My recommended Android apps guide (Fall 2015)

I last wrote about what Android apps I regularly use back in the spring of 2013, when I first bought my now-in-need-of-replacing Nexus 4 smartphone. Since that’s forever ago in smartphone terms, I thought it was time for an updated Android apps guide, highlighting my favorite apps.


  • Google Docs and Sheets: Google Drive’s web based word processing and spreadsheet software comes with mobile versions. While I don’t use it for extensive writing (I’m not straining my thumbs typing full-length essays on a touchscreen), I do use it for reading a few documents while away from a computer.

Social media

My usual social networks of choice, i.e. the same ones you see linked to in the blog’s sidebar.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Tumblr


For more on my favorite music/audio services, see here.

  • Google Play Music
  • Pandora: 
  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud
  • Shazam


  • VLC: VLC finally has a stand-alone Android app for playing downloaded video files. I don’t use it often, but it’s still useful to keep around.
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Plex: for streaming videos within my apartment. See here for more about Plex’s advantages.


  • Angry Birds


For more on comic readers, see here.

  • Comixology
  • Perfect Viewer
  • Marvel Unlimited
  • Google Play Books


My eBook reading’s dropped off, but here’s what apps I keep around for eBooks.

  • Google Play Books
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Aldiko: for non-DRM eBooks.
  • Overdrive: for library books.


  • Flickr
  • Google Photos


  • Google Keep
  • Evernote
  • Google Authenticator: for sites that use two-step authentication.
  • Barcode Scanner: for the infrequent instances I need to scan a barcode or QR code.
  • Dictionary: a dictionary app tied to
  • ES File Explorer: a file manager app.
  • Feedly: an RSS reader.
  • Lastpass: a password manager.
  • Lookout: an anti-malware/security app. It works quite well, which is good given Android’s lackluster security state.
  • OneBusAway: an app that ties into transit system information, telling me how soon the next bus will arrive. Given the nature of traffic in Seattle, it’s proven quite valuable.
  • Yahoo Weather
  • WordPress: an Android app that lets me log into my WordPress site from my mobile devices. This lets me do some basic tasks and check on my site while away from home.


  • Firefox: I still like Chrome, but Chrome-for-Android doesn’t allow you to install ad blockers easily, unlike Firefox. I got tired of seeing pages start auto-playing audio/video (and interrupting my music listening) due to ads.
  • Skype: I prefer Hangouts (when forced to video chat at all), but Skype’s too popular, so I have it as well. This despite the Skype app for Android often crashing on me in the past.
  • IMDB: The app for Internet Movie Database. It’s useful for looking up film trivia, especially when I’m talking about movies with family at the holidays.
  • Yelp

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ash Kyd (CC BY)

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