When it comes to choosing favorite apps for any platform, everyone has their own opinions and thoughts on what apps they recommend for users. Whether it be Android, iOS, Windows Phone or Blackberry, there are plenty of absolutely wonderful choices out there in all sorts of categories.
So today I am going to share what I feel are my top 10 favorite apps available on Android devices that I make sure are on each device I try out. Surely you will see some familiar names, and hopefully even see some on here you have not heard of and will find useful and worth purchasing if necessary.
So in no particular order, here is my top 10 list of Android apps.
Some of you already know how I feel about keyboard apps and how I feel they help set Android a notch ahead of iPhones, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices. Think about how often you type on your phone. Whether it is sending a text message, updating Twitter or Facebook or maybe even replying to an email, you are using a keyboard. Keyboards are apps, so you may as well find one that you feel helps you type what you are wanting to say the best and I feel that SwiftKey does just that.
Currently SwiftKey is beta testing their latest keyboard called SwiftKey Flow which introduced tracing style typing to their already wonderful predictive text feature.
If you would like to try out the SwiftKey Flow beta free, click here to download and give it a try and check out the video below to see it in action.
SwiftKey is available for purchase in the Google Play Store for $3.99 as well as downloading a full 30 day trial. SwiftKey is consistently the number one paid app because it truly is that remarkable. You can grab the full, official version by clicking the Google Play button below and start typing like you have never typed before.
2. Pocket Casts
If you like listening to podcasts on the go, Pocket Casts is one of the top choices for helping you keep up. As a tech enthusiast, I found numerous podcasts to help me keep up on the goings on in the constantly changing technology world.
After adding podcasts by either doing a search or just browsing by category, you will then automatically see updates each day as your favorite podcasts are updated.
Pocket Casts gives you the option to either download to your phone or SD card as well, or stream podcasts for your listening convenience and some even have the option to watch the video cast of a particular favorite. You can even set a sleep timer if you like to listen to podcasts while falling asleep.
Coming in at $2.99, it is priced a little high but I feel that it is well worth owning and current owners will get the free update to the upcoming version 4 update later this month.
3. Documents to Go
Unless you are using a Windows Phone like the Nokia Lumia 920 I recently reviewed, which includes the latest version of Mobile Office, you will likely need to get a separate app for opening and editing files in the Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF formats. One of the best that I have found to handle these tasks on the Google Play Store is Documents to Go.
Depending on your needs, there is a free version that allows you to just view documents and attachments or you can purchase the full version for $29.99 (currently on sale for 50% off) and get the ability to edit and create new files. Viewing Excel and Powerpoint files actually works pretty good and does not look all that bad even on the smaller screen.
Trying to create a Powerpoint, or a complicated Excel spreadsheet on a mobile device is probably not going to be your first choice given the limited controls, but the option is there for you if you are in a position where you need to create something quickly.
If you can pick this up on a really good sale (even better than the current 50% off), then definitely do so.
4. Nova Launcher
What Nova Launcher does is allows you to fully customize how you interact with your Android device. You can change numerous things such as the way your homescreens look when you are scrolling through them (I prefer the Tablet view myself). The way you view the apps you have installed in the app drawer (I’m using the List view). How many rows and columns you want on your homescreens for widgets and apps and many other options.
Honestly Nova Launcher deserves its own dedicated article because there are that many things you can do with it.
There are two flavors of Nova Launcher available on the Google Play Store, free and what is called Nova Launcher Prime. The free version gets you in the door and allows for quite a bit of customization, but the $4.00 upgrade to the Nova Launcher Prime version unlocks even more wonderful options.
If you are running Android version 4.0 and above, do yourself a favor and grab this app below.
5. Carbon for Twitter
If you are a Twitter user on Android, Carbon for Twitter is a must have app. There are numerous other Twitter apps available out there, I’ll mention Falcon Pro later, but from a pure design aspect, Carbon for Twitter has done it right.
The app looks uber sexy and functions very well. Navigating the app is simple and once you get used to it, you will find it to be very well designed.
A couple of my personal favorite features of the app is the fact that it supports multiple accounts. For myself, this is a must for a Twitter app so that I can keep my personal and professional Twitter feeds separate. When you pull your timeline down to update tweets, you are treated to a Star Wars style view (think the opening title from each film, narrow at the top and wide at the bottom).
Also when you tap on a tweet in your timeline, it opens it up in its own view and if there are any replies to that particular tweet you can slide your finger up to view them. The sweet part of this is that it takes the original tweet and turns it slightly clockwise and makes it transparent into the background. Very beautiful.
