Although I technically use three different operating systems, long before Android was a powerhouse, I ended up going all in with Google. This means it both helps and hinders when it comes to picking my five favourite apps that I always install.
As it’s so easy to install the apps from a desktop, I just push a whole package at first, but one of the first apps I install is SwiftKey in most cases. I know keyboards have improved no end, and the default Android keyboard on 4.2 (yes, since I’m on a nexus 4, its 4.2.2). I used to use Swype all the way back when it was in beta and on a Nokia and I still love it, but once you get used to the idea of not having to take your finger off of the keyboard to write longer sentences, my productivity went way up. It really is worth it in my opinion. You can get it for £2.99 from the Play Store here.
2. Google Play Music
I listen to a lot of weird stuff, or at least old stuff. Happily my current collection has so much music that apps like Spotify aren’t really for me yet until I’ve exhausted my own music and I’d like more. Although the app has had a comprehensive redesign from Google I/O, underneath is the app that I know and understand its quirks. It’s not perfect, and I’ve got a lot of tidying up of my ID3 tags, but it works until I decide whether I’m going to go with something like Amazon Cloud Player or iTunes Match.That no-SD-card limitation of the Nexus 4 just doesn’t bother me any more. It integrates seamlessly with the Sound Play Search app, which is the built-in version of Shazam.
Grab it here and its free. Thanks Google.
Its one of the best Twitter apps out there IMO, although it has a very individual looking design and cheerfully went its own way in terms of look and UI. I liked the app since its inception as Touiteur which was when I encountered it back in the Gingerbread days.
Updates tend to more of stability fixes, but its pretty full featured, with lists, ability for use with multiple accounts. I’m trying to get into using Carbon a lot more, but that 15 minute update cycle just irritates me no end. I suspect that has more to do with Twitter and its new terms and conditions with regards to API calls than the developer. I’m still a firm believer of 3rd party apps since they seem to encourage innovation way faster than the original company can do on their own. Its a fremium model so you can get the free app which stood me in good stead for a long time, but if you like it, give the no ads version a go.
4. National Rail
This one is a no-brainer if you have to travel a lot on British Rail. It would be nice if you could buy your ticket from the app and pick it up at your local station, but in terms of train times, stops and locations it does the job quickly, neatly and easily. Its free; link here.
My other most frequent app is Google Drive, but since I’ve already got one google based app, I went with IMDB. I never get time to watch as many films as I’d like, but I have a couple of friends who can be counted on to have a great discussion or two about films and we usually get pretty low-brow (did you see that gun sequence?). I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve referred to this app mid argument. Grab it for free.
Hope you like some or all of them.