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  • Author Ross Jackson
  • Published June 26, 2014

Top Android apps and top Android tips

Ross Jackson has used Android for years… He’s rounded up the best apps and top tips to get you loving your Android instantly.


There are loads of reasons to love Android – it’s powerful, clever, flexible. Then there are the phones: as beautiful to hold as they are to use. The Google Play Store is a goldmine of brilliant apps… but the choice can be bewildering.


I’ve used Android for years, so I’ve rounded up the best apps to get you going and snippets of info that will have you loving your Android even more…


Best for Music… Google Play Music
One of the reasons people hesitate before going Android is that all their tunes are on iTunes. Google has the answer though – download the Google Play Music app onto your phone and the Google Music Manager app onto your desktop computer with iTunes, follow the onscreen prompts and Voila! All your iTunes content is now accessible on your Android device, either from memory or to stream. And there’s the small matter of another 20 million songs to download too if you get bored.


Best for Browsing… Dolphin
I’ve used Dolphin for years and love it. It’s much more intuitive than stock browsers and is a lot quicker. There’s voice and gesture control, which works brilliantly. It supports HTML5 as well as Flash, and with a variety of add ons available, you can also block annoying advertisements on webpages. It’s hard to make a browser sound exciting, I’ll admit, but Dolphin heads in the right direction.


Best for Typing… Swiftkey
There are a few typing apps available but none hit the spot as well as Swiftkey. You spend a lot of time using a keyboard on a smartphone – yet it’s not really designed for typing. It’s no keyboard. Tapping the screen for hours gets tiresome. Enter Swiftkey. Slide your fingers over the keyboard and Swiftkey works out what you are trying to say with a spookily high level of accuracy. It saves so much time you’ll never go back to tapping the screen again.


Best for Saving Time… IFTTT
IFTTT or If This Then That is marvellous. It creates connections between apps and services to save you heaps of time and convenience. Say for example you work in a library, you can use IFTTT to go onto silent mode when you arrive at work, or to send calls to voicemail. You can tell it to create spreadsheets of when you start and finish work. The possibilities are endless and really put the smart into smartphone.


Best for Productivity… Evernote
Evernote organises your life – take notes by just about any means – sketches, handwriting, typing, voice, photos, you name it. Evernote keeps tabs on everything you want, across all your devices. It even tells you where you were when you made the note – just in case you needed a reminder of that too.


Best for Entertainment… Sky Go & Sky+
Sky have really come up trumps with these apps. With Sky Go, if you are a Sky customer you can download the app and watch all the channels you subscribe to, anywhere, on your phone, tablet or pc. Sky Go is for in-office shirking to the latest Game of Thrones, Sky+ is great if the boss is around and you need to record it.


That little lot should get you started but here’s a few more reasons why Android is the most powerful mobile platform and will only get better.


Wearable Tech
Much like the choice of phones you have with Android over other operating systems, developers also enjoy the freedom to develop lots of different smart watches and fitness bands to suit everyone’s tastes and pockets. There’s a vast array of wearable tech coming out very soon, with everything from digital smart watches like Pebble, to fitness trackers like the outrageously gorgeous Activité. And don’t forget Google Glass either. And top of the pile is LG’s G-Watch.


Geeking your Home
‘Works with Nest’ is a phrase you’re going to see a lot of very soon. Google recently bought Nest. Nest is a company that specialises in smart products for your home, products that control your central heating via your smartphones. This is money-saving, environment-saving technology. LG have the Smart ThinQ range of appliances that connect with you using a phone app to keep tabs on what food is in the fridge, how the long the washing has left and when your dinner will be ready. It won’t take the bins out sadly. Not yet anyway.


Smart Cars
No, not them. The next generation of cars will be heaving with tech – and Android is in pole position. There’s Google’s self drive cars but they are just the tip of an automotive iceberg. Think about it – you’re driving along and need to park up, you tell your car you need a parking space and it connects with other cars in the area to find you one. Endless, safe possibilities.


Ross Jackson is one of our new Rising Stars writers. You can read the rest of his stuff here >>>


To find out more about the LG G3 smartphone, visit www.lg.com/uk

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