Back in December, I put together a list of the 10 new apps from 2012 that I can no longer live without. The apps ranged from browsers, to photo editors, to basketball tweet-o-meters, all of which are still installed on my Nexus 4. But as much as I love those 10 apps, there are always more than I feel the need to pass down to others. So here is another list of apps that will likely never leave my phone. Some are new, others are as old as Android, but all of them are must-haves.
1. Press ($2.99):
As someone who spends hours per day scavenging the internet for the next big story, I probably spend an equal amount sifting through RSS feeds of the top tech websites. For a number of years, I used Google’s Reader application on Android, but as Google appears to have abandoned any real support for it, I eventually looked elsewhere. Thankfully, the moment I decided to kill my allegiance to Google, a beautifully designed reader application called Press surfaced. It’s built with the latest in Android design guidelines, allows you to swipe to new articles or categories, displays RSS folders from Google Reader, and has been one of the few apps over the past year that I switched to and never once thought about leaving.
2. PushBullet (Free):
Have you ever been sitting at your computer and then needed to leave but wanted to quickly transfer whatever it is that you were doing over to your phone? It could be a link to a web page, a list of things you need to get done, a last minute reminder note, or even a file that you were working on. With PushBullet, you simply install an extension in Chrome on your browser, install the free partner Android app, and then push whatever you’d like through the browser to your phone. I use it multiple times throughout the day as a way to quickly transfer work to my phone before stepping away from my desk.
3. Sliding Messaging ($0.99):
When it comes to something like text messaging, a dying form of communication, it takes something pretty special in order to get someone like me to drop what I’m doing and pay attention. With Sliding Messaging and it’s innovative design of the stock text messaging app, I was immediately blown away and tried everything in my power to make it my stock messaging app in favor of Google Voice. While that hasn’t fully happened because of the finicky-ness of Google Voice, the app remains installed on my phone for the day when I can switch over to it. Using many of the Android design guidelines, along with an incredibly polished swipe-navigation system, this should be your text messaging app, assuming you aren’t like me, and are glued for life to Google Voice.
4. AppSales (Free):
I’m a sucker for a good deal, and AppSales is the best app to help me find those. AppSales doesn’t mess around with deals on garbage apps – it instead only tells you when the best of the best see a significant price drop. It notifies you through notifications, allows you to see the entire price history of an app, lets you filter depending on a number of criteria, and gives you as much info as the Google Play store does. There is no better app for finding the best deals on the best apps.
5. Google Music (Free):
Google Music isn’t new by any means, but I simply cannot live without it. Thanks to Google, everyone in the world can store 20,000 songs at no charge and then stream them to a handful of devices. I use Google Music to power my runs, get me going on Monday mornings in the office, and supply the jams for get-togethers with friends. The app itself needs a bit of polish from Google at some point, but it’s good enough now to be the only music player I ever need to use.
6. Pocket (Free):
This is an oldie but goodie, however, I use it more each and every day. Pocket, formerly Read It Later, is an app that allows you to save web pages that you didn’t have a chance to fully read so that they can be viewed and finished later. It works across all PC browsers, tablets, and phones. It’s easily my most used app, especially in the morning when I’m trying to put together the day’s schedule of stories.
7. Tersus ($1.49):
As many of you know, I’m very much into the customization side of Android. In fact, I talked all about how you can do it, right here at My Life Scoop. But as much as I like to change things up, there is one icon/wallpaper pack that has remained on my phone and in use for what seems like over a year now – Tersus. It offers one of the best sets of wallpapers I have found across this vast internet, including a black with orange dots wall that gets more comments from readers than any other paper I’ve ever used. The icon pack isn’t too shabby either.
8. Pixlr Express (Free):
Even as smartphone cameras become more polished and take better pictures, there is always time for editing to make sure the shot looks as good as it possibly can before posting it to social networks or sharing with family and friends. Pixlr Express is an editor that few can match up to in terms of features. First of all it’s free, which is somewhat insane when you dive in and look at all it’s capable of. Second, it’s from Autodesk Inc., the makers of some of the most powerful design products on the planet. If you need to the ultimate photo editor for on-the-go photo tweaking, this is a fantastic choice.
9. Flixster (Free):
Because there isn’t an official Rotten Tomatoes app, and the fact that I consider myself to be somewhat of a movie snob, I need an app that can tell me which new movies are coming out, what theaters they are playing at first, and if critics think they are garbage. Sure, there are other movie apps available like IMDb, but Flixster is simple, straight forward, and gets me all of the info I need on the latest flicks in a hurry.
10. Google Voice (Free):
I’ve probably talked about Google Voice more times than most people would care to hear, but it’s probably the #1 most important app to my lifestyle. Since I’m constantly testing new phones with different numbers, Google Voice is the service that allows me to load all of them under one single number that anyone who knows me can call. All I have to do is install Google Voice, add the new number to it, confirm it, and then use it just as if it was the same phone and number I had been using for years. Oh, it also lets me text (SMS) for free, over and over again. The visual voicemail that plays on-device or in your email inbox isn’t bad either.
So, what about you? Other than the standard Google apps like Gmail, what apps can you no longer live without?
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