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4 Android apps to help you stay ahead of your game

4 Android apps to help you stay ahead of your game

All life processes are made easier with machines or apps. An incredible advantage of apps is the fact that, depending on the task you want them to perform, they have the ability to increase productivity and lessen your efforts. With the right app, you don’t need to fuss much; just put in a little input, sit back and watch your app do the rest.

The smartphone application market, due to its extremely liberal and “free-entry-and-exit” nature, has become greatly populated over the past few years. On your phone’s app store, you can find a plethora of apps that can all do the same things. While this has the advantage of freedom of choice (in that you can easily switch from one app to another if you feel the one you’re currently using isn’t performing up to your expectations), a disadvantage of this is that you have a maze of apps and choosing the right one can be something of a headache. It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of apps out there that aren’t useful in any way; some are viruses, others are filled with nauseatingly annoying ads, others just don’t work. Downloading apps like those will definitely waste your time, energy and data. Below are a few apps that are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest in their fields of speciality. These apps stand out from the hoi polloi of apps out there today and investing your money in them should prove more than advantageous.

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1. Mobile Security and Antivirus

With the realization that you can be robbed of your identity anytime by a crook who simply knows his way around a computer, it has become increasingly essential to ensure the safety of your files and data. Mobile security and antivirus provides the opportunity to do just that. The app comes from Avast, the worldwide leading manufacturer of antivirus software and file protection programs. With its top-of-the-line virus detection software which can search through every nook and cranny of your mobile phone, it easily keeps you safe from malware. It also employs anti-theft features which work without you even being in possession of your phone.

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2. Internet Browser

Internet surfing is one of the main reasons Android-operated devices are as popular as they are today. The speed and sophistication that these devices bring to internet browsing is second to none. This net surfing, though, can’t be done without the help of specific apps. Internet apps have abounded recently, with some being more nifty and economical than others. However, if you’re looking for an app that lets you surf the internet without breaking a single sweat, then look no further than Google’s very own Chrome Browser. There are a lot of reasons why this app takes the top spot for me. Firstly, it’s not just free (which is more than I can say for a lot of useless browsers out there), it actually comes pre-installed on most high-end Android devices. This means that as an Android user, you don’t necessarily have to spend additional time and data downloading another browser as you already have a great option on a platter of gold. Chrome Beta also features a sync feature that allows you to share things like files, links and documents with your desktop, provided the desktop has Chrome installed on it too. Other major selling points are unlimited tabs for browsing, firmly rooted Android integration, an awesome design and user interface, making it extremely easy to operate, and many more.

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3. Downloading Music

This has to be the most competitive category. The majority of apps on the Google Play Store are either music downloaders or have a connection to music and streaming services. A lot of them have striking similarities, and as such, it’s quite difficult to see any one of them with a distinct advantage or stand out point over the others. Nevertheless, here are a few useful music downloading clients:

  • Spotify: This app has been around for quite a while but unlike most apps that were developed in its time, Spotify has continued to reinvent itself, becoming better with each passing period. Spotify now has streaming features and with it, you can also do other stuff like search your music library for your favorite songs, search the web for old songs you’d love to listen to again, create a radio station, etc.
  • Napster: Remember this app? Napster’s stock (and popularity) took a big hit due to the shenanigans of its then-CEO Shawn Parker. However, the company took a new look a few years back and picked itself up, returning to the forefront of the music service market. Napster has over 40 million songs, which it gives its clients ad-free access to. Songs are easily downloadable and the quality is top notch.
  • SoundCloud: SoundCloud has virtually everything; music files, audio books, eBooks, podcasts and more. The app is an all-rounder and you sure won’t regret having it. It’s also useful for aspiring musicians as you can share your song and make it visible to other users.

The list of nifty music downloading apps is almost endless. However, I have shortened it to a few that I believe are the best among the many. Here is a full list of free music downloader apps.

4. File Exploration

This category will mean a lot to people whose phone memories are almost exhausted. Personally, I hate looking for things. As such, I’ve found file managers very useful. With them, you can easily search the hidden parts of your phone, manage your device, move stuff to and fro and keep your device generally organized. Among these explorers, however, I’ve found ES File Explorer Pro to be the best.This app comes as an upgrade to the original ES File Explorer which, after a few managerial struggles, became dormant and frankly annoying. The pro version eradicates the massive bloatware that reduced the capabilities of the original version, leaving you with an amazing user experience. It’s so easy to use and offers you a range of device management strategies. The only downside to this app is the fact that it’s not free. It’s not expensive, either. For the simple price of $2.99, it can be yours and I guarantee you’ll love it.

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Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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Published on October 9, 2018

Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

Note-taking is useful in helping improve your memory and increase your productivity at work. By writing down notes, you have something tangible you can refer back to, remember what needs to be done, and regain control of your work throughout the day.

There are thousands of different note-taking apps you can use on your desktop or mobile device. The two most popular are Evernote and Microsoft OneNote because they are incredibly efficient and effective that each has a following of extremely loyal users and advocates.

So if it comes to Evernote vs OneNote, how do they improve productivity?

An overview of Evernote and OneNote

First, an introduction to the two platforms. Evernote is an app that lets you store content, take down notes, write lists, and organize all of them. While these are stored in Notebooks, the whole concept behind this productivity app is more like a Universal Inbox where you can save everything you’ve collected so you can quickly find it when you need them through the use of tags.

