Congratulations! We all just survived another seven complete revolutions aboard Mothership Earth. Time to celebrate with new apps. This week we have stuff that's going to make tweeting better, music better and chatting securely better. Let's find out how.
Hmmm, what would be the best way to describe the experience of trying to be productive on a mobile device? Let's just go with "nightmare-ish." But Microsoft has made some pretty significant strides trying to right that productivity ship through more intuitive software. Now, Microsoft Garage as added a small but significant addition by creating a custom keyboard just for Excel. The keyboard has quick access to numbers and tab keys so you can traverse columns like a pro. Right now, the keyboard is only available for Android tablets, but hopefully it also becomes a mainstay when Microsoft pushes Office to Android smartphones. [Free]
Signal is an end-to-end encryption chat app that isn't exactly new, but this week's update certainly makes it feel like it is. The coolest thing? Signal now allows for end-to-end encryption when you're chatting with an iPhone user or even a friend on Android, as long as they're using the app TextSecure. OpenWhisperSystems, the same company implementing WhatsApp's new encryption capabilities, makes both apps and says the only person who can hear (it has encrypted calling too) or see your messages is you and your friend. You know, the way conversations should be. [Free]
OneShot is an app designed so that you can share snippets and blocks of texts more elegantly via Twitter. All you do is take a screenshot like normal, open the app, crop the image, highlight the important parts, and tweet right in the app. If you're a tweet-producing machine, this is a tool you're going to want to have. [Free]
Imgur's got a whole new app for iPhone and it makes searching and browsing photos way easier. The app uses a swipe left/swipe right navigation setup to search through recent or popularity feeds. Along the bottom, you still have all the ways to vote and share images, but the new design is what this app is all about. [Free]
VLC has been hanging around the Windows Store for the past couple moments, but this week it finally exited its beta infancy and is ready to face app adulthood. In case you didn't know, VLC is the "play anything" media player that can pretty much work with any file type you give it. Not only did VLC finally launch officially for Windows Phone, it also returned to iOS and now supports Android TV. This one is must. [Free]
Making music is hard as hell, but music making apps are quickly becoming invaluable tools and Electro Pad could become one of them. Following in the steps of Dubstep Pad and Trap Pad, Electro Pad is an ultra-simple UI that comes with 36 pre-recorded samples, and you can control the volume, pitch, and speed and export to SoundCloud. It's a pretty great app for just killing some time but could be an important part of your next EDM album. [Free]