I have been using Android phones ever since Nokia had given up their Symbian OS platform and adapted Microsoft Windows Phone. First, I was a huge fan of Symbian, but I was discouraged by Nokia’s lack of support. At the same time, I got mesmerized by Android’s customization capabilities and user-friendliness, and a wide collection of applications in Play Store. I have been using my LG G3 with Android 5.0 Lollipop for about a year and a half now. I would like to share to you my top 5 most essential mobile applications in my phone which I believe are also essentials to college students and professionals.
- TypeApp Mail – This is a centralized email application where you can manage multiple email accounts. My five email accounts are connected thru this app via the “unified inbox.” For me, it is practical to use because you don’t really need to open every email account from different email application installed every time a new email arrives, no more individual notifications. Even my addu.edu.ph email account is synced to this app, so no need for me to open the magisz website to check new Ateneo emails.
- CamScanner – Of course bringing a scanner is never practical. With this imaging app in your phone, you can take pictures of documents even at angles not perpendicular to the subject, drag a pointer to the borders of the pages of the document and do some color and brightness adjustments and then the app readjusts the orientation of the photo from 3D to 2D orientation and boom! you now have a copy of the document like it was scanned by an actual scanner. The resulting photo can be shared or saved as .jpg or.pdf file and can be sent directly to an email. A similar app by Microsoft called “Office Lens” does the same thing, but I like CamScanner’s user interface better. Students like to capture photos of what’s written by their teacher on the board or powerpoint presentations flashed on the board, they can use this app in taking those as notes and they can readily share those among their classmates.
- OneDrive – Several cloud storage apps are in the market now, e.g. Dropbox, iCloud etc. However, I find OneDrive faster and easier to use because it is made by Microsoft, the company who also developed Windows. Since most of our PCs are Windows-based, a seamless communication in the software-level is already established. I’ve installed the OneDrive app in my phone, which is also embedded in my laptop and tablet. This way, I can readily back my files up from all of my devices to one cloud storage. I can also access the files whenever I need them from any of my devices. I only suggest that you assign a main device with OneDrive, and set the folders to available offline which contain the files so you can access them even without internet connection in your default device. Having a cloud storage can also address the risk of losing your important files due to corruption in the hard disk drives, flash drives or SD cards.
- HERE Maps – This is a free turn-by-turn navigation app initially developed by Nokia. The software is straightforward. There is no need for an internet connection to navigate in places. Just download the map of the country you are in using this app. Whether you are driving, walking or commuting, the level of accuracy in navigating within a particular place is not far from the capabilities offered by Google Maps. I use this app when driving within Davao City and even to the outskirts of the city. The downloaded maps automatically receive updates when already available. The updates bring more information to the maps with new establishments such as gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, hospitals, and newly constructed roads. This is very useful when going to new and unfamiliar places. I suggest you download the map first in your phone before leaving especially when you are not sure if the internet connection is reliable in that area.
- YouTube – no other app can satisfy my video viewing experience when it comes to my interest on cars and technologies. The new update is more fluid than before. Sometimes, the screen real estate in my phone does not give me satisfaction, so in our living and bed rooms, TVs are connected to a Sony PS3 gaming console. My phone (with installed YouTube App) becomes my PS3 controller for its YouTube app. I really find it difficult to type while searching videos in the PS3’s YouTube app using its dualshock controller because there is no actual keyboard, so connecting to it and viewing videos on our TV using the YouTube app on my phone is very useful and convenient.
That’s all for my top 5 most essential apps in my phone (that is minus the Facebook and Messenger apps). I hope you can also find time to explore these apps on your phone and try them for yourself.