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AND-401 Android Application Development

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AND-401 Android Application Development

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Android Application Development
Question: 215
Consider the following AndroidManifest.xml file: What is the syntax error of this file?
A. The INTERNET permission must be removed.
B. Tag uses-sdk must have attribute android:maxSdkVersion set.
C. The activity under tag should have the android:name property.
D. The tag for Activity ".Compute" should be contained inside tag.
Answer: D
Question: 216
Consider the following:
public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item) { switch (item.getItemId()) { case
newFile(); return true default: return super.onOptionsItemSelected(item); } } Upon clicking on one of the menu
items, the application did not behave as intended. Which of the following might be the cause of this problem?
(Choose two)
A. The developer did not set onClickListener on the menu item.
B. The developer did not include "" in the switch case.
C. The developer should create onOptionsItemSelected method for each menu item.
D. The developer did not override the activity method "onCreateOptionsMenu" and enflate the given menu layout.
Answer: B,D
Question: 217
Which of the following is NOT true about class ListActivity?
A. D. data source that can be bound in a ListActivity can be an array or Cursor holding query results.
B. Its layout must be set by calling method setContentView inside onCreate.
C. It contains a ListView object that can be bound to different data sets.
D. A data source that can be bound in a ListActivity can be an array or Cursor holding query results.
Answer: B
Question: 218
Which of the following Gradle statements adds the AppCompat library to an Android application?
A. dependencies { compile "" }
B. compile { library "" }
C. apply plugin: ćĆ
D. defaultConfig { library "" }
Answer: A
Question: 219
Which of the following statements are correct about the v7 appcompat library? (Choose two.)
A. It adds support to the CardView widget.
B. It adds the RecyclerView class to provide support for the RecyclerView widget.
C. It adds support for the Action Bar user interface.
D. It includes support for the material design user interface implementations.
Answer: C,D
Question: 220
Which of the following statements are correct about the Action Bar? (Choose two.)
A. It is a window feature that provides user actions and navigation modes.
B. It allows applications to receives push notifications.
C. It offers users a consistent interface across applications that the system dynamically adapts.
D. It is a collection of Android libraries that can be included in your application for backward-compatibility.
Answer: A,C
Question: 221
You are building an application that supports API level 11 and higher. Which of the following classes you must
import if you want to add an Action Bar to your application?
C. android.view.ActionBar
D. android.widgets.ActionBar
Answer: B
Question: 222
When the user clicks on an action item in the action bar, which of the following Activity methods does the system
A. onOptionsItemSelected( )
B. onOptionsItemClicked( )
C. onActionButtonSelected( )
D. onActionBarItemSelected( )
Answer: A
Question: 223
Which of the following statements are NOT needed to adding support for RecyclerView with CardView in your
application? (Choose two.)
A. dependencies { compile '' }
B. dependencies { compile '' }
C. dependencies { compile '' }
D. dependencies { compile '' }
Answer: C,D
Question: 224
Which of the following is correct dependency for adding CardView?
A. dependencies {compile '' }
B. dependencies {compile '' }
C. dependencies {compile '' }
D. dependencies {compile '' }
Answer: A
Question: 225
Which of the following is the correct syntax for adding CardView to a layout file?
Answer: B
Question: 226
Which of the following options are correct about ConstraintLayoutĆs baseline constraint handle?
A. Baseline constraint handles can be applied to only side constraint handles on the same axis.
B. Baseline constraint handles aligns the bottom edges of views.
C. "Baseline constraint handles can be applied to only side constraint handles on the same axis" and "Baseline
constraint handles aligns the bottom edges of views".
D. All answers are incorrect.
Answer: D
Question: 227
Which of the following methods can we call in Notification.Builder to add an action?
A. setContentAction(
B. setRemoteAction( )
C. setAction( )
D. addAction( )
Answer: D
Question: 228
Which of the following functions does not belong to LocationListener?
A. onLocationChanged
B. onStatusChanged
C. onLocationCaptured
D. onProviderDisabled
Answer: C
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Android Application teaching - BingNews Search results Android Application teaching - BingNews 5 Of The Best Android Apps For Yoga No result found, try new keyword!Practice type: The type of yoga you want to do for your current session. There are 10 options available, including Vinyasa, Restorative, Sleep Meditation, Chair Yoga, and Yoga Nidra. Time: Total ... Sun, 24 Dec 2023 07:15:07 -0600 en-us text/html The Best Android Apps for 2024

Android tablets and phones are technological marvels that have reshaped our social landscape. They entertain, let you work from any location, and keep you connected with friends, family, and coworkers. With the right app, you can transform your humble cell or slate into a mobile movie theater, work station, art canvas, recipe manager, and so much more. Unfortunately, finding the best Android apps to install can be a challenge.

There's a titanic quantity of apps to obtain from the Google Play Store, but which ones are worth their salt? We’ve assembled this list to help you discover worthwhile apps, so read on: You may find something you didn’t even know you needed.

These 104 recommended apps are organized into 13 categories, including music, productivity, security, and utilities, so it's easy to find ones that suit your mood. Need an entertaining streaming video service? There's an app for that. In search of a dependable word processor that'll keep you productive while on the go? There's an app for that, too. Note that we don't include any games in this roundup. For those, check out our separate list of the best Android games.

If this is your first time with an Android device, perusing over 100 apps might be overwhelming. If so, take a look at our list of 10 must-have Android apps to cover the basics. If your wallet is feeling a little light, know that many of the entries in both lists are free.

Each recommended app is excellent in its own way. Taken together, our collection is a snapshot of the Google Play Store's best apps at the time of writing. So explore and enjoy.

We didn't forget about iPhone and iPad users. For the iOS faithful, check out our roundups of the best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps.


Brave Privacy Browser Image

Brave Privacy Browser offers many features aimed at protecting your security and privacy on the web. For instance, it includes built-in blockers for ads, pop-ups, scripts, and third-party cookies. It even implements the HTTPS Everywhere extension, so you can ensure that your connections to sites are secure. The lightweight, minimal design looks great, too.


DuckDuckGo Image

Based on Google’s Chromium codebase, DuckDuckGo is a minimalistic browser designed to keep your online activities private. DuckDuckGo defaults to the highest encryption available for whatever site you visit, and lets you wipe your browsing history with a button tap. If you’re tired of trackers hounding you for advertisement purposes, and want to browse the web with a bit of freedom, supply DuckDuckGo a download.


Firefox Image

Firefox is lickety-split fast, and has a clean design that is a joy to use. Mozilla makes a big point about how it doesn't collect your data, and we are pleased to see that the app comes with a full complement of security settings—including an option to protect your information from advertisers and a private browsing mode. Like the desktop version, Firefox for mobile has a robust plug-in selection, excellent tab management, and a dynamic start page for bookmarks and the latest headlines. You can even sync settings, history, and tabs with the desktop variant


Microsoft Edge Image

Microsoft Edge lets you easily sync web pages, bookmarks, and browsing history between your Android device and the Edge browser on your desktop. Top features of the mobile browser include an integrated practicing view, news ratings (handled by NewsGuard), and a content blocker (powered by Adblock Plus). You can search with Bing using your voice or by selecting a photo, as well as earn points via the Microsoft Rewards program. Both Microsoft Edge's dark and light themes look elegant and are easy to navigate.

Tor Browser Image

Privacy stalwarts, rejoice! Tor now has an official (and modern-looking) Android app. The Tor project operates under the principle that "internet users should have private access to an uncensored web." Make sure to read the overview of how Tor works before you start using it, as it addresses specific types of privacy threats (and does so very well). The Tor browser may perform more slowly than other browsers, given its complicated inner workings, but that drawback should be negligible for the users who appreciate and rely on its protections.



