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The Best Apps For Your Android Phone

Updated: Mar 12

You’ve just unwrapped a new Android phone, logged in, typed in a hundred passwords, downloaded all the big social apps, and synced all the things that need syncing. Now it’s time to fill your phone up with everything else: the apps for reading, for getting things done, and for having fun. You probably have some ideas of your own, but we’ve got a bunch of suggestions, too. Here are the great Android apps that are definitely worth installing.


POCKET CASTS


The podcast app is arguably the best option for listening to the regular episodic content, keeping them all organized and easily finding what you're looking for. Until now, you had to pay a one-time fee of $3.99 to get Pocket Casts on Android or iOS, but that is changing.

Starting today, the mobile app will be free, and its premium features will still be available. The company says the change makes the software "more closely aligned with the open-access model of its public media ownership." If you'll recall, a group of public radio powerhouses teamed up to buy the app last year -- a collaborative effort that includes prolific podcast producers NPR, This American Life, WNYC Studios and WBEZ Chicago.


DARK SKY



IF YOU USE Dark Sky as your weather app of choice—or just happen to enjoy gloriously rendered maps of weather movement—you should be both gladdened and a little surprised to learn that it’s now available in a new incarnation. Meet Dark Sky, the web site. It should look pretty familiar.

When Dark Sky launched as a mobile app in the App Store a little more than four years ago, it offered a simple, seductive premise: To let you know when, and how long, it was going to rain in your precise location. It’s evolved plenty since then, layering more traditional weather forecast features on top of its base layer of precipitation. Dark Sky is now a full-service weather forecaster. With that comes certain responsibilities, like providing a the best viewing experience no matter what device your users are on.


1PASSWORD / LASTPASS



Password managers can be a bit of a hassle to set up and get used to. But once you’ve used one, you won’t ever want to go back — they’re a (relatively) simple way of making sure you have a secure, unique password for every website. And nowadays, it just takes a fingerprint to pull that password over to whatever app you’re logging into. My choices from last year haven’t changed: I personally use 1Password, which is definitely worth its low monthly fee, but if you want a free option, LastPass is an excellent choice.


CLUE


Clue, an app built on machine learning to track a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, has been paying close attention lately to those with irregular periods. The Berlin-based company hopes to identify what may be causing those irregular cycles and then calculate a woman’s risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in order to get her the help she needs from a medical provider.

For those who don’t know, PCOS is a sometimes painful disease that can put a woman at risk of infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometriosis, among other issues. The most common indicator a woman has PCOS is an unpredictable cycle, showing up whenever it wants and making it difficult to plan around.


ALTO’S ODYSSEY


Alto’s Odyssey is a must-have game, especially if your new phone has an edge-to-edge display — its simple, dreamy graphics look stunning scrolling across a wide screen. The game is a ton of fun, too. It’s never so challenging to be frustrating, and it’s always moving fast enough to keep you engaged. Alto’s Odyssey is free on Android, but I’d recommend paying a couple bucks to remove the occasional pop-up ads.


POCKET


The internet has created a new era of journalism. Readers have an ever-growing number of newspapers, magazines and blogs at their disposal, littered with in-depth features, investigative reports and breaking news. Many of the best outlets are free to access too.

Keeping up with this endless stream of excellent reportage can be tough though, especially if you discover articles while at work. They’re quickly brushed aside until you’re next sitting on a plane, wishing you had something interesting to read.

This is where Pocket comes in. The service lets you bookmark anything on the Web; articles are stored in your personal library, where they can be easily located and read when it’s most convenient. It doesn’t matter if you have a connection either, as Pocket can download (almost) everything to your device automatically.


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