Carbon for Twitter is 100% free and you should grab it below.
6. Falcon Pro
My other favorite Twitter app is called Falcon Pro and it is loaded with wonderful features. You can read my review of Falcon Pro here.
For $0.99 you get access to a very solid Twitter experience. View photos, YouTube videos and web links right there within the app without needing to go to a different app for the content. It is so nice to just be able to see the information other users have shared right there in your timeline.
Simply swipe your finger from left to right to access your Twitter account information like mentions, DMs, favorites and also access the app settings. Swipe from right to left and access your lists, starred users, saved searches and what is trending both worldwide and locally at the time.
Recently, Joaquim Vergès also added notification support for Falcon Pro to the DashClock lockscreen Widget that sadly only works on Android 4.2 and above. Not a knock on either app, but lockscreen widgets are only available for Android 4.2 and up. If you have Android 4.2 you know how wonderful this is, if not, then you are sadly missing out on a very cool experience.
Only thing that Falcon Pro is missing is multiple user accounts. Please Joaquim Vergès bring this to us!
7. DashClock Widget
Speaking of DashClock widget, it is the newest entry to this list as it just released this past week. Technically this is not an app, but I feel it deserves mentioning here as it helps make the Android experience just as wonderful as an app could.
Again, like mentioned above, only Android devices running the Android Jelly Bean OS 4.2 and above have access to this useful lockscreen widget so if you can get it, get it.
With the most current release, in the future it may be able to bring the experience to users not on 4.2 because it also added a homescreen widget that functions exactly like the lockscreen widget. Not sure if this will happen, but keep your fingers crossed because this is a really nice widget.
Developed as a side project by Roman Nurik, who also happens to work for Google, DashClock is a very minimal designed and highly functional “app”. It is fully open-source which means that any app developer can create an extension for their app that will work with the widget.
Oh yeah, it is also free!
8. Google Play Music
Simply download the app on your Android device, install the Music Manager software from Google found here on your PC, Mac or Linux computer and after you are done uploading your music you are all set to go. Commercial free streaming quality is very good even on non 4G LTE connections and best of all, both pieces of software are free to download and install.
There are not really a whole of of options and settings available here, but it is a music app after all. You have equalizer settings you can adjust, choose whether to stream at the highest quality regardless of your connection, and to allow downloads to your device only on Wi-Fi to help avoid any data overages.
Missing album art in your collection? I have found that this app will go out and find missing album art for your tunes thanks to the most recent update.
You can also set up your favorite playlists from any computer you can log into your account from, and the next time you launch the app on your phone be able to access them.
Seriously, this all works very well and is a must have on your Android device.
9. Action Launcher
Action Launcher, by default, gives you a Google Search bar to quickly search information on your device, or on Google itself. A recent update took away the voice search, so I really hope that comes back in a future update.
Next to that, there is a shortcut to the Google Play Store so there is no need to have an app shortcut on a homescreen.
Slide your finger from left to right, or tap the app drawer icon in the top left corner and you will open a list of apps that you have installed on your device. You can also dig into the settings and remove installed apps from that list while keeping them installed on your device. If you want to find an app quickly, just tap on the letter to jump right to those apps that start with a specific letter, or simply drag your finger up and down the letters to quickly scroll through the installed apps.
The developer of Action Launcher, Chris Lacy, has implemented a few very nice features in this launcher. One is the ability to choose how you would like a folder full of icons to respond when opening. You can make the folder into a “cover” that when you single tap on the folder it opens the app shown first. If you either swipe up or double tap the folder, it opens the folder the traditional way.
There is also a tutorial that you can view to help you get more familiar with how to set Action Launcher up and get the most out of it.
This app is $3.99, but it is another one that I really feel is worth having.
10. Pure Calendar Agenda Widget
It can pull in calendars from many different apps like your Google accounts, any Exchange email accounts or Facebook birthday reminders to name a few. You can also choose to have weather forecasts, national holidays and integrate tasks from other organizing apps into the list as well while setting custom colors for each to help distinguish what is important or not.
There are many skins you can download to help change the appearance of the widget to suit your tastes as well. I personally prefer a nice, clean, transparent look.
This widget will set you back $1.99, but if you are into an agenda calendar view I am sure you will find this a must have.
I hope you have found some apps on here that are new to you. There are so many good apps available that it is difficult to put them all in one post. Let me know if you use any of these apps, or if you have some favorites of you own feel free to tell me what those are as I am always on the lookout for great apps.
Thanks for reading!