10 “Must-have” Android apps for general consumers

Title says it all, and here they are:

  1. Lightning LauncherFirst things first. Not many android users, especially those dealing with the older versions of HTC sense are content with the default UI. Common replacements are the GO Launcher, and Apex. But the thing with these two is that they can take up a nice amount of memory, especially GO launcher. On phones with high-specs, this may go un-noticed, but even on Dual-cores, the GO Launcher can cause a visible lag. To avoid this, for users that want naught but productivity, Lightning Launcher is a great option. It’s damn light, (at times it may take not more than just 2MB!) It’s extremely simple yet very customizeable, and once you get the hang of it, you can adjust it exactly to suit your requirements, but on the minus side, setting up, and getting used to it can be taxing and time consuming. In my opinion, lightning launcher is to android what lxde is to ubuntu. For those who prefer a more user-friendly, and slightly-less-bland, yet damn-light UI, they can go for Smart Launcher.
  2. Smart LauncherIn terms of weight, this ones my second favorite, and currently my primary launcher application. Smart Launcher is, in terms of design, a bit different. The home screen is more like a lock-screen sort of design, the top half of which can be dedicated to a widget (it features a clock by default), and the lower part can hold a virtually unlimited amount of icons dedicated to applications and shortcuts. Swiping from the edge, or pressing the menu button, or touching the menu icon, all would take you to the  App Drawer, where the apps are all sorted into categories (and you are free to move them from one categ. to another.)  That’s pretty much it. It’s pretty much customizeable too. You can alter the home-screen icons to a number of presets, and you can also apply themes and icon-packs.
  3. Aptoide: Aptoide is a store-of-stores. Especially on Devices that don’t support the Play-Store, Aptiode comes real handy. It’s like a portal where people can create their own stores and upload applications, but that was the developer side. For general consumers, aptoide works great for searching for and installing applications not available on the playstore, or those that aren’t really free. Just try once, and you’d know. It has to be manually downloaded and installed. Available for Download at aptoide.com
  4. Astro and ES File ExplorerRivals, and since i never explored the former much, I cannot say which one’s better but in terms of personal preference, ES is. ES is user-friendly and simply packed with features. And has a clean user-friendly interface. You can use it to access files over FTP, Bluetooth, LAN, and of course you can add your SKydrive, U1, and other cloud accounts. Has an inbuilt App Manager, Download Manager and other usuals. However, the one thing it doesnt have and Astro does is a cool, proper Task Manager. It is however available as an independent app called the ES Task Manager, but I never liked it much. Astro also offers integration for your Facebook account, but it’s the interface of Astro which I just couldn’t get myself to like. Nevertheless I keep both.
  5. Kingsoft OfficeDocuments to Go, and Office Suite Pro aren’t exactly free, and buying such stuff for mobile devices might not exactly be a very cost effective solution for users who don’t really need to use these apps much, and to be honest, i never ever used the full version of either. Kingsoft office offers a Writer, a presentation tool, and a spreadsheet, and that is pretty much all one might need on a mobile device. Not really low on formatting features either, so for a general user, Kingsoft Office won’t be a bad choice. It’s pretty user friendly too.
  6. Inkpad NotepadA simpler alternative to Evernote. Inkpad notepad is a plain notepad, which kinda resembles the iOS notes app in terms of design. All your notes are synced to inkpadnotepad.com. Free version only allows upto four syncs per day, and this could be irritating for some users, and especially when it keeps on notifying you with every sync. Still for a general user, not a bad choice, since Evernote can take some time getting used to.
  7. Myscript CalculatorIs a fun, and useful application which allows you to write mathematical expressions as you would on paper, and solves them. Does support all the functions your default calculator app does, and only provides an easier way to interact and avoid confusion.
  8. Clean Master and All-In-One-ToolboxBoth are great Optimizers. Clean Master offers an easy to use interface, while the latter might offer an extra tool or two. Both have a one-touch-memory-boost button, and both offer widgets for the home-screen. A bonus feature of Clean-master’s is that it adds a button to your default launchers homescreen after the first boost. Both offer junk, history and AppData cleaners, and App Managers. All-in-one-toolbox however offers a number of features that clean-master doesnt, like an inbuilt file-manager, Cache Cleaner, Apk managers, startup apps e.t.c.
  9. PicsArtThe best photo-editor available for Android. Has everything one might need, but the feature that I really like is the Draw mode, which sort of is a mini version of PS running in your mobile complete with support for Layers.
  10. Offline English Dictionary by LivioThe best Dictionary app available for Android. The definitions are from Wiktionary, but this one works offline.
 

Anas Ismail Khan

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *