Over the past couple of years I've recommended a number of Android apps that I've downloaded, tested out and liked. Here are links to just a few of these posts:
- 5 must-have Android apps to make you smarter and more productive
- 8 great productivity apps for your new Android tablet
- 2 Google apps you probably don't know, but just might love
- 5 fabulous Android apps for knowledge workers
- 5 Android apps you should sneak into work
There are many, many more reviews similar to the ones above. But now I have a confession: I don't actively use all of the apps I've reviewed and recommended. In fact, I regularly use only a handful, and I've probably uninstalled the vast majority of the apps I've endorsed.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not reneging on my recommendations. It's just that I don't necessarily need what many of these apps provide, useful as they might be to some Android owners.
Take Goggles, the mobile app that allows Android owners to search for information using an image captured by their smartphone cameras. It's a great idea, limitations of Google's image database notwithstanding. But in my everyday life, I don't have a burning need to identify products, landmarks, and other objects with my smartphone.
But I've kept Goggles around for that odd occasion when it might prove to be useful. Not so ZenDay, EasilyDo Smart, Google Keep and a bunch of other task organizing/note-taking apps. They're all of some value (if you use them), but there are so many similar apps out there. Seriously, how many do you really need?
There are, however, a few Android apps that are part of my regular life. I use them, I rely on them, I cherish them. (Well, only Google Now would fall into that last category.) These are the apps I've recommended that I still actually use.
I've written plenty about Google Now (some examples here, here and here), so I won't go into detail. But Google's voice-activated personal assistant is what makes my smartphone smart. It will find information for me on my device and on the Internet, it will open apps, and I can activate it from any screen. It's not perfect, but Now's accuracy continues to improve. Unlike the apps below, Google Now is integrated into Android. However, many users don't even activate it. That's a mistake.
This is an Android launcher that has made my Verizon HTC One much easier to use. It allows me to organize my apps by categories and to prioritize up to 10 of them for their very own screen. And if you're out driving, Aviate automatically will give you the latest local traffic conditions and directions back home.
I use this Android app nearly every day. It can organize my contacts in multiple ways and merges phone, email and physical addresses on one page for each contact, along with a row of icons giving you the option of contacting a person via message, phone, tweet, Google+, Facebook or LinkedIn. You also can do a Google search on the person and get a map to his or her house. That must be the "plus."
This is my main connection to the cloud. I keep lots of personal and professional data stored in Dropbox. I'm just as liable to need access to it from my smartphone as my laptop, so I constantly use the Dropbox mobile app.
Smart Voice Recorder
This is one of those specialty apps that exists primarily to do one thing. And it does that well. This voice recorder is easy to activate and use. Hit the microphone icon, hit "Start recording," and you're off. Files can be saved, renamed and shared. You can even use what you record as a ringtone, notification or alarm. I've used Smart Voice Recorder to capture interviews, music, and random ideas.
A modest little tool that works. The ads are a minor annoyance, but this Android app can help you quickly find the best spot for wi-fi reception in public settings.
I know I wrote about this app just a few days ago, but trust me, it's a keeper. You can't go wrong with a mobile printing app that allows you to print from your smartphone or tablet to just about any wireless printer (as long as your device can access the wi-fi network.
This story, "7 Android apps that I've recommended and still love" was originally published by CITEworld.