5 Android apps I can’t live without

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

As people who know me personally probably know, I use an Android phone as my daily driver. And, to be honest, I can’t see myself going through a full day without a smartphone in my hand. I just can’t.

For starters, I get my daily dose of news from apps installed on my phone — Appy Geek and Twitter are my favorite sources — I sometimes write blog posts on an app called Keep while in transit; and I entertain myself by listening to Spotify or watching videos beamed to my handset through apps like HOOQ and the NBA’s official app, which I’m a fairly heavy user of for most of the NBA season.

Which brings us to the topic of today’s post: the 5 Android apps I can’t live without. Apps are what make my smartphone indispensable to me, after all. There are many apps on the google play store, and designing your own app has never been easier with thanks to products like Mobile Agency Apps that allow you to build your own apps for Apple and Android devices! However, before we proceed, a disclaimer is in order: I’ve excluded Google’s core apps, such as Chrome, Gmail, and Google Now, because I think pretty much every knowledgeable Android owner out there sees them as smartphone essentials. With that out of the way, let’s talk about my favourite downloads on the Google Play store, in no particular order.

Apps are what make my smartphone indispensable to me. Here are 5 Android apps I can’t live without.


It’s been a while since I saw a movie or TV show on cable TV, and that’s largely because of subscription video-on-demand services that allow me to watch what I want, where and when I choose — without tripping over piracy laws.

And for someone who lives in the Philippines, there’s no better option than HOOQ, which offers over 30,000 hours of local and foreign programming, as well as the ability to download content for offline playback. And as far as HOOQ is concerned, there’s no better way to experience it than on mobile. This app does exactly what you think it should: It puts a TV in your pocket.

2. Spotify

If HOOQ is local and cable TV in the Internet age, Spotify is basically all radio stations and my music library rolled into a digital package that I can tweak to my liking. Songs on Spotify are available offline, too, but only if you’re willing to pay the equivalent of a large Starbucks drink each month. To that I say: Go ahead. Spotify is well worth the price of admission for anyone who spends at least 4 hours a day listening to music.

3. Uber

There are few worse things for someone who owns a driving license than plying the crowded streets of Metro Manila, especially during the evening rush hour. Riding the train is an exercise in patience, and hailing a cab is next to impossible when there are a dozen or so commuters jostling for a comfortable seat on the way home after a tiring day at the office.

That’s where Uber, one of the most popular app-based, ride-hailing services in the world, comes in. Uber sends you private a car (chauffeur included) using your phone’s GPS to track you and takes you from point A to B safely and without hassle at a reasonable price. In fact, taking UberX, the most affordable iteration of Uber, is generally cheaper than riding a cab. Uber’s customer support is also second to none; trust me, I’ve been using Uber and its competitors for more than a year already.

4. Facebook

It’s Facebook in app form. Need I say more? Sarcasm aside, nothing beats Mark Zuckerberg’s social network when it comes to size and popularity, regardless of format. And ever since major carriers in the Philippines decided to foot the bill for everyone in the country to get free, albeit limited, access to Facebook for mobile, I’ve begun using it for messaging purposes with increasing frequency.

5. Nova Launcher

Last but definitely not the least is a third-party launcher app called Nova Launcher, which, as Android Central put it, “may be the best thing that ever happened for Android.” I couldn’t agree more. Nova Launcher offers a ton of customization options to play around with, allowing me to change nearly all elements of my phone’s general interface — icons and animations included.

The app is free to download, but to unlock all its cool features, including the ability to assign gestures for various functions, you have to upgrade to the Prime version for P222.

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 16 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between.