If you are like me, that is. Our friend B just joined the Android world (he finally admitted that Windows phones suck) and asked me to recommend apps. So I remembered that I have never actually written about the apps that make me sleep better at night. So here goes:
Pre-installed will not be added to the list as they are obviously already on your Android phone. The only ones I cannot do without are the Google ones. Top on the list are Hangouts (my default messaging app), Gmail (of course), Google+ (I still love this one, no matter how many things change in there), Photos (this one is awesome. Very intelligent.) Play Music (I cannot use any other music player. The default one keeps crashing on Lollipop, btw.), Play Newsstand (great for catching up on news that actually matter.)
Number one. It makes my commutes worthwhile. Every morning, I open this beautiful app and flip through dozens of stories. You can choose from hundreds of topics, people and magazines. My only qualm is that it is not very Kenyan friendly. I look forward to the day a Kenyan developer comes up with an app that works like Flipboard just for Kenya. The good thing is that what it doesn’t provide in terms on Kenyan news, you can get from all your social networks right on Flipboard since it integrates them all. The ads in here are not even annoying. They are very stylish and relevant.
If you are a blogger, it is also another neat way for people all over your network to find your posts in their Flipboard. Most of them don’t even know you flipped it yourself and think somehow Flipboard picked it out of thin air. Plus for Flipboard!
I am a blogger. I have a day job. I need to blog on the move since most times, nowadays, that’s the only time I can actually indulge in my hobby. That’s where WordPress comes in. Anything you can do on your blog dashboard, you can do on this app. See stats, publish, update, comment etc. The only very buggy function is uploading a post or image. That rarely happens right on Kenyan data. So the workaround is accessing web admin within the app. Even then, media will not upload unless you are on a tab. Kuishi kwingi, kuona mengi. 😀
I cannot stand the default Android camera. Therefore, Google Camera. It somehow adds MPs to the camera. I am not kidding you. I love lens blur. I just love the quality of the pictures on it. Like every other app, it has its problems. You cannot change the photo storage. They are all saved on the device. You can only move them manually to the SD card.
Goes well with: Photos
To edit any document you create on Google Drive, you need Docs on your phone. I use Docs to write all the posts in here, except this one. Today I remembered Microsoft Word today and my mum was not impressed that I was looking at my laptop after work. After I was told to avoid screens by the doctor. Lol. Anyhuuuuuu, Docs allows me to write these posts on the move, offline, with the knowledge that I can still find it on my computer. I can also collaborate with team-mates on work posts and all. Or blast anyone who wants me to look at their document. Don’t I just love filling a Google Doc with a million suggestions!
Goes well with: Google Docs.
This will sound shallow but the Verse of the day on this one got me good. It also has a reading for everyday of the year; very well done and reviewed. It’s my first read on my commute before I open Flipboard. It makes you read those Bible books we tend to ignore by offering a fresh perspective. Of course it just acts weird sometimes. It will completely refuse to load a new Verse of the day picture sometimes. These are the days I just give up on it and move on.
This one is buggy from here to Lokichoggio. I love that it helps me reply to Page messages and comments instantly. That way that green “Very responsive” button is almost always on on the Page. I rarely look at the analytics on phone though, but that’s a great feature.
Goes well with: Facebook
I have mentioned this before here. This app lets you see everything happening on your phone while you work on your computer. Be it texts, calls or push notifications, you can see them all. You can also reply to texts or send texts right from your computer. I use it when mostly when I read an article on the web then realize I cannot fully take it in here thus need to read it later on a browser, so I “push it” to my Chrome. Immediately I open my Chrome on any computer, the link automatically opens here too. How cool is that?
Goes well with: Pushbullet extension.
I simply cannot use the default Android keyboard any more. I have tried. I like to say “Once you go SwiftKey, there’s no going back”. SwiftKey Keyboard is A-awesome. Prediction is on point. Awesome themes. You can use it on multiple devices it will have the same predictions it has learnt over the years. Google Keyboard has nothing on SwiftKey. I honestly can’t even point out a problem. I have not been paid.
I have made people install Telegram just because I am not on WhatsApp. Telegram is super super cool with the coolest stickers and the coolest self-destructing conversations. It’s not like I use the latter anyway, just saying. Also, only a handful of people are on it. A lot of people keep joining nowadays but they leave soon after. That’s the beauty of a messaging app like this. No chance a random person will chat you up for no reason at all.
My favourite practical app. Whether it’s a random person or a customer, you can almost always tell who is calling. So you sound like someone who really knows people and cares. In essence you actually do care, just not enough to know who is calling without some help from Truecaller. You know an app is important when you install it on mum’s phone. Get this app, Josie. Lols.
For the tab
Medium – Medium is just perfect for reading nice things that make sense. It is even cooler when you read it on a larger screen.
Kindle – same goes for Kindle for Android. Great for e-book lovers. It’s free. As such, I am not sure I see the point for an actual Kindle device.
Bonus: Aldiko, 94% (thanks Frank. 😉 ), Any.do, Slack, Blockchain, if you ever want to receive Bitcoin.
I will tell you like I told B when he asked, the other apps in my phone are just details. Some I just have just in case I get really bored and have nothing else to do like in the middle of a desert or island with electricity for my battery. Lol. Some are just there by default, thanks to Samsung. No, I am not getting a Nexus, Eve. Yet. No I am not rooting my phone, Dickson. Never. Some I gave up on, like MightyText but still have hope in them, so I re-installed again.
What are your favourites?