I frequently change Android devices and there are some apps that I must install on every device. Changing devices is a great way to clear the old apps I stopped using, but there’s just some that I can’t live without.
I think I’m less of a power user than the other writers here at AndroidGuys, so my apps may be a little more on the common side of must have apps.
We like to term these as “Day One Apps” because, well, we install them on day one.
What follows are the day one apps that I look for almost as soon as I get connected to Wi-Fi.
I am a die hard Amazon Prime fan, and I cannot beat the convenience of shopping from my smartphone. For just $99 a year, I get free two-day shipping, in some cases I even get free same day shipping, and I also have access to the world’s largest marketplace. Using the Amazon Shopping app not only saves me time, but it also saves me money since it usually offers some of the best prices on the web.
Many of you are familiar with Words with Friends, but it is still a must have app, because I have a set of friends I have been playing against since 2009. Yeah this is an old staple, but creating words is a timeless game for me. And since Words with Friends is still a fun game that can be played on my own time, as it is a turn-based app, I always find myself defaulting to this word building game when I have time to kill. Words with Friends is based on the age old classic Scrabble, where you create words using seven random tiles across a game board.
There’s also a built-in chat application so you can catch up with your friends in the middle of a game.
The Wall Street Journal: News
The Wall Street Journal is a world renowned news outlet and its high-quality and award winning writers are reason enough for me to subscribe to this news app. The subscription isn’t cheap at $32.99 per month, but you get what you pay for with some of the best journalism on the planet.
The Wall Street Journal app gives you instant access to breaking stories from around the world plus the latest on business and finance, politics and technology, as well as expert commentary and analysis and up-to-the-minute updates on global stock markets and company news. If you’re interested in giving the app a try, you can try it free for 30 days without charge and cancel at anytime.
This app is so popular it’s almost a must have just because everyone has it. I’ve been a subscriber to Netflix before the app even existed, when we used to get movies on DVD in the mail. Ever since Netflix went to an app, it has been a day one install, because it offers endless entertainment of movies and TV shows at a starting price of $8.99. I have 4k televisions in my household though, so I pay a couple dollars more for the more premium subscription that gives me access to super high resolution videos.
I also finally ditched paying $100 per month for cable service from UVERSE, so Netflix is even more important to my entertainment needs. Even if Netflix doesn’t have the shows or movies I want, I can still save money through buying them from the Google Play Store.
Some of my most favorite TV shows and movies are available at a fixed price and I cannot live without the entertainment when I want it. It’s also commercial free.
The Google Now Launcher helps keep my phone simple, organized, and clean. There are dozens of other great launchers to customize my user interface, but I don’t like investing time into things like the size of my icons and adding gestures I won’t use. I prefer to keep it simple with the Google Now Launcher that comes stock with Nexus devices, but it not loaded onto devices from Samsung, LG, and others.
Twitter is a must have app because sometimes I need to stick with headlines or short messages less than 140 characters. With an over abundance of information at our fingertips, I prefer to scroll through the sources I choose to follow and can browse headlines quickly. It’s also a great way to communicate people from around the globe through the private messaging tool.
Twitter is a free app that lets you connect with people, express yourself, and discover more about all the things you love.
Texture is a subscription based app that allows you access to hundreds of magazines for a flat rate starting at $9.99 per month. I reviewed this app back in November of last year, and have been installing it on every Android device I own. I have been reading magazines since I was a child and continue to read magazines such as Popular Mechanics, Maxim, Men’s Health, Saveur, Newsweek, and many others. By paying a flat rate, I save myself tons of money by not paying for individual subscriptions and I can also share my account with my mom.
It’s magazine reading without limits. Flip through an entire issue that hit newsstands today. Or dig into a single article from a back issue in our vast archive. Audio and video exclusives bring extra dimension to the experience.
Staying active is without a doubt one of the most important things to me in my life. Google Fit is a great app for keeping track of my activities, from weight lifting, to walking to golfing. While I track my activities on my smartphone, I can also integrate it with the Android Wear watches I use on a daily basis. What’s also great is Google Fit learns my patterns and offers suggestions for how to get healthier by suggesting I up my goals once I have achieved them on a regular basis.
Google Play Music
Google Play Music is an app I use everyday at work, in my truck, and when I exercise. I use the paid subscription service at $9.99 per month, and that gives me the ability to download any song I want to my smartphone. It also gives me unlimited access to over 35 million songs that I can stream at high quality while also eliminating commercials from videos with a free YouTube Red subscription.
*Radio curated by experts for anything you want to hear
*Store up to 50,000 songs from your personal music collection
*Smart recommendations based on your taste
*Listen on Android, iOS, and the web
*The family plan, where up to six family members can enjoy Google Play Music for one low price of $14.99
*On-demand access to over 35 million songs
*YouTube Red membership (see www.youtube.com/red for details)
*Download music to your device and listen when you’re not connected
*Ad-free, uninterrupted listening
Google Opinion Rewards
Who doesn’t like free money? Google Opinion Rewards is an app that I earn money on from answering simple surveys. Most surveys are no more than three questions, and typically earn 10 cents to a dollar in Google Play credit for each survey completed. There’s really nothing to the app other than installing it and answering questions when it notifies me. It’s a great way for me to earn money for in app purchases or to buy or rent movies and TV shows.
Lyft is a great way for me to get around town for reasonable prices. The app connects me to drivers within minutes, and enables me to avoid fighting for parking downtown, or driving irresponsibly after a couple of drinks.
Instead of hailing a cab or waiting for the bus, just request a car with the tap of a button, and get picked up by a nearby friendly driver who’ll take you to your destination right away. Enjoy a welcoming, affordable, and memorable ride today using Lyft.
What do you think about this list, is it similar to yours? Is there any critical app we’ve blatantly missed to mention? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section!