Android Apps – Google upping the Game

You use your data and download what seems like an amazing app. As soon as you go in to use it and are met with the black screen of death? Has this ever happened to you?

Due to the “open to all” nature of Android, developers can submit an unlimited number of poorly designed or even malicious apps without being subjected to any serious vetting process by Android. The most common complaints for any app with a 1 star rating is its stability.
Luckily for us Android users, Google has announced it will be downgrading poorly performing apps thereby forcing its developers to perform security and/or maintenance updates. By downgrading an App, Google is making it harder to browse for any problematic apps. This overhaul on search and discovery algorithms by Google is significant in the quest to improve end user experience. So, how are they doing this?

By using 3 key markers, namely performance, user engagement and ratings, Google engineers can pinpoint an apps quality rating. By using a method called “Peer Grouping” the Google engineers can also compare data about apps performing similar tasks to root out poor apps. For example, if a calculator app asked for permissions to contact list and emails this would immediately raise a red flag and be marked for further investigation. According to the latest research users downloading harmful apps reduced significantly.
With the above in mind, I went searching for the latest cool apps for 2017 that may seem a little underexplored.

Blue Mail – 4.7/5 rating
A handy little free email app that offers a simple interface and is compatible across most email platforms – all of your emails in one place. It allows the user to lock private email accounts and colour code your accounts accounts to differntialte e-mails. Basically this app simplifies how you receive e-mails from multiple accounts.

Last Pass – 4.6/5 rating
A safe place to store all your passwords and login information. LastPass encrypts your information using stae of the art 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Controlled by a master password this app works across multiple platforms and assists in generating near impossible passwords for you to use. This app is free but if you would like an added security measure you can add Last Pass Authenticator at an extra cost.

Pocket Casts – 4.6/5 rating
For the Podcast lovers out there, check this app out. You can download and stream a variety of audio or video podcasts to listen to on the go. You can sync the podcasts across multiple devices using your Google account making it a super efficient and convenient. This app is not free but at R38.99 it offers great value for any podcast fan.

Quik – 4.7/5 rating
Developed by GoPro Quik is one of the cooler video apps out there. With free editing options the app takes your videos and puts them into a collage. With customizable settings, this is definitely one of the easiest editing tools out there whether you are starting up a Vlog or are just wanting to edit home videos.

Zedge – 4.6/5 rating
A great free tool offering plenty of customizable options for notifications, call tones and alarms this is a fun quirky little app worth looking at. Just watch out for the adverts.
As an Android user I am impressed with Google’s commitment to their customers and look forward to the improvements and cool new apps to come.