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Android Goes Marching On
In the battle for smartphone supremacy, the biggest name in the business was Apple and their iPhone. However, in recent months, Google's Android mobile platform has taken the world by storm and has managed to edge out the leader by becoming the most popular mobile platform. It's no wonder - backed by the largest and most popular of search engines, Android has most of Google's services already integrated within the phone.
Gmail, Maps, and Calendar are just some of the preinstalled apps that new users can look forward to. But that's not all. The reason Android is so popular is because of the apps that you can download that can help you keep on track, keep in touch, and keep everything running smoothly.
As a first time Android user myself, one of the first questions I asked was, "which apps should I get?" Luckily, there are a wide variety that can easily fit your life and personality.
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Of course, part of the huge boom in smartphones is the ability to connect with others, especially through the rise of social media. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are now standards to have when out and about. For you social network addicts, you'll be happy to know that your Android comes with both Facebook and Twitter, but what if you want something a little different?
Best in Social
Google Plus (Google+) - I admit it. I'm addicted to the new social network on the block, Google+. As a friend of mine put it, if Facebook and Twitter had a baby, it would be G+. Engaging conversation, no 140 character limit, and you can put people in circles to avoid awkward photos being shown to your boss or mom. The updated version now includes the ability to share conversations on your phone.
HootSuite - If you're like me, you've got Facebook and Twitter, but it's such a hassle trying to keep up with both (especially if you've been sucked in with G+). HootSuite lets you check both from one application. Send and receive tweets and check the feeds on both sites. I'm still waiting for the mobile's LinkedIn integration.
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While many smartphones are being marketed towards the consumer set, it doesn't mean that these folks aren't using their Android devices productively. It makes sense, as you can use apps to work on documents or other things while at the coffee shop or at the library. And because professionals are using smartphones and tablets, you'll see more and more business type apps.
Google Docs - I've only recently started using Google Docs, though this has been around for a long time. The app is great when I feel the need to go over a piece of work I've written. While trying to create or edit a document with my phone's keyboard isn't like working on my computer, it's still a great addition if I need to correct something or I get a quick idea.
Evernote - Evernote is a note taking app that syncs with both the online and desktop versions. A great way of being able to take notes while on the go and then have them ready to type up when you get home, this works for work, school, and home.
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Let's face it. You didn't really get a smartphone to talk to people, did you? For me, my cell phone has always acted as my all in one device - phone, music player, video player, and gaming device. While using your phone for work is perfectly okay, sometimes you need to unwind with some great entertainment. First up, music.
mSpot - your Android phone comes stock with a music player, but mSpot (and Google Music) have something even better to offer. With use of the cloud, you can listen to all of your music while on the go. No more trying to cram 5 GB of music onto a 2 GB SD card. With mSpot you can upload your music collection from your phone and then listen to it anywhere.
BeyondPod - if you like your podcasts on the go, nothing beats BeyondPod. Not only does it offer you a wide selection of podcasts to listen to, it's integrated with Google Reader, so you can read your blogs as well. Coming in a free and paid version, BP is the way to go for podcasts on the go.
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This Isn't the End!
Here are six of the must haves for your new Android phone, but hold on! In part 2, will look at four more apps that should get you up and running and loving your phone.
- Image Credit: Samsung Transform/author.
- Android Market, http://market.android.com
- Android Beats Apple's iOS for Eighth Month from TechZone360, http://www.techzone360.com/topics/techzone/articles/211368-android-beats-apples-ios-eighth-month-mobile-ad.htm