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What Android apps you can’t live without?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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What Android apps you can’t live without?
With 1 million Android devices activated each day (that’s 12 each second), Google is continuing its march toward global domination with its mobile platform. We’ve been using Android since the earliest days of the T-Mobile G1, from low-end to high end devices, and it’s clear that Google improved not only the system itself, but also the apps that come with it.

What we refer to as the Google suite of applications pre-installed on most devices make a huge part of what’s Android, but in this post we’re curious to see what are the other apps you virtually can’t live without on your phone - apps so essential you wish they came built in on the device, so you don’t have to download them anew when you switch phones.

It all depends on your lifestyle, of course - for a photographer those might be totally different from those of a teen gamer, right? Nonetheless, let’s try and build some common agreement here - we’ll pool your comments to improve this article over time and we’re kicking the discussion off with a set of apps we ourselves can’t live without on Android.



You might have noticed that all of the apps we mentioned are free - this is just plain coincidence, but we guess there’s no better proof about the best things in life being free, is there? Now, let us hear the apps you can’t bear without - share them below.

*Thumbnaill image courtesy of the Digital Quill.

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posted on 29 Jun 2012, 09:35 8

1. valapsp (Posts: 484; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


I personally can't live without Airdroid and Skype.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 09:49 9

4. Synack (Posts: 669; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Phone.apk

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 10:45 7

6. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


launcher.apk?

posted on 01 Jul 2012, 05:40

53. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


vending.apk

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 09:39 1

2. Birds (Posts: 1028; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I can't live without Swiftkey X....

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:41 2

18. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


I prefer Smart Keyboard

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 13:56

51. spoonb1 (Posts: 77; Member since: 02 Jan 2010)


i second swiftkey, swiftkey 3 is fantastic

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 07:10

55. bayusuputra (Posts: 945; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


i purchased Smartkeyboard, slideIt, and swiftkey (don't laugh because i sound like a stupid person buying 3 different keyboards, but they were on sale, so i just bought them)

and i can say that nothing has beaten SwiftKey yet.. it is still the best..

and i can't live without PowerAMP..

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 09:41 1

3. Yummy (Posts: 117; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Angry birds? Temple run? Jk lol I have a life. I'd say Skype. I need that on long trips.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 10:29

5. ningaman999 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


Airdroid, Audio Manager, and YP mobile (the only bloatware I will ever use in the entirety of my life).

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 10:53 9

7. mas11 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Superuser! haha

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 10:54 1

8. Odeira (Posts: 15; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Tumblr.
IMDB.
Flipboard.
Temple Run (Original and TR Brave).
BitTorrent Beta and Pirate Bay Browser. (They're complementary services.)

I came to Android from Windows Phone (in the form of the HTC HD7) because of these apps. Or rather, the lack of such (free) apps in the Windows Phone system by the time I got myself a Samsung Galaxy S II.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:18

12. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


iKnow, iHave a Rapidshare account just for 'their complementary services'. lol

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:06

9. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


iCan't live without my Audio Speed Changer Pro, MX Video Player Pro (with full support for mkv and avi just to name a few), Power Amp Player Pro and I'll give you Skype. But, don't forget Fring; no connection fees to any number worldwide (unlike Skype).

Also, fond of Soundhound, Google Maps (with Navigation), Street View in Google Maps and Colloseum. My all-time favorite, though, is the Shooting range app I'm currently working on that has certain farm-like animals, e.g., sheep, as targets.

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 03:03

49. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 266; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


sheep as targets? y no apples as targets?

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:09

10. nb2six (Posts: 298; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


Twitter
GoogleShopper
DolphinHD
ScoreCenter
Skype

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 16:23 1

37. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5954; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Another shout out for Dolphin HD. Of all the apps that I have added to my RAZR, that is probably the one I use every day.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:13 5

11. wgaurav (Posts: 22; Member since: 17 Dec 2010)


Google Maps, Evernote, Dropbox/ Drive, Documents to go, whatsapp

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:20

13. soshi (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 Mar 2012)


quickpic because it can exclude folder, evernote, whatsapp

Just uninstall instagram because photo in square is not appealing to me. Photowonder is better for effect n editing. To explore and sharing informatif n high quality photo google+ is better

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:22

14. kunyuk (Posts: 56; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


App cache cleaner, ATK, set cpu, and ad free

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:22

15. eDiesel (Posts: 141; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)


Rom manager. Go launcher.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:37 1

16. shotunz (Posts: 2; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


whatsapp

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:41

17. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


lightflow,swiftkey,nova,android pro widget and many more

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:54 1

19. gmp009 (Posts: 9; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


For me
1. Flipboard
2.flash light.
and yeah dolphin browser hd is way better then chrome for android i dont know why pplz all the time talk abt chrome!

