Top 10 Free Apps To Get, Straight Out Of The Box

Everybody’s got a smartphone, right? Right, almost. Over 1 billion smartphones across the world are active today, and sales and availability for them is reaching further and further, which is awesome in so many ways! However, it’s not a rare sight to see people have a smartphone without necessarily knowing what it can do, and what apps you can take advantage of (for free!). So in light of that, here’s my top 10 free apps, you need right out of the box!

  1. Google Now. Your phone technically has this app pre-installed, and will update as soon as you give it permission from the Play Store. However, you need to launch the Google Search app, and activate it’s true power: Awareness of where you are, what you’re up to, and what you need. Besides being a voice-assistant, Google Now will notify you with activities ranging from sports, transportation, news, weather, scheduled meetings, as well as movie-tickets, airplane plans and information. Google Now is extremely convenient to activate and is super simple to use. Activate it. Now.
  2. SwiftKey Keyboard. Every time I get a new phone or tablet, I install SwiftKey right away. It’s free, it’s fast, it learns, it’s super smart (3 languages simultaneously), and is connected to the cloud, meaning you can change your phone, but your way of typing is never lost.There are perfectly good alternatives, some may fit you better, but I highly recommend SwiftKey.
  3. Aviate Launcher from Yahoo. Aviate is similar to Google Now, but for your homescreen. You can choose your absolute favorite apps to be on the front page (which is usually up to 10). This keeps the front page far less busy. To it’s left you have what will change throughout the day. Morning at home? Your phone will show you the most relevant apps. In the car/bus/train? The phone will show you the most relevant apps. At work? The phone will show you your most used apps for work. Shopping for groceries? … You get the point. Aviate knows, and will change accordingly. It’s fast, it’s beautiful, it’s simple, and it’s powerful like that. To it’s right you can have big folders (automatically categorized, or manually if you prefer) with other frequent apps, and to the far right, all your apps are in alphabetical order, so nothing is ever more than 3 flicks away. Brilliant!
  4. Google+ (Photos). Yes, the social network everybody seems to ignore is very handy to use. Even if you won’t use it for social networking. Google+ is packed with unique features, of which backing up photos is included, you just have to activate it, and choose which directories to back up. Camera photo’s and videos, the download folder, image editor apps. Anything going into your phone that is an image or video, google can back it up. You have 15 GB free to use, and if you just back up in 4 mega pixels (or lower), photo’s don’t use any of that space, which means you can upload an unlimited amount of photos in good quality. Additionally; Google can edit and fine tune those photos for you, automatically, and it works very (very) well! It also makes cool effects, like animated GIFs, collages, multi-shot photos, panoramas, and filters. All automatically and for free!

    google-apps-1024x575

    It’s no secret I’m a heavy user of Google services and apps, but I think they provide some of the best features and services around. Be sure to check out other apps they have in the Play Store!

  5. Google Drive/Dropbox/Box/any cloud storage. If you use the cloud in any way, with any product, you should get the client for Android. With it, you have access to any file you have in the cloud. It’s just that simple, have files you need every now and then, without taking up space on the phone itself. I use it as a game directory for example, for my emulators, and my private library of animated GIFs. Always available when I need them!
  6. Snapseed. Snapseed is a powerful mobile editing app for images. It’s simple to use, have a lot of features, and it’s free. It’s no Adobe Photoshop, but consider it a mobile Adobe Lightroom. If you want stickers, collages, or something similar, you need a different app, but for image editing, Snapseed is great.
  7. AppSales. I love sales on the Play Store, and AppSales keeps me posted on any app or game on sale, and you can even tweak it so it only bothers you with certain apps that qualify. You can see pricing history, percentage of savings, and you can put apps on it’s watchlist, so it’ll notify you if a paid app you want goes on sale. It’s free, and given you can save quite a bit, depending on apps, you should get it.
  8. Timely. We all need to get up in the morning (or at some other point), so why not have a great alarm clock? It’s free and it’s beautiful. It has a decent amount of features too, like syncing with other devices. Animations are gorgeous, navigation is easy, sounds are easy on you. What’s not to like?
  9. Inbox by Google/Mailbox by Dropbox. Emailing is still a thing, the trouble is, it can be pretty cluttered. You should get a powerful email app! Either of these feature unique features that makes categorizing, reminding you, and keeping your inbox at zero. An inbox in control, is an inbox you can more easily work with. Either of these are free, though at the moment, Inbox is on an invite basis (leave a comment below if you want one, I have a handful to spare).
  10. The Cleaner. Your Android smartphone is multitasking, apps run in the background, and it’s not always easy to actually close those apps. The Cleaner is simple to use, will regularly advise you to clean up the RAM and cache on your device, which should keep it nice and fast. It also monitors your app usage, providing you with a list of apps you don’t really use, so you can consider deleting it.

