My Top 10 Android Apps
This post is partially outdated.
Years ago, in 2009, I wrote an enthusiastic post about my then-favorite apps for Android; not that many months, I believe, after Android started to become the ubiquitous mobile operating system it is now. More for fun than anything I decided to write a follow-up. Eight years later, here, part II, with 10 instead of 15 apps.
DB Navigator: (What an exciting start! But we go by alphabet.) I prefer managing train rides on the go and not needing to print tickets, and that’s what the DB Navigator app, of Deutsche Bahn, allows me to do.
Duolingo: Trying to keep my French and Spanish alive I’ve found Duolingo to be a wonderful complement to the occasional French or Spanish book and film. For the last two or so years I’ve mostly repeated all the exercises—my counts will attest to that—but the other language apps out there don’t look more useful to me (I much dislike subscription models).
EyeEm: As I’ve shared and on occasion explained, I’m a hobbyist photographer. I like EyeEm to explore and learn about photography, and to publish and sometimes even sell my own photos, so that’s where you can find me, too.
Feedly: I’ve always been a fan of Google’s willingness and ability to kill projects and products, but the shutdown of Google Reader had upset me—it was one of several Google decisions against news feeds, and making feeds better for more people. I myself don’t like newsletters, I don’t like to bookmark sites, I don’t like to navigate through social streams—the way I like to stay informed is exactly through feeds. Feedly replaced Reader for me, and I’ve been happy with it ever since.
Gravity Screen: This app I only found through a suspected hardware issue during my world travels, when my Nexus 4 buttons didn’t work reliably anymore. Trying to make sure I could still use the phone I found Gravity Screen. On my later devices (Samsung A3, OnePlus X, Sony Xperia X Compact) I kept Gravity Screen because I came to enjoy the convenience—the display turns on or off right when I need or don’t need it. The default settings work well for me.
IFTTT: In my professional life, automation is critical, in my personal life, important; some things I’ve automated through IFTTT.
Keep: Keep replaced both 2009’s AK Notepad as well as, later, Evernote for me; I use and like it to jot down notes mostly pertaining to my philosophical work. (I like that Google made it easier to pull Keep notes from Docs, as I did exactly so on a regular basis, already making for several hundreds of pages of notes taken through Keep.)
Kindle: Similar to my faible for photography, it’s not a secret that I love reading. Over the years I’ve accumulated 800+ books in my Kindle library (of which I rate the better ones on Goodreads), and I read almost exclusively on my phone. Hence, the Kindle app is one of my absolute favorites.
ProtonMail: Underscoring the point made with language learning apps, I rather pay a one-time price for something that’s really great than pay for forever—and so I had once purchased a “Visionary” account on ProtonMail. I believe they can explain better than I what makes ProtonMail so great; if you wish to reach me through a more secure connection than Gmail, contact me at my ProtonMail email, email@example.com.
Signal: What I like about Signal is, aside from helping to secure my communications, that it’s not really a separate messenger app—at least not in my mind—but a substitute for SMS; when a recipient uses Signal, our communications are encrypted, if not we’re not worse off than before.
I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma. I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!
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