Best new Android apps: better notifications, faster Google ads & a Gmail notification tweak

March 21, 2014


Notifications+ sends the notifications on your Android tablet to the Chrome browser. It taps into the Google Cloud Messaging platform to enable this, allowing you to not only view but dismiss notifications from Chrome, which is then reflected on your device. It makes for a convenient way to stay connected to your tablet without needing to physically pick it up each time there is a notification.

AdWords Express

Google wants to make it easier for you to buy ads. The AdWords Express app makes it just a few steps to launch an AdWords campaign, which places your ads alongside Google searches on the desktop and mobile. The choices are of course less involved than the full-fledged AdWords setup page, but the idea is to get you up and running quickly. 


Cal offers the best-looking calendar application on Android. It also connects to the company's Any.DO service for displaying all your important items in one place. The calendar also connects to Exchange so you can connect all your calendars within one application.

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Google Text-to-Speech

This text-to-speed application from Google powers other applications to read aloud text to you. If you don't mind listening to a robot, it does a somewhat decent job with Google Play Books, TalkBack, or translations. It is turned on by default on many devices, so check your tablet settings.

MarkAsRead for Gmail

This app does one function but it performs it well: adding a "mark as read" button to Gmail notifications. The current choices are limited to "archive" or "reply." It is a good way to have a message stick around for later in the inbox without standing out as an unread message.

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