Tag Archives: apps

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:Lifestyle, Travel, Shopping


Lifestyle, Travel, Shopping



If you’re the forgetful type, EasilyDo is your savior. Once you hook the app up to a slew of supported social and calendar services, it suggests simple actions from a unified dashboard. Did you know it’s Susie’s birthday? EasilyDo will suggest to send her a message and even include a gift. It makes the little things easier, and proves its worth with saved time.



Field Trip 
Part amateur historian, bargain hunter, and gourmet, Field Trip alerts you to articles, deals, and factoids relating to the world around you. Once activated, it keeps tabs on your location and displays cards drawing from sources like Zagat, Scoutmob, Arcadia, and others. Perfect for tooling around a strange city or learning more about your hometown.



ESPN Scorecenter

ESPN Score Center
ESPN’s free app lets you check the game quickly, and discreetly when necessary (i.e., with your phone under the dinner table), for your favorite teams in more sports than most other apps. It can pull game data from baseball, basketball, American football, the sport the rest of the world calls football (soccer), ice hockey, cricket, rugby, and more. For stat lovers,ScoreMobile is a fine option, but only if it has the sport you follow, as it misses a few, like rugby and boxing, that ESPN covers.




Not every smartphone running Android has a great camera, so get better photos with the help of a little software. The free app FxCamera adds filters and effects, like “toy” and fisheye lens, to enhance even modest pictures. It also helps to arm yourself with some additional tips for getting better photos from your phone.




GateGuru (for Android) is an app to pack. It helps you navigate airport terminals, anticipate wait times, find the freshest airport food, and travel with greater confidence. It also has airport maps and checkpoint wait times. And GateGuru integrates with Tripit and Kayak for flight details, as well as Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook for sharing.



Google Goggles 

Similar in some ways to the Layar app, Google Goggles is an augmented reality experience that layers additional information from the digital world onto the physical world. Use the phone’s camera to take a snapshot of anything from a painting in a museum to a placard that’s written in a language you don’t understand, and Google Goggles will give you more clues to help you figure out what’s in front of you, or why it’s important.



Some of the deals that crop up on Groupon are just too good to pass up, like 50 percent off that take-out place where you eat once a week anyway, or a one-month gym membership for 20 bucks. The Groupon Android app lets you not only snag deals, but cash them in, too, so you don’t have to print any paper vouchers or coupons.



Google Offers
Google Offers for Android is the mobile companion to Google’s daily deals site. For a relative latecomer to the Groupon-forged category, its offerings are surprisingly solid (I bought a 50 percent discount to Katz’s Deli’s online store). The app itself is very slick and making transactions is seamless for Googlebots who use other Google services.



iOnRoad Augmented Driving

This driving app uses your smartphone’s camera and GPS sensors to warn you of upcoming collisions. It’s innovative and actually works, but not foolproof. You still have to keep your eye on the road.




Read books, magazines, and newspapers right on your Android phone without ever buying an e-reader. The Kindle app is by far the most popular reading app in the Android Marketplace because it gives you access to buy or download for free hundreds of thousands of books, and more than 100 different newspapers and magazines. And while some users have complained that they can’t uninstall Kindle once they’ve downloaded the app, it is possible (but it takes a little effort).



MLB.com at Bat 12
A premium account lets you stream every MLB game live. You also get a repository of baseball goodness: game highlights, radio broadcasts, pitch trackers, detailed reporting, widget. For Android 2.2 and 2.3 users (probably most of you) the live video feed requires Adobe Flash, a plug-in that Adobe removed from Google Play in August. So if you didn’t already have it downloaded, you won’t be able to watch live games.



Layar is an augmented reality app, meaning it gives you extra information from the digital world “layered” on top of something real in this world. Point it at a landmark, and the app will share interesting facts about the destination. Layar works best when you think of it as a travel app. It works very well in big cities and top destinations, but can be middling or even useless in lesser-traveled spots.



Noom Weight Loss Coach 
Noom is a comprehensive weight loss app that bills itself as a weight loss coach in your pocket. Every day, the app feeds you customized suggestions on how many calories you need to eat and burn to meet your goals. This involves a calorie counter, a daily Noom score, and an online community for additional support.



