The first thing you need to do when you get a new phone is to log in to all your accounts – email, Facebook, Signal and so on – to ensure you get all the important alerts you need and messages from friends. But after that, you will install apps that replace the standard tools (like browser or weather app) with something better, along with apps that just make the daily use of the phone much more. helpful.
Here are our suggestions for where to start when setting up an Android phone.
We have rounded up favorite and most used games, apps and entertainment. Check out our app choices for iPhones, Android phones, Windows PCs, and M1
There was one thing I wanted from a mobile browser this year, and Microsoft Edge had it: access to the tab switch at the bottom of the screen. Google Chrome and Samsung Internet both require you to move your hand to the top corner of the screen to switch to another tab. Edge’s placement of the tab switch at the bottom is far more convenient to reach. It is also just a solid browser with built-in tracking prevention options and quick access to features such as reading the page aloud and finding text on a given page. (Since I last tested browsers, Firefox has also moved the tab switch to the bottom, and it offers tab synchronization from mobile to desktop, so it can also be a great alternative to the phone’s built-in, difficult-to-manage browser.)
JustWatch is not one great app – it is very buggy and often very slow – but it is a necessity: the app is basically a TV guide for streaming services. Want to know where to look A Christmas story? Enter it, and JustWatch will tell you that it’s available to stream if you’re a DirecTV subscriber, to rent for $ 3.99 on just about any platform you want, and to buy as cheap as $ 8. 99. The app can also recommend shows and movies that are currently available on the services you subscribe to. It will not stop you from spending an hour just looking through all the options, but it will save you from bouncing between half a dozen apps.
I tried out at least ten different weather apps this year looking for a replacement for Dark Sky – the only best weather app out there – because it was downloaded from Android in August after being bought by Apple. After all the searching, I found only one app that could competently replicate Dark Sky’s game-changing feature: to provide accurate weather-to-minute weather reports. That app is RainViewer, and although it is not as good as a daily weather app, it is a must install as a Dark Sky replacement. I have not found it to be as reliable as Dark Sky, but it reliably informs me when rain is about to start and shows a chart that predicts how heavy the rain will be during the coming hour.
1Passord / LastPass
I must have written this a dozen times over The Verge now and i would like to write it again: you should use a password manager. It’s not really about remembering your passwords as much as security – I could not tell you what my password is to Facebook, Gmail, my bank account and so on, because my password manager was strong, random passwords for each of them, and connects them automatically when I visit these sites. All I need to remember is my own strong password to unlock the password manager itself. LastPass is a great free option, but my personal favorite service is 1Password. I started using the company’s subscription family plan this year, and it offers a very easy way for me and my wife to share passwords for shared accounts. Just a heads-up: setting up a password manager for the first time can be a bit stressful, but once you’re done, it’s easy to go from there.
Clue offers an easy way to track your menstrual cycle and predict when your next period will be. The app also allows you to track energy levels, sexual activity and other details that may be related to your cycle. More importantly, the app has one of the clearer privacy policies out there for a service that is going to collect such personal data. The company says that it does not sell users’ data, and that “only a few people” in the company can access your information. However, some data can be shared anonymously with researchers.
I must admit that in 2020 I found myself doing much less waiting in line, sitting on the train and just generally killing time by looking for something to read on my phone. But when I need something to read, there’s nothing better to go than Pocket. The service allows you to archive stories you come across online, so you can get to the long readings later (because you know, you will clearly come to them all later). I come across lots of stories I want to read during work every day, and Pocket is the only thing that helps me remember to check them out later.
Every year I write that I have a love / hate relationship with VSCO (enough that I was apparently annoyed enough not to include VSCO in last year’s version of this list). But I’m back on board with VSCO again, so here we are. VSCO is the best photo filter app out there if you want to create lively, cinematic photos. The app’s interface is still more confusing than it needs to be, but VSCO is the best option if you want to quickly take a bland photo and make it pop out. The app has a number of built-in filters (and lots of paid, premium movies), and enough basic editing controls to make a photo look like the photo you wanted to take, not the duller version the phone appeared.
Files from Google
Files from Google should only be built right into Android. If you need to see what’s taking up space on your phone, or find a recent PDF lost in your downloads somewhere, Files is the way to go. It offers a simplified file reader for your phone, organized around categories such as photos, videos and documents, making it easy to find what you need and get rid of what you do not need.
TickTick is the only thing that keeps me organized these days. It is a free exercise app that allows you to make a simple list of what comes up in your schedule. The app supports the entry of natural language events, so you can only enter “Coffee meeting Monday at 8.00”, and it automatically schedules a reminder for day and time if you pay for the premium service, it can also be synchronized with a calendar. Companion apps are available on Windows, macOS, iPadOS, and just about anywhere else you might want to sync your to-do list, so you’re ready to check in on your schedule.
If you receive too many e-mail alerts, Outlook may be able to save you. The app has a “focused” inbox that tries to sort out which emails actually mean something to you, and it can be set to only send you alerts for emails it thinks are important. It tends to fail on the side of caution, so you may be notified of some emails you do not care about, but I have found that there is a winner in general. I get notified when important work emails arrive, but my phone screen is not constantly filled with alerts about all the spam I get.
Pocket Casts is still one of the best (and coolest) apps for listening to podcasts. The focus on podcast artwork makes the app easy and fun to browse, and the app’s discovery screen provides a place to find new shows you might want to check out. It also supports adding RSS feeds directly, so you can listen to only subscriber programs you can pay for.