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Hands-on with 5 Android apps you should download in December 2016 [Video]


There are nearly 1.5 million applications currently on Google Play and with so many to choose from, finding interesting new experiences can be a hassle. As we have the last several months now, today we’ll be showing you another 5 Android apps that you should definitely give a shot…

Trusted Contacts

First up this month, Google’s new Trusted Contacts application. This app allows families to easily keep track of where each other are, which comes in handy especially during emergencies. Through the app, users can keep tabs on a select list of approved users or broadcast their own location to that same group. If someone manually requests a location, users can either manually approve/disapprove that request, or the app will automatically broadcast the location after 5 minutes.

While not for everyone, Trusted Contacts is an easy way to give families peace of mind when they are separated. The app is, of course, free on the Play Store.


Trusted Contacts is a personal safety app that opens a direct line of sharing between you and your loved ones. Whether you’re online or offline, in an emergency or just need reassurance, Trusted Contacts connects you with the people you care about most at the times you need them most.

Download on Google Play

How to use Trusted Contacts


Another Google app that was released recently is PhotoScan. This service which ties into Google Photos can take your favorite old, printed pictures and create digital scans of the photo using nothing more than your smartphone’s camera. To try it out, I grabbed a couple printed photos from my Father’s trip to Turkey in 1989. Under good lighting, PhotoScan took that printed photo and turned it into an excellent digital photo.


If you have a bunch of old photos you want to backup to your Google Photos library, PhotoScan does an excellent job, and on top of that, it’s free on Android and iOS as well.

PhotoScan is a new scanner app from Google Photos that lets you scan and save your favorite printed photos using your phone’s camera. Don’t just take a picture of a picture. Create enhanced digital scans, wherever your photos are.

Download on Google Play

Energy Bar

Battery life is something we all have to keep track of, and our phones make it convenient to see just how much battery is remaining. However, if you want to see your currently remaining battery at a glance, Energy Bar is an excellent app to do that. Energy Bar uses Android’s accessibility services to place a thin bar at the top of your display (or over the entire status bar) which shows your remaining battery percentage.


The app works reliably, doesn’t drain your battery, and has several customizations through the interface, such as changing the colors and thickness of the bar. Energy Bar is free to download on Google Play, but you’ll need to make an in-app purchase to unlock the full capabilities.

Adds a configurable Energy Bar at the top of your screen indicating current Battery level. Energy Bar sits on the screen silently putting almost 0% load on CPU, if battery level changes, Android wakes up Energy Bar. Once awake, Energy Bar quickly updates itself and goes back to sleep.

Download on Google Play

Contextual App Folder (C.A.F.)

We all have dozens of apps on our smartphones, but we don’t use them all at once, and what we use will change depending on where we are and what task we’re trying to accomplish. For example, you might bring your smartphone to work, where you’ll primarily use apps like an email client, SMS app, and perhaps a task manager or calendar. Then at home, you might just want quick access to thing like social media, entertainment, or chat apps. Then on the go, you might need Google Maps, Android Auto, or maybe a music app like Spotify. The point being, we all need access to different things at different times, and Contextual App Folder makes that simple.


Through a customizable set of variables such as a Bluetooth connection, Wifi connection, notification, or location, the C.A.F. can display a list of specific apps and give you quick access to them. The process is seamless and excellent, and there are plenty of customization options throughout the app. Best of all, it’s free to download, but it is still in public beta for now.

Create contextual app folder on your homescreen and get quick and easy access to your apps and shortcuts just when you need them. C.A.F. works on top of your existing launcher, so you can continue to enjoy the benefits of your existing launcher and enhance it with contextual features.

Download on Google Play


Last but not least, we’ve got an app known as Frame. This free wallpaper app is full of excellent wallpapers which are high-quality and look great on just about any smartphone. The app even pulls up a “Photo of the Day” if you’re looking for something new and unique every day. Frame is free to download and there are no in-app purchases.


  • Wallpapers From Unsplash – Beautiful wallpapers from
  • Best Collection – Showing you the best of both Nature and Building wallpapers.
  • Photo of The Day – Come back daily for a new featured wallpaper.

Download on Google Play

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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