Duolingo Image

Language Learners

If you're looking to learn another language, Duolingo gamifies language learning with bite-sized lessons and a friendly interface. Starting with simple vocabulary and building from there, Duolingo is your guide to learning a new language or brushing up on one you already know. The more you use the app, the more you unlock and—with practice—the more you learn. This free app currently supports Danish, Dutch, French, German, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. Or more practical choices, like Esperanto and Klingon.


Facebook Messenger Image

The problem with most mobile messengers is convincing your friends to sign up. That said, there's a good chance that most people you know are already on Facebook. This is handy, because the Facebook Messenger app is fantastic. It's simple, clean, and easily handles voice and video calling. Check out our feature on Facebook Messenger to discover its other capabilities.


Google Translate Image

Many people fear not being unable to communicate with people from another country while traveling. Google Translate takes a bit of the edge off, quickly translating either written text or spoken words. You can even use the app to do the speaking for you, and input text through your camera or handwriting. The app can translate 103 languages with a data connection and 52 when you're offline. It can't handle Tamarian, but it's sure to be a handy tool here on Earth. Another option is Microsoft Translator, which offers 60 offline languages, travel phrasebooks, a real-time conversation mode, and actually translates Klingon.


LingoDeer Image

LingoDeer is a fantastic language-learning tool with a strong Asian-language focus (though it includes a few major European languages, too). The app's courses are multilingual, so if you wish to learn Japanese as a German speaker, this is the app for you. That said, LingoDeer is also quite challenging, as it features specific, high-level terminology and detailed grammatical explanations. Nonetheless, it is a superb resource, and the developer is constantly improving the app based on community feedback.

Per Month, Starts at $11.99

LinkedIn Image

Most people are probably familiar with LinkedIn as a service only visited in times of desperation—after being laid off, maybe, or after a day in the office so bad that you're just not going to take it anymore. The LinkedIn app aims, however, to be a companion to the LinkedIn web service that you check every day. Sure, there's the all-important profile pages showing off your work experience, and the handy tools for networking, but the service now includes visitor metrics and a newsfeed for a decidedly more social feel. It's sometimes the easiest way to reach out and make a business connection. It's like Facebook for grown-ups.


Snapchat Image

With Snapchat, you quickly snap and exchange photos with one or several friends. The app also supports video snaps, as well as voice and video calling. The catch is that whatever you post vanishes after a day. It's just a fun and ephemeral way to share the world around you.


Signal Image

There are many apps that pay lip service to security and privacy, but Signal was built from the ground up with the goal of letting people easily communicate without having to worry about being overheard. The Signal app is a complete phone and SMS client replacement (though it works just fine as a standalone app, too) for sending and receiving encrypted calls and messages. The app's look and feel continues to improve, too.


Textra Image

Textra is an excellent alternative to Messages on Android. The app includes numerous customization options that you won't find with the stock messaging app, including custom contact colors, text bubble styles, and notification icons. Additionally, you get extra features such as text scheduling, the ability to blacklist contacts, and the option to rename group conversations. Textra also has excellent light and dark modes.


WhatsApp Image

In a world rife with messenger apps, WhatsApp is among the most successful, boasting an enormous and dedicated user base. Add to that an integrated web version that lets users take their chats to the desktop. This Facebook-owned app is bolstered by encrypted messaging provided by the minds behind Signal. It might just be the largest secure messaging service out there.

Your Phone Companion Image

Microsoft's Your Phone Companion app lets you link your Android phone and text from your Windows 10 PC. As a bonus, you can also quickly access photos from your camera, as well as manage your device notifications. The app setup is easy, and it's certainly more comfortable to type out longer responses on a physical keyboard than craft a message on your phone.



Blue Apron Image

If you don't want to think about buying ingredients, but still want to cook, Blue Apron is an excellent option. With reliable deliveries and great meals to choose from, this food delivery service lets you skip the trip to the grocery store. The sleek mobile app allows you to manage your account, schedule your deliveries, and save any recipes you want to revisit.

Per User, Per Month, Starts at $9.99

Cookpad Image

Cookpad connects you with a vibrant array of recipes. Easily add favorite recipes, manage shopping lists, and find new recipes you'll love based on those you already like. Once you start using it, you'll have one less excuse to eat out.


Copy Me That Image

A quality homemade meal is one of life’s greatest comforts, so whip up a tasty dish using Copy Me That. This multipurpose tool lets you copy, organize, and manage recipes that you find online or input yourself. Customize your recipe collection with photos of your choosing, and organize them in whatever categories you want. The app is great for cutting through long-winded websites to get tight recipe copy, and it even provides a meal planner and shopping list to make cooking a cinch.

Seamless Image

Remember the bad old days of ordering food? You needed takeout menus, knowledge of the terrain ("will they even deliver out here?"), cash, and faith that the person jotting down your order got it right. Seamless takes care of all that, even letting you pay via credit card from your Android. The only drawback? It's not available in every city (or even every state), though it has expanded its range dramatically since it was first included on this list.


Untappd Image

Untappd helps you record each brew you try along with a rating and tasting notes. Think of it as Swarm for beer! No more staring at a tap list, trying to remember which ones you've had before. The app also has a vibrant community of beer drinkers that can point you toward new discoveries and an extensive list of beers. It's also a handy way to find your favorite brew near your current location. While it's not perfect, it can change the way you think of beer.


Yelp Image

It pays to be a little skeptical of crowd-sourced reviews, but Yelp tells you a lot more than just what people thought of a bar, restaurant, or just about any other place where you spend money. Many locations list hours of operation, contact information, and menus, making it easy to find the perfect spot in your neighborhood or a new city.


Health & Fitness

Adidas Running by Runtastic Image

Adidas Running by Runtastic

The Adidas Running app, formerly called Runtastic PRO, can do much more than just track your favorite running routes. This excellent fitness app keeps track of all sorts of useful data and can return information-rich maps to help you plan future outings. Use it for cycling, hiking, and walking, too.


Clue Image

Menstruators the world over will rejoice over Clue, a simple app with a beautiful design for tracking your period and predicting when the next will occur. Using the data you enter about your cycle—and other factors—you can use Clue to plan ahead, whether it's for pregnancy or just to keep ahead of your cycle. Reminders and a handy calendar tool can help take the guesswork out of life. Best of all, it's totally gender-neutral, and not the expected pink.


Eve Image

Tracking your period isn't just about knowing the cycle, but also the other factors surrounding it. Eve by Glow lets you track physical and emotional states, which can lead to some important insights when you take the time to interpret your own data. Eve also boasts a vibrant community and a wealth of information about sexual health built right in.


Fitbit Image

You might know Fitbit from its popular fitness trackers, but the app that powers those devices works well on its own, too. Using your just your smartphone (assuming you meet the minimum hardware requirements), this fitness app can count steps and log activities to help you achieve daily goals. There are also social features, so you can compete against your friends. It's a must-have (really, you must have it) for Fitbit users, but also a smart choice for anyone looking to be more active.


MyFitnessPal Image

This calorie counter and exercise tracker aims to help you lose weight the old-fashioned way—expending more calories than you take in. With its smart design and an extensive library of foods, it makes quickly logging the calories you take in and what you burn while exercising a snap. A barcode scanner makes it even easier to log that post-workout snack. This fitness app also plays nice with other such apps, so your data won't be tied up in just one place. MyFitnessPal won't supply you a whole workout regimen, but it can make you more aware of your habits. PCMag has a full review of MyFitnessPal for the iPhone.


Zocdoc Image

Zocdoc makes it easy to research nearby doctors on your health insurance plan and book appointments from your phone. When you first sign up for the app, you can enter your insurance information manually or scan your card to get started. The app itself looks slick too, with a modern, bright design that makes the experience of scheduling visits less stressful. Zocdoc even saves your history of appointments and makes recommendations for future ones, so you can stay on top of your health history.


