I recently did a Top 10 Free Apps, today I have the direct (not so timely direct though) follow-up!
In the beginning of Android history, Android was known for having a bunch of free apps. Popular app on iPhone? There was probably a free alternative in the Play Store (formerly known as the Android Market). Quite honestly, Android was way more practical back then; design and integration wasn’t a priority. That time has changed now, and iPhone apps are also directly ported or redesigned for Android by now. The thing is though, quality apps can require you to spend a little money, and some apps are absolutely worth that price!
Here’s my top 10 paid apps:
- AutomateIt is an automation app for your smartphone. Your smartphone has a lot of cool sensors built in; a GPS, an accelerometer, a fast processor, data from contacts, cell recievers, wifi, I could go on. What AutomateIt does, is to open a world of posibilities. You can set it to recognize certain wifi signals for example; the movie theater’s wifi, and automatically set your phone to silent. Or you could set a preset setting, for when you open an app (open music app -> set volume to x). Every night at 11 pm, set ringer to silent, and set to normal by 8 am. these are just examples, and there’s plenty more to do. The app has a section for recipies, where people share their unique automations. It’s super easy and effective, there’s a free version with some limits, and a paid version. Try it out! It’s super fun to play with! If you’re looking for something more advanced, I highly recommend Tasker too.
- Knocklock is something very simple. Here’s the thing; I love touchscreens. Especially how it feels to just gently touch the screen for actions. I’m never going to have physical buttons again on any phone, but there technically still is; the power button and the volume buttons. The power button specifically, is kind of pointless to me; I only use it for turning my screen on/off. Knocklock is a little spot on the screen which acts as the power button, double tap it, and your screen goes off. Combined with a phone with double-tap-to-unlock, you almost never have to use the power button, so it’s all a touch experience. You may find it useless, but this is absolutely so nice to just have, when you first get used to it. Free version available, but with limited options!
- Link Bubble is brilliant on different levels. Basically it opens up links as small bubbles, and loads them. Sounds simple enough, right? It is. Trust me though, the impact is big! Imagine browsing Facebook, or twitter, or just about anything, and you stumble upon a link you want to open. Then you open it, and leave the place you are, and wait for it to load, read it, and then there’s another link. Before you know it; you’re far away from where you began. With Link Bubble, you’re never sent away, and you can continue to browse, while the page is loading in the bubble, resulting in you being more productive (well, maybe not productive, but you simple get more done, and wont wait around).
The browser itself is quite limited compared to other browsers, and it’s due to the nature of it, but it’s smart by having a very simple way to open it in Chrome (or whatever) if you want to, or sharing it. It can even see if there’s a youtube video included, which you can watch immidiately. Super effective and in high quality. You won’t regret this purchase (trial versioan available).
- Lecture Notes is a powerful note-taking app with tons of settings and back-up solutions. There’s options for folders, digital pens, paper styles and much more. It’s a complete replacement for the physical paper. And you can add additional features like voice and video recording. There’s a trial version available. I highly recommend this for students with a 8″+ tablet, or just people who wants notes with lots of options. It works on a phone too, with all the same features, there’s just less room to do it on.
- ez PDF Viewer is PDF viewing for those seeking advanced features. While most would be fine using just a PDF viewer, ezPDF goes far beyond that with features like annotations, filling out forms, notes, cutting, voice recording, Google Drive plug-in. I’ve always appreciated having it installed, since it can fill out documents, documents for school or just legal stuff, taking care of it on the go is great. There’s a trial, a lite, and a pro version available. The Lite is $1, but if you want the advanced features, the Pro is the one to get.
- Manga Rock is a reader for Manga books. Manga is a cartoon style in asia, and there’s thousands of comicbooks available. With Manga Rock, you can view entire books and chapters on the go. You can also download them for offline viewing, but you are restricted to a few if you don’t pay. Plus you get rid of the annoying ads on the bottom, not to mention you just part ways with $5 to get a huge amount of entertainment!
- Archos Video Player is by far the nicest video player for android. It has good features, a great design, online connection with popular movie-sites. There’s plenty free video players, but hardly one as nice as this. Remember to install all the codecs on the side, which will enable the player to play virtually any file.
- Afterlight is a photo editor. Now I know I recommended Snapseed the last time, and Snapseed’s free, but Afterlight has plenty of filters Snapseed doesn’t, and frames too. Ones that play really nice with Instagram. The design is good, the features are great and many, so for a single dollar, you get a great photo editor.
- Tondo/Naxos icons. You probably have a nice phone. Nice meaning; it can do a lot. It may not be the best out there, but it’s nice. I think it should look as nice (at least).
If you followed my previous advice, you’ve installed a 3rd party launcher. One that supports custom icons. There’s an abundance of icons available on the Play Store; free and paid, but my two favorite ones are Tondo Premium (which is extremely hard to find, so follow my link) and Naxos (squared). I like these, because they are colorful and very simple. Perfect for a modern smartphone, signaling simplicity and style, as well as personality. We might disagree on what our phone’s should look like, but you can go in and search for icons you prefer. This will make any phone look more complete and consistant (even more so than the iPhone, without copying it).
- Endomondo/Runtastic is for sport activities. I highly recommend a healthy lifestyle, even if it is just casually doing sports (any sport). It has absolutely positive effects on our mind and body, so having an app just for that, may just help keeping you active. Any of these two can track a lot of sports for you, keeping you in the know of how well you’re doing. Helping developers who wants to help you track your sport just seems like a nice gesture, and you get rid of ads and even some Pro features along the way.
That’s it, all 10 apps I recommend having and spending a little bit on, to help you get through your busy day. There’s obviously way more apps I’d like to share with you, and those are in the works as well. But these are sort of basic apps i need on my phone, that just makes it nice and capable in many ways. Be sure to follow my blog, or follow me on Google+ for regular updates!
If you have any apps you’d think should’ve made the list, please comment below and tell me why it’s so good. It’s always great to get some feedback and simply get different perspectives 🙂
As a final note, I’d like to say that we should support the developers for their hard work and creative ideas. These apps aren’t all that expensive, and considering what they give you, it’s a small price to pay for some quality work. We should move on together, from demanding free apps with lots of features, to being greatful for what they give away, and showing appreciation by sending a few dollars their way. It’s a win-win situation, as we both get what we want; awesome apps!