I am not your average smartphone user. Every other week I get a new Android device and I’m constantly swapping out SIM cards to test out a new smartphone. Android has a feature that syncs up your apps from Google Play, but I always cancel it out since I have hundreds of junk apps that I download to my devices. I have found that I normally install the same groups of apps over and over, so I felt like I should share them. These are the first 10 Android apps I install when I get a new device.
1. Google Voice
Google Voice is always the first app I install and setup because it links my Google Voice number to my current device. I switch phones and SIM cards all the time, so I always have a new temporary number, but Google Voice instantly connects me with my existing number and all my stored contacts.
I was always a fan of the stock Android keyboard, but most non-Nexus phones exclude it. Several months ago I finally decided that Swiftkey is the best alternative keyboard, and I think I actually prefer it over stock now. Its next word prediction is awesome and I love that it learns from my Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and other social accounts.
I’m not a huge Facebook user, but most of the other Android apps I use have Facebook login and it’s super simple to login if I have the official app installed. Seriously, nothing beets the one-click login of Facebook.
Everyone hates the official Twitter app, but I love it. Twitter has made some great strides with recent updates and it gets the job done for me. I know it doesn’t have all the features of some 3rd party clients, but I still prefer the experience to any other app.
When Instagram was an iOS-only app I thought it was kind of silly, then it finally hit Android last year and I instantly became a fan (follow me). The Android version is frequently updated and it’s one of the better designed Android apps around.
When it comes to blogging, Springpad is my most used tool. I browse thousands of sites and pieces of content every day and I use Springpad notebooks to keep track of all the things I find around the web. It’s also constantly updated with new features, and I love their use of the share intent.
Now that Google Reader is being shut down, I have migrated over to using Feedly. It has most of the features of Google Reader, and it adds some new things like the ability to see the number of social engagements that each story has. The developer constantly updates the app and I can’t wait to see where they take it next.
I’m an app junkie, and AppAware is my fix to keep up with newly released apps. They have filters for listing just released Android apps and games, and the ability to search by popular or newly updated. The community is still pretty small, but it’s active and one of my favorites.
Lookout gets a space on my device just for the locate my lost phone feature. It’s free and it gets the job done. I’ve never had an issue with Android malware or viruses, but it’s nice to have an added layer of protection just in case something goes wrong.
Rounding out my Top 10 is Twilight, which is the newest app on this list. This slick little app makes your phone’s display easier on your eyes before you go to bed, and it has helped improve my sleep. There is a free version to try out, but I suggest paying for the Pro version which includes some custom tweaks and full screen mode.