Music & Podcasts

Anchor Image

If you want to record your own podcast, Anchor is likely one of the easiest ways to do it. This app lets you record by yourself or with friends and build out entire podcast episodes entirely from your phone. Anchor even implements some basic audio editing tools for perfecting each clip in the app. Recently, the service announced a monetization program for creators on the platform.


Bandcamp Image

Filled with both up-and-coming and established acts, Bandcamp is one of the most exciting music marketplaces there is. The app was initially built around streaming songs you'd already purchased on Bandcamp, but now it's a one-stop-shop for digital and physical band merch. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of music, this is an essential app.


BlackPlayer Image

Streaming services are all the rage, but if you still keep music locally, BlackPlayer is worth your attention. We particularly like the Discover option, which shuffles through 10-second previews of seldom-played tracks in your library continuously, until you decide on what to listen to next. There's also a built-in tag editor and a ton of customization options for button styles, fonts, themes, and now playing notifications.

LiveXLive Image

While Pandora may have introduced the world to streaming radio, LiveXLive has refined it. You can listen to what the service thinks you'll like, or try out one of its human-curated channels and playlists. It also has hyper-specific playlists that appeal to particular tastes and moods, such as Yacht Rock. If you aren't ready to subscribe to LiveXLive quite yet, you can try out its free version.

Per Month, Starts at $3.99

Pocket Casts Image

Android has struggled with podcasts (they don't call 'em "Droidcasts," after all), but Pocket Casts is here to help. This highly customizable app is great for chilling out with an episode of your favorite casts, and it can also sync among different devices so that you can pick up right where you left off. Time to start listening.

MSRP $3.99

Songkick Image

Songkick is the bridge between the music in your digital collection and concerts in your area. Once installed, Songkick scans your device for tunes and then lets you see when and where your favorite artists are playing. If you see a show you're interested in, you can also purchase tickets all from within the app. Add multiple locations to Songkick to catch concerts when you're on the road.


Spotify Image

With its huge inventory of music, Spotify has become a mainstay for free, legal music streaming. You can shuffle through smartly selected songs, find your favorite albums, or explore one of the service's excellent playlists. Close ties with artists means that new tracks are sometimes available the same day they hit the shelves in record shops. Those still exist, right? Spotify also offers a limited free version.

Per Month, Starts at $10.99

Stitcher Image

Though its interface is a bit tricky, Stitcher connects you with just about every podcast out there. Podcasts are organized by subject, or you can just search for a familiar title. Shows can, in turn, be organized into playlists for a continuous stream. Once you've exhausted all your favorites, let Stitcher recommend something new. With a special emphasis on sources like NPR, CNN, and ESPN, Stitcher has a little bit of everything.



Adobe Lightroom Image

Adobe Lightroom is a powerful photo-editing app for mobile that retains many of the features from its desktop counterparts, Lightroom, which earned a three-and-a-half star rating, and Lightroom Classic, a five-star Editors' Choice winner. Some of its standout tools include raw camera file profiles, noise reduction, profile-based lens corrections, and advanced color and lighting sliders. Lightroom also notably syncs all these edits between the mobile and desktop apps.

MSRP $9.99

Flickr Image

Remember Flickr? The venerable photo-sharing service is an Editors' Choice web service, and the Android app has a lot to recommend it, too. It's more about the art of photography than the meme- and selfie-packed Instagram. Offering a well-designed interface and excellent photo and video editing tools, Flickr is more valuable than ever. Plus, the app connects you to the vibrant community of photographers on the service. Best of all, it can automatically back up photos from your phone. Free users can upload up to 1,000 photos and a $50 per year subscription gets you unlimited online photo storage.


Google Photos Image

Google Photos puts the search giant's powerful (and sometimes creepy) image magic into your phone. It can identify faces, even as they age over the decades, as well as animals, places, or objects. You can also search for photos from specific dates or locations. The impressive built-in Assistant can detect clutter or even create collages or animations on its own. The app is rounded out with editing tools and unlimited cloud storage if you make some minor compromises on upload quality. Google Photos also extends to photo prints; you can digitize physical photos with the built-in Photo Scan or even order a custom photo book. The companion Google Lens app can even report back information related to your images or photos by scanning them.


Instagram Image

It seems like just yesterday that Facebook-owned Instagram was adding video. Then direct messaging. Then advanced photo editing put it on par with Photoshop Express for image correction and manipulation. Instagram Stories is now far more popular than Snapchat's similar feature. And anti-bullying features should make it more palatable for some. With a clean, minimalist interface, Instagram is the current king of social photo apps.


PicsArt Photo Studio Image

With tons of effects, controls over layers, drawing tools, and collages, PicsArt Photo Studio can contend with Photoshop and is one of the best photo editing apps for Android. If you think it's just a lowly Instagram clone, you're wrong. When you're looking to take your smartphone snapshots to the next level, seek out this app.

Per Month, Starts at $8.99

Snapseed Image

Don't get us wrong, some of us love Instagram. But if you want more control than Instagram affords, try Google-owned Snapseed. This app straddles the line between full-fledged image editor and filter app, all in a sleek and attractive package. Best of all is the amount of control it gives you over how filters and effects are applied to your images. It even lets you make non-destructible edits to raw camera files and make adjustments to exposure and detail levels.


Asana Image

Asana is the 800-pound gorilla of task management for teams, dwarfing other popular services like the capable Trello. Asana is all about workflows and checkbox tasks that can be assigned to individuals. The Android app lets you take your tasks on the go and offline, syncing your progress when you're back on the network. It's a powerful tool with an excellent interface, and new features are added regularly.


Doodle Image

The hardest part of scheduling a meeting is getting everyone to agree. Jeff is free Monday and Wednesday. Jill is available Monday, but not Tuesday. And the other dozen people have their own schedules to contend with. Doodle lets you suggest times, and then see which work best for everyone. It's an invaluable planning tool.


Evernote Image

Once you start using Evernote, this note-taking app becomes a powerful tool for organizing just about everything. Notes can be anything—text, images, audio, or a mix—and are organized into notebooks. One of its killer features is optical character recognition, which makes the text in images searchable. Cloud-storage makes it the perfect tool for organizing the little pieces of a project into a finished draft.

Per Month, Starts at $14.99

Fax.Plus Image

Faxing isn't dead quite yet, but fax machines can safely be left behind thanks to online fax services. Fax.Plus's app is well designed and easy to use. It notably offers a digital signature tool and a contact manager. We like how mobile fax apps allow users to snap a picture of an attachment, attach a fax cover sheet, and send a fax off to a recipient in a few quick actions. Fax.Plus makes this process seamless.

Per Month, Starts at $8.99


IFTTT, which stands for "if this, then that," helps you create custom automations between various online services and devices without any coding experience. The mobile app makes it simple to set up these Applets (previously called recipes) on your own or implement any of the community-created ones. IFTTT is particularly great for controlling smart home devices.


Khan Academy Image

Avoid paying for expensive textbooks and use Khan Academy instead. With lessons and videos for Arts & Humanities, Computing, Economics & Finance, Math, and more, there's no shortage of Topics you can learn or review. The app is easy to use, and you can resume lessons wherever you sign in to your account.



Microsoft Word Image

Microsoft Word is, simply put, the alpha and omega of word processing, and one of the key apps in Microsoft Office 365. You'll find it on every kind of computer in every kind of setting, and now it's available for free on Android. Word plugs into Microsoft's cloud infrastructure to keep your documents in order, but its main selling point is that this really is Word. What you make on your phone will look exactly the same on the desktop. For the worker on the go, it's essential.


Mint Image

Mint is a fantastic online service to keep track of your finances, and it really shines on Android. Once you've entered all your information, you can easily check up on your finances on the fly. Mint keeps you on track for your goals and a new bill paying feature makes sure that you never miss a payment. Be sure to try out the app's excellent widgets, too.


