Anthony’s favorite Android apps guide

android_logoSince I’ve upgraded to a new phone recently (the pleasant to use Nexus 4), I thought I’d write about what apps I use on my Android smartphone and tablet. Note that my choice of favorite apps might be different from what others use; I’m not an Instagram or Pinterest user, for starters.

Social Media

  • Facebook: yes, I have this one on my devices.
  • Google+: though Google+ is pre-installed, I’d install it on my own anyway. Google’s social media service is pretty nice compared to Facebook, and doesn’t change its privacy rules every other week.
  • Twitter: just the stock Twitter app, especially with how Twitter lately has been bent on killing off any rival Twitter apps.
  • imo: a multi-protocol instant messaging app.

Audio

  • Android MP3: Amazon’s MP3 store may be accessed through this app, as well as its cloud music player.
  • Pandora: the popular streaming audio service.
  • Play Music: built in already, but functions well enough for my audio playing purposes. More hardcore music enthusiasts can find alternative apps through Google Play.
  • Shazam: the popular app that tells the name of a song playing when the device is held up to the radio/stereo/other audio source. I don’t frequently use this app, but sometimes it’s nice to have around for fun.
  • TuneIn Radio Pro: I paid for the non-free version of this useful streaming audio app, which streams various radio stations from around the world. I use this app to listen to NPR, as well as sometimes Canada’s CBC.

Video

  • MX Player: while the default video player works well enough, MX Player offers support for more formats, and comes with a few extra features.
  • Netflix: the streaming video service gets some use on my tablet.

Comics

  • Comics: the plainly-named Comixology app is useful for reading what comics I’ve bought through the service.
  • GoComics: a newspaper comic strip reading app I’ve written about previously.
  • Perfect Viewer: an excellent comic reading app for Android devices, with support for popular non-DRM formats (CBR, CBZ, PDF, JPG) and for reading Western or Japanese comics.

Ebooks

  • Aldiko: this popular ebook reading app works quite well with non-DRMed ebooks, such as those from Project Gutenberg or bought from the few ebookstores without DRM (like Tor’s books). There’s also removing DRM from legally purchased books on one’s own, of course.
  • Amazon Kindle: the popular Kindle app is something I install for the few Kindle books I have.
  • Nook: Barnes and Noble’s ebook store app. Besides a holdover from my Nook Color days, I also purchase most of my digital comics and magazines through the Nook app.
  • OverDrive Media: an app that allows one to check out ebooks from public libraries. Unfortunately, the nature of how libraries are forced to offer ebooks, thanks to large publishers’ ham-fisted meddling, doesn’t make this as appealing as it should.

Photos

  • Flickr: a recent update to this app has now brought it up to par with the iOS version, and thus it’s a vast improvement. The only drawback is there’s no automatic backup feature for smartphone photos, similar to what’s found in the Google+ and Dropbox apps.

Utilities/Tools

  • Astro File Manager: an app that allows for browsing through an Android device’s file directories much like on a desktop computer. Particularly useful for devices with an SD card, or when a particular file is needed to be found.
  • Dictionary Premium: Dictionary.com’s dictionary and thesaurus app. While there’s a free version, I opted to pay for the ad-free version.
  • Evernote: the online-based notekeeping service is something I use frequently and find highly useful. Since I just use it for text-based lists (and not photos/audio/etc.), I stick with the free version.
  • KeePassDroid: the Android version of the popular password database program KeePass.
  • Lookout: a popular smartphone security service.
  • Unit Converter: useful for converting from U.S. Imperial units (inches, miles, gallons, etc.) to metric units.

Games

  • Angry Birds: yes, I have the ever-popular game, too. However, I’m not a big Android gamer.

Miscellaneous

  • AccuWeather: a weather app.
  • Dropbox: the popular online storage service. Installing the app on my devices, desktop computer, and laptop helps with some personal file-sharing aspects.
  • Feedly: the replacement RSS service I’ve found for the soon-to-shut-down Google Reader.
  • IMDB: an app for the popular online movie information database.
  • StopWatch & Timer+: while there’s a free version, I use this app often enough I paid for the non-free version. The app does what its name says: offer various timer pre-sets.
  • WeatherBug: another weather app, though with more features/detailed forecasts than AccuWeather’s app.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *