Some weeks there are a few cool things showing up on Android, and other weeks are like this one -- an embarrassment of riches. There are some amazing things going on in Google Play, and the weekly Google Play App Roundup is a pretty good place to find out about them. Just click on the links to head right to the Play Store.
This week we've got fun fishing, easier listening, and a game that almost defies description.
So lets say you're playing a game on your device and listening to music at the same time. Ah, the joys of multitasking. On most Android devices, you can't easily access the player controls from a full-screen app. So what do you do? go back to the home screen just to change songs? Heck, no. What is this, the stone age? SidePlayer puts some handy music controls just a tap away.
SidePlayer has support built-in for some of the top music players on Android. There's Google Play All Access, of course, but also PowerAmp, Shuttle, Spotify, and many of the OEM music apps. Other than selecting the app you prefer to use, there's no special configuration necessary to make SidePlayer work.
The default behavior is to open the playback control buttons when you swipe in from the right of the screen. You get play/pause and skip forward/back buttons. These buttons will float on top of your app until you dismiss them with a swipe in the opposite direction. If they aren't in the way, you can even leave them up -- they'll just stay off to the right as you're doing other things.
I've had no issue using SidePlayer with any apps. It's been pretty responsive with everything, and I don't find myself triggering it by accident much. You really have to deliberately do an edge gesture to open it -- an errant tap on the right edge isn't enough to trigger SidePlayer.
This behavior is all covered by the free version of SidePlayer. If you get the $1.75 pro version, it adds a fair number of configuration options. You can choose from various skins, change the location of the buttons/gesture, change the button layout, and more. Perhaps the biggest selling point of the pro version is the ability to display song info on the screen when the controls are up. That's great if you're playing a radio station or have shuffle turned on.
This is a handy app to have around if your device doesn't have its own way of exposing notification controls in full-screen apps. You should definitely give the free version a shot to see if you groove to it.