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First 5 Apps Every New Android User Should Download [My Life Scoop]

The folks over at My Life Scoop, an Intel powered blog, asked if I would be interested in contributing a handful of posts to their cause during Q3 of this year. For those not familiar, MLS (not the soccer league) is a site that focuses on providing real life tips and tricks, lists of popular things, etc. It could be tech-related, but they also have writers contribute stories on music, sports, food, family, and general lifestyle. Since I’m in the tech field, I’m writing up tech stuff.

My first post is live and wanted to share since it actually is Android-related as well. I tried to figure out what would help new Android users get the most out of their devices from the beginning. As many of you know, switching over to a new operating system can be painful unless you have help along the way. I basically took the 5 apps that I seem to use multiple times throughout a day, can’t live without, and that also can make your life more efficient should you fully buy into them. If you need a hint as to what I chose, the graphic up top might be a great place to look.

To read the article, head on over to My Life Scoop.

  • Edward Burns

    Recently started using Syncblaze and as an IT admin it is definitely a great relief for all of us. We now have better control over data and users with it. We are ready to embrace BYOD from now on.

  • Terry Tom

    Top 5 Android apps for business users:
    1. Remember The Milk – A task management app. Get alerts when tasks are due, via email, SMS, and instant messenger.
    2. SyncBlaze – To share files with colleagues/clients/partners, collaborate as a team and manage multiple sources of content.

    3. ServerUp – Find out instantly whether your server is in top notch condition

    4. Expense Manager – Manage your expenses on the go. Track expenses and incomes by week, month and yea
    5. Intuit GoPayment – Use your phone to take payments at expos, tradeshows and conferences.

  • Hung

    My most used app is gReader

  • Haxcid

    How can Chrome be on the list for apps every android user must have??? It only runs on ICS which is what 20% of the total number of Android phones available? That list is seriously flawed and generally someones opinion. The only app on that list I must have is Drop box.

  • patapongirl

    I prefer Catch to Evernote

  • Vandor

    Swiftkey is garbage. Plain and simple. Perfect keyboard IMO.

  • Tsabhira

    I’ve never been sold on EverNote, and I’ve tried it at least five times now. I used OneNote (Office) for years, and all I found is that instead of keeping and maintaining physical crap I never looked at or needed again, I was keeping and maintaining digital crap I never looked at or needed again.

    More importantly, Dropbox can do most of what EverNote can (galleries, lists, documents, etc.), so having both is a tad redundant. I’d add to it one of the gTasks apps (there are at least three high-quality ones now) for checklists, a file manager, Light Flow, and a gReader app.

  • E A butler

    Evernote
    Box (dropbox doesnt work in certain countries)
    Skype
    Google Translate
    Google Currents
    these apps are essential to making my Droid productive. THe Stock ICS keyboard is awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/razinlightyear AndrewRazin

    speaking of mls, sorry about John Spencer kellex. probably best in the long term though.

  • Nick

    I personally like these five:
    1. Chrome
    2. Pandora
    3. Youtube
    4. ICS Keyboard
    5. Nova Launcher

  • nightscout13

    I agree with the Chrome, Voice, Dropbox. Not the rest.

  • U Mad Bro? No But Your Mom Is

    I use Chrome and although I’ve been aware of Evernote for a while, and have even used it a few times, I didn’t realize how great it was until 2 or 3 days ago. It’s a great app! One thing that I was jealous of with inferiorPhone was they’re Notes app. I wish there was a Google specific notes app on Android, but discovering how good Evernote is has erased the pain.

    • U Mad Bro? No But Your Mom Is

      Oh, and I also like Dropbox. But, being a Googler, I also just delved into Google Drive the other day for the first time, and love it and am going to use it! After your initial free GB, Google Drive kicks the crap out of Dropbox. More storage, less money.

  • Trevor

    I love lightflow too. It’s useful in more of a novelty kind of way, but it’s still an amazing app. Use it every day!

  • GawkerRedesignSucks

    I agree with everything but Chrome. I use Chrome desktop browser, but the mobile version is less than impressive IMO. Friggin’ love Swiftkey though. I tried using the stock Jelly Bean keyboard and it’s horrible by comparison. Google has a lot of work to do refining the predictions.