Nine Email Image

Nine is a very reliable email client designed to work with all of your accounts. The clean interface and the optional conversation view make practicing and replying to email intuitive. One of the coolest features is the ability to customize the notification actions, including an incredibly useful "Mark as read" option. It isn't cheap, but it's only a one-time $14.99 charge for a much-improved email experience that also integrates calendar, contacts, notes, and tasks functionality.

Slack Image

Slack has gone from the new hotness, to controversial productivity tool, to essential office tool faster than you can say "hot take." With a familiar, instant messenger feel, it's easy to get started with Slack. But the service became popular because of its wealth of advanced features, like customizable alerts and a Do Not Disturb function. You can even host VoIP calls through Slack with your coworkers. A free account will get you started, but a monthly fee unlocks even better search tools. And be sure to install the Giphy plugin for maximum productivity.

Per User, Per Month, Starts at $8.75

Spike Image

Reading email can be a slog, as they just don’t feel as natural or accessible as, say, text messages. Until now. Spike is an app that transforms your email inbox into a messenger platform, giving it a WhatsApp-style conversation flow. You can perform traditional email tasks, such as forwarding or scheduling messages, but the radically different inbox appearance will change your email perspective. A personal account is free, so supply Spike a shot. Once you switch you may never go back to traditional emails inboxes again.


Todoist Image

If you like to keep your life organized with various to-do lists, then you definitely need to download Todoist. This app lets you keep track of the tasks you need to get done; you can assign them different priorities based on their overall importance or organize them across different projects. It also has a functional, clean design and works across many different platforms. Anyone can get started for free, but seriously organized individuals should upgrade to the $28.99 per year premium plan to set up task labels and reminders, upload files, and view productivity charts.

Per Month, Starts at Free

TurboTax Tax Return App Image

Everyone needs to file their taxes every year. Most people will probably have an easier time using dedicated tax software (and some might still enjoy preparing them by hand), but more ambitions filers or those with simple tax returns can get away with using a mobile app. Intuit's TurboTax Tax Return App is the best one we reviewed this year. Among its top features are an excellent user interface, support for all major tax forms, and innovative help options. If you get stuck at any point, you can just open up the Virtual Assistant, which keeps a running dialogue of the help Topics you searched for, or use SmartLook to connect to a tax expert via video chat.


Reading & News

Calibre Companion Image

Calibre is the giant of ebook management, and this app is the perfect (ahem) companion for it. With just a few clicks, you can add any book from your computer to your eReader over USB or Wi-Fi. You can also store your ebooks on the cloud for easy access from wherever you are. What's so surprising is how well it works, and how easy it is to use. If you've got a lot of ebooks and are ready to cast off the shackles of Amazon, this is the app for you.

ComiXology Image

The Amazon-owned ComiXology—the iTunes of digital comics—offers a near-perfect combination of store and comic book reader in its wonderful Comics app. The free app transforms your Android smartphone or tablet into a digital long box that houses and syncs your purchases across multiple devices. Even better, the new Comixology Unlimited service lets you devour an ever-expanding catalog of titles for just $5.99 per month.


ESPN Image

What is most impressive about the ESPN Android app is the sheer number of sports it covers. Everything from American football to Brazilian soccer to Indy 500 is available. For those unmissable games, you can set alerts and follow specific matches as they unfold. It also connects you to videos and news headlines, courtesy of the popular sports cable network. Also, check out ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+.


Feedly Image

Feedly takes the RSS feed into the modern age, and it's the easiest way to stay on top of all your favorites sources of news. You can view everything all at once if you want, but Feedly also lets you categorize your sources for focused practicing or use its Today tab, which shows you the top stories from each category. Additionally, you can make Feedly look as simple as you wish, with minimalist text-only layouts. It's a great way to keep informed with the days' headlines and it offers useful integrations with other services as well.


Flipboard Image

With its slick, streamlined interface, Flipboard is one of the best apps for practicing the news. With it, you browse the articles, videos, podcasts, and other media that matter most to you. The app's signature magazine-style interface lets you explore the day's headlines in a gorgeous environment. The Daily Edition feature gives you the most important news along with themed stories for each day of the week. Flipboard has been one of our top picks for years, and it's easy to see why.


Kindle Image

The official Amazon Kindle app puts all of your existing Amazon ebook purchases at the tips of your fingers, and it gives you mobile access to the Kindle ebook store for impulse purchasing. Best of all, it syncs your notes, bookmarks, and where you left off among all your devices.


Libby by Overdrive Image

The library is an often-overlooked public resource (and some are modernizing quickly), but OverDrive brings it back into the fold with the newly redesigned, Libby. Supported by over 30,000 libraries worldwide, the app lets you access your local library's array of available ebooks and audiobooks. Use it to obtain titles, place holds on titles not yet available, and consume your borrowed content. The only requirement is a library card (or its digital equivalent).


Pocket Image

Your bag of holding for internet content, Pocket saves articles, images, and videos for later reading. We especially like how it reformats articles for more comfortable practicing on a mobile device, and how it syncs content to your tablet, phone, and online account. With the close integration between Pocket and the Android sharing tools, you can pocket just about anything from your phone.


reddit is fun Image

There's no shortage of Reddit apps on the Google Play store and choosing one over another ultimately comes down to preference, but reddit is fun (RIF) is a great option to try. The default view features a dense, text-heavy layout that puts the best (and worst) of Reddit front and center. There's both a light and dark theme and tons of layout content customization options to try out, even if you don't opt for the paid version. Better yet, there are no ads in either version or RIF and its overall performance is extremely quick.



Bitdefender Mobile Security Image

Bitdefender Mobile Security

Need Android antivirus? It's hard to do better than Bitdefender. This app has received perfect scores from two independent research labs and scans your phone in mere seconds. It also includes excellent phishing protection, powerful antitheft tools, and Android Wear integration.

MSRP $14.95

Bitwarden Image

As far as password managers go, Bitwarden checks all the right boxes. For instance, it supports two-factor authentication and secure password sharing. Bitwarden also implements a password generator and can help you import passwords from other services. Best of all, it's free and open-source.

Per Month, Starts at Free

Dashlane Image

You're terrible at passwords. Don't take it personally! Everyone is terrible at passwords. That's why we all need apps like Dashlane, which generate, save, and replay login credentials wherever they're needed. This smart, cross-platform service makes sure that your passwords, payment information, and other vital information is stored securely but never out of reach.

Per Month, Starts at Free

LastPass Image

After a major overhaul to this powerful password manager, its appearance finally matches its performance. With LastPass, you can access your saved passwords, secure notes, and filled forms from your Android, and you can also create new ones that sync to all your devices. The new version of the app ingeniously melds the password manager with a built-in browser, putting the app's auto-login features at the forefront. Staying safe has never been easier.

Per Month, Starts at Free

Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus Image

Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus

Kaspersky for Android bundles on-demand malware scans and active web protection. Additionally, it implements a host of anti-theft features including remote locate, lock and wipe, as well as the ability to sound an alarm. You can even lock apps behind a PIN as an extra preventative measure in case your phone gets stolen. Although you need a paid Kaspersky Internet Security subscription to use all its features, some basic functionality is available for free. It's a top choice for Android antivirus apps.


Microsoft Authenticator Image

SMS-based two-factor authentication is a common option, but when a service supports authentication apps, you should use that option. Microsoft Authenticator, like other time-based, one-time passcode authentication apps, lets you add accounts via a numeric or QR code and use the generated codes to log in to your services. Microsoft's app excels in its simplicity and extra features such as cloud backup (for when you are moving to a new device) and an optional app lock. You either enter the number displayed in the app, a two-digit number displayed by the service you're trying to authenticate or simply hit Allow in the popup notification.


