So you got yourself a new Android smartphone on the recommendations of fellow work nerds, your nerdy brother, or the resident Best Buy sales clerk who just loves Android! You take it out of the box, give it a nice wipe with your hand, turn it on….and now what? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
There’s so many different things about an Android device that sets it apart from the iPhones and BlackBerrys out there, and you’ll soon find out just how versatile it can be. We’ll tell it like it is here, it can be a challenge for Android beginners to figure their way around the operating system. So what we’ll do is look at the best apps to get you rolling the fastest with anything you’re likely going to want to do, like say…tell all your friends and followers on facebook and twitter that you just got the latest Android! They will be jealous.
If you’re going to be sharing anything with your twitter, facebook, or foursquare, you can save yourself a lot of time and use this single app to update your profiles and get news from your feeds. The best part of TweetDeck all is it’s free! The next best part is that it is probably the easiest way for you to send out updates to Twitter and Facebook, while getting notifications right on your screen. It’s easy to set up, and you’ll be updating in no time. The only down side to this app is that it can suck the charge out of your battery life and thus, you should invest in a car charger.
All that said, TweetDeck is not the only app on the market to offer these advantages, but it is certainly one of the best and it’s painless to get setup. Other apps like Seesmic and Hootsuite require a little more attention to detail than what we’re after in this article. Have a watch below for a walk through.
2) Angry Birds Rio
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 years, you’ve heard of Angry Birds. It is easily one of the most successful smartphone and tablet apps available. Although the app is free for android devices, it’s not for other smartphones like BlackBerry, iPhone or Windows Phone 7 devices. So give yourself another pat on the back for grabbing an Android!
Angry Birds Rio may not be the greatest game ever created, as there are many other games to choose from on the Android Market, but it is one of the easiest to learn. This game will have you spending hours getting through 180 levels of gameplay. There are 2 other versions of this app available (Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons), so if you’re a prodigy, you can grab those just as easily for free too.
Evernote is a fantastic app that will keep you productive. No longer will you need constant reminding of all the meetings, notes, and memos from others around you. Admit it, we know your memory isn’t as good as it once was, and that’s why you need to get this app! Evernote will allow you to upload notes, pictures, reminders, basically anything you think you’re going to want to remember to an online account. It stores everything in the cloud for safe keeping in the event that you need to retrieve it from another location or device too. You have the option of creating separate “notebooks” to keep things organized. You can add tags to the notes to help organize and search, and you can even use the voice record to save for listening later. Imagine your thoughts and ideas organized in a way you can find and review anytime you want.
Again, this app requires you to create an online account with Evernote, which is also free. You can sign up here online. The app and account works from anywhere as well. You can access your notes on “nearly every computer, phone, and mobile device out there.”
Flickr is another one of those apps that you need to grab if you want to start taking photos with your camera and sharing them online with all you know. Flickr is developed by Yahoo!, and they have done a fantastic job at settling the screams of Android users who are still waiting patiently for the Instagram app for Android. While Instagram is in the works, it’s not out yet, and Flickr does a bang up job at making your pics look super sweet and sexy using their built-in filters.
Flickr integrates with Android very well, and as soon as you take a picture, you can edit the name, and filter, then share it out to your social contacts fast. Again, you’ll need an online account for Flickr to use the app, and set up your sharing with Twitter, facebook, Tumblr, and email. You can sign up here. All in all, it’s a great picture editing tool for Android, and it’ll make those already great pictures you take on your Android smartphone look even better!
5) Slacker Radio
Slacker Radio is one of the best internet radio apps and services out there. If you want to get some music going fast on your smartphone without having to worry about syncing and moving files back and forth from your computer to your Android, use this app. There are so many different stations available with Slacker that you’ll never have a dull moment. Like other services like Pandora or Last.fm, you can skip the songs if they totally suck by simply hitting “ban” or “skip”.
The account is free to set up, which you’ll need to do online again here. The free account plays an ad every few songs, no biggie for a free service. You can pay for additional features like unlimited skips, full albums on demand and caching for offline listening. Honestly though, the free account is sufficient. Again, there are other apps that are just as good, and arguably better like Pandora, but Pandora is only available in the U.S. Sorry Canada. Slacker is available in more countries, so it has my vote.
*One tip of caution for those new to the smartphone game and internet streaming radio or movies. These apps can use up a lot of your data plan. If you are concerned about the amount of data used, keep use down to a minimal. Another road to take is to simply sign up an unlimited data plan through your carrier, they are worth it, and are no longer considered expensive for many.*
I hope this article has helped you get through the first few uses with your new Android device. For the more seasoned Android users, these apps are still some of the best. If you don’t have them on your device, what are you waiting for….they’re free!