And you know what, just because a company is launching a product with exclusive features, that doesn't mean that alternative apps haven't been already made. In fact, that is what we have collected today: a handful of Android apps that emulate the functionality of features that companies like to brag with. Go ahead and check them out in the slideshow below, and as always, drop us a line in the comments in case you know any apps that should have been on our list.
Touted smartphone features and their alternatives
1. Motorola Smartactions
Motorola Smartactions is an app made for experienced Adnroid users who wish to have better control over their smartphone. It can be set to do things when an event is triggered or at a specific time - switch your phone to silent, turn off Wi-Fi, turn on Bluetooth, and so on. However, you can do the same things with apps like Llama, AutomateIt, or Locale. Moreover, these three apps are capable of using your location as a trigger, so settings can be tweaked automatically depending on where you are.
2. Samsung Smart Stay
Smart Stay is a feature that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S III. Basically, it uses the front-facing camera of the device to detect whether you are looking at the screen or not. If you are, the screen timeout is bypassed and the display remains on. If not, it gets shut down. SmartStay Ex and ISeeYou for Android can do the same thing.
3. Nokia Transport
Nokia Transport is a Lumia exclusive app that is quite useful if you commute using public transportation. It can provide information about the subway, buses, trams and trolleys in over 500 major cities. Thankfully, there is an Android app called Öffi that can be used as an alternative, as long as you are in one of the cities where it works.
4. Samsung Popup Play
Samsung Pop up Play allows videos stored locally to be displayed in a window. That way, you can type a text message while watching that House M.D. episode you missed the other night. Yet you can do the same with apps like PopCorn player or Super Video, so check them out in case you find the feature useful.
5. Nokia City Lens
Nokia City Lens is an augmented reality browser. In other words, if you point your smartphone's camera at a famous building, a business, or a restaurant, the app will display a layer of additional information about it. Wikitude, which has been available for a while, was made to do the same thing, so give it a try in case you want to experience augmented reality on your smartphone. Check out the promotional video for more information.
6. Flip to mute
Some manufacturer UIs come with an option that allow you to mute the ringer of your smartphone with a flip. When a call is incoming, you turn the handset face-down and the ringing stops. A free app called Flip-silent can enable that too, so get it in case your smartphone does not support the aforementioned feature.
7. Burst Shot
Today's high-end Androids can take photos really, really quickly, with zero shutter lag and without shrinking them down in size. With an app like Fast Burst Shot, one can capture images in a quick succession too, albeit in lower resolution. It works on older smartphones too!