Magnificent five. Winter 2016, part 1

We open the winter season with a fresh author's selection of applications.


For personal reasons, I missed two digest issues, the autumn was quite active, which affected employment. I will try to maintain the monthly format. So, today for your attention: a single SMS client for all devices with network access, stock wallpapers from Google, a cool set of Pixel-style icons, a utility for working with text content in applications and a puzzle from an independent developer.

Pulse SMS (Phone / Tablet / Web)
(Luke Klinker)

Another application from the developer of the famous Talon, Evolve SMS, Source and other programs slipped into the list of applications installed on my smartphone in the process of finding the perfect SMS client. Looking ahead, it should be said that Signal's 'primacy' has remained unshakable so far, but in the case of Pulse, the bid for victory has turned out to be very serious. The developer, apparently, appreciated the trend of transferring the functionality of sending and receiving SMS from smartphones to the corresponding web interfaces on tablets / laptops / PCs and decided to try to create a client with a similar work scenario.

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It cannot be said that outwardly the client offers something radically new, the same Evolve SMS is perceived much brighter and visually more diverse. Nevertheless, the design did not affect the functionality, it is convenient to use the application, everything is clear, there are no unnecessary elements and ads. Pulse 'is able' to automatically create backup copies of correspondence, attach animated images to messages (Giphy service), support group chats, quick reply from a pop-up notification, starting from version Android 5.1 supports work with two SIM cards, and also opens nested links through the built-in browser. In the application settings, you can personalize the appearance of the application (select a theme and color accents) and customize notifications.

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Pulse is distributed free of charge, however, if a user wants to use the application on multiple devices, he will have to pay for a subscription, the options for which are indicated in the screenshot above. Not to say that it is expensive, but perhaps there are more interesting proposals from the point of view of the financial component. There are no questions about the operation of the application and the web interface, everything is clear and as it should be. A good application with a useful scenario, thanks to which you can send an SMS using almost any device connected to the network and it will be immediately transmitted, provided there is a connection on the phone. By tradition, I note the absence of Russian localization. Otherwise, I liked everything, advise those who do not want to be distracted by writing SMS over the phone while working on a PC.

Cost: Free, IAP
Requirements: version Android 5.0+

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(Google Inc.)

Almost immediately after the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones entered the market, a wallpaper application appeared on Google Play, which is present in the firmware of the mentioned devices. Perhaps we are dealing with yet another case when a 'stock' application is deliberately displayed in the Play directory from the firmware and becomes available to a large number of users. Be that as it may, the latter remain the winners.



In addition to the standard wallpaper from Google, the application displays all the images in the device's memory. It is possible to activate the change of wallpaper once a day. Beautiful wallpapers, simple installation of images on the background, no ads or subscriptions – I advise everyone.

Cost: Free
Requirements: version Android 4.1+

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Pixxio UI
(Fraom Design)

Continuing the Pixel theme. Despite the wave of discontent among users about the new icons in the 'clean' version Android, many designers were inspired by the new reading of icons and created their own icon sets. One of these was Pixxio UI, a link to which was sent by a friend. At first glance, the set seemed completely straightforward, yes, it looks like the Pixel style, colorful and round, but nothing more. The familiar design of this kind of applications and a set of wallpapers confirmed my initial idea.

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However, the developer was able to surprise and change my opinion in a positive way. At the moment, Pixxio has more than 4500 high-resolution icons, Muzei support, the catalog is updated weekly. The approach to organizing the catalog should be noted separately. Instead of sorting icons into functional categories (games, utilities, standard, office, etc.), Pixxio has a division by alphabet, as well as by device manufacturer / ROM author. For the first time I came across a kit with a similar concept, it's pretty good, at least it's convenient to evaluate how certain system applications will look after installing the kit.


Advise to those who like the new Google branding used in Pixel smartphones.

Cost: 45 rubles.
Requirements: version Android 4.0.3+

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Clip Layer
(Microsoft Corporation)

It often happens that you need to copy text from an application, but such an operation is not available in it. You have to either retype or take a screenshot, which is not very convenient. A similar problem is solved by the Clip Layer utility, which 'splits' the working screen into segments, by clicking on which you can select the necessary text fragments / images for further copying to the clipboard, sharing with contacts or sending to yourself.

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Subjectively, a useful tool, although it does not work correctly in all applications. One of the disadvantages is the fact that the Clip Layer is called by long pressing the Home button, which on many Android devices calls the Google Now on Tap service, it seems that not many people will decide to abandon contextual search for the sake of a utility like this. Well, in addition, the application has limited availability in the Play directory, so we had to go in a roundabout way to download it. Advise those who work with text and need to selectively copy the necessary excerpts from the appendixes.

Cost: Free
Requirements: version Android depends on the device

clipchart bezymyannyj

(Alex Gwyn)

And finally – a simple puzzle from a modest developer, with which you can pass the time on the way to work / school / home. The meaning of the game is to move the black square across the playing field to the final field marked with the corresponding color. For each level, by default, a certain number of moves is given, the level is considered passed if this number has not been exceeded. At first it seems that there is nothing difficult, but as you move through the levels you have to think in advance and calculate the moves.

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Pleasant in its seeming simplicity, the puzzle has three game modes: standard (for moves), endless and timed. Paid subscriptions turn off ads, which, however, are not shown as often. Advise to lovers of 'casual' games.

Cost: Free, IAP
Requirements: version 4.03+

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