Many smartphone users download apps by the bucket load, filling up their handset’s internal storage with the latest exciting offerings from new developers. While many of these apps are impressive, some fall by the wayside and never become commonplace, often disappearing from the public consciousness as quickly as they arrive.
Then there’s another category of app that is made up of those brilliant services that have entered everyday use for many people. Some become almost synonymous with mobiles, forming much of the key software that would be missed if it wasn’t there. Here we take a look at some of the best free Android apps of this kind, the sort you will find yourself tuning to every single day.
Offering a one stop shop that covers file management and cloud storage, ES File Explorer is a great way of keeping tabs on everything stored both on and off your device. While the app’s interface looks a little techie, once you’ve mastered how the menus are arranged it becomes the go-to place for moving files around.
In fact, ES File Explorer is so good that it reminded us of the file manager that is native to BlackBerry 10, one of that platform’s best features.
Mobile connections can be unreliable and reading off a smartphone screen is not always pleasant. In steps Pocket, a brilliantly simple way of storing online articles so that you can read them later.
The service allows you to save text from webpages, be they on your desktop or phone, to the app, which will then present them in a simplified format that is much easier to digest from a small display. Pocket is widely supported, even having a handy extension for the desktop version of the Chrome browser, and is a great way of saving up things to read on long journeys or other moments when you may be bored.
The makers of Snapseed have managed to perform an incredible feat; out-performing Photoshop when it comes to image editing. While there are countless apps that let you alter photos on your mobile device, Snapseed stands head and shoulders above the majority due to its simple interface.
Based around swiping gesture that see you moving up and down to select different effects then left and right to apply them to varying degrees, Snapseed is designed specifically for small screens and works to brilliant effect, offering the best photo editing option available.
There are countless note-taking apps available across many mobile platforms, but Evernote offers a more extensive service than any of them. Working on a straightforward principal of storing notes in various folders (or ‘notebooks’, as they’re called), Evernote syncs across devices and onto the web so that notes stored within it can be viewed almost anywhere.
Beyond simple notes, users can also add photos, audio recordings and video, and there are options to share all of these things via email, text and many social networks. Some note taking apps have simpler interfaces, admittedly, but the extent of Evernote’s capabilities gives it an edge over them all.
The best mobile browser bar none, Chrome now comes as standard on many Android devices and should quickly be downloaded to those that don’t have it.
What we really like about Chrome’s mobile iteration is the way it syncs seamlessly with its desktop counterpart so that bookmarks and search history are transferred between devices without a hitch. There’s also a brilliant feature that lets you view all the tabs you have open on another device, even if that device has been switched off.
We’ve taken a look at Any.DO in the past, finding it to be one of the best personal organiser apps available. There are many similar services, but Any.DO wins for several reasons.
The most immediately obvious of these is the app’s outstanding design, which echoes the best elements of Windows Phone. It’s beautifully minimal and very easy to use, but the service’s features do not stop there.
Tasks can be added easily and organised according to which day you need to do them, then swiped away once they are completed. You can also add timed reminders so that you don’t have to constantly check your device to see what you need to do. Any.DO is almost the definitive everyday app and something that could well become an essential tool for your smartphone that you won’t be able to do without.