Setting up a new phone is a flurry of entering passwords, transferring contact information, downloading essential social media apps, and entering even more passwords. When all that is done, it’s time to fill your phone with everything else you need every day: a smarter weather app, a good email client and a number of things to make sure you read enough and have to listen. Here are our suggestions for where to start.
We have completed our favorite and most used games, apps and entertainment. View our app choices for iPhones, Android phones, PC & # 39; s, Macs and TV & # 39; s; our favorite mobile games from Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass; and our top choices for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. We have also listed our favorite streaming programs & # 39; s on Disney +, Hulu and Netflix, some great science fiction books and exciting new podcasts. (Note: prices were correct at the time of publication, but may change.)
After having owned a smartphone for ten years, it is no longer a surprise to have powerful apps in your pocket. But Dark Sky still feels a bit like magic every time it works: it’s a weather app that predicts when it will rain, down to the minute, and it’s usually pretty accurate. Do you have to run for it before the rain starts, or do you have to wait outside for a few minutes because the bad weather will pass? Dark Sky lets you know and prevents you from getting wet. The basic functions of the app are free, but you have to pay $ 3 a year to get detailed rain forecasts. They are definitely worth the price.
1Password / LastPass
You’ve probably heard this before, but you really should use a password manager. I admit: they can be a bit of a hassle. But once you’re in the flow, everything you do online becomes much safer and logging in is usually a piece of cake. Password administrators create and store strong unique passwords for every website you use, so if you are stolen – and major website breaches occur with some regularity – all your other accounts remain secure. I recommend two apps here: 1Password is my favorite (I’ve been using it for years), but it comes with a monthly fee. LastPass is a perfectly good alternative that is available for free; I just find it a little less beautiful to look at.
Files by Google
This should simply be the app for browsing files built into Android. When you need to search for a file stored in a mysterious location on your phone, Files by Google makes it a lot easier to find it, with obvious sections for downloads, videos, audio and other documents. (The built-in Files app from Android has similar options, but they are more confusing or require more taps.) Files by Google also offers some useful extra features, such as a full tab dedicated to marking old files that you may want to get deleted to free up space.
Clue is an easy-to-use app for keeping track of your period, with a sleek design and gender-neutral language and iconography. The creator of the app says it does not sell your health data, although it does occasionally share anonymized data with researchers. This year the app has received a few notable updates that are meant to show patterns in your cycles better and to mark irregularities. The app is free to use, but Clue recently started offering an in-app subscription that offers you small benefits such as product discounts and email data reports.
All day long I come across articles that I want to read, but for which I don’t have time. With Pocket, you can quickly save those stories for later so that you don’t forget them, and they are downloaded so you can read them offline – perfect if you are someone who is often on a subway, plane or just waiting somewhere with a bad signal. Will I ever read my entire Pocket queue? Absolutely not. But that just means that I always wait for something on my phone when I have time to kill.
I finally started using a good to-do list this year and it made my work tasks (and tasks at home) so much easier. TickTick is not beautiful, but it is simple and flexible. You can download it on any major platform or use it on the web, and your tasks are synchronized on different devices. Adding something is easy, thanks to natural language support (for example, type & # 39; Wrap gifts at 8 pm on December 24 & # 39; and you’re done). Although I usually use TickTick on my Mac, the Android app brings it all together, delivers notifications when I request it, and displays upcoming deadlines in a highly customizable widget.
For whatever reason, Android does not have a built-in app for voice recording (although some device manufacturers, such as Samsung and Google, make one themselves). If you are someone who usually records meetings, interviews or basically everything that people talk about, Otter is your answer. The app makes it easy to jump into a recording, and once it’s done, it makes an automatic transcript of the entire recording (in English only), and even tries to split it between different speakers. It is never perfect (and requires that you send your audio to Otter’s servers, something to watch out for the privacy conscious), but it is surprisingly good. For someone like me who is constantly looking for specific things that I remember from interviews, Otter is a game changer.
Pocket Casts has long been seen as one of the best – if not the best – podcast app for Android. This year it has become even better: it’s free, the $ 4 price tag disappears in favor of some premium but optional subscription features. The app has a clean interface that focuses on podcast art, and there are lots of nicer features (such as playback synchronization on different devices, adjustment of playback speed and cropping of silence) for those looking for it.
The Gmail app from Google looks much better than last year, thanks to a great new design, but the app is still not very good for anyone who deals with tons and tons of email every day. If you are flooded with messages, especially messages that you do not need to view immediately, Microsoft Outlook can take over. It splits your inbox into two sections – “Focused” and “Other” – automatically hiding everything that it suspects is unimportant in that smaller section. The app can also limit your notifications to only those emails that are considered important enough to touch your main inbox, a big relief for anyone who is flooded with notifications. The filtering can sometimes do things wrong, although I have found that it is wrong to show too many emails, instead of missing something that you need to see. It is the only way I can keep my business e-mail on my phone in a healthy way.