Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Top 8 Most Used Smart Phone Apps - Android

These are my most useful apps. A most useful app is one that I use virtually every day. Some very good apps I own are not on this list because they are used for very specific purposes and not frequently. Also, most useful to me are those that include ease of view due to my vision disability. As a result, many most useful apps are eliminated from my list because text cannot be increased for me to view comfortably.

My smart phone Home screen
My Smart Phone Home Screen

I use an Android smart phone. The model and brand is not that important except that I desire the largest screen possible due to my vision disability. Larger text takes up more space so I want more space. Don't worry if you have an iPhone or Windows Phone, many of these apps are available for you too.

My Personal Productivity apps:

Gmail This is not always the standard email app on Android phones but should be. Be that as it may, it is clear, easy to use and see on the smaller screen. I can enlarge the text to see if nicely too. FREE

DigiCal This is a calendar app and I've gone though a few of them. I decided upon DigiCal for two reasons. The first is that I can enlarge the text to read it comfortably. The second is that it has a widget that I can have larger text too. What's a widget you say? If you notice my smart phone home screen above, the lower right hand area is my calendar widget. I don't have to touch an icon to open the calendar as the widget is always there showing the latest information. This widget takes up the space of 6 icons (2 x 3) but I don't care since, on my phone, my calendar is the second most important app besides the phone. FREE

DigiCal+ $4.99 has no advertising and expanded widget features. I used DigiCal for about 3 weeks and went ahead and purchased DigiCal+ to drop the ads. To me it was worth it.

Social Media:

Plume (Twitter replacement) Again, I've used a few Twitter apps and have landed on Plume for now. Like all apps on my smart phone, I must be able to read the text. If it is too small, then it just doesn't work for me. I can enlarge Plume's text just enough to be able to read it comfortably. As far as twitter apps go, Plume is working perfectly for me. FREE with ads. Read my article on using Twitter.

Plume Premium is $4.99 and has no ads.

My News and Information Sources:

Google Reader Like my iPad, I use Google Reader information but with a different app to pull the information in to it. However, on the smart phone, the standard Google Reader app works very well indeed. Text size can be enlarged and I can even share articles to Facebook or Twitter. I just love Google Reader. It's like a customized newspaper-like app where all of the articles are of interest to me. FREE. Read my article on Google Reader

AP Mobile Again, just like the iPad, AP Mobile is another source of news and information for me. Text is nice and large and it gives me the top stories up to the minute from Associated Press. It even breaks down news by category: Sports, Showbiz, World Headlines and US News Headlines. FREE.

MyWeather My Weather is available for iOS and Android and even allows me to have other cities. I can choose the map for the city and see radar images for rain or snow. The only downside to me is that My Weather seems to get it's weather from the closest local airport to the city. The closest airport to my city is 25 miles away and beyond a small line of hills. The weather is typically 3 to 5 degrees different there. FREE

My Personal Health:

Calorie Counter - MyFitnehttpsssPal I have been successfully dieting for the past few months and MyFitnessPal has contributed to my success. I record calorie intake by food item and track all types of exercise and the calorie burn for each. At the end of the day I see a message that says, if every day were just like today, in 5 weeks I would weigh x pounds. This has been really good motivator for me. MyFitnessPal is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8. There is a website too. FREE. Read my article on MyFitnessPal.

* You may have noticed I did not mention Facebook. Although I look at Facebook daily, I do not look at it on my smart phone very much as the text is just too small for my poor vision. I only browse Facebook on my tablet.

Some apps that almost made the list:

Audible This app has replaced Kindle for me. I don't read books--I get them read to me. I love to listen to books while exercising. I get lost in the book and don't fell much of the exercise. It works great! There are over 100,000 books available including virtually all of laster ones. FREE app but the individual books have a cost or there is a monthly subscription. I started out one book at a time but now do the subscription. Read my article on Audible.

RunKeeper When I go out for a walk or bike ride, I use RunKeeper to track my route, my speed and how many calories I burn. The RunKeeper website has all of my activities in a nice list for reference. I even get weekly and monthly notifications of encouragement for successes along the way. Another positive motivation to keep exercising. FREE

Dropbox  This productivity tool keeps your important documents synchronized between multiple devices from smart phones, tablets, laptops or other PCs. Save a document on your desktop and it gets synchronized to your other devices. You can even get to the documents on the web from any PC in the world. Just log in to the Dropbox website, enter your user id and password and instantly you will see your folders. FREE for 3 gigabytes of space which is plenty for most. More space has an annual subscription. See my article on cloud storage which includes Dropbox..

Please make a comment about your favorite smart phone apps. I'd love to try them myself.

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