Monthly Archives: June 2015

MY Top Android Apps

Everybody writes their Top Ten Android Apps that You Have to Have on Your New Smartphone lists each year, and invariably they list apps that I would never use, don’t need, or something like that.  So I’m going to post MY list.  These are the apps that I install first on any new device I have, whether it’s a new phone, or a tablet, or what.  Most of them I also have installed on my iPad, so they’re not necessarily Android only.

For some background – I am a bi-vocational pastor.  I pastor a small church, and also teach technology at the local elementary school.  Both of these jobs influence what I consider must-haves.  This is something that the other lists won’t tell you — they will just assume that you are just like them, and have the same needs they do.  So as I list my apps, I’ll tell you why they are there.

  1. The Bible App from YouVersion:  This is essential for me as a pastor.  It’s not a study resource – I don’t really do major sermon prep with YouVersion’s app, but I DO constantly review the text I’m preaching from.  The more you read it, the better off you are, when it comes to preaching a text, and YouVersion’s Bible app lets me do that.  It also has some GREAT reading plans – and not all of them are a full year.  There are great topical reading plans that may only last a few weeks or even a few days.  And there are always Lent and Advent plans that are must reads.
  2. Evernote:  I have to have this to stay organized.  Combine this with the Evernote Web Clipper plugin for Chrome and you’ve got a powerful tool.  Whenever I read something that sparks an idea for a sermon, it goes in the Evernote folder marked Future Sermons.  All of my sermon notes go in the Sermon Notes folder, with tags for the book of the Bible I preached from.  On the teaching side, lesson plan ideas go in their own folder, as do my finished plans and a scope and sequence for each school year.  I’ve also got a LOT of tech-related articles that I need to have constant access to, as well as network-specific information for the school (proxy addresses, network printer IP numbers, etc.).  I tell people all the time that Evernote is my brain, and I honestly couldn’t function well without it.
  3. feedly:  I have a LOT of RSS feeds, and I’m old-school enough that I want them in a reader.  I used Google Reader until they shut it down (WHY, GOOGLE, WHY?!), and then in a panic I went hunting and found  It works really well, though integration with Evernote requires a pro account, and it let me import my Google Reader settings when I signed up.  Most importantly, it’s easy to use.
  4. Dropbox:  I have accounts with several cloud storage places (Box, Mozy, Google Drive) and have apps for all of those.  But Dropbox is the one I download first.  It integrates seamlessly with my laptop computer (there’s a Dropbox folder in Windows Explorer that I can drag and drop to), and I can automatically upload all my pictures from my phone to Dropbox.
  5. Kindle for Android:  I have a ton of ebooks; in fact, it’s how I buy commentaries anymore, unless I get a really great deal.  This lets me keep everything in one format, and I can use them across all my devices (including my iPad and my Surface).

I’m not picky about my clock widgets, or my weather apps (though I do LOVE MyRadar).  I do always install Netflix, but that’s not something I consider a must.  And of course, I’ve got a bunch of games.  But those five up there are the ones I really cannot live without.  I’m using my Kindle Fire a lot less now, in fact, partially because there is no Dropbox app in the Amazon app store anymore.

So what did I miss?  Let me know in the comments.