Best Android Apps of the Week: IFTTT, Duolingo, Hangouts 2.1, and More

Best Apps of the Week

Because it’s Monday it’s time for another edition of our Best Android Apps of the Week column. Our loyal readers may already know that, in the Best Android Apps of the Week column, we’re featuring the noteworthy apps that were released in Google Play Store in a seven days time frame.

Last week was rather slow when it came to new app launches, but several apps got pretty huge updates that introduced new features and functionality. Without further ado let’s have a look at this week’s best Android apps.

Solid Explorer 1.6 – Free / $1.99

Solid Explorer 1.6

In Android 4.4 Kitkat, Google changed the way their operating system uses microSD cards, thus forcing the developers of file explorer apps to change the way their programs handle microSD functionality, by utilizing a loophole in the Media Scanner service.

Popular Solid Explorer app has been updated to version 1.6 which brings an work-around for the KitKat microSD card limitations. The changelog for the new update notes that the work-around should work with any KitKat-powered Samsung device, except the new Samsung Galaxy S5. The developers say they also addressed some bugs, fixed SD card detection under /Removable path, and fixed bug not allowing to edit local bookmarks.

Solid Explorer 14-day trial is available for free in Google Play Store, while the full version costs $1.99.

Mailbox 1.0.1 – Free

Mailbox

Drpbox’s Mailbox client got its first significant update which brought it to version 1.0.1. Mailbox now takes full advantage of Android’s expandable notifications, as it now integrates action button’s in the app’s notifications.

After you update to Mailbox 1.0.1 you should be able to notice the “Reply,” “Archive,” and “Snooze” buttons which are supposed to help you save time. They behave in a similar way to the ones for Gmail, except that Google’s mail client app doesn’t have a snooze button. Mailbox 1.0.1 also comes with bug fixes and other minor UI tweaks.

Mailbox is compatible with devices running Android 4.0.3 or higher and it’s available for free.

Duolingo 2.4.0 – Free

Duolingo

 

Duolingo is one of the most straight forward, easy, and fun ways to learn a new language. It’s like the teacher you always wanted: it knows how to explain things and it constantly reminds you to do your homework.

Duolingo just got updated to version 2.4.0 which is supposed to make the Android app even faster, courtesy of a number of speed and stability improvements. But even more important is the added Englesh course for those who speak Hindi as native language, a German course for Russian speakers, and a French rouse for German speakers.

The app is completely free and you it can be grabbed from Google Play Store at this link.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus

So far, the Hulu Plus Android app was capable of showing content on your smartphone or tablet, or stream videos to a Chromecast plugged into your TV. After the new update that was issued last week you will now be able to control even more devices.

Hulu Plus gained the ability to remotely control your content streaming on your Xbox One, PlayStation 3, or PlayStation 4. Furthermore, it’s fairly easy to connect your Hulu Plus app with the came console. All you need to do have the device turned on and signed in into the same Hulu account.

The Hulu Plus app is free in Google Play Store. You can download it on your Android device using this link.

IFTTT – Free

IFTTT

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a pretty cool automation tool that was made available for Android last week. IFTTT is less complex than Tasker, but way easier to use.

The idea behind IFTTT is pretty simple: when certain triggers are met (this) your smartphone will do (that). You’ll be able to set triggers based on location, WiFi networks, or certain apps, to perform actions like sending notifications, uploading photos to cloud, or changing your wallpaper.

There are a lot of recipes available in IFTTT, but you can also create your own. Unfortunately there’s no “That” for turning WiFi on/off. For example you can’t instruct your smartphone/tablet to turn off the WiFi when you leave work or home.

IFTTT is free and you’ll need Android 4.0 or later to be able to install it on your device. Here’s the Play Store link.

Google Hangouts 2.1 – Free

Hangouts 2.1

Google’s Hangouts app got updated to version 2.1 which finally merges SMS and Hangouts conversations. After you install the update and set Hangouts as your default messaging app you will be able to choose whether you want to send a SMS or Hangouts message to a contact using a switch that’s located in the bottom left corner of the app.

According to the change log posted for the Hangouts 2.1 update you will also get Highlighted outgoing Hangout messages, simplified contact list, separate voice and video call tones, performance improvements, home screen widget, and the ability to long press on image to save media.

Oh, and Hangouts just got a new notification tone, which is a bit more annoying that the previous one. The update is now live in Google Play Store and it can be grabbed at this link.