Best Android Apps in 2018 - Just What the Doctor Ordered

Best Android Apps in 2018 - Just What the Doctor Ordered

Although 2018 is nearing its end, we have a whole legion of both brand new and already existing, but improved apps that can turn your mobile friend into a true wunder-device.

Our best Android apps in 2018 chart, thoroughly selected and tested, will let you look at the smartphone functionality form a totally new angle.

Enjoy!

10. Slowly - My baby wrote me a letter

In good old days, when cell phones were super classified technology and utilized only by the top military ranks, people had to write letters to each other. And the wait could take days, weeks and even months in some extreme cases.

Sure it was excruciating to wait for the darned letter to arrive, especially if someone dear to you wrote it. But the joy and excitement were wild when the treasured epistle would finally make its way to your mailbox.

Slowly recreates the same effect. The messages you send or receive are delayed in the same fashion, and the length of delivery depends on the geographical (!) location.

You can use Slowly to correspond with someone you already know or find a penpal by using a search-filter, which includes:

Country.

  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Language.
  • Hobbies/interests.

And so on.

The app may seem archaic to some since we have a myriad of instant messengers, but it actually does have a charm about itself. Plus it positively affects such stats of yours as patience, concentration, eloquence and story-telling skills.

Moreover Slowly allows you to take a break from an avalanche of quick messages and relax while reading something precious.

9. Unified Remote - OK Computer

 

In case you've ever needed to manipulate your PC/Mac at a distance then Unified Remote could be just an app for you.

The application uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to grant you the remote control over the computer and also it supports by default most of the popular software that your desktop may have.

The compatible platforms include:

  • Windows - at least Win XP.
  • Mac - at least Mac OS 10.6.
  • Linux - desktop 32/64.
  • Raspberry Pi (ARMv6).
  • Arduino Yún (MIPS).

Chrome OS support is in the draft yet.

The app is perfect if you have mirrored the computer on a TV-set. But if you've had a misfortune of spilling coffee on your keyboard or your mouse stopped responding all of a sudden, and you urgently need to procure some very important documents from your PC - Unified Remote can be a real lifesaver.

To manipulate the PC, you'll need both an Android app and the Unified Remote Server.

8. Google Opinion Rewards - Critics wanted

Google Opinion Rewards does exactly what its name promises: it provides you with cash for completing surveys. Although it should be noted that it's not exactly real money, but rather Google Play credits that can be spent on goods & services in the Google Play Store only.

The app analyzes what places you visit and then offers some surveys that contain questions about them. Tip for getting more polls: turn the location-tracking on.

Polls will be handed out not as often as you'd expect, but they are relatively short and each one brings about $1 worth of Google credits. Thus you can earn enough to buy a book, in-game currency or an app subscription.

7. SwiftKey - The spelling consultant

Swiftkey is by far the most popular alternative to the Android's own keyboard.

This app is an intelligent keyboard-assistant that analyzes, learns and predicts your most frequently typed words and phrases. Therefore it's excellent when it comes to email addresses, phone numbers, social security info full names, etc.

What makes SwiftKey stand out from its analogs is that it stores your language preferences on the Swiftkey Cloud, which means you can use your unique language profile on multiple devices, including PC.

SwiftKey guarantees 100% security though, and it mentions that the private/sensitive info (such as passwords) will not be stored, sold, analyzed for commercial use, leaked, etc.

Apart from clever analysis of your written speech, the app also:

  • Checks your spelling.
  • Has a GIF search function.
  • Uses Swype input that allows typing by sliding.
  • Has two laconic themes.

Additionally, SwiftKey is multilingual.  

6.  Microsoft Office Lens - Mobile scanner #1

There is a visible reason why this app made it to the best Android apps in 2018 list. Because so far it's the nonpareil tool for scanning documents with your mobile device.

Microsoft Mobile Lens is vital if you're a student, lecturer, teacher, office manager and so on. Thanks to its Optical Character Recognition feature, it's possible to capture:

  • Books.
  • Receipts, recipes.
  • Documents, contracts, orders.
  • Cheques, certificates.
  • Whiteboards etc.

There is an Email, OneNote integration and the scanned materials can be shared via messengers, uploaded to cloud storage services or added to a PowerPoint presentation. Word and PDF formats are supported as well.