Consider it the next best thing to being an astronaut or astronomer. The official NASA app features thousands of NASA photos (gorgeous as wallpaper), streaming videos, and countdown clocks.



iPhone-wielding Instagram users think we’re “polluting” their photo streams? Screw them. Android has Pixlr-o-matic, a far superior photo editing app with hundreds of effects and a much smoother social sharing experience. The randomnizer, which chooses a random effect for you, provides hours of fun.




As the most comprehensive review app, Yelp is an invaluable tool for finding businesses nearby, especially when you’re in a town you don’t know well. The quality of the reviews can be touch and go, but for finding businesses and services, and vetting out ones that are very poorly received, Yelp’s the app you need.



Though it languished for years, Flickr is back with a slick new app and a terabyte of free storage space for your photos—well and beyond what anyone else is offering. Throw in a bunch of Instagram-like filters and on-the-go editing and you’ve got a powerful mobile photo app.

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:Music and Video


Music and Video


DeaDBeef Player
This audiofile-approved music player supports numerous file formats, last.fm scrobbling, gapless playback, Internet radio, and an equalizer with 10 bands. Download the free plugin to get ALAC and WP4 playback.



Google Music
Apple, Amazon, and Google have all launched music storage lockers. However, Google’s decision to base its free storage option not on size but on number of tracks make it unique among its competitors. With the app, users can stream music they’ve uploaded and, when connected to Wi-Fi, download songs for offline listening. Best of all, Google has gone out of its way to make sure the Music service plays nice with whatever system you’re using at home.




Free, subscription fees apply
The go-to app for streaming movies and TV shows, Netflix puts an enormous library of content at your fingertips. Though its catalog isn’t always consistent in terms of quality, its sheer size and low cost ($7.99 for unlimited streaming and an additional $7.99 for a DVD rental plan as well) make it a must-have app. Be sure to connect to a Wi-Fi network for the best viewing experience.




Movies by Flickster
A strong offering for the movie buff on the go, Movies by Flickster keeps you up to date on the latest releases both at the box office and on DVD. Flickster’s app also gives you easy access to Rotten Tomatoes reviews and trailers, and it can even help you book your next movie outing or add movies to your Netflix queue for a night in. Though it has a few quirks, Movies is a valuable asset.



Pandora Internet radio

Free, optional upgrade to PandoraOne for $36 per year
The granddaddy of smart, streaming music apps, Pandora has come a long way from its humble origins. The latest version of the app focuses on social aspects, showing you what your friends are currently rocking out to. Though it has a full spectrum of visual, audio, and video ads, Pandora still does a great job of seamlessly delivering you music.




Working with a desktop application, SnapPea is the dead-simple way to move audio and video between your computer and your phone. While it’s great at handling media files, it can do a lot more, including manage your apps, photos, and even send text messages from your computer.



Free with $9.99/month Spotify Premium
I don’t even download music anymore. I pay $9.99/month for Spotify Premium, which instantly streams music from a 15+ million catalogue, create playlists, integrate local libraries, and check out other members’ playlists. With Premium you can sync playlists to your Android device and play music offline, on the go. The app’s interface is a minimalist adaptation of its desktop client.



Stitcher Radio
While there are a number of apps to keep your ears full of music, fewer focus on radio and podcasts. Stitcher is one such app, which lets you organize channels of content based on interests. It’s even clever enough to notice what you like and dislike, and will assemble “Smart Stations” based off your preferences. If you’re a podcast junkie, this app is essential.



Ted Talks
This unofficial TED app lets you search a video database containing over 1,200 TED presentations even if your device is not connected to the Internet. Alternatively, you can listen to the TedTalks radio-style audio stream, and bookmark and share videos on Facebook.



Uberhype for Hype Machine
Uberhype is the mobile version of Hype Machine, beautifully designed by Dirty Water Labs. For the uninitiated, Hype Machine is a fantastic Web-based music streaming service that aggregates trending music from music blogs. Most of the songs are genre mash-ups. It combines a Twitter-like social sharing element as well.



