I’ve always been an Android lover; in fact, I can’t recall ever wanting an iPhone….granted, I’ve also had Verizon Wireless for my entire life so I didn’t exactly have the option of getting an iPhone when it came out…but, I digress. I’ve watched the Android market evolve and expand over the past few years, and I’m almost in love with what I’ve seen. The OS has gotten sleeker, potentially even sexier – if you could call an OS sexy, that is. Though the phones have gotten larger in height x length dimension, they’ve also become thinner, lighter and with better quality resolution on the display. Not to toot the horn for the HTC Rezound, but beepbeep: it boasts the first HD screen for a carried branded phone in the United States. How you like them apples, Apple?
Now, originally – one of the great things about the Android phones is the fact that unlike the iPhone – it contain
s(-ed) Adobe Flash. I have to phrase it that way because Adobe has decided to discontinue its use after this November, and has started with devices that have already upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.1 One of the draws of having Flash was that you could view any web page in its full entirety. But who needs fully supported web browsing when there are so many fantastic applications for the Droid?!
Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming figuring out which ones you should download. Not to mention, how to handle re-downloading applications after upgrading to a new device. Well, first things first -in the Google Play Store you have the option to view every single application you’ve ever downloaded on your phone. Simply go to the Play Store, toggle the Menu button (the middle left button on the bottom of your phone) to access the pop-up menu and you’ll have an option at the top called “My Apps“. Click through and swipe your finger from right to left to see “All Applications.”
The pink oval represents an application that was downloaded in the past, paid for even, yet not reinstalled when I upgraded my phone. The blue oval is an application that’s currently on my Droid.
Now – onto the fun part, the applications. Some of these are pretty straight forward, especially ones for social media and some deserve a little bit of an explanation. The great thing about the Google Play store, is once your Google account is linked to your phone you can actually pick your applications out online in a more hunt and peck friendly atmosphere, and then send them to download on your phone. It’s pure genius.
Hit the jump for my should have applications, and anything that is in italic or bold is a “must-have” – enjoy!
- Adobe Reader: great if you want to view PDFs on your phone – like important documents and take out menus
- Advanced Task Killer: Sometimes apps just don’t die. Which is why ATK is amazing! This will speed up your phone and save your battery life if used right.
- Asurion Mobile Recovery: Just trust me on this one – this is your phone’s insurance, and you don’t want to be in a situation where you regret having activate it.
- Chrome to Phone: Only get this if you use Google Chrome as a web browser; what it does is sync with your Google account – so lets say you just found a great place online you want to go eat, you go to your bookmark bar, click the Chrome-to-Phone icon and it magically sends it to your phone!
- Evernote: I make tons of lists and I like having access to them at all times; evernote syncs to your iPad, Android Phone and Computer making seamless transition between devices simple and preserving your lists
- GasBuddy: Makes it so you don’t have to hunt down the best gas prices in your area
- Monmondo Flight: Cheap flights around the globe, perfection
- Weather Underground
Social Media, the self explanatory section:
- Facebook: Updating your life life
- Facebook Messenger: Keeping in touch with your life
- Foursquare: Updating your location
- Instagram: Updates in picture form
- LinkedIn: Employment and Career
- Open Table: For those Yelpers out there who just love eating it up and out, this app will link you with a good portion of the restaurants on Yelp and help you get a reservation
- Skype: Keeping in touch, in town or abroad
- Tumblr: Blogging
- Twitter: Short life updates
- Whatsapp: Messaging service that doesn’t use the data plan, only wireless services
- WordPress: Blogging
- Yelp: Food reviews, perfect when you’re on the go or on a vacation
- 360: Takes a panoramic view of your surroundings
- DecoPic: Gives the ability to decorate and “adorable”-ize Instagram Pictures
- Diptic: Stitch together multiple images in clean, simple layouts
- FX Camera
- Pro HDR Camera
- Photoshop Express
- Pixlr-o-matic: potentially my favorite new photo editing app; with tons of filters, lenses and flare – you can literally create masterpieces. Download and enjoy, NOW!
- DI Radio: The Digitally Imported Radio App…live streaming radio channels of any subgenre of electronic music you could imagine.
- Pandora: Create your own station based on an artist or song
Games: I try not to play games on my phone, but when I do…
- Angry Birds: YES. DO IT
- Draw Something: I don’t play it, but I know a hell of a lot of people who do
- Text Twist
- Words with Friends
News + Education
- Google Sky Map: Because why not! Haven’t you wanted to know what the constellations you were staring at were really called?
- Google Translate
- Huffington Post
- Sundroid: Track the sunrise and sunset in your area, or others around you. Great for almanac lovers!