Recently defected from Apple or Windows to Android? With over 500,000 apps available in the Google Play app store, it can be a little overwhelming to choose. Here are five suggestions to get you started.
1. AVG Antivirus Free – Remember, your phone is basically a little computer, so the first order of business is to get an antivirus program. Unlike Apple iOS, anyone can access the Android source code, which makes it easier to develop malware. AVG Antivirus Free scans apps, settings, files and media in real time, to reduce your phone’s exposure malicious apps, viruses, malware and spyware.
In addition to antivirus protection, the app has other handy safety features, including turning on your phone’s GPS and locating it remotely, and locking the screen remotely. The app also packs some utility features, including a battery monitor and app killer, as well as storage optimization and data traffic monitor, so you know when you’re getting close to your monthly data plan limit. It can even make your phone ring if it’s in silent mode – so you can find out if it’s been swallowed by the couch. And this is all in the free version!
2. Google Chrome and Google Drive – It’s very hard to do anything on an Android phone without using a Gmail account, so you might as well go all the way and get Google Chrome and Google Drive too. With Chrome, you can sync your passwords, bookmarks, and open tabs between your computer and your phone. Google Drive gives you 5GB of storage space, which you can use even when you don’t have connectivity. It has its own applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and Paint, all of which stay synced with your desktop. You can also save files in other programs, e.g. Word and Excel.
One cool feature is that the programs autosave as you type. If you lose your connection, you literally will not lose more than a few seconds of work.
3. Key Ring – Key Ring saves loyalty cards to your phone so you don’t have to carry them around in your wallet. Get coupons and rewards, too!
4. Flixster – This is the one movie app to rule them all. Get crowd-sourced reviews through Rotten Tomatoes, watch trailers, find showtimes near you and buy tickets, manage your Netflix queue, download full-length movies. This is a powerful, useful app.
5. Sky Map – Take a picture of the night sky and it tells you what stars and constellations you’re looking at. Looking for Mars? Point your phone at the sky and Sky Map will give you directional arrows. Move your phone following the arrows and you will soon be looking at Mars. This is one of those 21st century apps that makes up for not having jet packs. Thanks, Google!