NordVPN Image

With NordVPN you can rest assured that no prying eyes will see your internet traffic. This app sports an excellent interface, a handy server selection tool, and hundreds of available VPN servers across the globe. NordVPN's signature feature is its assortment of specialized servers, which are optimized for activities like peer-to-peer downloading, video streaming, and access to Tor.

MSRP $11.95

ProtonMail Image

Your Gmail inbox is not secure. Use ProtonMail instead. This encrypted email platform offers a range of pricing options, including a free tier, so you have no excuse not to join. Security and privacy features aside, ProtonMail works like any other email app. Make sure to also check out ProtonVPN for securing your network traffic; it's an Editors' Choice for free VPNs.

Per Year, Starts at $47.88

Qustodio Image

Qustodio is an excellent parental control software that makes it easy to manage your child's mobile activity, especially with its well-designed companion app. Its best features are its browser-independent web content filters and ability to set device usage time limits. Rounding out its capabilities are location tracking, call and SMS logging, and mobile application blocking. Parents will also appreciate the instant device-locking and panic button options.

MSRP $54.95

TunnelBear VPN Image

VPNs are complex, but TunnelBear's VPN app isn't. TunnelBear graces the experience with bright colors, clear options, and, best of all, lots of friendly bears. This VPN undergoes annual third-party audits and offers top capabilities, including split tunneling on Android. TunnelBear offers a traffic-limited free version, too.

Per Month, Starts at $9.99


Amazon Image

Amazon is the internet's marketplace; the one place where you can buy just about anything—and it's cheap too! On Android, two of our favorite features are the integrated Alexa voice commands and the photo search, which makes it easy to surreptitiously compare Amazon's prices to those of the brick and mortar stores it is killing. Amazon Video-related functionality has been moved over to a dedicated app, but all of its other consumer services, including Fresh and Restaurants, make an appearance. Prime members rejoice; there's never been a better way to stay connected with your Amazon lifestyle.


Google Pay Image

Google Pay has gone through many permutations over the years. Formerly known as Google Wallet, this person-to-person payment app from Google lets you easily send money without pesky cash or credit cards getting in the way. And in that role, it really excels. It's a strong alternative to our top choice, Venmo.


Groupon Image

The original deal locator for mobile, Groupon partners with businesses to offer low prices to a limited number of people for a limited time. While the value of Groupon's offerings is sometimes debatable, it offers a useful way to try a new restaurant or a totally new activity in your area.


Pinterest Image

Pinterest is a social network of stuff, a place to "pin" things that interest you on themed boards. The Android app offers a great way to gather images from around the web for making lists or just collections of stuff that catch your eye. You could use it to help redecorate your living room or even to help you choose a tattoo artist. It easily integrates with your browser for fast pinning, and you can view the pins of others for added inspiration.


Rakuten Slice Package Tracker Image

Rakuten Slice Package Tracker

For all our technical savvy and disruptive startups, physical package delivery is still ecommerce's backbone. The Slice app automatically detects shipping details from your email and then tracks the packages for you. You can watch your precious commodities make their stately way to your doorstep, get alerts when they are delivered, and even receive warnings if they've been recalled or the price has dropped. In short, Slice is an online shopper's best friend.


Venmo Image

There are many ways to pay for items with your phone, but Venmo has a smart mixture of clean design, ease of use, and social functions that supply it an edge. Venmo doesn't do much, but it does let you easily send and receive payments from friends. And unlike other payment systems, Venmo has momentum. It's usually the app people ask about when the group is splitting up the check.



Airbnb Image

Airbnb should be your go-to app for finding rooms, apartments, homes, and other unique accommodations when traveling, if you don't want to go with a traditional hotel. The length of your stay need not be short-term either; some locations let you book a stay for several months, which may appeal to people working temporary jobs in new places. This travel app also highlights other experiences and restaurants, so you can find out about everything a locale offers.

Citymapper Image

If you're traveling within a major metropolitan area via either public transportation or personal vehicle, Citymapper can plan all your trip details. It has transit information for dozens of major U.S. cities and international hotspots in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Further, it offers multiple transportation options for each city, so if you feel like taking the ferry to work one morning, there's nothing stopping you. Its top features include Commute, which lets you set up your daily travel to and from work, and an alert system that uses natural language to describe service delays or cancellations.

Eventbrite Image

If an event isn't being organized on Facebook, it's probably being done through Eventbrite. This service makes it easy to manage invites, RSVPs, and even ticket purchasing. Attendees get handy reminders about the events they planned to attend, organizers can see guest lists. We particularly like that Eventbrite can generate QR codes, making event check-in a breeze.


Google Maps Image

Google Maps has been your guide for years, and this excellent app just keeps getting better. With just a few taps, Google Maps tells you exactly how to get to your destination. It even supports walking, bicycle, and mass-transit directions, as well as Uber. The app's road knowledge is so eager that it can tell you which lane to be in while using turn-by-turn directions. And because this is Google, you can easily search for locations nearby. While true that this app is can't be uninstalled, it's still the best map app you'll find.


Overdrop Image

Although a weather app's primary function is to supply an accurate forecast, the presentation of that data is also important. Overdrop manages to accomplish both feats. The app includes helpful timeline-based graphs of temperature, wind, and rain predictions. Furthermore, you can change the units of measurement that the app displays as well as the weather provider. Your choices are Dark Sky or Weather Bit.


Transit Image

Who needs Uber when so many cities offer world-class public transit? The Transit app shows mass transit options—including buses, ferries, and trains—and the estimated time of arrival in 87 cities in North American, Europe, and Australia. Here in New York, it even tells you how many bikes are parked at local Citi Bike stands. This app keeps you in the know no matter where your travels take you.


Uber Image

Uber certainly has its problems. Between its questionable business tactics and its bad press, it's understandable to be suspicious. But the truth is that if you're looking for a way to get a ride, regardless of what city you're in, Uber will be there. You can even use it to order food in some areas. A great feature: You can request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle through Uber.


Weather Underground Image

Weather Underground combines a slick design with a focus on really useful weather information. We particularly like the ability to report weather conditions in your area and the extremely useful comparative forecasts that deftly show how conditions have changed since yesterday. With an accompanying set of useful widgets, it's the best weather app on Android.



Dropbox Image

Dropbox pioneered the personal cloud service, where all your stuff would be available no matter what device you were using. On Android, it holds its own—even against the highly integrated Google Drive. Dropbox can also act as a seamless backup for your images, automatically uploading every photo to the cloud. It even includes some light image editing tools. If you're the type of person with lots of files already stored in Dropbox, this app is a must-have.

Per Month, Starts at $11.99

Grammarly Keyboard Image

Grammarly Keyboard corrects your grammar and spelling errors as you type. This keyboard is useful for everything from writing emails to composing social media posts to editing long-form documents. In use, Grammarly makes it easy to accept changes or access a card-based interface with more in-depth explanations of an error. It also offers a good number of visual customizations, such as a choice between a light or dark theme options and the keyboard height, as well as editing options, such as auto-correction and capitalization preferences.


Google Drive Image

Work-focused Android users have a wealth of storage options, but few are as widely used as Google Drive. Google offers 15GB of free storage by default, but more can be purchased if needed. Drive is part of the Google Workspace umbrella that also includes Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, making it an invaluable productivity tool. The service is deeply integrated into Google’s architecture, so it’s entirely likely that you’re already using Drive for storage. But if you aren’t, take advantage of the free cloud storage and workspace functions that come with the app.


Microsoft OneDrive Image

Microsoft OneDrive is one of the best cloud storage services. With apps for all your devices, a clean interface, and excellent organization tools, it's a seamless way to keep your files with you wherever you go. Free users get 5GB of storage, but if you subscribe to Office 365, that limit goes up to 1TB. Microsoft's Personal Vault feature is built-in too, which helps you keep sensitive information behind an additional layer of security.


