Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Most Useful Free and Paid Android Applications

Top Five Free Android Apps

PicsArt – Photo Studio (FREE)

If you’re looking for a more advanced way to edit your photos, look no further than PicsArt Photo Studio. The sheer amount of features available on this app is unreal; all the basic tools are here with additional effects, filters, color corrections, drawing, frames, and much, much more. A fairly simple interface makes editing photos a breeze, and you’re bound to have fun just fooling around with the plethora of options available to you. This is Instagram on steroids.

Auto Memory Manager (FREE)

When you’ve had your Android phone or device for a while, you’ll notice that it doesn’t run as fast as it used to. This is normal, as more applications and more memory in use means a slower device. Auto Memory Manager tunes up your device to run quicker and more efficiently. This app scans your phone for relevant and detailed memory information and lets you set memory priority on applications you run. If your phone starts to feel sluggish, this is a simple and free way to boost its performance.

BaconReader for Reddit (FREE)

If you frequent the user-generated link site reddit.com, you know how addicting it can be. But as it turns out, reddit does not always play nicely with smartphones. For quite some time, the application “reddit is fun” cornered the market for the go-to reddit application. With the unveiling of BaconReader, that title is in jeopardy. Combining the simplicity of “reddit is fun” with a sharp, intuitive interface, BaconReader looks good and works better. If you’re a redditor, give this app a try.

Sky Map by Google (FREE)

If you’ve never gotten around to taking that astronomy class but are curious about what’s in our night sky, Google Sky Map is perfect for you. The interface is mind-blowingly simple; just point your smartphone at a section of the night sky, and Sky Map will display and identify the constellations, stars, and planets that inhabit that area. While the app is clearly meant for novice star-gazers, there’s value here for more experienced enthusiasts. With a “night mode” and a huge set of filters to specify what you want Sky Map to display, this app has something for everyone.

Google Drive (FREE)

In April of 2012, the much-loved Google Documents was absorbed by Google’s brand new file-syncing software to create Google Drive. Offering a free 5 gigabytes of storage, this application offers cloud storage of all your important files. In addition, it’s a top-of-the-line collaborative office suite. All the functionality of Google Docs remains, just in a sweeter package. If 5 gigabytes doesn’t satisfy your needs, you also can upgrade your storage size for a minimal fee.
Find it here.

Top Five Paid Android Apps

JuiceDefender Ultimate ($4.99)

As you might have guessed, this application is all about preserving the battery life on your Android device. The basic JuiceDefender, which is free, generally will save enough battery to make most users happy. If you find yourself wanting to really stretch how long your device lasts between charges, JuiceDefender Ultimate is a perfect solution. In addition to all the normal battery saving features, Ultimate version provides a smart brightness control, automated Wi-Fi controls and a per-app power display. Extends battery life from the hours into days.

SwiftKey Keyboard ($3.99)

One of the advantages to running Android over iOS is the openness of the operating system. While iOS users are stuck with the stock keyboard, Android can swap over to SwiftKey, which makes typing up quick texts and notes a breeze. Using the flow-typing method, SwiftKey adeptly predicts what words you are typing and it gets better at these predictions the more you use it. Not as useful when typing up long documents, but chances are that’s not how you’re using the device anyway.

HD Widgets ($1.99)

If you’re willing to shell out a couple of bucks, HD Widgets will make your Android device look gorgeous. That’s the selling point behind this app, which replaces the default Android widgets with highly customizable and well-designed tools. Even if you never use another widget but the classic weather and clock varieties, HD Widgets gives your device a sleek, fresh look.

TuneIn Radio Pro ($4.99)

The first thing you’ll notice about TuneIn Radio Pro is the sheer variety of radio stations offered. Upon install, more than 70,000 stations are available for high quality streaming. But that’s what’s offered with the free version of TuneIn, so why upgrade? The Pro version offers a sort of DVR-like capability. While listening to a station, you can pause the song, rewind it, even record it to listen to the track later. This ability, combined with TuneIn’s seamless interface, makes for a worthwhile download.

Smart Tools ($2.50)

The consolidation of many useful measurement and utility apps, Smart Tools turns your Android device into a digital Swiss Army Knife. The basic apps are all there: flashlight, ruler, compass, protractor, etc. However, Smart Tools holds a couple of clever arrows in its quiver. For example, the Smart Measure Pro allows you to measure the height of faraway objects and how far away you are from said object. Given the reasonable price tag, this is well worth the buy.