    Also, I switched from Dropbox to Drive.

  • theZEEK

    Ak Notepad is by far better than Evernote. I put it on customers phones more than any other note app. Because you can store all your passwords with a 4 digit pin code and not have to pay for that feature like you would with Evernote.

  • mgamerz

    Swiftkey? Seriously? God that keyboard making typing such a pain in the ass.

    • kstrickland05

      For me Swiftkey is easier to use than the stock one. I use the pumpkin theme which made it easier to type with than the stock theme. Except I think with Swiftkey 3 the default theme was changed. I also love all the punctuation being available on the letters so I don’t have to switch to the other page. And having to hold down the period on the stock keyboard to get a comma drives me crazy. Personal preference I suppose.

  • eddieonofre

    DropBox….. well I rather use Google Drive EverNote…. well I used for a while but haven’t found a great need for it

  • br_hermon

    Also, I want to use Chrome, I really do, but I just can’t give up my quick controls. Once they port that over to Chrome, I’ll be on board.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hatherlee Jason Hatherlee

    I used to have all five of these. Now I only use Chrome. The rest became useless to me. I’ve never understood the point of Voice.

    • http://twitter.com/cStyle cStyle

      Being able to text from a computer or your phone is nice. I can text much faster from a keyboard so i am am at a computer Voice is great.

  • Flyinion

    Hmmm looks like I’ll have to check out Evernote. I know it’s been around for a while, but never paid attention to it.

    • Josh Karwoski

      Evernote is nice, but I prefer Springpad. It’s been extremely useful to me over the last few years!

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    I’m back and forth between Chrome and ICS Browser+

    The advanced quick controls are just awesome, navigation just seems faster than Chrome to me, even if the rendering is a little slower. Also, I like flash… sometimes.

  • br_hermon

    I actually use Google Drive and dropbox, but not regularly. Here’s perhaps my two biggest problems:
    1. unnecessary data consumption. Yes storing lots of your stuff in the cloud has it’s benefits. It’s there, where you need it and is free (to an extent) but the price you pay for using online storage as your primary source of memory is twofold. First, since it’s cloud based you’ll be downloading / uploading / streaming everything. In this day in age, everybody and their brother wants to make money off your data consumption. Using services like this plays exactly into those companies hands. Secondly, what happens when you don’t have a data connection? No 3g/4g, no wifi. You’re screwed. You could be out camping; in a place with no reception; using your deactivated phone as an mp3 player or for something else. And this problem goes beyond just cell phones but for general computer use as well. Our experience on a phone, tablet or PC is great with a connection to the internet, but when there’s not, it all goes to hell.
    2. This is incredibly simple. Why would I use online storage, and face those potential headaches, when its so simple to just include an sd card for storage on the phone / tablet to begin with!? It’s not hard people. It’s already been done so its not like OEMs don’t have to figure out how to do it. And don’t tell m that getting rid of it slims down and improves the phone. Please… phone dimensions are crazy big, thin, convenient as it is. Not to mention, having a removable memory card in a phone makes file management and backing up a tremendously better experience for the user of that phone. So it looks good for the manufacturer too. Not to mention they could also make the sd card and sell it to us as well. Profit for them.
    I think running apps off an sd card impares operation. I don’t think Google or anyone else for that matter has perfected sd card speed / performance. But for music, video, picture and file storage… it’s a no brainer.

    With an sd card, the files are always there. We can manage them how we want. And we aren’t paying over and over and over again for the same exact files in the form of data consumption. Don’t get me wrong, I like cloud storage. It has it’s practical uses but given the direction carriers and internet providers are headed, cloud storage is just not our friend to us or our wallets.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1233597232 Brian Kriech

      I have been screaming this for months now, give me a device that can handle multiple sd cards, make the sd cards bigger (64 gig +) and screw the cloud. Let’s stop playing into the hands of the carriers and start favoring the users.

  • adam

    Flext9 has the best tracing capabilities on the market and dragon dictation. Swiftkey is not a must have.

    The stock ICS browser is just as good as Chrome (atleast on my Maxx) if not better.

    Evernote isn’t that special. Catch is just as good.

