On the occasion of the end of the year I will list my favorite “things” from 2018 here in the next few days. That may include apps, music, devices, movies or whatever.
I start with my favorite apps (in alphabetical order, Android ONLY — no iOS, sorry):
Simply a faster than everything else DNS provider. Free and easy. I use it in case I have a bad connection to a site or service, not all the time.
I want to know how healthy my phone battery is, at all times. Perfect app for that!
Yes, I do record all incoming and outgoing phone calls, and that’s the best way to do it. I also like the automatic sync with dropbox etc.
I’m really not a hypochondriac or so, but this app is really good at finding diseases based on symptoms.
Haven’t had a better scanning app than this one, plus it automatically syncs with your Adobe Cloud, so you always have your phone scans on your computer to further edit and use. Brilliant stuff by Adobe.
I am an avid sky and space fan. This app is a better alternative to Google Sky Maps, I think.
A small, lightweight app that makes one thing perfectly: it always connects you to the strongest WiFi available. If you have multiple SSID’s (WiFis with different names) in your home or work (for example), “Best WIFI” will always automatically connect you to the strongest network as soon as the reception of the network you’re currently connected to falls below a certain threshold. Maybe you have repeaters on your premises, for the garden, garage, whatever… in this case this app is AMAZING.
Bimostitch is able to create great and huge panoramas from your single taken images that fit together, automatically. I recommend a high performance top-end device for this as this app needs heavy computing, both very CPU and RAM intense (I’m running it on a Samsnung Galaxy Note9, fast as hell).
But the results are top notch. Sometimes the app can behave a bit bitchy, but it usually works great.
There’s a free and a paid version, whatever you need or floats your boat:
This one creates cartoon-ish verions of yourself which you can use as emojis. Extremely well done and fun! Nothing I would desperately need, but if you’re into that kind of shit you’ll have great fun! You can integrate Bitmoji into your “GBoard” (Google keyboard) which is nice.
Oh, I look like this then:
Own a Samsung Galaxy series device, S9 and beyond? Then you certainly have the terrible Bixby button on the left which starts — well — Bixby, which is a terrible “personal assistant” no one needs. Love your Google Assistant? Cool, re-map the Bixby button (and much more!) with bxActions. Problem solved!
Actually a real shame that Samsung doesn’t allow this function built-in, but you know… they wanna push their crappy Bixby until everyone pukes blood, and then they’ll probably cancel the whole “service” and blame the users for not using it. What about bulding a great personal assistant that blows Google Assistant out of the water, instead?
About the only “game” on my phone, just to fill/kill time when idle and bored.
Simple, reliable and easy to use earthquake alerter. If you live in an earthquake prone area I recommend the pro add-on, added below.
For me the best photo community and market place to sell your photos there is. I have already sold photos for hundreds of dollars. Also, a nice feature to have is the auto-tagging (“EyeEm Vision”).
Very cool app to find cheap flights! Stands out from the rest in that category.
Files (by Google)
Great file manager, cleaner, organizer, and for sending files.
Besides Samsung Health Google Fit is my go to app for tracking and checking my activities. I’m an avid hiker, so this stuff is very useful for me in general. I have both connected with my WearOS smartwatch.
By the way… if you want to sync your Samsung Health data with Google Fit (or the other way around) I strongly recommend this app:
If you travel a lot, you’d want everything that makes things easier at airports. This app helps a lot.
The best things are simple. This is basically a guitar tuner, and it does the job amazingly well.
And a paid version:
This is hands down one of my absolute favorite apps. A.I. detects the contents of your pictures with an impressive accuracy and spits out tags for Instagram etc.. Saves so much time!
With Hooks you can subscribe to all kinds of topics and get notified when something happens, to put it simple. Like, say, you want to get notified when your favorite sports team plays or when your fav artist releases a new track or album… stuff like that. Or an extreme weather alert one day before shit hits the fan. Can be very useful.
