Found a new Android smartphone under the tree this year? Why not try a few of my favourites…
I apologise: I don’t usually write stuff that’s so click-baity. However, I was struck by how useful one of my apps was yesterday, so I thought I’d recommend 6 of my faves for anyone unwrapping a new Android phone this year.
By the way, I don’t get any money for sharing this stuff, so you don’t need to worry about me being biased: I just love efficient things!
Price: Free, premium options (which I don’t use)
Manage your texts from any browser on any computer.
This fantastic app is something I genuinely don’t understand how people cope without. So much easier than tapping out texts on a little touch screen, you can access all your text messages, respond to replies and generally manage that whole world of communication way more efficiently.
It even notifies you on your desktop PC when you get new texts. My phone spends all day in my coat pocket, whilst I’m in continuous contact on my computer throughout the work day.
Site: SMS Backup + on Google Play
Price: Free, donate option for 93p, which you should do!
Keeps a permanent backup of call logs and texts in Gmail.
This bad boy has saved me hours of hunting down tit tats of information. Every single text I’ve recieved since 2013 is store in a folder in my gmail account, linked to the name of the Google contact in my address book.
You install it, you forget about it, and then when you are visiting that friend you saw two years ago and need his postcode again… you already have it! Well worth making a donation for.
The most efficient way to track calories and lose weight.
I suspect I would still be fat if MFP did not exist. As any of my blog readers will know, I’ve managed to get on top of health and fitness pretty heavily over the last year. A cornerstone of that has been the simple truth: you need to eat less calories than you use in order to lose weight.
Calorie tracking is a bit tedious, but MFP manages to minimise that. Using it, I estimate that I can keep track of 98% of my daily calorific intake with around 4 minutes work a day. This seems to have a reasonable benefit-to-effort ratio.
I recommend it purely because its got the largest database of any of the calorie tracker apps. The larger the database, the more likely you don’t have to try any work out calorific value from raw ingredients, which is possible but time costly.
Site: Libra on Google Play
Price: Free, donate option for £2.50 which I recommend!
A nice graph with some simple stats for your daily weights
I weigh myself every day, and recommend it for my patients trying to lose weight. It keeps you motivated (and guilty), and gives you a more accurate picture of your weight over a week than a single measurement. If you’ve ever read The Hacker’s Diet, this app is for you…
Libra is dead easy to use, gives you nice graphs, with a great weighted average so you get a useful measure of your overall direction of travel. It also works about a few neat stats, such as estimated calorie deficit based on your weight loss: I’ve previously found this to exactly correlate with my diet and weights.
Simple post-it note app with effortless sync to all your devices.
You know when you need to remember to buy milk? Or you have a list of dates someone told you to keep free? Or a not very important password that you occasionally need? Google Keep is there for that data.
Its instant to use, works great on Android and on the web, and gets the job done. Does it do everything you could ever possibly need? No. Does it do a reliable, well designed job for you with no questions asked? Yup.
The best podcast app out there, makes listening and hunting for new ones a breeze.
My phone died the other day, so I picked up my wife’s phone, logged into Pocket Casts, and was listening at the point I’d been interupted about 3 minutes later. That alone explains how great this app is.
For discovering new podcasts, listening to old favourites, and for doing all the hard work for you, with automatic downloads, and auto-deletion, I’ve not tried anything else that comes close.
Try it out, and find those boring runs, drives and cycle rides way more interesting. Eventually realise you’ve listened to 30 hours of Dungeons and Dragons role play in the course of a month, and wonder if there’s something wrong with your life…
That’s all for now… Got any apps you’d recommend? I’m all ears… leave a comment below!