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 11:55

20. Bleak3993 (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


QuickPic,

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 12:08

21. jabberwocky (Posts: 89; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)


Tasker
Audiogalaxy
SMS Backup & Restore
Call Log Backup & Restore
Swiftkey
CallTrack

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 12:11

22. DROIDX0430 (Posts: 412; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)


MAPS, USAA

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 12:21

23. shimmyx20 (Posts: 280; Member since: 03 Mar 2009)


Clipboard, Friendcaster, Evernote, Twitter, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Google Maps w/ Nav, Google Voice, and of course, Gmail.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 12:23

24. shimmyx20 (Posts: 280; Member since: 03 Mar 2009)


I mean Flipboard not Clipboard

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 12:33

25. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


Samsung Media Hub.
...LOLOLOL NOPE
I'd have to say Google Maps, GDrive, Polaris Office, and (once I get my tablet) FoxFi or PDANet.
And who can forget Dolphin Browser?

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 13:10 3

26. remixfa (Posts: 14163; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Pulse - a news reader's best friend. Flipboard is "pretty", pulse is more useful by far.

Google Drive - instant sync of all forms of document and media. The ability to have multiple users editing a document in REAL TIME on your phone, computer,ect is invaluable for study groups.

Titanium Backup - You should never root your phone without it. And if you dont want to do all the hacking, its worth rooting your phone just TO have Titanium. Scheduled back ups of every app and all info contained inside, freeze/uninstall those pesky stock bloat apps, and much more.

Clockwork ROM manager - Without this we'd all be pretty much stuck on stock. Clockwork's work is what makes modding so easy.

VitalSource Books- Its the Ebooks for my classes.. I'd be stuck with 1500 page Tomes to carry around if I didnt have this Ebook app with.. old fashioned index searching instead of digital searching which is sooooo much easier.

Davis Drug guide - Again, for class.. quick reference to pretty much every drug in the USA. extremely useful.

gStrings - Awesome guitar tuning app.. been using it since android 1.5

PageOnce - all of my bank, cc, 401k, investment, and mortgage info in one shot. very secure as well. Shows me info from every account i put in there.. in real time.

DroidMote - My new favorite app. I use this to use my phone as a remote control for my Tablet. I hook my tablet up to my TV and use it as a media center. I use my phone as a mouse, game pad, and other functions to control it. works great. Netflix, Hulu and more on the TV and being controlled from the other side of the room. Angry birds bigscreen? got that too :)

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 14:50

34. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I am giving drive a run tonight with wifi as I may be going over my 4GBs of data with that syncing.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 14:53

36. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


BOX seems better deal with 50GBs of space.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 21:35

42. remixfa (Posts: 14163; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


does box allow you to let anyone edit documents in real time.. all at the same time? Those are the big benefits to Drive. I dont use it for heavy media storage, its mostly documents and easy transfers of APK and other things between devices.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 19:20 1

39. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5647; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Dijit + TiVo for Tablets allows my Xyboard 8.2 to control every piece of equipment in my living room, i can even combine functions from one device or the other together into one remote with Dijit. ;D

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 21:36

43. remixfa (Posts: 14163; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


If I didnt already have a wonderful Harmony remote set up to do all that, I'd be using my tablet or one of my spare android phones to do that. :)

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 23:39

47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5647; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


mine's special because it has an IR Sensor SUCKA! ;P

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 13:12

27. bubbadoes (Posts: 364; Member since: 03 May 2012)


ice cream

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 13:12

28. bubbadoes (Posts: 364; Member since: 03 May 2012)


just kidding, I know it's an os not an app..

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 13:20 1

29. DigitalBoy05 (Posts: 203; Member since: 04 Jun 2011)


Google Play Music

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 13:20

30. kirholstov (Posts: 137; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Riga bus schedule)

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 14:05

31. djbuan (Posts: 5; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Skype, Facebook, Dolphin Browser HD and Superuser for me :D

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 14:18

32. Stuntman (Posts: 784; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


The Facebook app actually does suck, and sucks a lot. The problem with Friendcaster Pro is that it cannot show all of the updates from all of my friends. It seems to be related to some security settings with certain friends that limit third party apps. Pretty much you have to use Facebook because Facebook really limits what a third party app can do. Every third party app is way better than the Facebook app, but if it cannot show all of the updates of all of my friends, it is useless. I think Facebook knows that and is the reason why Facebook refuses to make their app better.