Always wondered how to always have horizontally shot videos? Horizon does that using your phone sensors to keep things horizontally!
My number one app/service ever. I love automating things, I’m kind of obsessed with this. My life, my house, my work… everything is automated. 😀 (not the really serious stuff where a failing system could cause real damage!)
As mentioned earlier, I’m an avid hiker. Komoot is great for finding and recordings trails and share your activity with the world. Honestly, I wouldn’t need it, but it’s a fun thing to have. Of course, it’s not only for hiking but all kinds of outdoor activities.
My #2 fav app of all times. It automates your phone. Get into it, highly recommended! Quite a costly thing, but totally worth it!
My #3 fav app of all times. Again: automation. But MacroDroid takes it to another level. You can literally automate EVERYTHING (or totally fuck up your device!). Requires a bit of tech knowledge and/or programming skills, but not very much, really.
That’s one huge reason why I love Android… all of this automation stuff isn’t possible (like that) with iOS.
In case your device has soft navigation bar keys this app lets you do fun and useful stuff with them.
My #1 source for my daily dose of news, highly tailored to my own needs.
My life would be worthless without it (not really, but you know what I mean). Take (text, audio, video, picture) notes and keep them organized, create (shopping) lists, keep sudden thoughts and ideas, scribble things, get reminded based on date/time or location. Simple, easy, just works.
One Touch Location
An old but very useful app that I have on my devices for a long time already. Let’s say you drive around in an area you don’t know and you’d like to stop at a coffee place when nearby. This app will alert you when there’s one around. It does much more, but that’s basically what I like about it and use quite often. A modern (Material Design) make-over of the UI would be great, though.
Who doesn’t hate looking for available parking in unknown (or even known) areas? This app helps you find it easily!
I’m not only an avid hiker, I also love mountaineering. If in the mountains, or close by, this app is great at finding and naming the peaks around you in AR style. Awesome!
Just as Snapseed, Photoshop Express is part of my mobile photo editing arsenal. Great functions and quality.
IMO, the best VPN you get for (little) money.
Write and read SMS on your PC, send links and other stuff from and to all connected devices etc. … Pushbullet can do a lot of things, and connected with IFTTT.com even more.
I don’t know how I found interesting news and articles before Refind, really. Definitely one of the best apps and web services EVER!
Doesn’t need many words, SH is just a very solid and nice looking health app in which I only miss one tiny thing: the ability to scan barcodes to record my energy intake easier.
Let your phone speak (any!) text. From the creators of “Sleep as Android”. Simple, just works.
Sleep as Android
I totally record my sleep, the noises and movements I make etc. … it also wakes me up intelligently. The king of sleep apps, no doubt! Even better with a smartwatch connected (I have a Ticwatch Pro).
Great recorder that has the ability to only record when sound is detected. Very useful!
Just an incredibly great photo editing app that you most probably know already.
No description needed. I have never thought that I would discover so much great music in my life. It’s just really good. As an artist myself, it’s a bit disappointing, but as a music fan? Great.
Beautiful looking app for stargazing on your device, but not as good as Astrolapp. Different, but also quite good.
Honestly, haven’t used it much, but I like its approach to organizing newsletters. I need to get into this more, I guess. Recommended for the great idea, for sure.
The title says it all. This is one of the better weather apps. I don’t know many good, actually I think most are really BS. There is no reliable prediction of the weather for more than 2 days into the future. Don’t believe that crap.
My absolute #1 for messaging and everything related to it. I hate WhatsApp.
My favorite for earthquakes and volcano eruptions. Very scientific approach and background. Usability is shit, but the info you get out of it is unmatched.
The real-time traffic data of Google Maps is actually better (because there are more Google users than Waze users), but Waze warns you about speed limits, accidents etc.
Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments. Also, let me know YOUR favorite apps. Always keen to learn about great apps I haven’t dicovered yet!