Android has always been an open and flexible platform, thus encouraging developers to build some amazingly creative apps. To showcase such creativity, Google launched Android Experiments back in 2015. Using this initiative, it aims to showcase apps that make use of the unique capabilities of the platform.
Today, let’s have a look at some of the best Android Experiments you can play around with.
1. HungerMoji – Notification Game
There’s certainly no shortage of games on Android — classic games, strategy games, all kinds of games. But what sets HungerMoji apart is that the gameplay takes place literally inside the notification drawer of your Android device.
The motive of the game is to feed your favorite character with different fruit emojis and dismiss any offending ones such as the bomb emoji. You can also swipe the “bonus point emoji” to earn bonus points. The fun part is that all these emojis appear as individual notifications, requiring you to take the right action at the right time.
The game seems to work best on stock flavors of Android. The novelty of the gameplay made it the winner of 2016 Android Experiments I/O challenge.
Download: HungerMoji – Notification Game (Free) [No longer available]
For years now, Tasker has been the de-facto automation app for Android. While it may be a comprehensive automation solution, there’s no denying that there’s a steep learning curve associated with it. If you’re using it to just open a particular app based on your context, you could do it with something less complex — like Taskzy.
Taskzy lets you open other apps or send a notification to open other apps based on your context. The context can be time, location, weather, headphone state, or user activity. Perhaps the coolest feature is that it can detect user activity such as walking, running, or cycling, and then trigger an app launch based on that.
You could have the music app open automatically when it detects that you’re running and headphones are plugged in. All of this is made possible using the Google Awareness API, so it’s pretty battery efficient.
Download: Taskzy (Free)
Inkspace lets you draw anything on your screen, which can be then viewed in 3D by tilting your phone. You can adjust the thickness of the line or create a pulsing animated line. There’s an option to record this animation as a GIF, which you can quickly share across WhatsApp, Twitter, or other social media platforms.
The developer says that being an artist, he constantly thinks about new drawing tools, and Inkspace is a research in that realm. Admittedly, Inkspace is lots of fun and can keep you hooked for quite a while.
Download: Inkspace (Free) [No Longer Available]
4. Between Us
Using Between Us, you can pair a couple of phones and measure the distance between them with a bit of quirkiness. Instead of displaying traditional measurement units, it shows the distance between two phones in fun units like basketballs, pencils, mountains, whales, etc.
The app uses NFC to pair devices, so you will need a couple of Android devices with NFC support to get started. Also, you need to add the Between Us widget on the home screen, as the measurement is displayed on it. Although not very useful, it’s a neat demonstration of the flexibility that the platform offers.
Download: Between Us (Free)
While virtual reality has a few problems to overcome, it’s still poised to make a significant impact on the gaming industry and the film industry. Google has been experimenting with virtual reality for a while now, and Sprayscape is yet another attempt by the company. Sprayscape lets you point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, and just about anything. It then uses your phone’s gyroscope to take pictures inside a sphere.
Once you’ve spent some time to perfect your creation, you can share the link to Facebook or store it on your Google Drive. You can send the Google Drive link to others and share your creation with them. Your friends can watch your masterpiece on their phones or Google Cardboard.
Download: Sprayspace (Free)
6. Step Tracking Live Wallpaper
While there are a lot of apps to track your steps, few can match the simplicity of the Step Tracking live wallpaper. The live wallpaper visualizes your steps by filling up the water in a water drop. As you approach your daily target, the level of water in the water drop rises. It automatically counts your step throughout the day and also lets you set a customized daily goal.
It utilizes the Google Fitness API and also requires step tracking enabled in Google Fit. All in all, it’s a handy fitness app to achieve your fitness goals, which also doubles down as a cool live wallpaper.
Download: Step Tracking Live Wallpaper (Free) [No Longer Available]
Wearabird is an Android game that lets you fly like a bird. The aim of the game is to keep the bird flying and collect points along the way. While it’s played on an Android phone, the fun part is that it’s controlled with an Android Wear smartwatch.
Once you connect your Android smartwatch, you can literally flap your arms to control the bird on your Android phone. It’s an amusing way to kill time. This Android Experiment is a great example of the control and freedom that Android brings to the table.
Download: Wearabird (Free)
Explore More Android Experiments
These were some of the best Android Experiments you can personally try out yourself. There are several other unusual ones that require a bit of tinkering around to set up. Some of them include:
- Smart Mirror — Hack a two-way mirror to display clock, weather, news using a display panel, controller board, and a few other components.
- Giant Emoji — Debuted at Google I/O 2016, it translates your face into a giant emoji. You can grab the source code on GitHub.
- Autonomous Android Vehicle — A robot that can recognize and follow a specified colored object and avoid obstacles in its way.
You can explore more such cool experiments by heading over to the official Android Experiments website.
What Android Experiments did you try? Tell us your favorite ones in the comments section below!
Image Credit: totojang1977 via Shutterstock.com