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android apps 2019

Maybe you’re looking for apps to help your business. Perhaps you’re interested in apps to secure your device and, more importantly, the data on it. Maybe you want to communicate freely (and privately) with colleagues, family or friends – wherever in the world you or they are. Or perhaps you just want to access your photos and music from wherever, whenever, and know everything’s safely backed up. Whatever your wants or needs, you’ll find something here to help you.

 

Business Productivity
If you’re looking for apps to help you run your business, you’ll want software you can use on any device. Our blog, Zoho Productivity Suite, advises about Zoho CRM, Mail, Invoice, Vault and Campaign software to completely manage the main aspects of your business. Complementing the desktop apps, smartphone apps sync with your account to let you manage your business from your smartphone. We use the Mail and Vault apps on a daily basis, and the other Zoho apps are just as easy to use when required.

 

If you utilise Microsoft Office, you are probably already familiar with the improved functionality of Outlook, Excel, and Word over recent years. However, a lesser-known app is Office Lens; a superbly simple app, which turns your phone into a scanner.

 

Many sole traders and small businesses can benefit from free cloud-storage solutions to simply backup documents and read/edit across various devices. The biggest players to consider (and amount of free storage they provide) are Dropbox (2GB), Sync (5GB), OneDrive (5GB), Google Drive (15GB), and MEGA (50GB). We currently use Sync, Dropbox and MEGA for business, personal, and music, respectively. Both Sync and MEGA offer zero-knowledge encryption, so not even the service providers can access your data.

 

Other useful productivity apps include Evernote (for taking notes and making lists, which can include photos); Pocket (for saving web pages & articles, and being able to read them later on any device); and Remote Mouse (for controlling presentations, such as PowerPoint, with just your phone).

 

     

 

Security
If you want to surf the web anonymously, you should consider a VPN (Virtual Private Network), such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or IPVanish. Boxcryptor will encrypt your cloud-storage files across devices but it does mean you can’t access your files directly from the cloud storage provider. This is only a problem if you have to access files remotely from a device you don’t normally use. Alternatively, Sync and MEGA offer encrypted cloud storage, which you can access from any device. We recommend protecting all cloud-storage accounts with two-step authentication (2FA). Authy is an excellent (alternative to Google Authenticator) code-generating app, which works on mobile devices and on desktops as either a standalone app or as a browser extension. You can find further information in Data Security, and What is a VPN?

 

Business & Personal Communication
There are many apps to choose from when sending messages and/or making calls: WhatsApp, Messenger (Lite), Zoom, and Skype being some of the more popular. If privacy is important, Whatsapp encrypts all messages and calls by default; however, the backup feature saves messages as unencrypted to your device, which may, in turn, back them up (unencrypted) to a cloud storage account. Messenger doesn’t offer encryption by default, so most people will not be aware it’s available or, simply, forget. Skype encrypts all forms of communication but, according to arsTECHNICA, the NSA has cracked their encryption. If privacy is that important to you, consider apps such as Signal (used by Edward Snowden) or Wickr.

 

Personal
A common complaint is a smartphone running out of memory. This means you can’t take any more photos or download any more music or apps. Most of the time, a smartphone runs out of memory because of too many photos on the device. Luckily, there is a simple fix. Google Photos not only backs up your memories (which is reassuring should you lose your phone) but gives you unlimited storage (if you’re prepared to accept compression). The app offers a simple ‘Free up space’ option, which deletes photos from your phone storage (once successfully backed up). This often quickly solves the issue of low memory.

 

Another great app that takes advantage of cloud-storage is CloudPlayer. Just as Google Photos lets you view photos on your phone through a connected cloud account, CloudPlayer lets you stream your music. However, for both to work, you will need to be connected to the internet.
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And for those who like to keep a journal, we highly recommend Journey. It’s easy to make diary entries via your smartphone or other cloud-connected devices. The app is truly a great way to take a trip down memory lane, with journal entries including photos, videos and maps of where you’ve been. It’s like the love child of Google Maps, Photos and Calendar, without being a Google product.

 


   
 

 

And, finally, a few apps we love. Badland (a seriously addictive game and worth playing if only to stimulate your eyes and ears with the backdrops & sound effects); Google Cardboard (assemble a cardboard headset to begin exploring the world like never before, using a growing number of virtual reality apps: fun for all ages); and Eyes Recovery Workout (to relieve eyes from too much screen time. It works.)

 

                    

 

We know there are thousands of other apps available and just wanted to bring your attention to the main ones we find most useful and fun. However, we asked our followers to suggest apps they find really useful, interesting or fun. Steve from Reading (with a passion for VW Campers) suggested Cozi Family Organiser as a great way to keep mum, dad, and the kids organised without the need for a P.A or Duck Tape. And Alan, flying the flag of Fife in Epsom, suggested Life Hacks and WikiHow. We’re now big fans of the former as it’s already taught us how to deal with itchy mosquito bites (hint: you need a spoon) and getting extra bacon by using water (Jesus 2.0). We’ve not properly dived into WikiHow yet but we’re guessing there’s a ‘how to WikiHow’ showing us how to get started and, once we do, we’ll realise just how much we didn’t know ‘how to’. A lot, we suspect. If you would like us to mention any other apps, contact us and convince us why.

 

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