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QOTW: Which smartphone apps are essential?

by Parm Mann on 1 June 2018, 16:31

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The soaring popularity of smartphones has been matched by a tidal wave of new apps. Going by numbers obtained from consumer data firm Statista, there are now roughly 3.8 million entries available in the Google Play Store, while Apple's App Store boasts somewhere in the region of 2 million apps.

That's a whole lot of software to sift through, and as you all know only too well, there's a huge amount of crap out there. Finding the diamonds in the rough can be tricky, and there's arguably no better way than word of mouth, so for this week's question we're asking: which smartphone apps are essential? Help separate the wheat from the chaff by sharing your top picks using the comments facility below.



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Boring but for me it's Facebook, Instagram, Google Fit, Google Photos, Google Drive, Onedrive, Gear360 and TouchOSC
Oh and forgot - Nationwide banking app!
I find the Met Office app and the satnav useful but, not essential. Most others I have tried are either hampered by intrusive advertising, just plain crap or, more likely both. I am soundly peed-off by the number of pre-installed apps that cannot be prevented from running in the background and cannot be uninstalled.
Too many to list but a few slightly less standard ones:
Monzo Bank
Discord
Inbox
Waze
Duolingo
KFC Colonel's Club
POF

Those last 2 aren't related ;)
Nova Launcher - gives you the same familiar interface on all of your Android devices
HD Widgets - great weather/time widgets
Automateit Pro - simple if this then do that app
ES File Explorer Pro - the free version is hot garbage, but the paid for one is awesome
Google Keep - a Gmail users dream of a note taking app
Google Maps - detailed offline map of your area
UK Bus Checker - essential if you live in a major UK city
Google Translate - don't go on holiday without it
Unit Converter - another one of those utilities that you should not leave the country without
Clipstack - great clipboard manager
Ebay - nothing like outbidding someone in the last few seconds, while standing in a queue at the till in ALDI
Gett - finding a taxi the easy way
Deutsche Zeitungen a plethora of German newspapers and magazines neatly organised in one app
BBC News
Poweramp Easy on the eyes music playback
ACR - Call recorder
Paypal
Paypal Here - for taking card payments while out and about
Fing - network discovery tool
PingMeter - ‘The machine that goes ping’ ;)
IP Tools - combo tool for trouble shooting network problems
PingTools - another network utility
Wifi Analyzer - another WiFi discovery tool
Pinouts Pro - essential app for anyone who ever wanted to attach a new plug to a cable
Adaway - brilliant adblocker for rooted devices
Root App deleter - remove/turn off junk apps on cheap China phones that are rooted
Teamviewer - remotely control other devices
Anydesk - another remote control app
Tinycam - watch your CCTV cameras
BT WiFi - the essential WiFi app for road warriors
AF Wall+ - easy to use firewall frontend, because cheap Chinese phones/tablets can not be trusted
Lastpass - Password manager
Google Authenticator - two factor authentication across many websites
Eset Mobile Security - Anti malware scanner
CCleaner - because the rubbish needs to be taken out even on non-Windows devices
Google Rewards - sell your soul in exchange for some Google Play credit