Songkick Concerts

There are plenty of apps to put music on your phone, but not many to get you and your phone in front of live music. Enter Songkick Concerts, which scans your phone for music and then informs you when artists you like are coming to town. It’s a really easy way to keep track of tricky live tour schedules in your town, or anywhere else you might be. —Next: Games >

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:Social




Badoo isn’t known as the “flirting app” for nothing. Badoo uses your phone’s GPS to locate other members in your area, displaying their Badoo profiles which contain likes, dislikes, and photos. You can use the app to chat with other members and arrange offline meetings. Badoo boasts more than 140 million members around the world.




Facebook for Android

Social networks thrive with a reliable app, and Facebook’s for Android is solid. The Android app has the quintessential Facebook-branded interface but some unique functionality that’s absent in Facebook’s iPhone app, such as a side-scrolling preview pane of recently shared photos in the dashboard area.



Armed with the right software, it’s pretty easy for someone to tap into your cell-phone network and read all the text messages and chatting you’re doing over your device. Gibberbot obscures all this data so that it looks like “gibberish” to a hacker. This free, open-source chat client offers fully encrypted chatting over Gchat, Facebook, and Jabber. Must be used in conjunction with Orbot, the official Tor client for Android.




Social networks need mobile apps to thrive, and Google+’s is a fine start for the platform that arrived in July 2011. The app taps into conventions established by other online social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, while finding some of its own strengths at the same time. Google+ Mobile works fairly well, due to a smart design and comprehensible interface.




The most robust photo sharing social network, recently acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, finally came to Android after a two years of iPhone-only love. Instagram for Android lets you put folksy filters on dull photos with a single tap, and quickly share them on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.




While Instagram may have cornered the market for filtered photo-sharing on the fly, Snapseed offers much deeper photo editing tools for free. While not quite as powerful as Photoshop, Snapseed can bring a whole new level to pictures on your mobile device.



Social corkboard site Pinterest landed on Android and iOS devices this month, so you can access your account on the go. For the uninitiated, Pinterest is another popular network of ways to discover, collect, and share “beautiful things you find on the Web.”



Plume is, hands-down, the best Twitter client for Android. Recently updated for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Plume uses the horizontal, column-based stream seen in many Twitter clients. However it adds a home tab with widgets to access Trends, Lists, Favorites, and Search bar. There’s also plenty of room for customizing your interface, from font size to the color of your timeline.



WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms, boasting over 25 million software downloads and 15,000 plug-ins. If you wish to blog while away from your computer, this WordPress app will let you do just that, but on your Android phone. Bloggers can quickly create drafts, edit posts, and approve comments without the need for a Mac or PC.



Tumblr is another popular microblogging platform that lets users quickly share and caption photos, quotes, chats, links, and more. Its app recently received an interface makeover that makes updates even easier.




Let me be emphatically clear: Vine is not a great app. It is, however, a great service that lets you shoot and share six second, endlessly looping videos. Six seconds may not seem like much, but Vine can be used to make everything from tiny movies to miniature animations. On Android, its potential is held back by some weird audio issues, and the inability to toggle between the front and rear facing cameras. Once the developers lick these (and other) problems, Vine will be a great app for Android. —Next: Music and Video >

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:Communication




Google Voice
Google Voice offers low-cost international voice calls and unlimited free text messages for a unique Google Voice phone number. An update in November adds group text messaging, offline voicemail, and “improved” text message notifications.



Go SMS Pro is the SMS/MMS app for power Android users. You can send “short” messages containing text, voice, doodles, and photos. There’s a lot of room for tinkerers to customize themes, messages, and folders for storage.



ICQ Mobile for Android

Gen X-ers and a few Y’s will recall ICQ, perhaps the first instant messaging program to seriously blow up when it launched back in 1996. It disappeared just as quickly, but now it’s back with a new mobile focus. ICQ for Android lets you send unlimited messages for free, chat with ICQ, Facebook, and Google Talk friends, and read messages offline.




IMO Instant Messenger
Multi-purpose instant message apps can falter on mobile phones, crashing frequently or draining the phone’s battery. While it’s not perfect, IMO Instant Messenger is by far one of the lesser offenders. Another reason it’s better than some others is it supports instant messaging across an impressive 11 networks (both popular and relatively obscure) including MSN, Yahoo!, AIM/ICQ, Google Talk, Myspace, Skype, Facebook, Jabber, imo, VKontakte, and Hyves.




ooVoo Video Calls

Stable and reliable video chat apps for Android aren’t easy to come by, but ooVoo is terrific. The Android video chat app supports group video, voice calls, and instant messaging—across iOS, OSX, Android, and Windows! Not only do you get solid Android video calling, but you can practically video chat with anyone.



