The apps less travelled

  • From among a plethora of apps available out there, here are five lesser-known but useful ones
- Johnson Shrestha

Nov 6, 2018-

How many apps do you have on your phone? Or better yet, how many of the apps on your phone do you use enough? Most of us use just five or six apps on a regular basis: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat, etc. But there is a whole galaxy of apps out there that are lesser known and go beyond just social networking. Here are five such apps:

 

GCMod5

Everyone agrees that the camera on Google smartphones, the Pixel and the Pixel 2, are among the best. They do the job of dual camera setups on other phones with only a single lens, making hardware secondary while taking good pictures. But Google doesn’t like to share and so, their camera remains limited to Pixel devices. However, the Android community is very passionate and independent developers have ported the Google camera to a bunch of other smartphones. The latest version of that port is the GCMod5, brought to you by a senior member of the XDA Developers group, Arnova8G2. The camera port contains features like HDR+, Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL), RAW, Compressed RAW or RAW+JPG modes, portrait mode, toggle between portrait and lens blur modes, and 4K video recording.

But there is a catch. Since it’s a tough job modifying the Google camera to fit each of the thousands of different devices out there, the GCMod5 is currently only available for a handful of smartphones: OnePlus 3 & 3T, Samsung Galaxy S8, Nokia 8, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, among a few others. Also, your phone needs to have at least Snapdragon 820 or above to support the mod, and even then, features like portrait mode and motion photos don’t work for selfie cameras. Today, most cameras come with dual camera setups for portrait images, but this mod is still a very good app for those who have single camera smartphones. It’s not available on the Google Play Store, so you’ll need to download it directly from the XDA Developers forum.

 

LiveNetTv

Although a popular app across the world, most of us in Nepal might not have heard of this particular one. LiveNetTV is a general purpose entertainment app for watching TV from your phone, as long as you have a decent internet connection. The app streams movies, TV shows, sports and everything else from over 700 channels from countries like the UK, USA, India, Turkey, the Philippines, etc., and all for free. The interface is quite easy to use and the channels are categorised according to country and genres. The app supports high-quality live TV streaming, Video on Demand, Chromecast streaming, and channel filtering. However, there might be problems while trying to watch certain channels, i.e., Nepali channels.

Again, this app is not available on the Play Store, so you’ll have to download its APK file. Since this is a popular app, there are numerous websites where you can download it safely.

 

Alarmy

At first glance, this app is just an alarm to help you get up in the morning. Only, this is one of those alarm apps that will make sure you do get up. You cannot turn the app off or delay its alarm by hitting the snooze button. Alarmy initially asks you to take a picture of a location in your house, any location will do, like the kitchen, bathroom or garden. Then, when the alarm rings, you will have to get up, go to that location and take a picture of it. The alarm will continue to ring until you do so.

If you ever get tired of taking pictures every morning, you can opt to solve mathematical problems to turn off the alarm. But if you’re a complete spoilsport then the app also supports conventional ways of turning off the alarm.

The app has its limitations. If you can sleep through the loudest of alarms, well, then nothing can help you. And if you decide to take pictures of things close to your bed, you might fall asleep again. So, it’s certainly not for everybody. The concept behind the alarm is still fun to try though.

 

OneBox HD

We all want free movies on the internet, and there have been quite a few apps that have tried to provide us with content for free. Showbox is one such app, but it keeps facing problems time and again. There are also numerous websites where movies are available for free streaming, like Yesmovies and Bmovies, but they’re frequently under maintenance. There was also Terrarium TV, but it is now dead.

OneBox HD is an alternative to streaming movies and shows for free. This app is freely available for the Amazon Fire Stick and Android TV. While the content might say Full HD, the quality is slightly toned down on your Android phones. But they’re still pretty watchable and you can also download them on your phone for free.

This app is currently only for Android users, but it is not available on the Play Store. You can download the APK from various sources, including its official site.

Aptoide

Aptoide is not an app per se, but a sort of Play Store in itself. It’s a marketplace that lets you download Android apps that aren’t available on the app store or not available for your country or region. It holds millions of Android apps and the best part is that it even lets you download paid apps for free. On Aptoide, all apps have been scanned for viruses and malware, so it is safe to download APKs off it. Many of the apps also support multiple languages and the interface itself is very user-friendly. If you’re a developer, you can also upload your own apps and manage your own Android store. The rates of return are higher for developers on Aptoide than on the Google Play Store.

There are various versions available for use, and you can download the one best suited to your needs. You can download it on your phone from its official site and if

you need instructions on how to use it, you can find that easily on their site as well.

Published: 06-11-2018 11:25

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