Getting Started with Android

Among my friends, I’m often the looked on as the “Android Guy.” I’ve been using Android devices longer than almost all of my friends. I’ve used both iOS and Android devices, and have a pretty good understanding of the benefits and difficulties with each. I’m often asked for assistance in making the transition from iOS to Android.

A few years ago, I wrote up some recommended Android apps for a friend. Most of those apps are still highly recommended, but a few are out of date, better alternatives exist, or the functionality has been incorporated into Android, itself.

All of the Google Apps. Most of them aren’t the default on a Samsung device, and it’s well worth it to either install them or set them up as your default.

  • Google Now Launcher - provides the default Google Android Experience - No Samsung/HTC crap interface.
  • Google Photos - This is the best way to manage your photos. Automatic backup, exceptional search capabilities.
  • Android Device Manager - remotely manage your device. Locate it when it’s lost. Remote wipe.
  • Google Opinion Rewards - Answer the occasional survey, get some change added to your Play account. Buy more games.
  • Inbox by Gmail - replacement for standard Gmail app. Allows you to quickly manage email, and take action on your mail.
  • Google Play Music - Now with Songza integration. Great way to pick out music for whatever you’re doing.
  • Google+ - Just a fan, don’t mind me. But it comes with the Photos app, which has some great editing tools.
  • Chrome Browser - Don’t use the default browser. Just don’t.


  • Authy 2-Factor Authentication
  • PocketCasts - Definitely the best podcast app out there. Very well designed. Can sync across devices.
  • Life Time Alarm Clock - A great alarm clock app. Easy to use, and works well.
  • LastPass - Keeps all of your passwords safe. Will copy/paste your passwords into new apps. Huge time saver.
  • Car Home Ultra - Turns your phone into a dashboard while you drive. Update: still a good app, but less important to me now.


  • MappedIn - Internal Maps. My workplace is mapped here, and I can find my way around much better.
  • Nine - Exchange/Active Sync client. Holy crap, this is a great app. Easily worth the $10 price tag.
  • RSA Token - Instead of the key fob

Fun/Distraction/Just Plain Dumb Apps

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