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10 Best Apps for Android: 2014 Edition

10 Best Apps for Android: 2014 Edition

Google finished 2014 with millions of Android applications on its Google Play store, and each app, ranging from games to productivity tools, made great additions to the Play Store. Of these apps, the year 2014 also saw a notable set of high-quality Android apps, from lifestyle and entertainment apps through to productivity tools, and these apps gained enough admiration that they may be sustained for years.

Last year, we covered Must-Have Free Apps From A–Z! This is the companion article, wrapping up the best non-game apps for Android smartphones and tablets of the year. In this article, we have listed some applications that were announced as the ‘best stuff of the year’ on Google Play for 2014 and other award winning apps from the Play Store and other Android marketplaces that are must haves for your Android Phones. As in the previous piece, each app’s title has a download link.

If you think something is missing or shouldn’t be here, or you have spotted an excellent app that should be on the list, let us know about it in the comments section! We would love to hear from you!

1. MoboMarket

MoboMarket-Screenshots

    The Google Play Store comes as the default app marketplace with each and every Android based smartphone. Many users, however, are quite unaware of the other stores that can be used as a substitute to this default store.The application MoboMarket, developed by Moborobo, is an one-stop application store for Android mobile users. It is basically a third-party Android Market Application with a lot of applications that are not available on Google Play. The newer version of the app features Geo-location and content pushing systems that help users find all the relevant apps based on their geographic location, such as events, offers, discounts, etc. MoboMarket comes with a wide range of apps and games with a nice and easy user interface.

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    2. Afterlight

    Afterlight

      Afterlight, a powerful photo editing app, and one of the most loved iOS apps, is now available on the Google Play Store as well. This application comes with dozens of powerful photo editing tools such as cropping, rotating or the addition of borders for tweaking your pictures. Afterlight features nearly five dozen filters, special effects, and lots more surfaces that can make your photos really stand out.

      3. Mailbox

      mailbox-android

        Mailbox, the most popular email application for iPhone, is now available on Google Play Store for Android lovers. This application is so popular that it was bought by the cloud storage company Dropbox few months after the launch for about $100 million. Mailbox is an alternative way to cope with spam emails. This application is compatible with Gmail and iCloud email accounts. Mailbox enables you to manage emails more effectively in a SMS-like chat system. Features like swiping, annoying senders, reminders and more put this amazing tool among 2014’s most impressive apps released so far.

        4. SwiftKey Keyboard

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        SwiftKey

          SwiftKey is a free, award-winning keyboard application for Android Phones that learns from the user and delivers the best next-word prediction autocorrect feature, over 800 emoji (emoticons) and much more! It’s the most useful smart keyboard for Android Smart Phones for fast messaging, chatting, texting and emailing, becoming the default across all your apps. The Swiftkey keyboard has perfect features including over 30 colorful themes, different layouts for different devices screens, and supports over 80 languages.

          5. Flipboard

          android-flipboard

            Flipboard is one of my favorite apps because it’s a tailored miniature magazine for internet content. Flipboard also won 2014 Tabby Awards competition in the News & Magazines Users’ Choice category.This useful app takes top stories from the web and re-formats them into an app through text and images, so you can easily read them by swiping up and down. Flipboard also lets you plug in your Twitter or Facebook profiles so that you can pull links that people talk about on social media.

            6. Google Keep

            google keep

              If you want a quick way to pen down your thoughts, Google Keep is certainly worth having. It allows you to create notes with text, by voice (automatic transcription) as a list or with photos. These notes will then appear in chronological order. The amazing thing is that these notes will be saved online automatically, so you can access them on your computer’s web browser.

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              7. Microsoft Office Mobile

              Microsoft Office

                The most useful tool for students and business people is Microsoft’s office suite. It used to cost $99 per year, but, thankfully, it’s free now. The free Microsoft productivity suite for Android users allows you to view Office documents and make edits. This app also lets you save all your documents on OneDrive cloud storage, so you can access them on your computer.

                8. Pocket

                pocket

                  Many of you like to read articles on the web. Sometimes, though, when you find an interesting article, you’re at work or too busy to read it right away. By using Pocket extension or bookmarklet in your browser, you can save the story to read it later. Pocket’s Android app lays out web pages in a simple, book-like view and stores the article off-line so you can still catch up even while in a non-coverage area. Pocket was also announced as the best news application of 2014 by Evernote Platform Awards.

                  9. DuoLingo

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                  duolingo

                    DuoLingo has been chosen as the best in the education category app of 2014 by Google. It allows you to learn numerous languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Irish, Dutch, and Danish. Moreover, DuoLingo is absolutely free and has no annoying advertisements.

                    10. Ultimate Study Timer

                    ultimate

                      Ultimate Study Timer is a dark themed, sleek pomodoro technique study timer. Like most pomodoro timers, it’s designed for students and book lovers to keep track of study periods and short breaks. The customizability and its alarm method make Ultimate Study Timer special. The app lets you hand-select the duration of each study and break period individually. The app reminds you through unique vibration patterns when it’s time to study or break. The icon in the notification bar also indicates the running time. It’s simply the most effective and useful pomodoro timer application yet.

                      Featured photo credit: close up of woman hands using smart phone at the bar via shutterstock.com

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                      Published on November 9, 2018

                      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                      Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                      Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                      So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                      6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                      When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                      1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                      Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                      To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                      In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                      • Microsoft Excel
                      • Microsoft Access
                      • Statistics
                      • Data Analytics
                      • Adobe Campaign
                      • Quickbooks
                      • XML Database management system
                      • Filemaker Pro
                      • MATLAB
                      • Hive
                      • FORTRAN
                      • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                      • SAS

                      2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                      Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                      Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                      • Content Management System (CMS)
                      • Google Analytics
                      • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                      • Email Marketing
                      • Web Page Design
                      • WordPress
                      • Digital Media
                      • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                      • Campaign Management Software

                      3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                      A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                      • Adobe Photoshop
                      • Adobe InDesign
                      • Adobe Illustrator
                      • AutoCAD
                      • CorelDRAW
                      • Microsoft Visual Studio
                      • Maya
                      • Microsoft Word
                      • Microsoft Publisher
                      • Operating Digital Cameras

                      4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                      The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                      To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                      • HTML
                      • C/C++
                      • Java
                      • Python
                      • XML
                      • UI/UX
                      • LINUX
                      • CISC and RISC architecture
                      • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                      • Memory Management
                      • PCB Layout
                      • SQL

                      5. IT Troubleshooting

                      Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                      So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                      • Backup management
                      • Diagnostics
                      • End User support
                      • Client-Server management
                      • Installation and configuration
                      • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                      • System administration
                      • Tech support

                      6. Enterprise Systems

                      Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                      Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                      The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                      Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                      Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                      Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                      1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                      a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                      Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                      Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                      b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                      This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                      c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                      Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                      Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                      2. Rule the Social Media World

                      a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                      Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                      From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                      b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                      This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                      c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                      Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                      Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                      3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                      a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                      From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                      b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                      Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                      The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                      c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                      The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                      4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                      a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                      It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                      From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                      b. Canva Design School

                      From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                      c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                      62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                      d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                      The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                      Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                      5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                      a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                      IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                      It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                      b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                      The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                      Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                      The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                      • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                      • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                      • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                      • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                      • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                      • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                      • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                      Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                      Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                      1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                      It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                      Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                      2. Work on Your Efficiency

                      Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                      For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                      3. Look for Shortcuts

                      Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                      4. Apply for an Internship

                      Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                      By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                      The Bottom Line

                      Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                      So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                      Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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