There are over one billion Android phones around the world, and over a million apps on the Play Store. Today I would like share my top 5 android utility apps, some you may not of heard of before.
Honourable Mention – TTPOD
This is less a utility app, but a music player, although it is definitely in my top 5 android apps, and does offer useful features to utilize your songs.
I have been using this app for many years and across many android devices (running on Android 2.2 to 4.2), in this time I have seen it improve whist still not becoming largely popular.
TTPOD does have many of the features you would see in a normal music player, such as being able to organize songs by; all, artists and album or even play them randomly. It also enables you to; create playlists, apply audio effects (as well as customize the equalizer), control music in the status bar and even recognize songs. But there are many more features and functions that are not seen in many other music players which makes this app brilliant.
One of the main features I use it for is the synced lyrics, when you start playing a song it will find the lyrics for that song and highlight the words being sung. Although it worth pointing out that it does not use the Musixmatch servers to fetch the lyrics, so you will find that you may not be able to find lyrics for some songs.
There are many other very useful features that come with TTPOD, there’s a large quantity of themes you can apply, which can be used to improve the UI massively, I personally like the “SONY Player” theme.
This app sometimes allows you to stream, and even download, songs. Sometimes it might state that “your ip is restricted”, which is for legal reasons, but occasionally this will disappear. Searching for a song it often allows you to view the results, and download them. It is worth noting that it is against the law to download songs illegally, but it is at user discretion if they want to.
The music library does not automatically sync with the default library, which might sound like a bad thing. Although this means ringtones or other short clips are not automatically added and can’t be removed.
I have stated quite a few very useful functions and features of TTPOD, but it’s not without its flaws. The only issue I have found with it, is that a large quantity of the text is Chinese (since the app is made in China), which sometimes makes navigation hard.
5. Floating Stickers
You might be familiar with the small utility in Windows called “sticky note”, well this is basically it on Android. Once this application is run it will pop up a note which stays on the screen even if you change to a different app.
This can be very useful if you are not able to copy some text from an app and want to make a note of it, or even copy it into the clipboard. It is very basic but can be extremely useful at times.
This is an alternative to the Gmail app, both being made by Google. This service/app was late last year in 2014, and I was lucky enough to be sent an invite by Google from the second batch, until last week though, when it became publically available.
Firstly, once you open the app (or web client) you are greeted with a very pleasant UI, being the new Metro UI from Android Lollipop (5.0), then you will see that all your emails have been organized into categories.
Apart from just making your emails easier to manage, it also is smart and informs you with relevant information gathered from the email. For example I received a email from email@example.com, and within the emails preview it generated the text “Superlux HD-681 Evo Black, Expected by 17 Dec, Track package” then even a thumbnail of the product saying “Dispatched”.
This is one of the most popular apps for keeping notes synced across multiple devices, and even being backed up on the web to ensure all devices are synced.
There are few other competitors with OneNote, being other apps such as Evernote, but I have tried the alternatives and prefer OneNote for a number of reasons.
Firstly you can organise the notes more efficiently, OneNote is more like notebooks which have different pages, whist Evernote and other are more like organized post it notes. This enables you to have a notebook dedicated to a subject or general area, then have pages in those notebooks dedicated to sub sections.
Secondly it enables you to place tables in these pages, these tables work in the same way you would expect them to work in Microsoft Word (especially since OneNote is made by Microsoft, and is part of the Office 365 suite). There are two other features with tables that I found quite useful, for starters you can select a row or column the drag it up/down (for a row) or right/left (for a column). The second feature is that you can export the table to Excel, this is a small feature but can be useful.
It has many other useful features, but mostly are shared with alternatives apps such as Evernote. For example, you do have the ability to share Notes with colleagues, and collaborate.
Have you ever wanted to make a note of something you’ve seen on a website, or get back something you have copied before, well Clipper is your answer.
Clipper automatically saves everything you copy onto your clipboard, which might sound scary, but can be extremely useful (and even when combined with the #1 on this article).
You can obviously customize this app, and only save text which has been on the clipboard for a certain amount of days. As well as being able to search though the list for certain text which has been contained within the clipboard. You can pin clippings so they appear at the top of the list, and export the whole list for further use.
This is an application that you install on multiple devices for use, once installed and signed in at least two devices it enables you to sync and share media across these devices.
You can easily direct your browser on your desktop to a site by simply sharing the site on your mobile device to Pushbullet. As well as being able to send images across devices and even simple text messages.
This service is not just limited to your devices though, you can share media to friends devices if they allow you to (via enabling though email). It’s also not limited to pushed media (text, links and images), but even enables you to sync the clipboard, which when combined with Clipper it enables you to use it to a further degree than intended.
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