18 Essential Apps on Android for Filipinos this 2018
If you’re running on an Android phone, chances are you like apps. The OS has more apps for the life of you, which means two things: 1.) you have a lot of options, and 2.) you have too many options. Which apps are the ones you absolutely need? Which apps should you steer clear from? Well, fellow Android user, you’re in luck. From chat messaging to data management, we’ve come up with a list of 18 most essential apps on Android Filipinos should install this 2018.
Gmail is the granddaddy of email and has perhaps the most sophisticated set of features for its Android app. The numerous third-party power-up apps make Gmail very powerful, and unless you have 49.99 USD to spare for Newton Mail, my advice is to stick with Google’s native email app.
SMS messaging: Messages
There isn’t a better SMS messaging app for Android than Messages. It makes proper use of Google’s famed Material Design and has a host of fun features like stickers and video calling. Switch your native messaging app with Messages now if you haven’t yet.
Chat messaging: Viber
The Philippines uses Viber a lot. That’s objectively true. It’s among the top apps we as Filipinos use every day. For this reason, I use Viber quite plenty for work and play. Like WhatsApp, messaging in Viber is protected with end-to-end encryption so you don’t have to worry a whole lot about privacy.
The best Android keyboard, in my opinion, is Gboard. It offers a whole menu of features including smart auto-correction, swipe gestures, and a gorgeous design that should look great when placed side by side with other Android apps. My favorite feature? Honestly, it’s the emoji search. Ain’t nobody got time wading through a whole rack to find the peach emoji.
To-do list: Todoist
Todoist is my to-do list of choice—and that’s for good reason. 1.) It has apps for almost every platform you can think of, and 2.) the apps are all gorgeously designed. On top of that, the app over time will learn smart language; setting tasks is as pleasurable as ticking them off.
Evernote makes life easier for me. Imagine Evernote as a massive virtual binder with notebooks meant to represent every aspect of your life. The Android app helps me capture ideas immediately, but really the keyest function here is the ability to scan and store receipts, making it my note-taking app of choice.
Word processor: Google Docs
Unless you’re deeply ingrained in the Microsoft ecosystem, I say stick with Google Docs. You can easily do everything you can using Microsoft Word, and then some. My favorite thing about Docs is the real-time editing feature, perfect for teams working on the same document.
Habit tracker: Habitica
I’ve talked about Habitica on our list of the best habit trackers. Where it stands out is its vigorous gamification of habit tracking as an RPG. You get your character which gets stronger the stronger you get with your habits. You can even join guilds, equip your character with weapons, and battle friends on the platform.
Ebook reader: Play Books
For the voracious reader, one cannot find a better ebook reader than Play Books. Within the app itself, you can purchase books off of the Play Store, which has quite an impressive library. Features like smart highlighting and font customization make it an essential ebook reading app.
I use Feedly every day. It’s what I use to keep myself up to speed with news surrounding my niche. The interface is intuitive, the features are robust, and the overall experience is very good. There’s no better feedreader out there yet.
Audio streaming: Spotify
If you haven’t yet surrendered to Spotify’s offer of unlimited audio streaming for 129 pesos, maybe it’s high time you should. Spotify has a great Android app, too, which you can use to listen to everything from the newest Carly Rae Jepsen bop to the latest episode of NoSleep Podcast and everything in between.
Podcast player: Pocket Casts
If podcasts are a daily part of your lives, consider getting Pocket Casts. Granted Spotify has a growing library of pods in their repository, but that library, for now, is small when compared to that of Pocket Casts. You’ll set yourself back 6.99 USD but in exchange, you get an impeccably designed hub of where you can listen to podcasts.
Photo editing: VSCO
VSCO has been a mainstay in mobile photo post-production. It’s lined with the likes of other mobile photography apps (check out our lists below), but most especially when it launched its premium service VSCOX (paid, 1,000 PHP/year), the app has become more robust tenfold. New features such as video editing, borders, and a full library of carefully crafted filters for users to enjoy. Those who won’t indulge in the premium VSCOX service will still get the core functionalities of the app, which are in my opinion enough for most to stick with it.
Password manager: LastPass
If you’re still not using a Password manager, you should. LastPass, I think, is still one of the best, even if a huge majority now favors 1Password. LastPass allows you to store all your passwords in one-hub, and when installed, will automatically key in your log-in details for you, saving you time and peace of mind every time you sign in to another service or app.
Cloud storage: Google Drive
Google Drive is a great cloud storage system to use when you’re using Android. It’s especially perfect for folks like me who’s probably deep into the Google ecosystem. I am, after all, using Gmail as my email client and Google Docs as my word processor. For the rest of the world, there’s Dropbox, which is like Google Drive, but with lesser features for the free plan and has more flexibility across the different platforms it’s available in.
File manager: Files Go
Files Go helps you manage your device storage by weeding through files and apps you no longer need. The app, which is gorgeously and intuitively designed, will make a number of suggestions to maximize your phone’s storage, including duplicate images, unused apps, and more.
Data management: Datally
Let’s face it: keeping on top of your mobile data is a pain as big as paying big money for mobile data itself. This is where Datally comes in. Developed by Google, the app helps users save mobile data by optimizing your phone’s data usage. This is pretty useful, and though I wish it was more of a “set it and forget it” kind of solution, Datally is undeniably helpful to a lot of us in data-conscious town.