Hello and welcome to yet another list of some of my favorite things on Android! This time around, I’m presenting 5 camera apps available in the Google Play Store. It’s a mix of both free and paid apps, and I think all the paid ones actually have a free alternative with some limited features, so feel free to try them out!
To be clear, this list does not contain camera apps that are preinstalled in some phones, like the Samsung camera app, or the HTC, or Sony version. It’s a top 5 list of camera apps available in the Play Store 🙂
All right, here we go!
- Google Camera. Aahh, Google. So much you do right. The Google Camera is free, and while it doesn’t offer particularly advanced features, the app is simple and has some excellent exclusive features. 360 degree photospheres to capture an entire place in rich detail, endless panoramas (vertically or horizontally), wideangle shots, and fish-eye features too. Google Camera is quite handy to take photo’s differently than many other alternatives. Only works on Android devices running 4.4 and up though.
- Lapse It. I do enjoy me some timelapse, and Lapse It is a great and simple way to make them. Control everything from taking pictures, to editing it afterwards (even adding music), lapse It is a complete package. Pro version availble for HD timelapses, and more settings.
- Camera FV-5. If you have a DSLR camera, and feel as though your phone doesn’t resemble it enough, or it actually lacks several useful features you know how to use, Camera FV-5 will serve you well, offering advanced settings and controls similar to a real camera. Additionally, if you happen to have ” a real camera” running Android, Camera FV-5 support some extra advanced features.
- Camera Zoom FX. Are you looking for features? Then check this out! Camera Zoom Fx offers great tools to taking pictures, and different ways to take them. Real-time effects, (extremely) fast burst mode, filters to go with them afterwards, Camera Zoom FX offers plenty. Pro version unlock settings, features and filters. And additional plug-ins are available for it, expanding it’s functionality!
- A Better Camera. A Better Camera reminds me of the Sony camera app. It’s just more simple, looks minimalistic, and offers a good amount of features. it looks great, so that’s really what is going for it, so consider it if you want something minimalistic, but also offers good features.
I love taking pictures, I now have a DSLR for that, but I always have my phone on me. So I want the best camera apps for my phone. i switch around regularly, but I find these apps to be the ones I come back to, and use the most. And I think most smartphones can take excellent pictures in the right conditions today, they may just lack some features and some refinement.
Next list will consist of the best photo editors for Android, so be sure to come visit again soon! Taking the picture is one thing, but being able to edit it just right, with the best quality is quite another. 🙂
If you have some suggestions for me, please leave a comment, follow me on Google+ to ctach my pictures, or on EyeEm or Instagram @the_arcticbear.
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!
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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).
- 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!