April 20, 2014

50 Android apps you must install before the world ends

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50_apps_world_ends

So you’re new to Android, eh? Welcome to the club, we think you’ve made a great decision! In the event you haven’t already filled your phone or tablet with a slew of Android apps and games, we’ve got just the resource you need. We’ve put together a list of 50 must-have apps that you should seriously consider before the world ends. Okay, so assuming the world continues on beyond December 21, these are the apps we feel are definitely worth your time and/or money.

Note that this is not necessarily our official endorsement of “the top 50 Android apps of all time” and that such a list is often hard to put together. That said, we really like this mix of apps and games as they speak well for Android. We’ll certainly put together more lists along these lines, especially as time goes and new stuff shows up.

Honestly, this is one of the more difficult things to assemble and we feel terrible having left of gems. You’ll notice that there are no big first-person shooters or high-res 3D games on the list. We tried to cater to the average user and come up with 50 titles we’d feel good telling anyone and everyone to check out. You could do much worse than to use this as a starting point for your foray into Android.

  • Amazon Appstore – The same app store that comes with Kindle Fire devices, it’s often a source of exclusive releases and/or discounts.
  • Amazon Kindle – Read your books and documents in the official Amazon app that also synchronizes with your Kindle Fire or web experience.
  • Amazon Mobile – Buy and search millions of products from the Amazon online experience with the handy mobile app. Scan barcodes, snap photos, or type in your search queries.
  • Angry Birds – The game the launched a franchise, toy line, stuffed animals, and movie tie-ins, this is the original version of the series.
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  • Barnes & Noble NOOK – Search, discover, and buy titles in the massive library of B&N titles. Enjoy books, magazines, comics, newspapers, and more.
  • Beautiful Widgets – Jazz up your home screen with some of the most gorgeous widgets you’ll find. Customize the skin for time, weather, battery life, and more.
  • Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal – Keep an eye on the calories from more than 2,000,000 foods, set goals, track exercises, and manage reports.
  • Chrome – The official browser from Google syncs with your other devices, offers a clean tab layout, and even browse in incognito mode. Looks wonderful on tablets.
  • Cut the Rope – Cut ropes, collect stars, and feed Om Nom in the wildly popular series that has spawned more than a few copy-cat games.
  • DoggCatcher – The first podcat app we fell in love with, it gets better all the time. Add your own feeds, search for related topics, and personalize the listening experience.
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  • Dropbox – So popular that it might as well be a verb, Dropbox is the cloud-based storage and file sharing service that
  • Endomondo Sports Tracker – Keep track of your workouts across a myriad of activities, set goals, challenge friends, and even earn some rewards for your effort.
  • ESPN ScoreCenter – Get news, scores, and other details for your favorite teams and sports. One of the easiest way to keep track of the goings-on in the world of pro and college athletics.
  • Evernote – Perhaps one of the easiest ways to keep track of your thoughts, the app and service lets users take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders.
  • Facebook – The app for the world’s largest social network platform. Not the best Android representation, mind you, but the most official.
  • Flixter – Find local showtimes, search upcoming films, purchase tickets and much more with the location-based movie application.
  • Fruit Ninja – Addictive, colorful, and always taunting us, the casual slasher owes us a ton of free time. Multiple game modes, achievements, and unlockables keep us coming back.
  • Glympse – Share and/or track the real-time locations of your friends, family, and contacts and social networks. With a maximum share time of 4 hours, it keeps your privacy as well.
  • Google Currents – Follow your favorite news sites, blogs, and magazines or import your RSS feed for more personal touch. Tracks breaking and hop topics as well.
  • Google Drive – The official app companion to create, edit, search, and share your cloud-based documents. Works well on tablets thanks to larger display optimization.
  • Google Voice -Get yourself a personalized phone number and talk or text across multiple devices. Web-based extensions, filtering, and deep customization options make this cloud-based service a keeper.
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  • HBO GO – Keep up with your HBO movies and televisions shows, revisit the classics, or discover something new worth watching. Requires subscription and support from cable provider.
  • HD Widgets – Fast becoming a preferred way of putting a clock, weather, and system settings on our home screen, this one is born for tablets. Bonus points for Android 4.2 Daydream feature.
  • Hulu Plus – Watch current television shows and movies or dip into an oldie-but-goodie with the streaming service. Requires a monthly subscription.
