Free Apps Review: Android

Now that you’re decked out with your new Nexus 6P (or any other android phone you have), it’s time to add some apps. For this post, I’ll be going over some of the standard free apps that I install on my phone that I believe is applicable to every other android user. For you apple users, most of these apps should also be available for iOS.

Here’s the list of apps in no particular order:

  1. Venmo – peer to peer money transfer app
  2. Greenify – battery saving app
  3. Piktures – picture gallery app
  4. Battery Time – battery saving app
  5. Morecast – weather app
  6. GSam Battery Monitor – battery monitor app
  7. Robinhood – commission-free trading app
  8. Mr. Number – unknown phone identifier/spam blocker app
  9. Gallery Doctor – picture gallery cleaner app
  10. Google Drive/Dropox – cloud storage apps
  11. Open Camera – camera app
  12. Zedge – wallpaper/ringtone app
  13. Textra – SMS app
  14. RocketVPN – VPN app
  15. Fixed – let me know if I can fight my speeding ticket app

 

1. Venmo

[Price: Free]

venmo.jpg

A secure, popular app that allows you to transfer and receive money to friends that also have Venmo installed. By far the most useful app I have on my phone. Simplifies  splitting the bill and paying friends back. Each money transfer has a note to keep track of transactions.

2. Greenify

[Price: Free]

greenify.png

Greenify will fix unstable applications that may cause excess battery drainage or overheating. It hibernates apps not in use, or while the phone is asleep, allowing greater battery life. The main reason I use this app is for the aggressive doze feature that allows the phone to doze even when not stationary. Note that aggressive doze appears to interfere with music streaming apps. While enabled, my music streaming will cut off after about 5 minutes in. Make sure to add your Spotify/Soundcloud/Pandora to the whitelist so that Greenify won’t hibernate it.

3. Piktures

[Price: Free]

piktures1

The only image gallery app I trust. Standard android gallery app is pretty sucky, and the next best alternative in Quickpic contains spyware. I choose this app over Google photos because when I take pictures, I usually take multiple pictures at once. I’d rather not deal with Google photos that will sync these automatically. Piktures allows you to create folders to organize photos, hide albums, integrated calendar where you can find photos by date, and integrated photo editor.

4. Battery Time

[Price: Free with in-app purchases and ads]

Battery-Time-Android-app-user-interface.jpg

A simple tap to activate application. This app will optimize your device by going through a specific algorithm such as closing apps, turning off wifi, and adjusting brightness. What I like about the app is that it asks you if it should do the next step so that you are aware of what is going on in the background. The app will also let you know to the minute how much battery life you’ve saved.

5. Morecast

[Price: Free]

morecast

Clean and fast interface, detailed graphs, live weather webcam app. The best free weather app on the market. No ads.

6. GSam Battery Monitor

[Price: Free with in-app purchases and ads]

gsam

The most comprehensive battery monitoring app. Gives extensive information about your battery such as power used, battery time left, a graph of battery usage, good widget, uptimes of screen and wifi, shows the percentage what is draining the battery the most. The app also allows you to enable alerts based on certain events such as overheating or over charging.

7. Robinhood

[Price: Free]

robinhood.png

A must have app for millennials looking to invest. Commission free stock trading app that allows you to trade on the major stock exchanges. Alerts you if a certain stock you own, or on your watch list jumps up or down a certain percentage. No stop loss, future, or shorting options. Upgrade to Robinhood Instant for free. Instant deposits, buying, and selling up to $5000.

8. Mr. Number

[Price: Free]

mrnumber

This application allows you to identify unknown numbers you receive on your cell phone. Automatically identifies spam and blocks their calls.

9. Gallery Doctor

[Price: Free]

gallery-doctor-android-app

When I take photos, I take many at once. This app identifies the best photo, and deletes duplicate/poor photos.

10. Google Drive/Dropox

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]

google_drive
Google Drive
dropbox
Dropbox

Self explanatory. With the increasingly popular trend of smaller internal storage and lack of removable storage, cloud storage gains more importance. Google Drive offers 15GB free, but is connected with your gmail, photos, and any other Google related application. If your storage gets full, you won’t be able to receive incoming e-mails. Upgrades to 100GB and 1TB are very reasonably priced. Dropbox only offers 2 GB free storage and 1TB paid upgrade.

11. Open Camera

[Price: Free]

opencamera.png

A lightweight, responsive camera. Plenty of customization, auto stabilization option, white balance, focus, ISO, exposure compensation, exposure lock, face detection, geocaching, filters.

12. Zedge

[Price: Free]

zedge

This app that allows you to search and download custom wallpapers, ringtones, and notification sounds. This app is for those who need that Hotline Bling ringtone to express yourself, not that I need something like that… Ok maybe I need to get my HL bling on from time to time.

13. Textra

[Price: Free with in-app purchases and ads]

textra

Allows customization, quick replies from notification area, and set delay text times. I use the delay text to text myself for reminders, and also I have a 10 second delay for all texts in case I need to recall any message. Warning, contains ads.

14. RocketVPN

[Price: Free with in-app purchases with ads]

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Allows you to encrypt your mobile data for more privacy. Surf with your browser anonymously, stop tracking from social media apps, or browse from a different country. Works great with region locked video streaming apps. You get 500mb of VPN usage per month, and can be upgraded to unlimted with the paid app. Warning, this app will have the occasional pop-up notfication.

15. Fixed

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]

fixed.png

An application that allows you to possible get out of your speeding ticket. You upload a picture of your ticket, and an attorney will review it and tell you whether or not you can fight the ticket, as well as a percentage of you winning. Haven’t had to use this app, but I have it just in case.

Let me know if you have any suggestions to add or take away from the list, or your own opinion of these apps. Happy installing.

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