[Editor's Note] This Throwback Thursday, Akraya is bringing back the Top 5 Must Have Android Applications.
Originally published on July 24,2013, these apps have withstood the test of time and are still active today.
Android's Play Market has come a long way in the past few years, from selection and availability of applications, to the re-branding of their namesake and the new ease-of-use interface design. So it's really no wonder that in order to keep up the pace with the Apple App Store, the devoted and ever-so-nimble Android app developers have kicked up their game as well, leaving Android application consumers with a higher quality product, that is, to say the least, sometimes necessary to the form and function of your Android device, and simply doesn't come stock.
So, with that, here are the 5 must-have apps ranging from things to make your experience easier and safer, to apps that have the potential to save you money, all for free.
1. Chrome Browser: But my Droid already has a browser, right? Sure it does. Maybe even two. However, the stock app is clunky, a bit slow, and doesn't support the ability to sync to your computer's browser. The Chrome Browser is a simple and user-friendly application that is, without a doubt, the fastest browser available. And as of July 19th, Google has updated the app so that it uses a compressed version of the webpage and its own DNS servers, which allows for quicker webpage load times when no Wifi is in range. So for your money (free), this app is a necessity.
2. Songza: With so many music applications available, it's about time that an app like Songza has come along. Not only is it free, it allows the user to manage their playlists from their website account (optional). The playlists are curated by users and by "expert" Songza staff, and give you the option to pick a station from your concierge screen with choices like mood, event, housework, etc., and goes as far as offering a search function for your favorite artists or genre. The best part about this app? No advertisements. Not one. The only drawback is that because of an agreement with the RIAA, only five skips are allowed per station, per hour. Try it and you'll say goodbye to all others.
3.Viber: Among the many free over-Wifi text, chat and phone applications out there, Viber easily ranks at the top. It is completely free, very fast and has a very intuitive and simple interface. You can make high-quality domestic and international calls using VoIP, 3g, 4g, and Wifi with your existing number. Upon download, Viber will scan your contacts and compile them into a list of Viber users, making it simple and cheap. But keep in mind, for the service to be free, the person you are contacting has to also be using the app. It will not cross platforms, but if used properly, the savings could add up fast.
4.Pulse News: If you are tired of the mainstream media apps, then this news app is a great way to stay up on current affairs without getting mired in the politics that come with it. Fresh on the scene in 2013, Pulse Media allows the you to scroll through headlines from news sources, magazines and social media; get news suggestions based on stories you've read, and get pictures and story snippets. It also has a stand alone widget making it easy to take a peek at what's new without opening the app. Pulse News has a clean, usable interface and is free.
5. Avast! Mobile Security: If you only download from the Play Market, you may have little use for a security app. But what's a little extra security for free? Avast! Which stands for "Anti-Virus – Advanced Set" has been securing PC's since 1996, so one could say that know what they are doing. But if having an extra application running isn't your thing, consider that in addition to Avasts! anti-virus and anti-malware offering, this app gives you the ability to remotely locate and, if need be, wipe your phone's information. So what's a little piece of mind for free?
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