That’s it! The top 10 free apps I highly recommend with any new phone you get, or simply don’t have installed yet. I personally use all of these apps, and they sure help me get through the day. 🙂
I’ll be back soon with another top 10 about paid apps, because we should all contribute to a developer’s hard work and services. Free is always nice though, and all of these apps are available and great to use, even if you don’t pay for the small extra features.

What are your favorite apps, or most important apps to install when you get a new phone? Leave a comment down below!

Advertisements

News And Plans For 2015

Happy New Year, I hope last year treated you well and I hope it continues for the year to come 🙂
I want to take the time to plan the contents I will be producing this year, and share some general ideas, plans, and news with you, that will be included in this blog.

First up; I want to write more. I really enjoy researching around and write my own thoughts on ideas I may have. And since my studies will change into the more humane part of technology this summer, I think it’s an excellent way for me to already get into the field now, and make some thoughts about it already. I have a few ideas ready to be made that are very basic, so I aim to write them off as soon as possible, so stay tuned for content soon about basic Android topics.

canon70d

credit to Juza @ http://www.juzaphoto.com

Secondly, I got a wonderful gift from my mother; a Canon 70D camera, with 3 batteries, and 3 lenses. I don’t plan to review this device though, as I’m no photography expert. I just enjoy taking pictures, and people say I have a knack for motives, so I hope to improve my skills.
What this means however, is I can now make quality videos (I just need a decent mic now). I’m considering to make video reviews alongside writing reviews, but I really want to make it so they compliment each other, rather than I overlap them with a bunch of the same information. I do not prefer watching reviews like that, so I will avoid that and work on taking the two contents from two different perspectives. After all, they are two very different mediums.
I will also be shooting my own photographs for my reviews, showing interesting details or the overall look of it. I hope you’ll enjoy those!

Additionally, I’d like to share some thoughts on what devices I want to buy this year, giving you a rough idea of what content I’ll be making.

Apple is releasing their Apple Watch this year, and it will surely make a big splash in wearable technology, what I hope is that Android Wear further evolve and mature. I’d really like to get a smartwatch again (I had the Sony Smartwatch 2 a few years ago), and I’m just waiting and seeing where this will go.

I also want a new tablet, my Galaxy Note 10.1 from 2012 is finished. I have an eye out for the Nvidia Shield tablet, and seeing they just announced their new Tegra X1 chip, I assume a new tablet is in the works coming this summer. Nvidia has proved to be an excellent producer of tablets, bringing great hardware, with clean Android software for a reasonable price, and as an added bonus, they’ve updated their software extremely fast.
I am however considering a Sony tablet, as I’m very pleased with their products as well.

In old, but still relevant, news; Windows is getting on my nerves. I simply don’t need all it’s features and software anymore. So this year will be the year I’ll switch to Chrome OS, and with the switch belongs a new laptop; a Chromebook. I have a good feeling we’ll see excellent additions to the family this year. I’m currently interested in the Chromebook 13 from Acer, which was made with Nvidia and has a Tegra K1 chip, we’ll see if anything new shows up with the new X1 though.

A little side-note; I’m thinking about switching things up with Squarespace, the service seams like a great way to make a website and post content. Maybe i can make it about photography and essentially this blog. I’ll be sure to update on that later. If you want to see my mobile photography (mixed with photos from the 70D), you can find me on Instagram or EyeEm @the_arcticbear.

So far, 2015 will be a very interesting year for me. I’m hoping the changes will result in some changes for the better, but I will have to put in a solid amount of work into it.
A new direction in education, new perspectives in how technology and humans work, new (wearable) devices, and an Operating System based on the cloud. That makes me see a lot of new potential in my self and how I use computers. I hope you’ll join me for that!