You need to know that MOL is a bit picky about fonts: it doesn't understand the archaic or overcomplicated ones. So if you decide to scan something like an authentic copy of Malleus Maleficarum printed in Textura script, it will be a fiasco.

5. Feedly - Feed yourself with RSS

Feedly is a helpful digest app that keeps all the freshest news from the social networks, YouTube, newspapers, etc. in one place. Up to 100 news outlets in the free version. It's a terrific trend-detector that allows you to stay updated non-stop on the topics you're interested in, 24/7.

Feedly has a user-friendly interface with some layouts:

  • Detect.
  • Title Only.
  • List.
  • Magazine.
  • Cards.

Sharing options are also available via the likes of Evernote etc.

4. Alarmy (Sleep if U Can) - Worse than a cock-a-doodle-doo

Alarmy is a nightmarish alarm clock app that will never let you skip the waking up part of your morning. No more being a sleepyhead.

The catch is that it will play the annoyingly loud rise-n-shine music until you solve a certain puzzle, math problem, scan a QR-code or snap a photo of a certain object/place to finally prove it to Alarmy that you're fully awake now.

The sadistic app allows you to increase the difficulty level as well, but be warned: Alarmy won't shut up until the puzzle is solved. Truly your phone will become a doomsday device.  

3. Flickr - Excellent for pro-photographers

Flickr app gives you access to one of the biggest photo social networks in existence. But it's only one of the many advantages!

First and foremost, Flickr offers you 1 terabyte of cloud storage space totally free of charge. That means you can instantly back the most memorable and treasured shots - hundreds of thousands of them. By far it's the most generous offering on the market since the competing platforms can give you 15 GB max.

Moreover, Flickr app has an excellent repertoire of editing tools that include:

  • Various artistic filters.
  • Image cropping.
  • White balance.
  • Brightness adjustment.
  • Contrast tweaking etc.

Additionally, if you're interested in a particular photo snapped by some other Flickr-user, you can investigate its EXIF data (if it wasn't purged) and learn about the model of the camera, lens, aperture, resolution, pixel height/width, geographical location, etc.

2. Signal Private Messenger - For paranoid Androids

Signal Private Messages is highly approved by business tycoons, politicians, journalists, activists and possibly intelligence/military ranks. And of course by Edward Snowden. The gimmick of this messenger is absolute security and impenetrability to whoever snooping around your sensitive data.

The signal is totally free from both price-tags and ads. You don't even have to start an account to use it - your gizmo gets identified through receiving a special message from the service.

Your calls and text messages - even the existing ones - will be secured by Signal instantaneously and the protection algorithms it employs include:

  • Curve25519.
  • AES-256.
  • HMAC-SHA256.

It's worth being mentioned that some of those encryption tools are utilized by the likes of Pentagon, NSA, British intelligence MI6, etc.

Furthermore, Signal uses Axolotl protocol and QR-confirmation system. The former protects every single message of yours individually through extra-encryption, meanwhile the latter lets you make sure that you're parlaying with a right individual and not an identity-stealing imposter.

With complicated algorithms and paranoid suspicions put aside, Signal is very responsive and nice to look at aesthetically.

1. Firefox Quantum - A quick red fox

Famous for its security but notorious for the performance speed - Firefox browser has been a hero of countless online holy wars. And now it gets the first place in our best Android apps in 2018 hit-parade.

Nevertheless, its mobile version has been redesigned recently, receiving some new radical improvements:

1)    Faster performance - thanks to the Stylo CSS engine and the advanced interface Photon UI, Firefox Quantum floats like a butterfly. Navigation, browsing, etc. became at least twice as quick as they used to be.

2)    Safety - Firefox doesn't advocate intrusion into one's private life. Therefore it excludes tracking of your online activities. Also, Firefox is pretty rough with the pop-up windows. The Guest session feature allows you to let someone use your phone and browser without giving access to its history, logins/passwords, etc.

3)    Plugins - Firefox has a broad variety of extensions: from anti-viruses to text highlighters, most of which cost nothing.

As for its looks - the icon and interface are very up-to-date and slick in contrast with the archaic appearance of the previous versions.    

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