  • http://twitter.com/macdaddybuff bill pittser

    Here are my 5.
    1. Tunee – get music
    2. Poweramp – play music
    3. Beautiful Widgets – Stylize your clock
    4. Handcent – better messaging widget
    5.Zedge – ringtones/notification tones and wallpapers.
    Now your android experience is set to take off.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    google voice without a doubt. gmail too since its in the market, er play store. same with google maps

    facebook, facebook messenger, google+, twitter, instagram, dropbox, root explorer, speed test, espn scorecenter, mx player, swiftp, DROID LIFE

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaxon.wright Jaxon Wright

    what about google drive?

    • Robhimself79

      That plus airdroid

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    Great article… it’s always good to see it from another point of view, and as always, great explanation and depth!

    Hey, DL… let’s give him some good comments on MLS also.

  • justin

    I have tried using swiftkey and really think it is pretty much out of date! Jelly Bean is now doing what swiftkey can do, however i can type so much faster using swype! Swype is a must have!

  • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

    Agree with all but Google Voice. I don’t ever really use that…

  • Droid4LifeDawg

    Reading the Article, and thanks for the FYI on the Site, just “Feedly” it…

  • http://twitter.com/macdaddybuff bill pittser

    tunee ftw….seriously why is it not on there.

  • Soneone

    google voice is the only one of those i use. Stock ICS/JB browser & opera are both better vs Chrome, swipe and swiftkey really are over rated. evernote while powerful is usless for many

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      Chrome is overall better, IMO. And Evernote is 100x more useful for me than Google Voice.

  • Droidzilla

    I’d say, for a noob Android user, DropBox and SwiftKey are kind of worthless. Once you get more into the swing of things you can try out stuff like that, but I’m what some would consider a power user and I have zero use for those (SwiftKey has never worked great for me, and DropBox is useless to me with Google Music and Google+). Evernote is a possibility, but you can do rich text in Drive now. I’ll second Chrome and GVoice, though.

    Wait . . . am I a Google whore?

    The five I would say to get:
    -HDR Camera+
    Works great and really enhances your photos.
    -Swype Beta (if it’s not native)
    A true, alternative keyboard type. Most people love the option of it, even if they don’t go with it as their primary.
    -GO Launcher
    I still use this on ICS. It’s yet another thing that people can see how versatile their new Android device is with. Add on the GO widgets and it’s icing on the, uh, Ice Cream Sandwich, I guess.
    -Google Voice
    It’s either useless to you or it’ll freaking change your life.
    Google+
    I don’t see why you wouldn’t get G+ if for nothing other than photo backup and Hangouts.

    There are a ton of others, of course, but I think these really get people involved in Google services and/or show them how versatile and functional Android as an OS can be. Throw in a LWP for flavour, and people are hooked for life!

    • r0lct

      I would say for noob to pass on Go Launcher. Why waste a top 5 pick on something that’s fantastic out of the box on ICS and JB.

      • Droidzilla

        Am I the only one not enthralled with the stock launcher? Everyone seems to be in love with it, and I can’t see why. It’s nice to be sure, but it’s a bit static.

        • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

          Which is fine for most beginners, which is what this article is geared to.

          • Droidzilla

            Everything stock is fine for beginners, but I find that a simple homescreen replacement app gets people involved int heir phone customisation, and with Android’s take on it (stuff like GO Launcher), it really shows people just how custom their Android can be. It’s not a ROM/theme, but it’ll be as close as 90% of the public will ever need to get.

        • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

          Depends on the phone… if you’re running stock on Moto or HTC, please get a better launcher. But on the Nexus, I just really love the stock ICS launcher.

        • r0lct

          Well personally I like Nova. I was just thinking stock is plenty good to not be in the top 5.

          • Droidzilla

            Fair enough. The fact that we all have different top fives is a testament to how much awesome is out there for Android.

    • bob martin

      no thanks about Go Launcher. I would prefer a much more modern home launcher like SPB shell 3d or TSF Shell

      • Droidzilla

        I found those too flashy, cumbersome, and laggy. Still, to each their own; they were definitely good eye candy.