  • IMDb – The perfect companion app for movie and TV fans, it’s one of the first titles we put on our tablets.  Keep up with news, images, and all the nitty gritty details for actors and their work.
  • Instagram – The first name in photo filter apps, it has grown on the back of Facebook and new features. Share your special moments with the social network, discover new places to visit, or just keep to yourself.
  • Lookout Security & Antivirus – Keep a watchful eye on the apps on your device and back your content up as well. Lose your phone? No worries, make it scream, remotely wipe it, or find it on a map.
  • Minecraft – Build an entire world in your spare time with this virtually unlimited supply of Lego bricks.  Watch out for the Creepers though, they explode!
  • Mint.com Personal Finance – Track your finances, create reports, and do all sorts of wonderful things with your banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions. Safe and secure, it’s a preferred way to get at-a-glance snapshots of your spending and savings.
  • Netflix – Watch television and movies on demand, manage your queue, and discover a new series worth following. Requires a paid subscription.
  • Pandora Internet Radio – Among the first Android apps we ever installed, it’s the personalized streaming audio service with stations based on your preferences. Create stations from individual tracks or artists.
  • Pattrn – Liven up your wallpaper with this large collection of patterns and prints. Set your background to change on a regular interval with your handpicked wallpapers.
  • Paypal – Manage your account, send money, view transactions, and more with the official app to the online service.
  • Pinterest -Share and discover all sorts of wonderful things such as recipes, crafts, activities, and places. If you’re in need of inspiration for a Sunday afternoon, this is the app for you.
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  • Pocket – Got a long article from a website that you want to revisit or finish later? Add it to Pocket and you can get a clean and clutter-free looking experience. Share your favorites with friends across social networks.
  • Pulse News – A great way to read your RSS feeds and news sources, the tiles look great on smartphones but even better on tablets. Sort by category, share with contacts, and other fun stuff.
  • Scramble With Friends – Challenge a Facebook friend to a game of wits and see how many different words you can come up with before time runs out.  Spend a few credits and snag a power-up to gain an edge over your opponent.
  • Shazam – Need to identify the song playing in your car or at the club? Use this app to find out the artist and then search for lyrics, videos, buy the album, and much more.
  • ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner – The often-imitated barcode scanning app that helps you find the best prices in town or online. Keep a wishlist of items, share your bargains, or simply save products to revisit later.
  • Skype – Video chat with friends and contacts and take advantage of the front-facing camera on your smartphone or tablet. Also take advantage of low-priced international calls.
  • Slacker Radio – Deep customization and personalized radio based on your tastes as well as news and sports updates. Buy a Premium account and handpick the songs you simply must hear (or avoid) and  listen to full albums on demand.
  • Songza – Listen to curated playlists centered around moods, activities, or a particular movie. Music concierge is also cognizant of day/time to present channels that perfectly fit the environment.
  • Stitcher Radio – News & Talk – Browse and discover more than 10,000 radio shows, live stations, and podcasts on demand. Put the service to work and let it create curated channels based on listening preferences.
  • Swiftkey – One of the smartest and most practical apps you can install, this keyboard replacement learns your language, habits, and more to save you keystrokes.
  • Temple Run – Simple premise of outrunning monkeys and collecting gold is very addictive and fun. Channel your inner Indiana Jones and tear through the jungle.
  • Twitter – The official app for the social network might not be the most feature rich but it’s a great way to get started. Set notifications for select accounts and stay current with up-to-the-minute alerts.
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  • Weatherbug  – One of the most feature-rich weather apps you can install, the is the same website and desktop app you already know. Recent update adds a shiny new coat of polish as well.
  • Where’s my Water? – Developed by Disney, this physics-based puzzler offers more than 400 levels with rich graphics, intuitive controls, and a fun soundtrack. Aimed at children, we’re not ashamed to say it is responsible for many a stolen  moment.
  • Wordfeud - Of all the Scrabble clones available for Android, this one is our favorite. Turn-based games with random opponents, contacts, and (now) Facebook friends. Recent updates add a new level of polish and set of features.
  • Zedge – Customize the wallpapers, ringtones, and notification sounds for your Android phone or tablet. Thousands of user-submitted images and sounds, searchable by tags and categories.

 

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