I’m sure you all got to this spot when a good friend and/or brother, sister, mom, dad or “dear” neighbor is coming to you (=the “guru”) with their new smartphone with the request: “Make it useful for me” or “Put some games and apps for the kids”. Well, after few (OK, maybe just 17) times I got this request, I decided to document a list of great apps that I’ll install in such a case. It is similar to a post I’ve wrote in the past about ‘Great Web Apps For Your Chromebook‘. The list is a combination of powerful apps that help people (who are not necessarily technical) in their daily tasks.
Here is my little list:
Google+ – Well, even if your friend doesn’t use this powerful social network. I would install this app because – on top of many other great features like: local, hangout, messenger and more – it will back up all her photos to the cloud!
Waze social GPS - This navigation app bring the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ into your car. It’s very powerful to direct you on the shortest path based on traffic in real time.
Gmail – Well… How can we have a list without THE email tool? This is going to be the app the will consume most of your friend’s time.
Skype / Viber / Google Talk – you can call and message for free. I know lots of friends that use them when you are abroad. It’s useful to find a good wi-fi connection so the quality of the call with be good.
WhatsApp Messenger – one of the best messaging apps (think on sms but much better and for free). It’s working on many different devices so you can be sure most of your friends can enjoy it.
Chrome – Get the the security, speed and simplicity of Chrome to your mobile device. All your links, open tabs, passwords will sync like magic. Plus, you will enjoy many wonderful web apps that will work very fast.
Evernote – Organize your life and take notes using your mobile. This app is a powerful tool to keep your notes/recipes/photos/todo lists etc in the cloud. It’s also synced notes across devices so you can reach them from anywhere. Btw, their tablet version is gorgeous.
Instagram – A good app to improve your native camera pictures and share your photos with the world.
TripIt Travel Organizer - This is a great app for anyone that travel. It will give you a great way to stay on top of things like: flight schedule changes, hotel reservations and car rentals.
Facebook / Twitter – so you could keep in touch with the rest of the ‘social’ world. btw, both of these app got a very nice mobile web app as well. There are also options to have these type of apps as widgets so you could be more productive on certain functions of the app.
Foursquare – explore a new city with this powerful app. Ohh… yes, you can ‘check-in’ and share your location with friends but even if you don’t part of the ‘social animals’ you will find this app very useful. Another option to check quickly where to go and what to eat is Yelp.
VLC - Be able to watch any type of video on your Android. Another option to stream video is with Dropbox app – yep, it let you do that as well.
And some extra fun one
- Barcode Scanner – To be able to scan some barcodes like all the cool kids on the block.
- Flashlight HD LED – When there is no other option
- Google Translate – Think on a case where you want to order a good wine in france and you can’t say it.
- Any.DO To Do List – Great to do list app. It also got a nice chrome extension that keep your tasks sync and fresh.
- Wheres My Droid – for anyone that lost his phone more than once or twice. This one is a life saver. It will let you find it even if the phone is in silent mode.
- AVG Antivirus – After all it’s better to be safe then sorry, no?
- Key Ring Reward Cards – Keep all your loyalty/reward cards in one place.
Reading / Education
- Kindle - Read book, pdf and anything else. I found that I’m using this app quite a lot on my phone (and not only on my tablet).
- Google Reader - To keep up with your world of interest. This is a great rss reader.
- TED - Ideas that worth your time. If you have 20min of free time, this might be the perfect solution to put them into good use.
Sport / Outdoor / Health / Fitness
Anything for bikers, runners, athletes and hikers.
- My Tracks - Record and share your GPS tracks with friends.
- MapMyRUN GPS Running – You can have MapMyRide verison as well in case you are mostly on your bike.
- Strava Cycling – Analyze your performance and see how you stack up against friends and locals
- StopWatch & Timer - In so many cases you wish to time something…
Last but not least, some apps for the dudes in Israel
- Pango for parking – Park with no fear of reports.
- Morfix dictionary - Translation and a dictionary.
- Channel 2 news - Watch the news/updates live.
- Mako VOD – Watch videos in hebrew from the leading media companies.
We can’t finish without the #1 mobile game of all time (this time for Curiosity)
Drive safely and if you have some more (great) suggestion – please share them…
Here are the top apps in the Israeli Android Play Store (Aug 2012)