my essential android apps

I know plenty of people in the past year that have finally hopped on the smartphone train. I've used plenty of mobile operating systems before, including the Blackberry OS, iOS and Android technology. Personally, I prefer Android (which is why this article and my phone are both for this) but most of the apps I have also have iOS alternatives! 

Want to see what's on my Android phone? Click read more!
 (PS: Apps are linked for your convenience, Android lovers!)

8 tracks:  The perfect alternative for the ever-popular Pandora app. It has playlists for basically every mood and occasion, but without the annoying ads every few songs.

Air Droid: I've been using this a lot for times when I'm communicating with people via text, but using a computer at the same time. It's very convenient but only works if you're on the same network (which for me, means it doesn't work while at school) 

Calendar: This came pre-loaded into my phone. I use Google Calendar to organize my life, and this app on my phone syncs all that so I have access to it on the go as well. Perfect for control freaks such as myself!

Fooducate: A recently discovered favorite, this app is perfect for the uneducated grocery shopper. You scan a barcode and the app tells you all about the nutritional content of whatever product you're considering bringing home. I've been trying to eat healthy (and forgot a lot of what I learned in high school nutrition class) so this is very handy!

Instagram: Ever since they released the Android edition, I've been hooked. I like to use it moreso as a snapshot photo collection of my every day life, for times when I don't have my professional camera with me. It's also great to connect with others that have similar hobbies (such as the #nailart or #foodporn tags-- my personal favorites)

Photo Grid HD: I use this a lot to arrange photos for Instagram, especially when I don't feel like posting individual pictures that go together. Diptich was an old favorite, but it kept glitching on my phone (Motorola Atrix) and with new updates & betas, Photo Grid HD is almost the same! Great [free] alternative. 

Onavo Count: I have an AT&T phone, and therefore a capped data plan that I need to monitor my usage of. Onavo is a great app that alerts me when apps are data hogs, if I'm over a certain percentage of my plan, and I can check it to see how I'm doing as far as usage for the month. This app has saved my life as far as overage charges go.

Pixlr-o-Matic: Fun app that lets you apply Photoshop "Action" like filters to photos you take. Nothing too advanced, but it's fun to play around with.

Snaptastic: This one is basically Photoshop, but simplified for your mobile phone. It has a lot of editing features, is easy to use, and won't cost you much at all (it's free for the regular version, and $2.99 for the Pro the link to the full version is here)

Stumbleupon: I use this a lot when I've exhausted all my social networks and still have nothing to do (such as when I'm at school waiting for class or trying to fall asleep at night). It's loaded with tons of bizarre and sometimes even helpful finds from the internet, you hardly ever get the same page twice. 

Yelp: If you wander a lot or are constantly in unfamiliar places, download this app. It has suggestions and reviews for not only places to eat, but attractions and other points of interest (shopping, anyone?). 

So that's my list of essential apps. What are some of yours? Let me know in the comments below! :) 

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