Microsoft Launcher Image

Microsoft Launcher can replace your Android phone's default launcher with a useful and customizable feed for quick access to exact apps, events, and frequently contacted people. You can view the main app list horizontally or vertically, and it includes an elegant alphabetical scrollbar for reaching apps quickly. Performance is just as smooth as the stock launcher, and it doesn't affect the use of Google Assistant, though of course, Cortana feels more at home as your voice assistant with this launcher.


Network Analyzer Image

Network Analyzer makes it easy to view information about all of the Wi-Fi networks nearby. With a few taps, you can see the strength of networks in the area on a dynamic graph and view detailed information about your connection, such as your IPv4 Address, MAC Address, and Default Gateway IP. You can even run a network query from within the app; it lets you Ping an IP/Domain Name or even check the DNS Server settings. It's the perfect companion to our article on how to find your IP address.


Otter Voice Notes Image

Otter is an innovative automatic recording and transcription service that works in real-time. Simply hit the record button during a conversation or meeting and Otter will produce a usable transcript a few minutes later. Otter's app is fluid, well-designed, and quick in operation, which makes it ideal for students and professionals who rely on their mobile devices for their work. The app also integrates other top-notch features such as cross-conversation speaker identification, excellent search tools, and in-app editing of transcripts.

Speedtest by Ookla Image

Are you curious about the speed of your Internet connection? Ookla's Speedtest app makes it easy to test your latency as well as upload and obtain speeds. The app also keeps a log of test results so you can compare performance over time. IF you want, you can also export your results for further analysis. PCMag relies on Ookla's tools every year to pick the fastest ISPs. (Note: Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag's publisher.)


Steam Link Image

Game-streaming platforms and subscriptions are all the rage right now, with big-name players such as Apple (Arcade), Google (Stadia), and Microsoft (xCloud) all recently launching some sort of effort. Steam Link (still in beta) allows you to play games from your Steam library directly from your Android phone, with the caveat that both your PC and mobile device must be connected to the same network. Check out our guide on how to stream games on your Android or iOS device.


SwiftKey Keyboard Image

An impressive keyboard replacement, SwiftKey Keyboard suggests what it thinks is the most likely next word as you type. A pioneer of this technology, SwiftKey can speed up your typing by inserting whole words with a tap. The app also supports Swype-like input, over 100 languages, and 80 colorful themes.

MSRP $3.99

Tasker Image

Let's be honest: Tasker is very intimidating. But we recognize that this is perhaps the most powerful app available in Google Play. With it, you can script basic actions for your Android to perform when specific conditions are met—like flash the LED when you receive a text message. Learning to use something this powerful can be tricky, but the rewards seem worth it.

Video Streaming

fuboTV Image

fuboTV is a great option for any cord-cutting sports fans. This "sports-first, but not sports-only" service offers extensive live sports and entertainment content (85 channels) for all your devices. Whether you want to watch NFL games on Sunday, catch up an MLB game that aired during the day, or even stream a movie on-demand, fuboTV has you covered. fuboTV also offers excellent DVR capabilities and other features for watching events and shows you may have otherwise missed. In testing, streaming live and on-demand shows worked very well.

Per Month, Starts at $74.99

Hulu Image

Hulu has long been a major player in the on-demand streaming space and its large library of current and previously aired shows offer appealing options for many. Hulu's live TV component is impressive as well, with a good range of channels and well-designed apps. Hulu's combination of on-demand and live TV services makes it an excellent value.

Per Month, Starts at $7.99

Netflix Image

Despite ups and downs in the quality of its library, Netflix dominates the world of streaming TV and movies. The service also creates its own—sometimes indispensable—content, including original comedies, cartoons, dramas, and documentaries. Some of the shows have become cultural phenomena, making Netflix a must-have. Shows such as Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and The Crown (the most expensive TV show ever made) are often the conversation Topics of the day. You can even obtain select episodes to watch offline at your leisure.

MSRP $9.99

Twitch Image

Twitch is the best way to watch people play games or pursue their creative hobbies on your mobile device. From eSports to cooking to music and more, there's likely some content on Twitch that everyone can enjoy. If you are feeling generous, you can also support your favorite creators directly from the app. Twitch Prime members can also claim free games and in-game loot each month.


Yahoo Sports Image

With the Yahoo Sports app, you can watch live NFL games in your area as well as primetime matchups at no cost. The app is also useful for keeping up with the scores and highlights from other national sports leagues. A well-designed layout and solid performance in testing make it a worthwhile download.


Youtube TV Image

YouTube TV is one of the best video streaming services for streaming live channels, with an excellent combination of news, sports, and entertainment options. The service also offers top-notch apps and excellent DVR functionality. YouTube TV's streaming performance is excellent, too.

MSRP $72.99

Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Innovative teaching: Top five apps for BenQ Board to transform the classroom

Inforial (The Jakarta Post)

Jakarta   ●   Fri, December 29, 2023 2023-12-29 21:06 6 534d85dcc1d414d7fac963ca612c7d70 4 Inforial BenQ Free

The new BenQ Boards integrate fully with GMS, giving users easier access to official Google services such as Google Play, Google Drive, Google Meet, Google Docs, Google Classroom and other Android applications directly from the BenQ Board. They also come with BenQ’s proprietary software for advanced whiteboarding and screen sharing. The EZWrite 6 whiteboard makes writing and illustrating concepts a breeze, while InstaShare 2 allows up to nine screens to be shared wirelessly for smooth collaborative discussions.

The RP04 and RM04 feature the highest level of protection for the eyes with the world-leading Eyesafe® Certified 2.0 display. Both boards come with antimicrobial screens to minimize germ transmission, while the RP04 additionally monitors indoor air quality to promote better learning and working conditions. BenQ Boards also offer top-tier management with the Account Management System (AMS) and Device Management Solution (DMS). Users can log in to any board using existing credentials with an NFC card or Single Sign-On (SSO), while IT admins can remotely update firmware, applications and power settings for multiple BenQ devices.

With the rapid rise of technology, educational institutions have chosen to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) rather than shy away, and AI resources are increasingly being used in schools to Excellerate students' learning experiences.

EDLA BenQ Boards, which come pre-installed with Google Play and other key Google apps, enable the direct installation of chosen AI educational programs. In addition, these bulletin boards provide easy access to web-based AI platforms that allow a variety of learning approaches along with a more streamlined lesson plan creation.


For some tips and ideas to use AI in your classroom, here are five ways AI can help students and teachers alike.

1. Unlocking creativity with chatbots

Teachers are increasingly finding creative uses for large language model (LLM) AI chatbots in classrooms. For instance, some math teachers have used chatbots to create math-themed rap songs for class competitions, while English instructors have encouraged students to critique AI-generated essays, and some even use chatbots to simplify period pieces such as those by Shakespeare into modern English to enable deeper discussions during class.

ChatGPT, arguably the most well-known chatbot, is available as an app on the BenQ Board from Google Play, as is Perplexity. At the same time, easy access to resources such as Bard and Claude 2 through the board's web browser offer more exploration opportunities.

2. Simplifying lesson planning

Many teachers will likely be familiar with creating lesson plans, which can be time-consuming. Fortunately, AI-powered interactive presentation tools such as Curipod, integrated into BenQ Boards, enable educators to craft engaging lessons within minutes.

Curipod uses AI to generate comprehensive lessons with interactive elements like word clouds, group discussion prompts, polls, drawings and Q&A slides. Existing slide decks can also be enriched with interactive features by uploading them to Curipod.

Sharing these interactive lessons with students is as easy as using a QR code in class. In addition, Curipod also provides personalized AI-generated feedback on student answers, which can be reviewed beforehand to ensure its accuracy.

