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My Essential Android Apps Part1

ByKevin Simon

Aug 2, 2015


This is part one of list of android apps I couldn’t do without on either my tablet or phone, these are more productivity apps, will give a list of my favourite android games on another article. I have linked direct to the Google play store for the apps, but it is worth looking on the Amazon app store as sometimes paid for apps are bit cheaper on there.

Writing / Notes / Office


Gnotes – FREE


I have been a user of gnotes on and off over the past few years, the app allows you to auto sync your notes to your Gmail account or direct with . The app allows you to write notes attach photos, hand written notes, drawings, voice recording, checklists and really any file type you want.

I like the layout of gnotes as you can have your notes in different folders, you can even add security pin to individual folders. In the notes list if you have added a photo etc, will show the title of the note and aswell as the photo, I find this great to find the note you want.

I use this app now instead of dedicated text editors for writing articles for this blog as can access it from either my tablet, phone or even the website. In any note you have shortcuts to insert time, date and also contact details. I used to sync with my Gmail account, though if you do this you can’t edit notes direct in gmail, so now using the website again this is free to setup.

I find this better than evernote or others as first it is free and you get offline notes without having to pay subscription, the typing layout is very simple thought if you open a note in landscape mode, the tying area is the middle of the screen, not really a problem but would be nice to have options for full screen typing in landscape. You do only have a choice of font size and no additional fonts.

But if you just want a basic text editor gnotes works great with the ability to auto sync means you always have your notes etc on any device.

Jotterpad – FREE / PAID


Jotterpad used to be my favorite text editor, though now started using gnotes because of the auto sync. But still use jotterpad if doing long articles, you can’t attach any images etc it is just a plain text editor, but this is great for distraction free writing, it does support markdown as well do great for publishing anything to the web.

It is free to get though you can pay a small free to have additional functions, you can also change the layout on screen, so will suit everyone. See my full review of the older version of jotterpad HERE.

WPS Office – FREE


Out of all the office suites I have tried Inc Google docs /sheets, Officesuite, Polaris Office, Microsoft Word /Excel, Doc 2 Go etc. I have found WPS office the best to use.

First of all it is free, the layout is great, very easy to add photos and adjust them within your document. The spreadsheet part works great for me with my invoices in excel format as well can them save them to the cloud including dropbox, Google drive etc. I haven’t really used the presentation part, but again this is really easy to use. Another great part for me is the export to pdf files when sending documents to customers.

Though there are a few little niggles I have with the app, One is the lack of standard windows fonts, though if you have WPS office on your pc you can sync certain fonts to your device. The spell checker works ok, but doesn’t underline any misspelt words you have to go into the spell checker and replace misspelt words.

As we are moving away from laptops to do basic office work it is now great to see a good varying office suites, and as WPS office is free it is worth a try to see if suites your needs as for me it is the perfect office suite for what I need to do on the go.



These are really an overlooked apps, as most people think the keyboard that comes on your device is the only one to use, which normally is Google keyboard, now yes this is good but I prefer two other keyboard apps.

Swiftkey – FREE


One of the best keyboards out there in my option. You change change the theme you get several free included but you can download additional ones at a small charge.

I still prefer to type as if I was on a normal keyboard, thought swift key does have flow typing. I find the word prediction is the best with any keyboard, as the keyboard learns how you type, it gets better the more you use it. One great thing is you can have the cursor keys displayed, for me this is great when typing articles like this as need sometimes just to go back a few spaces.

One of the best functions for me is if you use a external keyboard, the word prediction works with that also, though needs to be set in the options. I did a full review of the older version HERE, most of the information is still relevant.

Thumb keyboard – Paid


Thumb keyboard used to be my favorite keyboard, word prediction is good but not as good as Swiftkey, but the customisation is second to none. You can adjust every aspect of the keyboard from key size to the whole keyboard size, change key font style and colour.

The best part of thumb keyboard is the ability to have shortcuts, you have about 15 at the press of a key, this can be anything from certain words like email addresses or even paragraphs of text for me this is great as do have standard code that have to insert into websites so this makes it quicker, you can also store passwords.

Another great function is you have a customisable top row, so you can add what ever you want there, this includes cut, copy and paste buttons so if you are doing at lot of typing this is a lot easier than selecting using touchsceen.

Though the only problem with thumb keyboard as not really been updated for awhile, so some functions missing especially support for external keyboards and the text prediction could be improved.


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By Kevin Simon

I run this blog & also self employed cleaning out fish ponds, but due to spinal problems not able to do as much, now started a youtube channel showing my converted Peugeot Partner micro camper also as interest in photography so now vlog about the trips and of course Lego figures out in the wild photos.

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