It’s hard to beat a free, extensive communications network. Skype uses your phone’s front- and rear-facing cameras to place free video and voice calls over 3G or Wi-Fi. I don’t think Skype is “the best” communication app for Android, but it’s one of those tools that I will continue to use because other people use it, too, and so it’s often the quickest way to get in touch with certain people.



WhatsApp Messenger
Send unlimited text, photo, audio messages to anyone in the world, as long as both of you are connected to the Internet. Its UI may not be as slick as KakaoTalk, but it’s hugely popular and multi-platform (talks to your iOS and BlackBerry friends).



Viber: Free Messages & Calls

Viber distinguishes itself from other free voice and texting apps, like Google voice, by adding in your computer as a communication device. From your Android, you can seamless transfer a voice call to the Viber PC app and keep talking, or pick up a text message conversation already in progress. With a growing list of fans, Viber is well positioned to make talking and texting a little easier (and cheaper!). —Next: Social >

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:Productivity/Organization





There are lots of apps for making lists of tasks, but any.do is easily among the most stylish. In addition to its simple interface, it brings easy organization and built-in syncing between devices. A new feature called any.do moment that encourages you to review your to-do lists, hopefully making organization a habit. A great choice for anyone looking to Get Organized.





Bump lets two users tap their phones together to immediately share photos, contacts, and apps. Amazingly, it works cross-platform between iOS and Android users as well.



Box is a more secure version of Dropbox. Like the latter, Box lets you sync and store your files “in the cloud” and access them from another Internet-connected device or PC. Box also encrypts your stored files and requires a passcode for when the app times out. New users qualify for a 50MB promotion.



Catch Notes
Free, additional Spaces for $4.99 per month
A note-taking and organizational app with style, Catch Notes is like a high-design version of Evernote. Users create notes, reminders, photos, checklists, and recordings which can then be organized into notebook-like “spaces.” Catch keeps these creations synced among all your devices, and it’s accessible through a Web interface as well. If you’re tired of drab ol’ Evernote, Catch Notes is a must-have.



Free, additional space available
The original cloud storage service, Dropbox has a clean, sleek Android app that rivals the iPhone version in terms of style. Dropbox’s terms are pretty well known: the free version will allow you to have up to 2GB of files seamless synched between devices and stored online. The app puts all those files at your fingertips, easily allowing you to view, download, and share what you need when you need it.




free; $45 per year for optional Premium subscription
If you weren’t an Evernote early adopter, the freemium note-taking and organization app that synchs all your files to a cloud service, there’s no shame in being late to the party. On an Android phone, Evernote works smoothly, looks great, and most importantly, integrates with dozens of other apps and services.



Google Drive
Long thought to be only a myth, Google Drive is a powerful cloud-based storage locker and basic office suite. With it, you can create and edit documents and have changes synched between multiple devices and users. Google Drive is extremely easy to use and comes with a strong set of sharing options that basically mean you never have to attach a document to an email again.



LastPass Password Mgr Premium*
Free, $1 per month for mobile use
A powerful password manager that keeps your information safely guarded behind a single password. On Android, LastPass provides access to your password vault, auto-fill forms, secure notes, and a password generator. LastPass can even be used to enter login information for website and apps on your Android device. While it’s a bit difficult to use out of the box, a quick read of the online documentation will have you bending passwords to your will.



Pageonce Free or $4.99 for gold 
If you’re looking for a more robust, fresh alternative to Mint.com, check out this true mobile wallet from a startup in Palo Alto. Pageonce securely stores all your cards, reminds you of when to pay bills, and even supports bill payments for $0.30 per transaction. If money management stresses you out, Pageonce makes it all so much easier.—Next: Communication >

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:Reference




What makes the Dictionary.com app useful is that the information is local. Rather than wait for the website Dictionary.com to load, you can look up dictionary definitions immediately from the app. The free version of the app has advertisements, but the $1.99 paid version does not.



