Essential Android apps
By Chris Helsby, 14 Jun 2013
Google Play boasts over 700,000 apps on its roster, offering software for an unbelievable number of tasks and purposes. While handsets like the iPhone 5 are well provided for, Android users also have plenty of options when it comes to filling up their homescreens.
So how do you know which ones to use and which apps are best suited to what you want to do? Well, there are some apps that no Android device should be without. Here we take a look at the essential apps for any handset running Google's mobile platform.
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The best app for pulling all of your news feeds and social updates together, Flipboard presents everything in a stylish, grid-like interface that is incredibly easy to navigate. What's most impressive about the app is that it can be set up to show articles from even the most obscure blogs and websites, as it uses Twitter as its basis and can read any content that is posted on that network.
There are similar apps that work very well, such as Google Currents and Feedly, but Flipboard really does stand head and shoulders above them, both in appearance and usability.
ES File Explorer
A brilliant way of getting your smartphone organised, ES File Explorer lets you get to grips with the innards of the Android platform. Essentially, what the app does is give a visual representation of all of your files, be they stored on the device, on a microSD card or in the cloud.
The only other place we have seen such seamless integration between the different places that files can be stored is in BlackBerry 10's File Manager app, which we found to be incredible. ES File Explorer is an essential for any Android user and a great way of managing everything that is stored both on and off your handset.
An ideal way of organising your life, Any.DO is a simple task manager that lets you create a list of things to do and then cross them off when they are done. The app's beautiful interface makes it that much easier to use, but some of its extra functions really add to the experience.
Reminders can be set to both a particular time and a location. For instance, you can set the app to remind you to buy some milk on your way home from work and you'll get a notification as you leave the building. There are countless reminder apps available, but Any.DO is the best of the bunch.
The premier league of photo editing apps for Android, Snapseed is a brilliant and incredibly versatile piece of software. While Instagram-style effects can be added to photos, there are a whole host of other editing functions on offer.
The app is built around a swiping-gesture control system which sees the user moving a finger up and down or left and right across the screen to alter different settings and apply filters. Snapseed can be used to make fun alterations or create professional effects and is ideal for any level of mobile photography.
TuneIn brings radio to your Android device, connecting to any station that broadcasts online. While major stations from around the world are all represented, you can also find niche broadcasters which provide for small audiences with particular needs.
All of this is offered in a simple interface that is very easy to navigate and the app has an excellent search function to make stations easy to find. Streaming over 3G may incur some data charges that come with many mobile phone deals, doing so over Wi-Fi brings a whole world of music to your smartphone.
So while Android users have an incredible number of apps available and could find themselves overwhelmed at the thought of diving into Google Play, this list picks out some of the first that you should go for. Android is a versatile platform capable of many different things and the apps grouped above will help to make the most of your handset.
This guest post was written by Chris Helsby of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest smartphones.
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