May 15th, 2013
Because of the sheer amount of peeps I know that are going from iPhone to Android, here’s a list of my fave Android apps.
AirDroid is a free and fast app that helps you manage your Android from a desk web browser, all over the air. I use it to reply to SMS, to transfer files, check photos, install applications – you name it. With the 2.0 release, you’re even able to trace your lost/stolen phone. (also see Join below)
BitTorrent Sync is a brand new product from BitTorrent that lets you sync an unlimited number of files and folders of any size across all of your trusted devices. These devices may be Windows machines, iOS phones, Android phones, OS X and Linux. True encryption, and nothing is saved to the cloud and is made accessible to the NSA or a government, unlike Dropbox and Google Drive, as mentioned below. More info is found here.
Basically the only tool you need to help you free up space and memory on your device.
DiskUsage is a really good tool that provides an overview of which files take up most of the space on your device, much like SequoiaView for Windows.
A very nice runner up to this application is All-in-one Toolbox.
Google’s own Calendar application might be a good way to substitute a nasty stock calendar that may be incorporated with your branded phone.
My fave Twitter client, even if the official one is becoming better and better.
Google’s own browser. There’s a beta version available as well, right here.
Dolphin Browser is an Android-only phenomenon; a lightweight web browser that allows for add-ons.
There’s an option in the beta version of the Opera browser, that’s called “Off-Road mode”. This enables a user to save appx. 80% of data when browsing. Pretty useful when abroad or on a slow network.
My fave photo app since ages. There are a lot of extras for it, too.
While the GMail e-mail client is included in nearly every Android distribution, there’s now Dextr, a very simple e-mail client which has one perk: you’re able to specify which senders you will be able to view e-mails from; you won’t see e-mail from any other senders.
In the Android world, we’re pretty well off with apps that allow us to sync stuff to the cloud and back. Google’s Drive allows you do create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets and save other kinds of files back and forth between them and your plethora of devices. However, the real boss in this realm is…
It synchronises files and even automatically allows you to enable a functionality called “Camera Upload”, which enables all photos and videos that you record to be automatically uploaded to Dropbox. You can configure whether you want to this to occur through your data plan, through wi-fi or both. Very handy.
Please bear in mind that both Drive and Dropbox are on American soil. As such, the companies must reveal your data to the US government if asked to.
However, if you are more inclined to a personal solution and you happen to have a , there is…
This is a personal sync client that connects to your own server. It’s even got “instant uploading” to match Dropbox’s “Camera Upload”, yeay! It’s built on open source and is secure.
Endomondo is a sports tracker. It can be used for a huge variety of sports, including running, yoga, fitness walking, skateboarding, skiing and weight lifting. You can see detailed maps, join friends, set targets and goals… I use it as a personal diary. The pro version includes goals, graphs and tracking features.
Evernote is my favourite note-taking application when it comes to saving stuff from the web, and displaying them in your device – which doesn’t have to be Android. And you can share notes. I’m constantly saving food recipes to my Evernote and reading them when cooking.
Google’s own social network allows you to automatically upload pictures and videos as well, by default as private into your own account.
Yes, the social network. Take heed: I’m not using or advocating Facebook Home.
Feedly is my current fave RSS reader, since Google announced that Google Reader would die. It not only substitutes GReader, but allows you to migrate GReader to feedly. This app is also available on the web, which makes for a powerful reading and sharing experience.
My one-stop-shop for all things social on keeping tabs on what you’re reading. You can quickly make lists of what you’re reading, what you’re gonna read and add your friends. It’s even easy to start a built-in barcode reader for scanning physical books that you import to your to-read list.
This is built-in in +4.1 Android devices, and includes Google Now, the all-powerful personalised search experience that Google wants you to use. Check that link to find out what Google Now is. I’m a Swede, and today the service doesn’t offer a lot to us, but it’s been brilliant when travelling abroad, especially to the US of A.
The biggest movie database in the world has a quick and nifty Android app that works faster than through any web interface, and clicking IMDb links in other apps, e.g. e-mail links, allows users to open them in IMDb.
My absolute favourite file-sharing application, available for Android, iOS, Windows, OS X… It’s just great, fast and allows you to create links for people to download stuff, even not requiring them to register an account nor download an app. Brilliant.
Join allows you to easily do stuff remotely on your Android and PC devices like SMS, notifications, clipboard and other things; costs a few US dollars after a trial period, but could be worth it. (also see AirDroid above)
Google recently launched Keep, a note-taking tool that syncs your notes – be they to-do lists or photos – between your Google Keep web account and your Android devices. It’s not really comparable with Evernote, but is a lightweight tool. There’s a Chrome extension available for those who also use the Chrome browser on their desktop computer.
Google’s Maps is really good to most; for me, it is obligatory. It allows me to look for directions (independent of whether I walk, driving, going by bus), search for categories depending on where I am (e.g. the nearest hardware store), allowing me to cache areas (i.e. save them for offline use) which is great for travelling abroad.
One of two of the best free video players available for Android – the other being VLC – that decode all kinds of formats without problems. It’s also (like VLC) able to display subtitles and stream video.
Google Translate now includes Phrasebook Syncing, which is really interesting when travelling abroad (with no data connection).
There are more launchers for Android than you can count, but I prefer Nova Launcher, mostly because it’s basic, it allows me to sort shortcuts into folders, and it looks good. There are a lot of launchers that are efficient but look like pap.
