allow people to simulate the themes from KitKat (Android 4.4) without actually having to have the latest version of the operating system – great for those how don’t own a Nexus device and are stuck on older iterations of Android (like myself).
Nova Launcher has had plenty of rave reviews since it was released and it’s easy to see why. You can see from the settings screenshot above there’s plenty of customisation options including very nice touches that you can’t easily find elsewhere. Change the look and feel of your folders, add your own personalised gesture controls, change the dock and app drawer and even get an unread counter on your notifications.
It’s worth splashing out on Nova Launcher Prime for the extra features. It’s one of the better launchers out there.
That’s it for now, watch this space for more paid app recommendations