Panda Assistant is an Android app that wants to make your smartphone - or tablet - experience on Android a lot better, easier and quicker than otherwise. By putting a cute little Panda on your Android device, users can get quick access to their most recently used apps, help speed up their device and uninstall unwanted apps. With a fun and cute appeal, Panda Assistant can be considering an easier-to-use cleaner app that also makes it nice and easy to get to certain apps or functions on your device. Free to download and use, let's see what this fun little Panda has to offer, shall we?
First thing's first, users will need to download Panda Assistant from the Play Store. Once launched, users will have to activate a number of permissions for the app to ensure that it works properly.
You don't have a choice to choose just one of these permissions. They both need to be enabled to ensure Panda Assistant works properly. For instance, the notification access is needed to ensure that WhatsApp, WeChat, Hangouts, SMS and more all come through and work correctly.
Panda Assistant can be accessed in a number of ways. For me, the most natural way is from the notification pulldown, where the Panda has its own notification that's always available.
The second way is from the circle little Panda on the Home Screen or the three dots (which means there are notifications) that constantly hover on your display. Touching that will bring up the overlay on top of whatever else it is that you're doing.
As we can see, the Panda Assistant pop-up has presented me with some recent apps, a row of toggles - similar to those found in the notification areas - and some Panda options down below. Switching to and fro apps from here is pretty straightforward, but the Panda options offer something a little different. Panda Assistant is the center of unread messages and notifications, it supports most of the social apps, email apps and news apps. It also reminds you about the new pictures taken and upcoming alarms as well as calendar events.
Tapping the rocket ship wearing Panda will bring up a screen to clear up some memory on your device, with the aim to speed up your device.
Unfortunately, the Panda Assistant falls to an all too familiar trap of just killing all-running apps. This is not a good idea, and will undoubtedly cause issues with some apps. Thankfully though, you can always untick certain apps to prevent the app from killing them.
I was wary of the Panda Assistant at first, and it's clearly not something that I would use, as I feel this is perhaps something for a more feminine type of user or perhaps younger users. Still, being able to get to certain apps and Google quickly from any app or game is a nice touch, and there are a number of different settings that people can change as well.
Something to keep in mind as well, is that Panda Assistant doesn't get in the way of any other voice assistants you might be using, such as Google Now or whatever else.
You can launch the voice assistants very easily from the Panda Assistant when you switch on one voice assistant, for example Google Now and Microsoft Cortana. The lower microphone button will change in terms of look depending on which assistant you choose.
Another convenient thing is when you want to listen to music you just plug in your headphones or connect to a bluetooth wireless speaker and Panda will wear a headphones too, just tap it and select a player.
While I might not have been fond of the task manager side of Panda Assistant, I did see some value in the App Manager side of things, which makes it nice and easy to choose and uninstall more than one app at a time.
Overall, I found that while Panda Assistant won't appeal to everyone, there's a lot of value here for a free app. Where I can see Panda Assistant being enjoyed most is by younger users, as well as those that want to do certain things with their device, but might not know how to do those things. Panda Assistant makes it nice and easy to do advanced tasks such as uninstall multiple apps and so on. It's light-hearted fun as well, making the app simple to use and approachable for the majority of users. I didn't like the overly-simplified nature of the task manager side of the Assistant, but other than that I can see why people will really like Panda Assistant. It might duplicate a lot of what Android can do on its own and such, but it does simplify certain things and it's good fun, regardless.
- Speed (4/5) - The Panda Assistant runs nice and smoothly, and it can also be used to speed up your devices, too.
- Theme (4/5) - The light-hearted look and feel of the app will appeal to younger audiences a little more, but also to those looking for something less serious and more playful.
- Features (4/5) - With lots of different features that make using a smartphone easier and less hassle, Panda Assistant ticks a lot of the right boxes. It can speed up your device, free up space and make it easier to get from one app to the next.
- Overall (4/5) - A solid, entertaining little app that has a lot going for it, Panda Assistant is something I can see a lot of less tech-minded people really enjoying. Especially those looking to make the most out of their devices.
- Simple and easy to use, younger and older users will have no problem understanding what this app is all about and how to use it.
- Works well on both smartphones as well tablets.
- Makes it quick and easy to go from app-to-app as well as access quick toggles all in one place.
- Can help speed up someone's device with the ability to remove apps quickly and/or kill running apps.
- Could end up duplicating a lot of features of Android for some people.
- Task manager indiscriminately kills every running app, which could produce problems for some people.
All-in-all, it's not too difficult to see why a lot of people would enjoy an app like Panda Assistant. It's charming, good-looking and has a lot to offer users looking for something to help them out. It can make swapping apps quicker, it can speed up your device and it does all of this without the need for any previous knowledge of Android or anything similar.