3. Efficient quiz creation

Gamification boosts student motivation, and platforms like Kahoot! excel in this area through quizzes. Kahoot!'s AI question generator helps create enhanced quizzes effortlessly, as users can choose a Topic and utilize the question generator to craft quizzes from scratch or modify existing ones, with various question formats available.

BenQ Boards facilitate displaying and moderating Kahoot! quizzes in class, while students can use their own devices to answer. Correct answers are then shown on the board for collective review.

4. Interactive Classroom Management

Classcraft, an AI-augmented gamified classroom management system, employs game elements to engage and motivate students toward desired behaviors. Students earn points by completing tasks set by the teacher, such as fostering collaboration and maintaining decorum, which translates into real-world rewards and a narrative of progression through story chapters.

The program offers teachers insights into class progress and AI-powered suggestions to assist struggling students. Displaying ClassCraft on BenQ Boards allows easy monitoring of student progress and introduces new chapters in the storyline.

5. Personalized language learning

Effective language learning requires practice and feedback. Duolingo, a popular language learning app, uses AI to customize lessons, correct mistakes and keep engagement high. Its personalized approach tailors activities based on individual proficiency levels, making language practice enjoyable and rewarding.

Incorporating Duolingo into classroom routines facilitates warm-up and review activities, setting goals for students during lessons and fostering healthy competition among groups using timed challenges displayed on the board.

EDLA BenQ Boards, with direct installation of preferred AI education apps and easy access to AI web tools, empower educators with a range of resources to elevate lessons. From refining teaching methods to fostering personalized learning experiences, these tools highlight the evolving landscape of AI in education.

More info about BenQ Board Pro RP04:

Topics :

Fri, 29 Dec 2023 00:20:00 -0600 en text/html
You should have these apps on your new Android smartphone

Just got a new Android smartphone for the holidays? If it’s your first one, it could be a little intimidating, so to get you started, here are a few apps you should immediately install or set up on a new Android device. Alternatively, if you’re not already using these apps, it might be time to supply them a shot!

Use a password manager!!

We all have a ton of online accounts, and the best way to both manage and protect that data is with a password manager. Password managers usually work by encrypting your data behind a “Master Password” or some other means while allowing you to organize that data by the site it works with or in folders.

Getting a password manager is one of the most important but also one of the easiest ways to enhance your online security.

One of our favorite password managers is 1Password, with affordable pricing, excellent security that uses both a master password and a “Secret Key,” and an easy-to-use app.

1password 8

DashLane works similarly but also has an option to automatically change your passwords for you and some free functionality, too. If you really need a completely free option, though, Bitwarden is a great option. ProtonPass is a new option that also integrates with ProtonMail, a secure email client. It also includes a neat feature where you can create email address aliases to avoid spam. The password manager itself is free, but some of the features require a subscription.

The only password manager we currently don’t actively recommend is LastPass. While it has a solid free tier, the company has had several notable security breaches, including one just recently where password vaults from customers were stolen. It’s still better than nothing, but the free tier is not worth the hassle anymore.

Up your messaging game

Google Messages (RCS)

In the US, at least, messaging has traditionally been a sore point of Android smartphones. Thankfully, Google has been hard at work trying to fix that in exact months, and now, the solution known as RCS (Rich Communication Services) is available to every Android smartphone in the world at this point.

How can you get RCS on your device, and more importantly, what’s the benefit? The benefit, firstly, is that RCS is much more capable than SMS/MMS. Pictures can be sent in higher quality, typing indicators, and more all arrive with RCS. Group chats also get a huge upgrade too. On top of that, RCS chats are now encrypted to offer better security.

Basically, RCS is like Apple’s iMessage, but for Android phones. Soon, Apple will be bringing RCS to the iPhone, which will Excellerate media sharing, features, and probably group chats, too. The green bubble won’t be gone, but it’ll be way better than it is today.

To get RCS on your Android phone, all you need to do is download Google Messages.

The free app is an SMS app at heart, but it can also enable RCS messaging on any carrier and any Android smartphone too. Simply download, set it as your default SMS app, and wait for the prompt to turn on RCS. We’ve got a more detailed tutorial on the process as well, plus some tips and tricks on the best features you should turn on. RCS via Google Messages is end-to-end encrypted for both 1-on-1 messages and group chats.

Telegram, Signal, & other messaging apps

If you want an app for even better messaging, you can go beyond the RCS and typical SMS. Telegram is one of our favorite messaging apps, and it works a lot like the super popular WhatsApp. Unlike that app, though, Telegram works easily on multiple smartphones or tablets at one time and backs up all of your messages automatically. Plus, everything is still encrypted, and you have both voice and video calls available. The app is always getting better through updates and has improved its messaging experience greatly alongside adding a more robust video call app, too.

Discord is another great messaging alternative, offering private messages as well as “servers” to host a few friends or hundreds, all with rooms and chat admins. It’s a great experience and one that’s especially excellent for gamers.

Meanwhile, Signal is an even more privacy-focused messaging app that became especially popular when Meta-owned WhatsApp was under fire for new privacy policies. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both globally and in the US. While many are uncomfortable with Meta, these apps are still far better than the usual SMS you’d otherwise be using. Facebook Messenger now even defaults to end-to-end encryption, which is a big deal!

Staying connected

Google Meet

Video calling is a great way to keep up with friends and family beyond just texts and audio calls, and there are some great services to do it.

Google Duo was always one of the best video calling apps on Android, but in 2022, Google consolidated some of its services, which saw Google Duo fall under the Google Meet brand. Previously aimed just at business matters, Google Meet has a free experience that works a lot like Duo did. The change has been relatively seamless, but it’s worth knowing that Meet is your new home for video calls on Android.

Using Google Meet for calling friends and family is completely free, and it works across a ton of devices. Android phones and tablets. Chromebooks. Windows and macOS. It even works on iOS!

Think of it as Apple’s FaceTime but not locked down to one ecosystem.

The app works with your email address and features fun filters and even screen sharing on some devices. Its best feature, though, might just be how well it works on less-than-ideal connections.

Google Duo Meet icon

Zoom and more

One of the most popular video calling/conferencing tools during the pandemic was Zoom. By its popularity alone, this is an app you should have installed. The service offers meetings that you can connect to with just a link or a password, easily connecting with loved ones and friends or using it for business meetings. Many schools are also using Zoom for remote learning. It’s a powerful app and one that’s not going to cost you anything unless you’re the one hosting, and even then, it’s got a free offering.

Other great video-calling apps include:

  • Skype is one of the original video calling apps that still works great, especially for friends and family.
  • Facebook Messenger, a service that lots of people in the US currently use, has an excellent video calling option alongside its messaging features.

Back up your pictures and videos

Google Photos

One of the first things you should install on a new Android smartphone – or an iPhone, for that matter – is Google Photos. For the vast majority of Android users, the app will be pre-installed on your device, but you’ll still need to get things set up.

google photos app

To do that, simply open the app, sign in with your preferred Google account, and decide on backup options. Photos will automatically backup your pictures and videos in the background, but you’ll need to tell it if you want that done over Wi-Fi only or on cellular data, as well.

From there, you’ll just need to decide on quality. Google offers full-resolution backup as well as a slightly compressed, data-saving option that will lose a bit of quality, but you’ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference. Plus, there are some killer features available with a Google One subscription, such as Magic Eraser and a ton of helpful editing features.

In 2021, Google changed its storage policy with Photos, taking away the “free forever” offer that was attractive to so many and, instead, pushing customers to use only the 15 GB of free storage included with their account or paid upgrades. You can still get fully unlimited photo storage through a special offer with T-Mobile, though.

Amazon Photos and more

Outside of Google, there are some other solid options for storing your photos. Amazon Photos has one of the best values, with unlimited photo storage for Prime customers, while OneDrive has affordable rates and a robust setup for both photos and files alike.