I downloaded Chrome on my Transformer tablet. It didn't even last the whole evening before I switched back to the stock ICS browser. Chrome crashed on me 3 times and I had enough. The lack of Flash support is another knock against it. I know everyone wants to move to HTML5, but you know what, I and many other people still need Flash because some sites offer no alternative. If Chrome doesn't let me view all of the content I want to view (even if it were stable), why should I use it? Why not stick to a browser that allows me to view all of the content?

It's ironic that I am now answering my own question I posed above, now. The answer is performance and lower data usage. I use the stock ICS browser on my tablet because I am always using it on WiFi. I use Opera Mini on my phone because, I have an older phone from 2010 (Desire Z). Opera Mini is just faster than any other browser because the Opera servers render the page, compresses the data and then sends it to my phone. This makes the pages load faster. It also reduces the amount of data by 80%. When I'm on the go, I use my phone and reducing my data by 80% keeps me from going over my data quota. Opera Mini isn't a full functioned browser. No Flash support and it has issues with Disqus. For 95% of my needs, Opera Mini works. For the other 5%, I have the option of using the stock Gingerbread browser or Dolphin HD. Most of the time, I would be at home and using my tablet (or perhaps my PC) for that other 5%.

Some other widgets I cannot do without is the Volume Widget. When I leave the house, I tap it to change to my louder sound profile. When I'm at home, I tap it to switch to my quieter sound profile. When I go to be, I tap it to switch to my (near) silent sound profile.

I also have a brightness widget. I tap it to cycle through my dark, indoor or outdoor brightness setting. Autobrightness sucks and cannot be calibrated. This widget allows me to conveniently change my brightness setting as needed.

Finally, there's Google+. The last update was a great improvement. It supports tablet screens now, too. It does a much better job in organising the posts and uses the screen space on both the phone and tablet very well now. I am completely blown away by this app.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 14:49

33. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Titanium Backup (paid vesion), google maps, camera ICS, color note, adaway, play store, flixster, fandango, halo waypoint, gmail, mobile hotspot (Verizon modded), sqlite editor, my verizon and my att mobile apps, PF VOICEMAIL+, Pandora, root explorer, spare parts+, superuser, wallpaper changer, Voodoo OTA, Zedge, and YouTube.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 21:36

44. remixfa (Posts: 14163; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you sir... like to Mod. :) :)

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 14:52

35. derrph (Posts: 6; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


I gotta have mt flipboard, twitter, temple run,spotify, songza and Netflix.

Side note: the picture for this article was kinda funny specially with the Mariah Carey song lyric at the top of it lol

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 19:17

38. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5647; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


hm, let's see...other than pre-loaded stuff like the Browser & Youtube i couldn't live without Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Bank of America, Evernote, Google Drive, Smart Actions & MotoPrint. there's still plenty of other apps i like really fondly but these are the most useful ones to me. o:

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 19:23

40. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5647; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


oh and MotoCast is pretty useful.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 19:24

41. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5647; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


ohohoh and i like NOVA Launcher really well too!

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 23:35

45. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


Cozi, angry birds, textab, and color note. Maybe instagram and shadow gun

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 23:36

46. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


And add tenple run

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 23:42

48. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Dolphin HD
Swiftkey X
Flashlight

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 12:24

50. EdwardG (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Apr 2012)


Google Reader, Twitter, Gmail, iRunner, XDA app, default Browser..

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 19:49

52. Aeires (unregistered)


Google Play Music, Quickpic, Documents To Go, LaunchX-Pro (not the launcher), Nova Launcher (for the customization), ScoreMobile, and Swiftkey.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 02:57

54. ThePolak (Posts: 14; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)


Okay, I see that I favourite different apps so I indicate on few that are irreplaceable for me at the time: Total Commander/Solid Explorer, Catch Notes, Pocket (ReadItLater), gReader Pro (I just dont like Flipboard, lol), FolderSync and DataSync both for Drop & Box :), Cool Tool, SwipePad, LBE Privacy Guard, Systempanel.
And in addition to this I use on my tablet: TED, MX Video Player, Perfect Viewer (for comics), CloudOn, ZeroPC, Hovernote, LilyPad HD, Overskreen.

And those are only ones that I can't imagine using my Android devices without. Yeah I know, I'm an app maniac.

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