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Top 10 Apps For Your New Android Device

Android Apps 2

So, you got a fancy new Android phone for the holidays! Congratulations! Now that you’re all set up, the only thing left to do is find the best apps and start having some fun. Google Play offers thousands of different applications and games to choose from, so without getting lost looking through countless pages of apps, allow us to drop some knowledge on you.

These are our top 10 recommendations to get you started with Android. 


1.  Chrome (free):

Earlier this year, Google released Chrome for Android and changed the way folks were using their Internet browsers. With Chrome, your mobile device and desktop computer’s tabs/browsing history can be perfectly synced, allowing for a fantastic browsing experience while on the go. Were you looking up that perfect spot for lunch on your desktop and forgot the name while on your way? Chrome has you covered. It’s free on Google Play and is always the first app we suggest to new Android users.


2.  Falcon Pro ($0.99):

Our love for the Falcon Pro app for Twitter is well known in these parts. We even did a full review on the app just to inform the masses of its existence. What makes the app so great is the user experience. The app is built amazingly well and offers up a very smooth, yet easy-to-navigate experience. It features swipe controls that help you go through your different feeds, which allows you to only see and read what you want. When it comes to Twitter apps, Falcon Pro rules the roost.


3.  SwiftKey 3 Keyboard ($1.99):

For Android users, having a third party keyboard can be a major plus. There are a lot of different options out there and we have found that SwiftKey 3 (especially the new beta, Flow) takes the cake. As for me, I type extremely fast, so I need a keyboard whose auto correct I can actually rely on. The app also offers up a ton of customization options such as themes, layout options, and more. To top that off, it offers usage statistics that show you your typing efficiency and things of that nature. Definitely worth the price.


4.  Instagram (free):

Instagram makes our list given that we feel it to be the “perfect social network.” None of those silly status updates – just pictures that give you a peak into the lives of those you care about. And of course, you can follow some celebs if you are so inclined. You can always check out Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr as well.


5.  Nova Launcher (free):

Custom launchers are one of the many things that makes Android great. If you aren’t happy with the stock home experience, you can change it! What makes Nova our go-to launcher is that we simply love the performance and customization options. Once applied, it gives you the ability to use custom icons, adjust grid sizes, change home screen transitions, manipulate the app drawer, and so much more. If there was something in your stock home experience that you weren’t enjoying, Nova likely has a fix. Also, if you’re looking for a good custom icon pack, check our Lustre and Tersus from Google Play.


6.  Snapseed (free):

Snapseed is relatively new to Android, but it has already become one of our new favorites. Previously only available for iOS devices, it is award-winning photo editing software that puts many other “filter apps” to complete shame. With swipe controls that put you in command of some powerful editing tools, you can turn your silly smartphone pictures into works of art. Once you are done editing your pictures, you can easily share them to your favorite social network or save them to your device. What makes it even better is that it is completely free.

Need for Speed

7.  Games (Granny Smith, Need for Speed: Most Wanted):

Okay, we couldn’t narrow it down to just a single game, so we will give you two to get started. For starters, if you know anything about us, you will know we love Granny Smith. We named it our top game of 2012 and for good reason – it’s addictive! To start, it’s nice and easy and then evolves into a game that can become frustrating and extremely difficult, all while being completely enjoyable to play. It’s priced at $1.99, but is a game that we can’t get enough of. Secondly, we have Need For Speed: Most Wanted. To put it simply, it’s the best driving game on Android. Period. For having tilt controls and some touchscreen controls, the game plays extremely well. The graphics are insanely sweet, but it does come paired with a high $5.99 price tag. Act quick and you can still get it on sale for $0.99.


8.  AppSales (free):

This app is fantastic. It’s sole purpose is to save you money on the apps you want. Everyday, AppSales is updated to show which apps on Google Play are currently on sale. From using this app, I’ve easily saved $10 on apps/games, which is a win in my book. Definitely install this one if you’re big into buying content for your device.

Beautiful Widgets

9.  Beautiful Widgets ($2.50)

Beautiful Widgets has been around since the beginning, and it’s always on our list of recommendations for new Android users. With the newest updates the app has received, it has blossomed into an amazing widget application, with a literal ton of different options to choose from. Once one of the widgets is applied to your homescreen, you can see the time, current weather reports for your location or another location, dates, and access your alarms all from your homescreen. There isn’t a single option you can’t customize, which allows users to make a widget that fits their device and lifestyle with relative ease. The app runs a couple of dollars, but it could be some of the best money you spend in a long time.

Dropbox 1

10.  Dropbox (free):

Being able to have all of your important files/media on the go is important to everyone, not just Android users. With Dropbox, you have a safe place to store your important photos, videos, work files, and everything else that you don’t want stored on your device. Dropbox is one of the must-have apps for any Android user.

Honorable Mentions:

The below listed apps didn’t make our top 10, but they certainly deserve a mention. Some are apps for getting work done, and the others are games that will help you waste that extra time you have. Either way, these are just a few more apps that we can’t live without as Android users.

1.  Flipboard (free)
2.  Pattrn (free)
3.  Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ($4.99)
4.  Adobe Reader (free)
5.  Zombiewood (free)
6.  Google Currents (free)
7.  Sound Search (free)
8.  Ingress (free)

If you have any apps that you want to share with the community, feel free to list them below in the comments section. Have a good time with your new device!