Upgrade your keyboard


The keyboards pre-installed on a lot of today’s most popular Android smartphones are, well, not great. While much of it comes down to personal preference, you can get more features and, in many cases, better functionality out of a different keyboard.

Our top pick? Google’s own Gboard. This keyboard has a great layout that’s comfortable for typers of all styles and supports features such as gesture/swipe typing, GIF search and input, and so much more. There are even unique features such as the “Emoji Kitchen,” which can create some wacky emoji stickers on the fly. You can also theme Gboard to your heart’s desire.

There’s also a useful toolbar that you can customize!

Put simply, it’s an excellent keyboard that’s totally free, and if it wasn’t already on your phone (it’s not installed by default on Samsung Galaxy devices, for example), you should supply it a try. Check it out on the Play Store.

SwiftKey and more

If Gboard isn’t quite your style, there’s another great option on the Play Store in the Microsoft-owned SwiftKey. This keyboard has been one of the most popular Android apps since the platform’s app store existed. Recently acquired by Microsoft, the app offers excellent gesture typing and features the neat trick of learning and adapting to your typing style and your spelling mistakes too. SwiftKey supports over 400 languages and is free. It even supports syncing your clipboard with Windows PCs.

Some other popular Android keyboards include:

  • Grammarly was popularized as a Chrome extension but works great on Android, too. The Grammarly keyboard for Android goes beyond basic spell check to offer grammar fixes and alternate phrasing to Excellerate how you send texts and emails.
  • Fleksy is designed for speed typing with some excellent auto-correct. The keyboard is also adding support for “glide” typing and supports over 80 languages.

Don’t lose your phone or your data

Find My Device

Here’s another app that should already be installed on any new Android smartphone. “Find my Device” is a Google app designed to help you keep track of your smartphone should it be misplaced. If the app isn’t installed on your device for some reason, Find My Device is available via the Play Store.

When you open up Find My Device, you’ll be prompted to sign in with a Google account and enter your password, as well. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to see your device as well as any others attached to your account. You can then ring, lock, or wipe any device on your account. The same applies to your new phone as well as any other Android device you own, a friend’s Android phone, or even just a web browser. As a side note, the core functionality of actually finding your phone with this app is on by default in Google Play Services, but by using the app, you’ll get a bit more control as well as being able to find your other Android devices through the app as well as helping friends to find their phones.

Soon, the app will also be able to use a network of millions of Android phones to help you locate lost items using trackers from brands such as Chipolo and Pebblebee.

Google One

If you do lose or break your phone, you don’t have to lose your data. That’s where Google One comes in handy. With any Google One storage plan (starting at just $2/month), you’ll get improved backups of your phone. By default, Android already backs up core data for free to your Google account, but the One app can back up SMS messages and MMS messages along with your photos and videos.

Backup (and transfer!) your SMS

If you’re still handling a lot of your messaging through SMS, it’s good practice to back that up. SMS Backup & Restore is a handy little client that can back up your SMS and MMS messages to Google Drive or other cloud storage for safekeeping, but the especially handy part is restoring messages. This can be useful as you set up a new phone or if you’re planning to make the switch later on.

Manage your money

Google Wallet – Manage tap to pay and more

Mobile NFC payments are super convenient, and setting them up on Android is easier than ever. Google Wallet is a free and quite simple app that lets you add credit/debit cards to your phone for NFC payments, as well as holding your loyalty cards, gift cards, COVID-19 vaccination data, airline passes, and so much more. It’s also working on adding support for driver’s licenses in select US States.

Google Wallet is pre-installed on most Android devices, but you might have to manually obtain it on a Samsung device, for example.

Cash App, GPay, and more

Sending money has gotten a whole lot easier with apps, and there are some excellent choices to do so. Here are a few popular options.

  • Google Pay: Google’s money-sharing app “GPay” makes it easy to send funds to friends or family with no added fees. The app also holds hundreds of discounts and cashback options, and it can even help you with your budget.
  • PayPal: The classic, PayPal is a great way to send money to your friends and family but is also super useful for online shopping as well as selling.
  • Venmo & Cash App: Both using the same basic model, Venmo and Cash App are excellent apps for sending money between friends and family with usernames for sharing and easy linking to your bank. Plus, since they’re widely used, most folks are usually going to have at least one of these two.

Boost your savings and your security

To help you hit new goals in the new year, as well as up your security, there are two other money-related apps we’d recommend trying out.

Privacy is a virtual card service. After linking it to your bank account, the app can create virtual card numbers that are attached to a single online retailer or even turn off after a single use. It’s a great way to ensure that some retailer’s security breach doesn’t affect your finances later on. It even integrates with 1Password. is a money-saving app. It links to your bank account and automatically saves funds here or there to help you establish some emergency savings or a rainy-day fund. You can also set up manual goals to help you put away money for a vacation, special event, or big purchase.

The best note-taking Android apps

Google Keep Notes

Keeping track of reminders, lists, and more can be made much easier by using a note-taking app. Personally, my favorite note-taking app on Android is Google Keep Notes, and it’s something that just seems to keep getting better over time.

Google Keep is completely free and lets you store notes, lists, and even drawings in the app. Those notes are also synced to your Google account, which means you can access them on any other device, including computers. With a quick setup, you can even use Google Assistant speakers, such as the Nest Mini, to manage a shopping list!

Google Keep downloads

Microsoft OneNote

If you want something that’s not from Google and has a few more advanced features, Microsoft OneNote is an excellent option. The app is completely free, though it works better with other Microsoft apps using a Microsoft 365 subscription. You can back up notes and drawings and insert pictures in the app, and like Google’s app, they’ll sync across devices with your Microsoft account.

Keep connected to your computer

Link to Windows

If you spend all day at a desk, it can be super convenient to keep your Android phone connected to your PC. With the Link to Windows app, that’s super easy.

After connecting, Link to Windows allows Android users to take phone calls on their PC, use messages, bring their notifications to their computer, and even access their photos and videos without hooking up any wires. You can even mirror Android apps from your phone up to your computer.

How to set up Chromebook Phone Hub

Alternatively, if you have a Chromebook, you can set up “Phone Hub.” This offers most of the same features as Link to Windows but further builds on it with support for setting up a hotspot and using your phone as a “key” to unlock your ChromeOS device. You don’t have to obtain anything to set up Phone Hub either, just follow the instructions below.

A few more noteworthy apps:

  • Waze: While Google Maps will do the trick for many, Waze offers crowdsourced live traffic data and reports for speed traps and more.
  • Google News: Especially in these times, keeping up with the latest news is important, and using personalized data, Google News will bring you top stories in a slick app that’s really easy to use.
  • Feedly: Want to keep track of the news using personalized RSS feeds? Feedly is one of the best apps for the job, and it’s free!
  • Google Home/Amazon Alexa: Got some smart home speakers or displays? You’ll want to have the Google Home or Amazon Alexa apps installed, depending on what devices you own.
  • Get a 3rd-party launcher: Installing a new launcher is a great way to fully customize the homescreen on your new Android phone. Nova Launcher and Action Launcher are great options for this.

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Last update: 12/25/2023

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Wed, 27 Dec 2023 03:34:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Best Android launchers 2024

The best Android launchers are the best way to utilize one of Android's best core features: Customization. A new year means a new start, and that makes now the perfect opportunity to try something new and add some variety to your phone. That way you can tinker with the best Android phones as much (or as little) as you like, without the same limitations as the preinstalled launcher.

Launchers offer a surprising amount too. Whether you're looking to supply your phone a makeover, or add features you didn't even know where possible. There are launchers that offer a clean, minimalist look, while others off an explosion of color. No matter what you choose, it means giving your device a fresh look and feel, and without the expense of swapping phones. 

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