Connected devices are taking over as the world undergoes the most momentous technology shift since the internet was first opened up to the public. The same way PCs took over from mainframes, mobile devices are quickly replacing PCs and full size laptops.
Smartphone prices continue to drop and screen sizes get wider as more people want to do more things on their phone. It’s not so much that smartphones are taking over, it’s connected devices that are taking over and some of them happen to make phone calls. And what we’re seeing today is just the warmup act, what’s coming is even more amazing.
In the meantime smartphones have taken over our lives and have become more than a convenient phone, they are task managers, a compass when you’re lost, a light in the darkness, a still camera, a video camera and a device to watch movies and play games.
If you’re new to smartphones, here are the first six apps you’ll want to explore on that new Android phone. I was going to put Google Now on top of the list, but that’s only available for Android 4 and, for the five or six people who have that, it’s an awesome feature. The rest of us have to wait and that’s why Now didn’t make my list.
What you can get right now is amazing enough.
Nearly identical to the experience you get on your PC. Even at 3G speeds you can still watch your favorites movies and TV shows. In fact, for spouses that Netflix cheat (watch an episode before their partner) most often that cheating happens on their phone.
If your life is driven by a hectic schedule, tame the wild timeline of your life with Any.Do. Featuring online sync, task snoozing, speech recognition, and a raft of options for reminding you about appointments, Any.Do is your digital valet. While it may not cover for you on the last bender, you can wipe away the evidence with a flick of your finger. Like it was never there.
This app made our list of Top Rated Weather Apps and is a must have if weather is a concern. Whether you’re at home or on the road the weather will never again sneak up on you and ruin your outing.
When you see something online you want to read later, store it in Pocket. The best part is you can sync Pocket across multiple devices for later viewing. You can also archive stories after reading them which are searchable by subject.
If your phone has dual cameras Hangouts is awesome for being able to have face to face meetings on the go anywhere. I use hangouts to routinely talk to family and friends and have regular meetings with a publisher in Virginia. Flip between rear and forward cameras to show your friends a view of where you are.
If you didn’t have enough reasons to get Google Voice before, you have another good one now. A Google Voice number is better than a burner phone and coupled with the app it’s nearly seamless on your phone. You can give it out to anyone without any connection back to your regular phone number. Screen calls, block numbers or route callers to specific voicemail boxes. The feature most people like the most on Google Voice is the transcripts of voicemails which is free, most cellular providers are charging extra for that feature. Google Voice is better than a phone number.
This is far from an exhaustive list but it will get you started with a set of features that will transform the phone in your hand into an information gateway to the world around you.
Like I said up above, this is just the warmup act. What’s coming just around the corner is even more amazing.