Saturday, November 5, 2011

Top 10 Android Apps you Should Have

1. Security App

My Pick: Lookout Mobile Security (Free/ $29.99 per yr)
This should be your first app to download after purchasing your new android device and I can not stress enough, how great an app this is. Not only does it provide basic security against viruses, malware & spyware lurking around on the web and in the android market (as reported). It also helps recover your phone from thieves and your forgetful self. It does this by locating your phone on a map, once you've logged onto your lookout account on the web. You can also
remotely lock & wipe all the data from your phone.

But what about when you've lost it at home and calling it is no use because your phone is on silent?or the ringer vol. too low?? A map won't help. Once again by logging onto your Lookout account you can set an alarm to go off at the highest volume possible. I've used this feature more times than I can count.

Among other features are Security Scans. Privacy Advisor. Backup for your contacts, call log & pictures.

2. Dictonary

My Pick: Merriam-Webster (Free)
Who doesn't want a dictionary in their phone these days? I've been through a couple before settling on to Merriam-Webster's. I like this app the most, because it works offline and also has pronunciations for each word. Plus it's Merriam-Webster! With authentic definitions, examples and origin of the word.
3. Whatsapp Messenger

Download (Free)
Simply put: Free messaging between Smartphone users.

This includes users of Android, iPhone, Blackberry & Symbian. Messaging occurs over the internet( Wi-Fi + mobile internet). 
Apart from sending text messages, you can also send pictures, videos, sound clips/music, contacts & locations.

It has a one year free trial, after which you have to pay $1.99 for the next year.

4. File Manager

My Pick: ASTRO (Free/ $3.99)
A file manager is a very important tool in a phone. Without which you can not view the files on your memory card, from your phone. Pictures & Music files are easily viewable through the gallery and music app. But what about the rest? Those files you've downloaded? That presentation you just transfered? That song you want to bluetooth? This is where a file manager steps in.
This isn't a necessity for everyone as some phones come pre-installed with a file manager. Mine didn't, so I had to look around in the market. After some experimenting I kept ASTRO, although I didn't like it's look or layout.  But it does what I want it to do: view files, bluetooth, delete, multi-select..

5. Flashlight

My Pick: Tiny Flashlight+LED (Free)
If you have an android phone with a built-in flash, then you should definitely have this app. Flash is mainly meant for taking pictures, but this app lets you use it on demand just as a torch.

Apart from using flash, it also has some other neat options for lighting up your screen in different colours and patterns.

6. Adobe Flash Player

Download. (Free)
On your PC, you mostly use this for Youtube, but you won't need to be worry about that on your phone as the Youtube app takes care of that. This is needed for browsing through the web. You don't realize it, but we come across a lot of flash sites: Online games, Up-to-date stats, video streaming..

On a phone, I personally haven't felt much need to install flash player as I do all the heavy browsing on my laptop. This is however is a must for android tablet users and for those who visit flash sites often on their phone.

Click here for a really good impression of how important flash is to internet browsing.

7. Sound Profiles
My Pick: Shush! (Free)
How many times have we put our phones on silent and forgotten to turn the volume back up? Shush! is the answer to your problem. When you put down the volume to silent, Shush! pops open and asks you when you'd like the ringer to turn back on.

8. App2SD

Download (Free/ $1.99)
This app is great for managing your applications between your internal & external storage. If a new application can be moved to your SD card, it will give a notification telling you and also giving a quick link to the settings, for moving the app. It also shows you in a clear layout which apps are installed on the phone memory and which are on the SD card. A bottom bar shows how much space is left on each.

9. Free Voice Calls

There are many good apps that offer free voice calling over the internet. Some of the best are:
  • Skype (Android/ Symbian /iPhone)
  • Viber (Android / iPhone)
  • Google Voice (Blackberry/ Android / Symbian / iPhone)
I can't recommend which one you should download, as this choice depends on what platforms and which apps your friends and family are using. Ask those closest to you which app they use, and then download it. They're all good, but I personally feel that Viber's sound quality is the BEST.

QR Code 10. Barcode scanner
Another essential app. Scans barcodes on all your products revealing information including price, reviews, Google search. It can also scan and create QR codes to share your contacts, links, apps... Try scanning the code on the right to reveal a hidden message. 


Anonymous said...

Good list. I already have most of the apps on here, and you brought to my attention a couple more that I am interested in. Great writeup!

Anonymous said...

Dont understand why flash light app requires full access to sd card, network, take pics or video, etc? Isnt it just a flashlight?

Mishka eRoma said...

Flash light app requires access to your SD card for storage purposes. It also requires access to your camera, because the flashlight control is integrated in the camera.

Anonymous said...

As an IT guy who has to "break in" new users of Android phones who are mostly retired, this is a great list for them. Thanks.