Moving to Android? Here are the apps you need, as recommended by the AA Team!
It’s almost that time of the year again – the new iPhone is about to be announced. What does that mean for Android? It means a whole bunch of poor iPhone users’ contracts are ending and (assuming that they have seen the light) will be switching to our favourite operating system as they re-sign contracts. We are often asked what apps a new comer needs to make the switch to Android, so I asked the Android Australia team for recommendations and in turn put together the following list of essential apps.
Call me crazy, but I like iCloud. It syncs flawlessly (I never got Google Sync to work for me), I can share calendars with friends and family and I can keep my @me.com email address. But how do I get my contacts and calendars onto an Android device from iCloud? Smooth Sync! Smooth Sync by Marten Gadja exists in two incarnations – Smooth Sync for Cloud Calendars and Smooth Sync for Cloud Contacts. These little apps are pretty neat – just buy them from the Play Store for a couple of dollars each, log into your iCloud account and they work with Android as a native sync service. Set and forget. Just like syncing to Google or an Exchange server. The other app I whole heartedly recommend is Instagram. This fun little photo sharing service allows users to shoot, filter and share photos of their life. Simple and fun!
A lifelong Melbourner, Josh recommends Tram Hunter and Train Tracker. These neat little apps are on-par with their iOS equivalents in giving you instant access and planning to the tram and train networks in Australia’s major cities. Just enter the stop you are at and/or wish to go to and these fine apps will plan your trip to the minute. They also store the timetables, which are kept up to date with every change so you can see when the next train or tram is coming! Doubletwist also comes with Josh’s recommendation. This app allows Android users to keep using iTunes to manage their music by working in-between the Android device and iTunes to allow both to play nice.
As Android Australia’s king of app-hunting, Josh has a few ideas for new users. Foremost is Juice Defender – a clever little app that turns on and off various system functions as they are needed to save your battery. Using what Juice Defender call ‘Smart Functions’ the app stays open in the background and observes your user patterns, optimising the system as you go to ensure your battery lasts as long as possible, something which isnt always possible on power-hungry smartphones. Swiftkey also comes to mind – an ‘intelligent’ keyboard that has an extensive dictionary and some pretty neat error-correction abilities. Truly a must have for any Android user who, like me, kind of liked the iPhone keyboard.
Bryce is a very very busy man (I have seen him in action). Thats why he recommends Any.Do as his app for Android newcomers. Any.Do is quite literally the best to-do list/organisation app on the play store. Simple as that. Simple – that is the thing about Any.Do! The app uses Android-native genstures and graphics to look as if it was just part of the operating system, making it super easy and awesome to use. Bryce also wishes new users to know that most of the major Australian banks (NAB, CommBank, etc.) have Android apps on the Play Store, so you can continue enjoying mobile banking. And Bacon Reader or Reddit is Fun for all you Redditors out there.