Microsoft’s OneNote, on the other hand, works very much like a digital version of the notebooks you used to carry around in school. Aside from storing all your notes and different types of content you’ve collected, you can also organize them into sections, pages, and containers.

Each of these apps offers their users a host of features to help them improve their productivity and memory. Also, because no app is perfect, each also has their strengths and limitations.

To get a better idea of which app will be your best choice, we’ll be comparing the two based on three key features most used by their users: collecting information, note-taking, and mobility.

Collecting information

Both the OneNote and Evernote come with their own web clipper extension that allows you to quickly collect and store information from different websites as you find them.

Both give you the option to choose whether you’d like to save the entire web page as is, a simplified version without the ads, or just a section of the page. You can also add some notes before saving them to make it easier for you to remember why you “clipped” that particular resource.

Since OneNote gives you more structure to organize your content, its web clipper allows you to choose not just which notebook to save the details, but also what section within the notebook.

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    Source: OneNote.com

    Evernote gives you the option to add tags to your web clippings before you save it, so it’s easier for you to search for it later.

    Premium users get access to Evernote’s Related Results feature located in its Options section. When you search on Google, Evernote will launch a secondary search that will show all the notes related to the keyword you used in searching for information.

      Source: Zapier.com

      This feature, according to Jeremy Skillings, President of Youcanbefound.com, is beneficial because it lets you know what information you already have stored in your notes.

      “In some cases whenever I do my research, I find out through this feature that I already have the exact information I need stored in my Evernote account. That alone cuts back a significant amount of the time I spend on projects.”

      Note-taking

      Both of these productivity apps allow you to create and format your notes to create rich documents. Among these features include changing the font size and color, adding tables, and inserting media files.

      Evernote’s note-taking features are very similar to a Word document in that it’s very structured concerning how you input your notes.

        Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbert of RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

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        While he enjoyed the features, his personal experience with using it in the field revealed that the formatting features,“mean that if you need to change parts of your notes around, it can get tedious”. He continued, “the formatting features are quite finicky, so you may need a bit of patience to get the end results you are looking for.”

        Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbertof RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

        Structuring your notes properly from the get-go can have an effect on your productivity. A blank slate can sometimes be puzzling. Evernote allows the ability to use battle-tested templates and workflows that save you time. They can provide inspiration and structure on what’s possible.

        On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way notes are created. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

        On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way you create your notes. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

          Source: Lifehacker

          Also, it gives you the option to create Templates that you can use to layout your page properly, so all you’ll need to do is to fill in the information.

            Source: MakeUseOf

            This is a particularly handy feature that stood out to many of the people who shared their love of OneNote with me. Steve Lionais, longtime user and Co-Founder & CEO of Dr-Bill.ca, claims that this feature helped him build his business by affecting his memory in a powerful and helpful way.

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            “This [feature] is what makes OneNote great memory retention app,” he said of the templates. “I find that I remember things more when they are arranged in a certain way. OneNote allowed me to do that for my meeting and presentation notes, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to find the next point!”

            However, what really makes OneNote the winner of this round is its ability to allow you to embed media files from other sources like Youtube. In addition to including the link, OneNote launches a media player, allowing you to watch the video or listen to the audio file directly from the page where you saved it.

              Source: Windows Central

              Mobility

              Evernote and OneNote can be used both on desktops and mobile devices. At the same time, they provide their users with the ability to sync the content from one device to the other.

              Judging which of the two productivity apps is best here is quite tricky because it greatly depends on several factors. One of these is the operating software you use.

              Many of the power users we asked were using iOS, and that put some points toward Evernote. Greg Reese of AmeriEstate.com found himself frequently using the built-in camera option (and other iOS integrations) to manage his daily duties as President.

                Evernote’s camera also integrates with Post-It, Moleskin notebook pages, and business cards. When you take a photo of any of these, the camera will capture the information and format this for Evernote so that it’s quick to find it when you search.

                OneNote, on the other hand, dominates the Android environment. In addition to the app, Android users will also find a OneNote floating badge on the side of the home screen. So you can take notes on the go very quickly.

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                  Source: MS Power User

                  Another factor to consider is the cloud storage you use. For you to sync OneNote across different devices, you’ll need to first set up an account with OneDrive, which is Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

                  “This is something that Evernote users like me don’t have to worry about,” according to Matt Willens, Head Attorney for Willens Law Offices. “Whether you use a free account or one of their paid plans, you can immediately sync your devices without having to get a separate cloud storage account.”

                  The drawback here is the amount of storage and number of devices that you can sync. Free users are only given 60MB of storage space and can sync up to two devices. If you need more storage space, you’ll have to get the paid plans.

                  Which app is better for improving memory and productivity?

                  The honest—and most straightforward—answer is:

                  It depends on you.

                  While Evernote and OneNote have their strengths and weaknesses, how well it will help improve productivity and memory greatly depends on what works best for you.

                  If you find that you’re able to work best and remember things more using visual cues, OneNote will be the best productivity app to use. However, if you consider the speed and ease of finding the information you need as your top priority, Evernote will be your best option.

                  Since both productivity apps have free versions, you can give both a try and see where you’re most comfortable. In the end, the right productivity app to use is one that complements the way you work and do things rather than dictating to you how you should get them done.

                  Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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