What are the ‘must have’ apps you would install on a new Android device?
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.
Flipboard / Google Currents / Pulse News – All are great apps to read your favorite magazines, blogs, newspapers etc.
Google Drive / Dropbox – access all your docs, photos, videos, files from your mobile device.
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.
GroupMe / Google+Messanger – both will give you a great way to have group chats and organize friends/team quickly.
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
We can’t finish without the #1 mobile game of all time (this time for Curiosity)
Angry Birds Space
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)
Web-based applications are programs that are designed to be used entirely within the browser. Using apps, you can do anything (well, almost!).
These days, web apps are capable of dynamic functionality that you expect from desktop applications on your computer. If you use services like Gmail or Google Maps, you’re already using apps! Apps have the following advantages over desktop applications:
- Apps install in seconds, with one click of a button. When you install a web app from the Chrome web store you get some nice new features like: unlimited offline storage, geo information, notifications etc’. So as a web developer, you might want to use this channel to make your users happy (or happier).
- Apps are always up-to-date. Because apps are hosted on the web where they can be instantly updated, you can be sure you’re always using the latest version of the app that’s available.
- Apps won’t crash your computer. If one app misbehaves, just close its tab in the browser. Your browser and computer won’t be affected.
Here are three lists with good (to great) web apps to make you (even more) productive.
If you have other suggestions, please let me know.
Apps For Everyday
|If you want to…
||On a Chromebook, you could use…
|Save a file
||Google Docs (which are working great in offline mode since June 2012) or Box or the Generic solution CrOS Save that will give you Dropbox and many other cloud solutions.
|Read my email
||Gmail or other webmail services like: yahoo, hotmail etc’.
You can also try Offline Gmail to be productive on the times you don’t have an internet connection.
|Organize my events on a calendar
||Google Calendar (which work offline!) or 1Calendar
|Write a document
||Google Docs (which work offline!), Scratchpad or Quick Note
|Chat with friends and family
||Google Talk or IMO
|Watch a movie, clip, or tv show
||Netflix or YouTube
|Edit a video or movie
||Stupeflix or YouTube Video Editor
|Listen to music
||Pandora or MOG
|Organize and save my music
||Google Music or mSpot
|Edit or create music
||Aviary Audio Editor or Beatlab
|Play a game
||Angry Birds, WGT Golf Challenge, or explore more games
|Edit, organize, and store photos
||Picasa Uploader, Aviary or Picnik
|Draw a picture
||Sketchpad or Sumo Paint
Apps At School
Apps At Work
Here is a good intro to ‘what is a web app’?
All these web applications contain some very cool features that make them useful even (in the rare event) when you don’t have internet connection. Let’s say, you are 30,000 feet up the air (and not on a Virgin Atlantic plane) or 250 feet under the ground and there is no signal. Here are some apps that will make the business users (very) happy:
- Citrix – If your company uses Citrix to host applications, you can use Citrix Receiver to check your email, review documents, tune into project dashboards, and approve expenses from your Chromebook.
- Offline Gmail/Doc/Cal – I’ve blog about gmail offline support when it came out (the end of August) and the rest of the ‘office’ is also bring the Chromebook users the ability to keep working on long flights instead of watching a nice movie.
- Angry birds - We can’t close a list of business apps without this little game that no office is complete without it. No words are needed here.
- gojee – if you hungry this app is for you! great photos of beautiful dishes.
- NYT – yep they got offline capabilities so you can keep reading Tomas Friedman under the sea.
Here is a nice list of other great apps that will work offline on your chromebook - Be strong!
Some great web apps to ‘close the summer’:
- If you are into photos you might want to check out Cooliris - Cooliris transforms your browser into a full-screen 3D Wall for searching, viewing and sharing.
- Need to find a good flight from SFO to JFK? this new travel search engine got some nice UI. Give Hipmunk a ride it will help you find the flight you want.
- Flixster - Flixster Movies with Rotten Tomatoes. All you wish to know before you are going to watch a movie.
- A 3D HTML5 Sky Chart viewer application NakshArt - The Art of Stars in HTML5.
- Cargo Bridge - A new quality of bridge builder. Build a bridge and test your construction skills.
- WikiInvest Portfolio - If you feel you need to be in the market these days… this app is for you. Great way to track your investments.