Google Maps

Google Maps
Google Maps has long helped people navigate streets, landmarks, parks, and other outdoor locations all over the world. In November, Google added an indoor navigation feature that helps you confidently trespass airports, shopping malls, and other large buildings.



Google Translate

Google Translate translates words into over 64 languages, and dictates them aloud. It’s fast and stable, and works well for quick translations of a few words or a single sentence. However it requires a constant Internet connection.



IMDb Movies & TV
The next time you can’t remember the name of an actor, television show, or film, IMDb Movies & TV saves the day. One of the handiest reference websites on the planet, IMDb never fails when it comes to looking up anything that has to do with TV, film, or Hollywood. The app also lets you find which movies are playing at your local cinema, and even purchase tickets. With an IMDb account (free or paid for Pro), the app provides even more features, like the ability to create a watchlist of movies you want to see.



OverDrive Media Console
OverDrive lets you borrow EPUB eBooks and audiobooks in MP3 format, from a global network of more than 13,000 libraries. The biggest drawback is that you have to store files locally, which hogs both memory and battery.



Soundhound identifies virtually any song you hear or sing. Yes, it’s similar to Shazaam, but with a lot more features, like geo-tagging, music sales, and music videos.



WebMD for Android
WebMD is much more than a diagnosis app, although you certainly can use it to input symptoms you are experiencing and find some clues as to what’s ailing you. It also contains listings for healthcare professionals and pharmacies in your area, as well as first-aid guides—simple instructions for dealing with an emergency that everyone should have accessible at any time. This free reference app is one you hope you don’t need, but, the moment you do, you’ll be glad you downloaded it.




If you’re looking to bone-up on your Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese then look no further than Duolingo, the free language-learning app that bests even some of the for-pay options. Designed for mobile, the Duolingo app also syncs with a website and across other devices so you never lose your place. We found that Duolingo works best when used with another piece of language software, but the price and quality is unbeatable on Android.



Wikipedia for Android 
Our favorite cheat sheet launched an official Android app in January, allowing you to fluidly search, clip, and share entries through your device. There are loads of third-party clients, but this is the cleanest, most authentic Wikipedia experience available in the Android Market.— Next: Productivity/Organization >

[repost ] The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013:News/Readers




BaconReader for Reddit
BaconReader delivers an appealing, Android-only interface for checking and participating in Reddit, the popular social news site. It includes features like subreddit grouping, keyword filtering, and direct photo uploads.



Any Radio 1 fans out there? The Beeb is perhaps my all-time favorite general news source. Its mobile app doesn’t disappoint, letting you watch video reports, listen to live radio, clip articles for offline reading, and read the latest updates on the fly.



Regardless of your take on CNN’s editorial content, they do know how to deliver it on a mobile device. Their Android UI is intuitive and buttery-smooth, serving the latest stories by category, embedded videos, and plenty of sharing options. You can also listen to CNN Radio within the app.




Flipboard, the popular, excellent social reading app made famous on the iOS platform, has finally arrived on Android smartphones, losing very little in translation. Flipboard aggregates Web content, from news clips to videos, in a clean, gorgeous magazine-style layout.



NewsRob is an RSS/Atom newsreader that syncs both ways with your Google Reader account. Its UI obviously borrows a lot from Google Reader, but NewsRob adds offline caching and many other configurable features, like how many unread items to display at once. Plus, NewsRob seems to sync faster than other Google Reader wrappers.



Pulse is everyone’s favorite news reader. You can aggregate your favorite publications on one clean, snappy, gorgeous interface. Pulse also makes it easy to share articles, sync for offline reading, or simply scan quickly for headlines, Twitter-style.




Pocket, formerly Read It Later, lets you take the articles, videos, and pictures you come across on the web and save them offline for reading later. With tight integration through services like Twitter and webapps for Chrome and Firefox, Pocket is your virtual pocket for all the wondrous baubles of the Internet.



Ever open your browser with nowhere to go? StumbleUpon feeds you new Web content with a single tap. It’s the mobile version of the tremendously popular Web application of the same name. You can follow people and brands, plus select from over 500 interests, to make your “random” content more relevant. —Next: Reference >