Essential Android apps in 2014

I’ve recently had a few family members and friends purchase Android phones. So rather than send each person an individualised list of essential Android apps I thought I’d just create a quick blog post. These are just some of my favourite essential apps for Android.

Android Apps

Make sure you install, update and use Google Now. It’s great app that just does everything for you from checking your flight status to money conversion and following your sports teams.  It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work and more.

Communication: I’m a big fan of not using SMS because of the cost that is usually involved. Any excuse not to use is great because you save money and typically the user experience of these apps is much better.

Facebook Messenger – A must for communicating with your Facebook friends. You can use it while using other apps. Using Facebook as a way to message your friends is also great because you can easily do it from any device like a computer or tablet too.

Google Hangouts – This is a great alternative that also allows group video chat. You can use this via Gmail and Google+ as well. 

WhatsApp – Just incase some people don’t have Facebook, WhatsApp is great multi platform messaging app as well.

Social Media: Great ways to keep in touch with the different social circles in your life as well as keeping in touch with the world in general.

Facebook – Facebook app, make sure you give Facebook Home a try.

Instagram – Photo Sharing that most of your friends are likely using.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn app, catch and keep your business circles up to date.

Snapchat – Great way to communicate via fleeting pictures.

Twitter – Twitter is a great way to keep in touch with the world and follow the things you love, it’s not about sharing and reading how others are feeling (although there’s a lot of that too if you’re looking for it).

Education: Learn something, you phone can help you do that!

Duolingo – Want to learn a new language? This app helps you do that. It’s a great example of gamifying learing.

Entertainment

Flipboard – Great way to catchup on news and other media, this app is built like a magazine.

Local: If you’re in a new place or looking to eat or do something new, let your phone help you.

Foodspotting – Rather than finding places to go based on reviews, find them based on pictures of their food!

Foursquare – Find the best places and things to do nearby, I’m always checking this app when I’m out and about.

Travel: Forget hotels, book villas and people’s homes rather than your typical accommodation, can be cheaper and a much more local experience.

Airbnb – Great for booking places to stay all around the world.

Music: Does anyone need to actually download or purchase music anymore? Streaming is the way to go.

doubleTwist – Great music app but I use it to browse, download and listen to podcasts. As far as I can see all iTunes podcasts are available via this app (in app purchase that is worth it)

Spotify – Spotify being technically free on mobile now so you can listen to music like a radio station without the DJs.

VEVO – All the latest music videos available at your fingertips.

Photography

Pixlr Express – Great app to edit and stitch photos and make collages.

Productivity

Google Drive – Google Drive’s mobile counterpart, online storage but more importantly free spreadsheet and document creator and editor.

Keep – Great note taking app that also syncs online with Google Drive.

Quickoffice – Create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on your Android.

Shopping

Amazon – Amazon app, need I say more?

eBay – eBay app, need I say more?

Etsy – Great shopping app for hand crafted items, if you love browsing and buying from Saturday market stalls then this is the online version of that.

PayPal – If you don’t trust websites and apps with your credit card details then PayPal can help you.

Tools: These are my favourite apps to use in general.

AirDroid – Manage your Android from a browser, send text messages, copy images, install apps and so much more.

Device Manager – For locating all your Android devices for when you’ve misplaced them or when they go missing.

Pocket – This app is a great way to save any website, article, video etc so that you can revisit it later. It’s great because almost every app can share to Pocket.

Silent Time – Very simple app, automatically silences or puts your phone on vibrate. I use it to silence the phone at night and vibrate when I’m at work.

SwiftKey – The best Android keyboard alternative.

Sync.ME – Are your contacts missing pictures and details? No problem, this app syncs photos and details from social networks for you.

Google Translate – Break through language barriers with Google Translate. Translate between more than 70 languages

Yet Another Auto Brightness – Great app that personally doubled my battery life. Use it if your screen is draining your battery.

Games

Dots – Great simple game.

If you have another apps that you think need to be added to the list then let me know in the comments and I’ll include them.