- Speedtracer - For web developers that feel the need for speed. Get insight into the performance of your web applications.
- Priceblink - Finds lower Prices, Coupons and Reviews while you shop. Checks for lower prices when you’re shopping or it stays hidden.
and let’s not forget you can now have Gmail
, Docs and Calendar with offline!! good times.
Lots of developers that are looking at the Chromebook think for the first time: “what tool do I (=the developer) have on the chromebook that will let me write code?” There are many options of cloud IDEs and we see more and more a good integration between them and other cloud services: Google Drive, dropbox, github etc’.
Here is a list of ‘good to great’ tools:
- Kodingen is an Online Development Environment including Code Editor, Cloud Hosting, Database Administration, Collaboration (not yet in beta), Web based access to file-system and it sounds good. I haven’t play with it (yet) – but I’ve heard some friends that like it.
- Codey - Easy to use code editor for HTML, PHP, CSS, JS. They are in Chrome web store.
- eXo Cloud IDE - Full IDE that support: HTML/CSS/JS and PHP/JAVA/RUBY. The nice part of it is that it will let you develop in Java,PHP,JS and other technologies and to push your code to production on several cloud providers.
- PHPAnywhere is a web based free Integrated Development Environment or IDE for the PHP, HTML and CSS, in other words it is an application that gives developers all the code editing capabilities they need to develop web sites and applications online.
- On the other side of the scale – editpad.org give you a simple option to write in your browser and then save it. It’s a cool way to do stuff if you ‘just’ want to write something quickly without all the ‘IDE’ features flying around.
For just a quick demo or this new coding experiments, check out JSFiddle
that will let you run your HTML/CSS and JS quickly and then share it on the fly with friends. In that region, you might want to see: JSLINT.com and JSHIT.com for your js coding and the fresh new ‘sister’ CSSLINT.
- JQAPI - Excellent documentation for jQuery. Take a look at: http://jqapi.com/#p=jQuery.ajax and see its power.
- Less CSS - LESS extends CSS with dynamic behavior such as variables, mixins, operations and functions. LESS runs on both the client-side (IE 6+, Webkit, Firefox) and server-side, with Node.js.
[updated Aug 2012]
- Neutron Drive seems like a good option with a close integration with Google drive and lots of languages its support.
I’ve needed to harness my new mac with some apps/tools I’m using daily. There are lots of good options today in the apple mac store. However, you might want to find some cool apps that are not there. Here is the list I’ve made:
- Quicksilver – Quicksilver is an excellent multi-application launcher. Quicksilver is a handy app and folder launcher has quickly.
- Sparrow - mail app for the ones that are still not using gmail web interface…
- Chrome (go with canary) / Firefox
- VLC – VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player.
- Dropbox – a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily.
- Google earth – lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean.
- Picasa – helps you organize, edit, and share your photos. It’s free, and easy to use.
- EverNote – works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.
- Adium – Open source multi-protocol instant messaging client for Mac OS X, supports MSN, Jabber, Yahoo! and other networks.
- Seashore – is an open source image editor for Mac OS X’s Cocoa framework. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes.
- Pixelmator – Excellent image editor that give you more then Seashore (and less then photoshop).
- Sublime Text 2 – my favorite editor these days.
- Textmate / text wrangler - good editors.
- Chicken of the VNC – A Mac VNC client that allows one to display and interact with a remote computer screen.
- Cyber Duck – is an open source FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Docs, Windows Azure & Amazon S3 browser for Mac and Windows.
- IntelliJ IDEA – Powerful IDE for Java and if you are a web developer try Web Storm
- Eclipse – Good IDE for Java/GWT/Google App and many more.
- Netbean – Fully-featured Java IDE written completely in Java, with many modules available, such as: debugger, form editor, object browser, CVS, emacs integration etc’. It’s a good IDE (as eclipse) but I even more like their php/JS support.
- MAMP – Install Apache, PHP and MySQL with few clicks under Mac OS X.
- Zend Server/Framework – in case you live in PHP world.
- Sequel pro – Sequel Pro is a fast, easy-to-use Mac database management application for working with MySQL databases.
Have I forgot something? Any other ‘killer app’ that should be part of each mac?