These apps are not just ones that I found within the last week. These are apps that I’ve been using every day for months. Some are for the average user, some require a special demographic, but all in all they’re apps that I can’t do without.
A great, very lightweight picture viewer, which loads pictures faster than the standard Gallery app. The only downside is that, to do this, it has to build a thumbnail cache and a preview cache, which slows things down a bit initially.
I’ve been waiting for Android to get Instagram since I first saw iOS users posting snaps on Twitter and Facebook. I really like how it integrates with the social networks and also has a network of its own.
Captain Jack Sparrow and Master Yoda chilling on my laptop.
The filters are amazing and the newly added Tilt-Shift effect is well designed and very cool. The application is also stable; it doesn’t crash or freeze. In fact, it moves quite fast on a nearly-one-year-old LG Optimus One P500.
If you have an online Battle.net Account and want that extra safety, this application is very useful. Once you’ve linked it to your account, every time you log in through the website you’ll be asked for an authentication code. Just fire up the application and type in the code that it provides.
A very simple and clean user interface.
It only uses data when you link to your account and for those of you who are worried, no I doesn’t use your whole data plan; just a few megabytes.
Be sure to write down some of the information that is provided after you link it. You’ll need it to restore your Authenticator if you reinstall the application.
The Music Player that comes with Android feels very outdated, and frankly I think it should be replaced with the new and more modern looking Google Play. This music player has a more refined look to it, both on smartphones and tablets – and being able to store 20,000 music tracks on Google’s servers is a great plus. It means that you have your music anywhere with an internet connection.
The Great UI for Google Play
Lets not forget about the Instant Mix feature, which creates a playlist based on a single track. Sure, it’s not the most polished feature of Google Play, but it’s pretty good.
As a student I have most of my lectures in an electronic format, and this application can read pretty much every format I need: from PDF files, to Word Docs, to even Excel spreadsheets.
A Microsoft Word Document opened up in Kingsoft Office.
It also has some nifty options like text reflow after pinch to zoom. The only problem is that this feature is dependable on the format of the document. I’ve noticed that documents that don’t have standard formatting (and by that I mean equal indents for each paragraph) it just zooms and does not reflow the text. This might be annoying for people with small screened devices, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
Like I said, I am a student. I keep most of my notes on my phone, using it like a small notebook. Every time I need to look up something I just pull out my phone, load ES File Explorer, and immediately find a document.
Explore your files with ES File Explorer
As you can guess from the name, ES File Explorer is designed to explore files on your phone’s storage – so you’ll need to keep your folders organized to make the most of it. It also features a FTP browser for those who want to pull down files off their own servers.
Yes, I’m talking about the built-in Calendar application. It doesn’t have all the fancy features of premium calendar apps, but it does have what I need: Google Calendar synchronization and notification reminders. Frankly, you don’t need anything else.
Different Views of Calendar
I’ve scheduled all my exams and tasks, and I’ve never missed a test or deadline (well, almost). If you’re on ICS you also get the great Holo Theme which in my book is the best thing since Android.
Last but not least, another great application that I use is Gmail. I get around 30 e-mails per day (from work, college, Facebook and various newsletters) and without Gmail I would be lost.
Gmails Great Holo Theme
Google has done a great job with the service in general, and the app is no exception – especially the Holo Themed version for Ice Cream Sandwich. Every time I open it up all of my labels show up in the e-mail header and because they’re color coded I can easily find what e-mails I’m interested in.
All and all these might seem like your typical run-of-the-mill applications, but they do their job very well, even if there’s nothing too fancy about them. I use them on a daily basis and I’ve never encountered any problems. I’ll happily recommend them to anyone.