Android Starter’s Pack

Ok, new year, poor start to the blog… but I think it’s time to put a list or two together… Let’s start here…

The apps every android phone should have!

Here is a quick list and if you expand the post you can see the detail and screenshots:

Now for the full list 😀

  • Music
    So the build in app usually works nicely, but sometimes we want more style, or maybe your cellphone brand have customized the functionality out of your app, so two more options are here

    • Google Play Music
      One of the great benefits here, other than some stylish and useful extra, though non-intrusive features, is that it links to your Google music cloud

    • double Twist Player
      I wouldn’t usually recommend something I haven’t tested yet, but I know a few people who use it for iTunes  though this was before, Play Music above came out, it is still worth a mention.
         
    • simfy music player
      Streaming audio and syncing playlists between platforms but requires subscription for full functionality. Well worth it in my mind though.
       
  • QR and bar-code scanner
    • QR Droid
      Scans bar-codes and QR codes and can sync with your Google account so you store a history or you can even have a private version which does only the scanning without saving to the cloud. Also let’s you create your own QR codes which is awesome 🙂
       
  • Mapping
    • Waze
      Quite simply a completely free, community based real-time navigation app. Does everything from standard navigation to traffic and hazard notification and routing. Does suffer from a distance limit but it’s over 300km’s last I check so not a problem for day to day trips.
       
    • Further than that, Google Maps take the reigns more than admirably and with their linking to Street View, it gives you a nice futuristic feel to travel.
       
    • Google Sky Maps
      Of course if you are more interested in start gazing, there is something for you too! This app uses your location and the phones compass and gyroscope to help you decipher the skies and even let’s you search the starts… literally, like a Google search…
       
  • File Management
    • ES File Explorer
      There are a lot of good file management tools out there, but this one I feel has the best collection of features from including app backups, linking to many many cloud services and even letting you share your phone or a specific folder over a LAN as an FTP server.
  • Messaging
    • WhatsApp
      I shouldn’t have to say much here… but for those who have been living with a black white (or rather green and black) brick up to now, this is quite possibly the most widely used, cross-platform messaging app.
       
  • Video
    • VLC for Android (Beta)
      Yes, it’s still in beta but I haven’t had any problem with it and it does cover a huge selection of video types so if your built in video player isn’t able to play a certain file for some reason, VLC should sort that out.
       
    • Youtube Remote
      If you have the bandwidth to replace your satellite dish with Youtube, this is the app for you.. allowing you to manage and queue what Youtube videos you want playing on whatever device can log into your Youtube account!
       
    • VLC HD Remote
      If you have VLC player on your computer or have ever wanted to control you media player on your computer, this is a great implementation of VLC’s network management itnerface
       
    • jetVD
      It does require installing another app store (Slide me)

       as well, but well worth it for those with limited 3G and wanting a way to save Youtube videos to watch when you can
       
  • Keyboard
    • TouchPal
      See my review here but essentially it’s a new keyboard for the phone to replace the built-in keyboard with some better and/or more finely tuned features
      wpid-2012-10-24_15-40-55.png 
  • Search
    • Shazam or SoundHound
      Want to know what that song is you’re listening to? Well, here’s how to find out… let these puppies hear it and they’ll find what it is.
       
    • Google Goggles
      Ever wanted to know who painted a certain artwork or find more info on a product but really don’t want to have to try find the right words to do a normal google search? Here is essentially the Google Image search Smart Phone interface
       
    • Google Gesture Search
      A great fast interface for a phone search using swipes on the screen to find what you want be it contact, song or app etc.
       
  • Social
    • Instagram
      If you like the whole twitter idea but you couldn’t care to write your messages when a picture says a thousand words… Instagram is for you
       
    • Pinterest
      If you haven’t heard of it, mayeb it’s best you scroll right past cos this could be a major drain on your free time and bandwidth 😉 Loved and browsed by many many people, this is your mobile interface to the world of Pinterest
       
    • Tweetcaster
      The picture says it all I think… essentially giving you a much better way to manage your Twitter account from your device.
    • Skype
      Exactly that, Skype for your phone. Fully functional (obviously device dependent as well) but as long as you have internet, Skype can be with you as well!
    • Google+
      For those of  you finally using you Google+ account, this is your mobile link… For those note yet on it, give it a try, you’ll be glad you did!
       
  • Tools
    • Chrome to Phone
      As it says, this app, with the aid of a Chrome extension on your computer, let’s you send a link to open on your instantly or as you need it.
       
    • Profile Scheduler
      This will need a full review, but to cut a long story short… this is possibly one of the greatest features apparently still unique to android; the ability to install an app to control your profiles… This app takes everything from tome of day to your calendar/schedule and even location into account to allow you to tune and plan what profiles should be running where and when.
       

Right so those are the ones I’ve remembered right now, I will probably be updating this list over time but it’s definitely worth at least going through when you get a new Android phone.

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