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5 Apps I Can’t Live Without

Updated on October 24, 2014

I am a heavy smartphone user and my smartphone operating system of choice is Android. Android allows me to be flexible with everything I do. I can manipulate information, reconfigure the way my device sends commands, and so many other things. Amongst other things I am a computer technician by day and a researcher by night so my environment demands vary. Here are 5 apps I can’t live without.

First on this list is Pie Control

I recently began using Pie Control and it has become a personal staple on my phone. It’s awesome because you can pop out the “pie” by simply moving your thumb over the hot spot (view the demonstration below) and a list of shortcuts pop up to allow you to maneuver through apps as well as navigation buttons that you might not want to swap hands to get to. Pie Controls has been my solution to solve the big phone-small hands fear I have. Read how I take advantage of Pie Control to use my phone for one handed use my large phone here. Download and more info here.

Pie Controls Screenshot

Here's a video on how to use it

Next is SwiftKey

I have used SwiftKey for over 4 years now for it’s awesome prediction functionality. I used alternate with Swiftkey and Swype but in 2012 SwiftKey announced Flow. This allowed users to both swipe over keys like Swype and normal touch to type. The ability to have phenomenal word prediction technology in addition to the Flow functionality won a special place in my heart. As of this year SwiftKey is now free and available to all! Download it here.

Swiftkey Keyboard Screenshot

Google Keep helps me keep my brain screwed on my head.

Google Keep is such a simple and easy to use interface. I have ADD syndrome and it’s difficult for me to remember things and be able to focus on one thing at a time. I have used Evernote in the past simply because it was what everyone was using and how powerful it was. I never used the features it offered and I just felt weary about using an application that I would soon have to pay for….MONTHLY for storage space. Google Keep lets me add straight forward notes and lists and I can even add timed or location based reminders and let’s not forget about it’s awesome widget! Download Google Keep here.

Pocket is like the cousin to the Kindle reader because it makes online articles into a nice easy to read format.

Pocket is king when it comes to bookmarking webpages to read for later. As a matter of fact “Read It Later” was their formal name before changing it a few years ago. I use Pocket heavily to catch up on articles I didn’t get to read later. I’ve been using technology for several years but I’ve always preferred reading things on paper vs a screen because of the strain to read content because of the size and distractions around the text. Pocket helps me get the content I need when I’m reading long articles (700 words or more) though it’s good for almost any site. Download it for Android here.

Chrome browser…I wonder how they got that name but it’s next on my list of apps I can’t live without!

Chrome is a fast browser that does what it does well. In 2011 they announced the ability to sync tabs from any device and MY MIND WAS BLOWN. I am a tab hoarder, if you will, and I use a variety of devices at random. Chrome has many helpful features but what I enjoy most is the new material design interface as well as Chrome’s ability to compress websites to help save data. That’s a great addition in the capped data world we live in now!


What kind of apps do you use most?

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What are apps you can’t live without on your phone? Let me know in the comments below.


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