Android has reached 500 million activated devices worldwide, and slowly but surely devices running the operating system are making their way into the Zimbabwe market. There are so many options to download on the Google Play Store, I decided to make a list of apps that any Android user must have. This is a list of the apps I use on a daily basis myself. I live and die by these apps, although some of them maybe be a bit geeky they still remain very useful.
1. AirDroid – Free
AirDroid is an app that lets you control your Android device from any web browser. It works with your own personal Wi-Fi network, as long as the phone and the PC are connected on the same Wi-Fi you can launch the app on your Android device, go to the web interface on your computer, put in the passkey and you can access your files on the browser.
List of things you can do with the app:
- Wirelessly transfer files between your computer and phone
- Sending SMS on your phone from the web browser.
- Organise things like music, photos, messages and call logs.
- Install apps from your computer onto your Android device
- Save apps from your phone on your pc.
2. Avast! Mobile Security – Free
This is undoubtedly the best android security app that I have used so far. It offers a multitude of services:
- Virus Protection – It scans apps and files for viruses
- Privacy Advisor – It looks into each app, letting you know which have access to potentially dangerous permissions. It organizes them by permission categories.
- Application Management – You can see all the applications installed in the device, force close them and read their system resources (size, CPU usage, Services, threads etc)
- Shield control – It protects your device from web phishing when you are online. It searches every site you access for potential threats beforehand.
- SMS & Call Filter – You can block incoming text messages and calls, as well as outgoing calls to/from specific phone numbers. So you can block those pesky marketing texts. Many uses for this feature come to mind, if your child has an android phone, you can set which numbers they can access during school hours. Same applies for corporate phones.
- Firewall – requires ROOT access, firewall allows you to block certain apps from running. You can choose whether you want them to be blocked while in WiFi reach or 3G.
- Network Meter – measures your data usage on wifi or 3g.
- Anti-Theft (some features require root access) – This is the best feature of the application and it could be a standalone application. It has many function such as remote wipe, lock, siren, locate, SIM card change notifications and a wide array of text commands that you can send. You can set 2 special numbers, which will be used if the device is lost/stolen to send commands.
If installed with root access, the application will stay on the machine even after a hard reset, and the user can remotely switch on GPS, or data connection. you can check out more from the website.
The anti-theft is installed as a separate app, and you can choose any name you want to give it.
3. Pocket – formerly Read it Later Free
I read a lot of articles on the web everyday and this app comes in handy when you want to save something for later reading. It has a beautiful, clean and minimalistic user interface. It’s easy to organise your articles, files, videos. It can also sync files across multiple devices, and you can install browser bookmarklets for easy saving. Sometimes you get links and you can’t open them immediately; simply pocket them.
4. WhatsApp – Free
WhatsApp needs no introduction. Its uptake even in Zimbabwe has been rapid. It’s a messaging app that uses your 3G (or WiFi when available) to provide a cheaper alternative to SMS and MMS.
5. Viber – Free
Tired of paying your mobile operator dearly for voice calls? So are we and so are a 100 million other Viber users out there! Mobile operators charge an arm and a leg per minute for calls and they somehow find ways to justify the madness as fair business. In the past, there were only few ways to pay less and talk more. Viber is that!
The app provides Freecalls, texts and picture messages. It routes the calls over Wi-Fi or a 3G connection saving you money since you won’t use regular voice calling. It’s way cheaper essentially because it uses your data extremely efficiently. Viber has been very popular worldwide, recently expanding messaging services to S40, Symbian and Samsung Bada.
6. Evernote – Free
Evernote lets you take notes and you can also store, images, audio/video clips. It synchronizes these notes to the cloud and you can access them from the web browser, Windows client or iOs client. It keeps your notes well organised, it is very essential for people who take down a lot of notes and memos.
7. Google Drive – Free
It is the best cloud storage for creating, storing and files and documents. If you had already been using Google Docs then Drive will be the best choice for you. It works perfectly with the other Google apps, since it was made by Google.
8. Instagram – Free
The famous app that was acquired by Facebook for a cool billion dollars. This is the best Photo-sharing app out there, it has beautiful filters that make it a joy to use. The filters basically enable you to turn your simple amateur photography into great professional pieces. You can also apply the filters to make your photos look old in a cozy way. So good is Instagram at doing this that professional photographers have expressed disdain for it.
In addition to creating some amazing pieces of art for you, Instagram allows you to geotag your photos (that is make the photo tell where it was taken) and seamlessly post to Facebook, Twitter and a number of other social sites. Your friends can follow you and comment on your picture posts right from Instagram.
9. Livescore – Free
Being a soccer fanatic, i need to keep up to date with all the latest live football scores, this app does it better than any other. It has all the major leagues and also shows red and yellow cards, as well as results of other popular sports.
10. MoneyWise – Free
If you are like me and sometimes you cannot keep track of how you spend on certain things, such as kombi fares, booze, airtime, etc. This is the go to app for daily expenses management. It also displays pie charts and graphs of your monthly expenditure laying it bare what you need to cut back on or if you need to move from that expensive apartment inn the avenues. You can categorize your expenses and filter expenses according to the set categories.
11. Shazam – Free
Shazam lets you tag any song that is playing and retrieve its Title, Artist and other track details. Sometimes you hear a song and you love it, but don’t know it’s name or the artist, it can find it for you. A recent update claims that app can now tag any tv show as well, although i haven’t been able to tag any shows the few times i have tried. It works perfectly well with songs though.
12. Flipboard – Free
Flipboard acts like a magazine, but instead of scrolling from left-to-right, you flip each page vertically making the experience quite intuitively enjoyable and very cool too. It aggregates your social and rss feeds, and displays them in the magazine format. It’s great tool for discovering content
13. Feedly – Free
Feedly is another rss reader, after a recent UI overhaul it now competes visually with Flipboard. I now prefer it over Flipboard, because it doesn’t have large images, has a clean UI and it is deeply integrated with Pocket. You can also link it with your Google Reader profile and categorise your choices. It is available across all platforms; iOs, Android and browsers.
14. Android-vnc-viewer – Free
If you use VNC on your PC, then you definitely need this viewer, its the open source viewer for the popular Remote Pc Access software. With the app you can see and control your computer’s desktop from your phone or tablet. I mainly use it to control my home PC if i’m in bed and too lazy to stand up and switch of the PC.
15. Slices – Free
This app is for Twitter power users, it’s a twitter client on steroids. It lets you browse a Twitter directory by category, easily follow live events, slice your timeline into manageable streams, bookmark favorite accounts, and synchronize with a web experience
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