You want to track your physical package that’s sent from UPS/DHL/etc.? No sweat. It will even let you see your package on a map if that strikes you as interesting.
My fave way to create photo collages.
If you’re a Pinterest fan like myself, the app is good; it allows you to quickly check Pinterest and to send images from any other app (e.g. your web browser) to Pinterest.
From the developers that brought us Pixlr-o-matic, this is my absolute fave photo editing app. It provides a lot of basic and slightly advanced choices that I think will satisfy most users.
Plex, like XBMC, is a way to collate your personal media library and display it all through a simple navigational interface on your computer, your TV and on your Android device, allowing you to stream stuff from your home computer to your device. Sweet.
My favourite application to read stuff later. Imagine this: you browse the web on your desktop computer, find something that you would like to read but don’t have time for right now – you click a little bookmarklet in your web browser and presto, the page is synced to your Pocket account which means you can see it in your mobile device and on the web. And yes, you can bookmark web pages from your mobile device too.
My favourite music player. There’s a free trial version, but I think it’s worth the money. The built-in music player is fair, but I prefer this one. And the last.fm integration thanks to Simple Last.fm Scrobbler.
If you find the need to often scan bar codes or QR codes, this one’s for you.
If there is a question/yo, I’ll solve it. Well, not I, but Quora. I love asking questions there, and reading answers to questions from others. You can even use Quora to ask something, share the question through other sites (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) and collate them through Quora.
A simple remote controller for VLC, which allows you to control media playback of VideoLAN Client (VLC) from your Android-powered mobile device.
This newish app not only lets you record calls, but block unwanted calls and SMS, lets you pick which numbers that are allowed to reach you when others shouldn’t, and displays SMS quickly on-screen, allowing you to respond at once. This is one of my very fave apps.
Automatically backup SMS, MMS and call log entries using a separate label in Gmail / Google Calendar. It is also possible to restore SMS and call log entries back to the phone (MMS not supported yet).
Songkick is one of my fave web services. This app scans my last.fm account, my music library and a Google Music account, and notifies me when artists I’ve listened to are coming to my locations. It often notifies me before the locations do! Very, very usable.
Have you ever heard a song while out and about and wondered what track that is? This app lets you hold your device in the air, press one key and then (hopefully) find out exactly which song that is, and lets you save that info for later. It now even lets you sing or hum into the mic and try to find the track you’re thinking of! It’s worked a lot of times when I thought it wouldn’t.
My fave keyboard for Android. Allows support for three languages to be recognised at once, and learns how you type from GMail, Twitter and Facebook if you like. Runner-up: Swype, that touts the best voice dictation engine in the world; works wonderfully for both English and Swedish (and for 34 more languages). However, I’m really looking forward to trying out Minuum.
If you play the guitar, this is the best tabs finder for Android with more than 400000 tabs available.
TapeMachine is a high-quality sound recorder and editor, featuring a powerful waveform display. I’ve actually used this for tracks that are now on Spotify! Woo…
Turns your device into the ultimate motivational tool. Don’t blame me when you’ve encouraged your colleagues and friends for slightly longer than you should have.
This is my favourite to-do app. It’s available for the web, as a Chrome extension, as an Outlook add-in, and here, as a mobile app. The web app was recently-ish completely rewritten for HTML5 to allow for extremely quick handling, and the mobile client is just as fast. There are no lags when using this app, and I love it.
My fave IM client, which collates accounts from Facebook Chat, MSN Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, et.c.
This app is brilliant for collating your travel plans. From the supplier’s Android description:
No more searching through your inbox to find your airline reservation. No more scrambling to get directions to your hotel. No more worrying about what time your business dinner starts. With TripIt, everything you need to get you where you’re going and back again is at your fingertips—on your smartphone, tablet or online at tripit.com.
Simply forward all of your hotel, airline, car rental, and restaurant reservations to us and we’ll do the rest. TripIt magically organizes all of your travel plans in one place so you can access them anytime, anywhere—in the airport or on the road (even when you don’t have an Internet connection.)
Simple, straightforward app for the blog platform, allowing you to post and view.
Untappd is a social discovery and check-in network for anyone that enjoys beer. It gives you the ability to easily find nearby craft beers and bars, see what beers are trending, as well as see where your friends are drinking. Brilliant for me, who’s got a short memory span after a few pints…
My fave messenger that works between Android, iOS and other systems. A lot of people use this, which is why it’s nice to have. Lets you send text messages, pictures, songs and locations. Really nifty. Costs 1 USD after you’ve used it a year.
Even though AirDroid is good at managing files, I prefer WiFi File Explorer PRO. It costs 1 USD, and allows you to copy files and directories to your device using drag and drop.
Allows you to control your WordPress installation, including options to automatically resize images that you upload and lets you write posts offline.
When I used to read The Paris Review on my device, and on all my computers, this is the application I used. And I still use it to flick through back issues. Quick and painless.
Find torrents and download them directly to your phone or tablet, with the official µTorrent® App (uTorrent App) for Android (Beta). Brought to you by the team that invented the BitTorrent protocol, this handy Android torrent app lets you torrent media wherever you are.
Svenska Akademiens ordlista is a Swedish dictionary, a must have for lexicology geeks.
The best app if you live in Stockholm, Sweden, and you travel through the Stockholm Public Transport system.
The app to stream public Swedish TV through the Internets.
Simple TV schedule for Sweden, allowing you to add and remove channels of your choice and see what’s playing for the next seven days.
Searches a few sources to let you see who’s calling you. For Swedes only.