The first thing that anyone who buys a new Android phone or tablet does, is to head straight to the Play store and start loading up on apps. After all, what is the use of a brand new device if you don’t have anything on it to show off its capabilities? Apart from the mandatory Facebook, Twitter and Skype installations you might be wondering what else is lurking undiscovered in the Play store. There are plenty of unusual apps to try out, but it requires you to look beyond the myriad of floppy, flippy and flashy clones that have sprung up in the wake of Flappy Bird.
Don’t you just hate it if you park your car at a busy mall and then promptly forget where it is located? Trying to find your vehicle while lugging around groceries and dodging other cars is nobody’s idea of fun, this is where Carrr Matey comes in handy. Sure, you could use one of the car locator apps available, but Carrr Matey ups the ante with a pirate flavored theme. Use the “Drop Anchor” button to mark the location of your car on the map and then when it is time to hit the road again you use the “Find Vessel” feature. You can even set a docking timer to ensure that you get back to your ship, er car, before your parking meter expires. You might look a bit strange walking around with what amounts to a compass guiding you back to your car, but that is part of the fun.
Everyone knows that familiar bleep sound that emanates from the television whenever someone utters something that is deemed to foul for the ears of the public. Thanks to the censor bleep applications you can do it yourself for amusing or annoying your friends. This app features a big red button which produces the censoring bleep for as long as you hold it down. Just words of advice, if you plan on actually censoring your language using this app make sure that you have the volume turned up high!
This one is for all the science-fiction buffs that want to turn their Android device into an interactive multi-sensor and data visualization scanner. The best part is that this app actually works! You can opt for a paid version with more functionality, but there is already some very interesting thing available in the free “Lite” version. The “Device” module displays data about your Android device while the “Gyro” module displays the attitude of your device on a 3-axis bubble level. For non-geeks this means the “Up” position of your device is marked on a 3-D sphere which rotates as you move the device. The program also plays some suitably sci-fi sounding background sounds while you operate it to impress (or confuse) bystanders even more.
There is no shortage of alarm clocks for Android, but how many of them actually ensure that they have done their job and woken you up? Puzzle Alarm Clock ensures that you don’t simply hit the snooze button and head back to dreamland by requiring you to work a little in order to turn it off. For example, it is able to email you a QR code sheet which you must print and hang away from your bed. When the alarm goes off it can only be de-activated by hoofing it over to the print out and scanning one of the codes. Of course, this can still be cheated by hanging the printout close to the bed, so how about solving a mini-game involving colors, shapes, memory cards or even mat equations? You can even set the amount of puzzles that you have to solve in a row to turn the alarm off if you are feeling extra masochistic.
Let’s face it, real metal detectors are expensive and the chances of finding treasures very slim. With the metal detector app you can enjoy all the benefits of a real detector, but without the associated costs. You have to hold your phone or tablet pretty close to the metal for it to be detected, so it is probably more useful for finding loose change in the back of the sofa than using out in public. It might be a gimmick, but it is a gimmick that actually seems to work. When using this app, the magnetic field is displayed on the screen and if you bring it close to any metal, the strength of the field will increase. According to the developer this app is also popular with ghost hunters, so be careful that you encounter any vengeful spirits when searching for buried treasure…
These are only a small selection of the weird and wonderful apps that are available on the Play store. Some are genuinely useful in their own strange ways while others are purely for entertainment purposes. Be careful when you get hooked on finding more strange apps though a there is no telling how deep the rabbit hole goes!