  • msnight04

    Am I the only person who prefers the stock Android keyboard? I liked it on Gingerbread but after getting ICS, didn’t feel the need to download a different keyboard. Jelly Bean is further enhancing word prediction and I don’t foresee myself switching to a different keyboard anytime soon.

    • Apostrafee

      I am enjoying the Jelly Bean Keyboard alot

    • r0lct

      I don’t understand the point of a custom keyboard unless it is to “swype”. Had the default keyboard included that functionality I wouldn’t bother with Flex T9.

      • michael o’brien

        Flex T9 is awesome, but I keep it just for the swype.

        • r0lct

          That’s why I use Flex T9, otherwise as for typing the stock ICS/JB keyboard is great.

      • eddieonofre

        Smartkeyboard works fine for me, it has a good t9 keyboard

      • El Big CHRIS

        If you use more than one language you have to keep switching between them on the stock keyboard
        (my case English and Español). Swiftkey does it effortlessly w/o having to switch languages it just knows what the words are.

    • athensjohn

      I agree. I prefer the stock android keyboard to Swiftkey. I purchased Swiftkey a few years ago, but rarely use it. I do like FlexT9, but right now I am using a version of the ICS keyboard from the market and I am happy with it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dr.brown David Brown

      Swiftkey is amazing since version 3. Smart Space Bar is the best feature in the world. You can miss the space bar entirely and hit a letter instead for an entire sentence and it will fix it for you.

      • michael arazan

        Swiftkey I use the most, but when in browser I revert back to stock because swiftkey has problems in browswer when typing for example diqus. But swiftkey is a bit better for predictive text imo. Its hard to go back and fix words and typos in diqus with swifthey in my experience. But the great thing is there are so many keyboards its nice to have options for your own style and preferences.

        This link has about 50 different android keyboards and i think reviews for them, amazing how many nice keyboards there are with all different functionality. It shows a pic of each keyboard and some of what they do.

        http://www.grantbarker.com/android-keyboards.html

    • Joe

      I find the default keyboard on both ICS and Jelly Bean to be laggy at times. However, I have not experienced any lag since I made the switch to SwiftKey.

    • paul_cus

      I stick with the stock Android keyboard as well.

    • rohicks

      I’ve tried them all. Thumb Keyboard is superior.

    • Aidan Follestad

      Yeah I agree, the stock ICS/JellyBean keyboard is awesome and works better than other keyboards imo.

    • Patrick Driscoll

      damn right!

    • crow57

      Guessing swype is about 2 times faster than all other keyboards, tried several others but didn’t find anything that comes close to swype.

    • NicholasMicallef

      I have to yet find a custom keyboard app which supports prediction for my primary language, so they don’t have any advantages to me apart from looks

  • Trevor

    only have dropbox out of these. swype>swiftkey

  • Justin Stroud

    The stock ICS broswer syncs up as well. I have no issues with using Chrome on all three of my PC (even Chromium does the same thing on Linux) and accessing all my bookmarks etc on the stock ICS browser.

    • msnight04

      Chrome Mobile though will allow you to access all of your open tabs on all of your PCs. You’ll also be able to open your tabs on your mobile device from your PCs.

      • cbkcc1

        so does xmarks

        • r0lct

          I prefer not to have an app for my app. Chrome handles everything all on its own.

          • cbkcc1

            not all of us can get chrome

          • Droidzilla

            Yo, dawg . . .

          • r0lct

            I see you saw what I did there :P

      • Justin Stroud

        Ahh ok…I was not aware of this. I’ll still stick with the stock browser for now. I wonder why the stock browser does all that except tabs.

  • scott62185

    Cool collaboration. Too bad they spelled your name wrong, Kellen. lol

  • Ken619

    Swiftkey, not Swype? hmmmm…maybe I should give it a try.

    • anezarati

      swiftkey is great, definitely worth the purchase. I think they have a trail version as well. once you get that you will be hooked.

  • OhAaron

    Chrome<33

    It's almost like magic. Having everything synced from every device I have ever used w/ that intuitive Omnibar is just fantastic.

  • Matreyu Hermano

    I’d put Google Reader up there. Or is that included nowadays?

    • msnight04

      I personally prefer gReader. The official Google Reader app is missing too many features to consider it a must have IMO.