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 feed.ly.  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.

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