9 Free Android Apps Everyone Should Download
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When it comes to smartphones, many of us feel a bit lost when confronted with the incredible amount of apps available. From games to social networks to various utilities, you can find plenty of apps to entertain and inform.
Recently, we ran down the 9 Free iPhone Apps Everyone Should Download. We figured it was about time we returned the favor for all you Android users out there.
Google Sky Map
In his wildest dreams, Galileo couldn't predict something as fascinating, informative, and just all-around-fun as Google Sky Map. Ever look up at the night sky wondering what all those stars are? Sure, you know some of the more common constellations like Orion's Belt or the Big Dipper. But what's that other cluster over there? Is that a planet or the North Star? Just turn on Sky Map and all will be clear. The app gives you a representation of the exact star formations you'll see directly above you, as well as names and information about all of them. The best part? You don't even need to be outside. Just move your phone around and the map will display stars from whichever direction you're pointing.
Pandora Internet Radio
Don't worry, this is one box you'll be happy you opened. Pandora is your own personal radio station. Enter your favorite artists, songs, composers, or yes, even comedians, and Pandora will treat you like a DJ, playing you all your favorites. You can even skip, rate, and bookmark songs. Best of all? Pandora learns from your preferences and suggests similar artists or songs, so it's a great way to find new music you'll love.
The closest thing we'll probably ever get to a Babel fish or Star Trek's Universal Translator, Google Translate does exactly what it's called. You can easily translate text in over 64 different languages. Simply speak or type, and Google does the translating for you. It'll even speak your translation right back at you. Even cooler, use the Conversation Mode to actually communicate with someone else through a speech-to-speech translation. Es bueno!
Lookout Security & Antivirus
These days, cell phones are as useful as your computer, and that means they're also big targets for malware. If you've always been worried about downloading certain apps on your Android, then Lookout Security & Antivirus will give you some real peace of mind. It blocks malware, spyware, and trojans by scanning each app as you download it. You can also schedule daily or weekly scans. Plus, it has a Find My Phone feature, so if you ever lose it, you can locate your phone and even remotely activate an alarm on it. Lookout also helps you backup all your phone contacts and safely restore them back to your device. That's a lot of security and protection in one free little app!
There are plenty of cloud services available these days (Both Amazon and Google now have some good ones), but Dropbox has been around for awhile and it's still one of the best. With the app on your phone you can easily synchronize photos, videos, documents, files, and more across all your devices and computers. Take a quick photo with your phone, easily share it with Dropbox and you'll instantly have it on your computer. Or put it in a public folder so others can view it as well. It's really a powerful and simple way to share photos and videos with your friends and family.
How many times have you gotten to your car in a dark parking lot and fumbled for the keys, so you took out your phone just to get some light? Well, do yourself a favor and install the Tiny Flashlight app. It's not just one of the brightest flashlight apps around, but it offers a number of fun and useful widgets. Besides using your phone's LED flashlight, you can also take advantage of warning lights, police lights, color flashlights, strobe lights, and more. Super simple but a life-saver the next time your power goes out.
It's tough to beat Amazon when it comes to shopping, and the same goes for Android apps. The Amazon Appstore features a huge assortment of apps across dozens of categories. Easy to browse, you can quickly find your favorite paid or free apps. Be sure to visit the app store daily, since Amazon offers one premium app (meaning, it's a full-featured app) for free every day. Some are lame, some are great, so check back every day. The Amazon Appstore is tied to your Amazon online account, so your apps go with you from your Android to your computer to your Kindle Fire.
You use Firefox on your computer, don't you? So why wouldn't you use it on your cell phone as well? Download the Firefox app and you'll be browsing the web so much faster and smoother on your Android. Plus, you can sync it up with your desktop version of Firefox and access your computer's browser history, bookmarks, passwords, and more. Your Android basically becomes a satellite extension of your desktop computer.
Okay, so it might seem odd using a "free phone call" app on a cell phone. Cell phones do allow you to make calls, ya know. But the Skype app also lets you IM your friends, as well as make video calls. It doesn't matter what phone the other person is on, as long as they have a Skype account too, you can IM or video chat with them anytime. The iPhone's built-in Face Time app is great, but for Android users, Skype is definitely the one to dial up.