  • I would add ArkMC application for this list. It is really useful.

  • TomasHunter

    for the great app suggestions, Tim! I have a coworker at DISH who always
    upgrades to the newest and greatest phone as soon as he can, so he gave me his
    old Galaxy 2. I will have to check out some of these apps like Nova Launcher or
    Instagram, but I already have Granny Smith. It was the second app I downloaded,
    and the first was the DISH Remote Access app. It lets me stream live TV and DVR
    recordings anywhere I go. It’s has already been a life saver. I used it to kill
    time while I was stuck sitting in the mall as my wife ran from store to store
    doing Christmas returns.

  • Brian Sanborn

    Evernote is my number one app.

  • Bionic

    I can’t believe you guys still like beautiful widgets. HD is so much better.

    • Eric

      That Sense-style clock will never die, will it?

  • Which is that icon pack inside the Nova Launcher?

  • Jay

    Why is Dropbox better than Google Drive, seriously, anyone? I can access Drive from phone (Gnex) and laptop (HP w/ win8) very easily. Am I missing something?

    • JeffColorado

      Dropbox is faster and easier to use. Drive’s UI needs some work. I use both though.

  • Bendroid55

    HD Widgets>Beautiful Widgets

  • Arty

    Is there a reason vice city says not compatible with my gnote 2 verizon?

  • Tim242

    Why recommend instacrap? It is a bunch of small square pics that look like crap.

  • carluverdrm2004

    Was waiting for Need for Speed:Most Wanted to have that sale! Loving it, can’t wait to buy a Nexus 7 and enjoy it even more than on my G-Nex!

  • sk3litor

    What about swipe pad, where’s my droid, astro file manager, skitch(to customize photos)

  • Droidzilla

    5 Guys photo! Dayum, Dayum, DAYUM!!

    • Jonbo298

      I hunger dearly for one 🙁 They still have not expanded into the Des Moines area so I have to suffer until I take the occasional trip back to the Omaha area to visit family/friends and then proceed to gorge myself.

  • tasker is my favorite app ever. it turns your smart phone into a real smart phone. only downside is it has a steep learning curve.

  • Harold Williams

    What theme you rockin there with Nova? Looks nice.

  • Cody Stamps

    Why Drop box over Google Drive?

    • Butters619

      If you own a One X of SGS3 you got a giant chunk of free Dropbox storage.

    • I personally definitely prefer skydrive.

    • JeffColorado

      I have both, but I find Dropbox faster and more intuitive. I use Dropbox for stuff like music or pictures…I use drive for documents.

  • Good list! For me, I prefer the look of HD Widgets over Beautiful Widgets, however, I own both!

    • h_f_m

      I use HD widgets as well. I only use the weather though. Not really a fan of beautiful widgets though I did buy it and try it out. Thankfully HD widgets doesn’t cause reboots on 4.2 anymore.

  • Tim what is the icon set? Looks like Tersus but how did you get that boarder?

  • Mack

    Surprised Pulse wasn’t thrown in there.

    • Or Newsrob. That’s such a powerful, simple but ignored app.

      • h_f_m

        I switched from newsrob to gReader pro. I find it more pleasing to use.

    • andrew galvin

      the new currents FTW

      • Christopher Theofilaktos

        Yeah I was using Pulse up until the new Currents came out, it’s awesome.

    • JeffColorado

      Taptu is better than Pulse in every way. Although Pulse is still pretty sweet.

  • Instagram should have been the #1 app I’m just saying…

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Thank you for you input Cindy.

    • DanSan

      i also bet if shoe shopping was an app you would have wanted it listed as #2

      • Dr_Buttballs

  • I love Jason Calhoun’s System Info Widget too! It gives you a few customizable quick buttons and good status readouts (device temp, RAM, SD Card memory, main storage memory, battery %, etc.) that double as quick access buttons to more details about that feature.

    I also like SugarSync, Evernote, Kingsoft Office, and Amazon Appstore’s free app of the day.

  • Dr_Buttballs

    I’m surprised Instagram is on the list considering the whole ToS thing.

    • Sqube

      Well, they did walk it back. So if you were going to put it in there before the ToS boondoggle, there’s no reason for it not to go in there now.

      • Dr_Buttballs

        Did they actually change their mind on it? Last I knew they were trying to backpedal on it and make it seem like it was a non issue.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          The went back to the old TOS. . . which isn’t any better

          • Dr_Buttballs

            Ah ok, thanks for clarifying.

    • M Class

      I don’t edit photos in instagram, aside from the cropping. I’ll edit in snapseed or picsay pro and then share to instagram.

  • Have to mention Apex Launcher; it does anything Nova does. I’m not sure how they are head-to-head at the moment (I haven’t side-by-sided them in a while), but they’re very close in features and stability.

    I also feel Pocket, Bacon Reader (reddit reader), and Feedly are all things people should look at.

    • Dr_Buttballs

      I find Nova performs better. Apex always had the occasional jigger that I don’t find in Nova.

    • kixofmyg0t

      I’m also an Apex fan.

      I found it to be smoother than Nova but that’s a highly debatable subject here.

    • Butters619

      They are really close but there are a few small things that Nova does or does better. It helps that I got it during a 25 cent sale though.

    • Last time I used Apex there was no option to un-install when dragging an app from the drawer to the desktop. I know Nova has this option.