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101 Recommended Apps (Part 8)

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46.  TapTu

Price: Free

With the advent of 10.1-inch Android tablets, it’s more important than ever for developers to make a decent site aggregator that not only stores all your lovely feeds but also enables you to present them on your device so that it doesn’t just look like you have added a small postage stamp to an A4 envelope.

Enter Taptu, one of the most beautiful website readers of recent times, and one that also houses its fair share of widgets.

TapTu

TapTu

Taptu - which we tried out on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - is easy to customize. Simply press the ‘Add’ symbol in the top-right corner and choose your feeds. Once you have done this, they appear in neat lines on the screen.

You can choose content by looking through the featured links, going to the topics section, getting it from your own Google Reader or just finding a stream.

We usually dismiss topics on apps like Taptu but we must admit that we got addicted to a few of the feeds - including the movie and the tech one. The tech one was a touch sycophantic because we just like reading about ourselves...

47.  Google Translate

Price: Free

Google Translate

Google Translate

No matter what your dad has taught you, going to Spain and speaking English slowly while adopting a foreign accent does not mean you have mastered another language. It just means you sound like a tit.

Luckily, the frankly genius folk at Google have created a phone tool which makes learning another language that little bit easier.

Google Translate is a brilliantly simple application that enables you to type a phrase into its search bar and it comes back with how to say it in up to 50 languages.

The phrase is shown in text form. If you want the app to speak it back to you, you must also install eSpeak for Android, but the app does this for you if you ask it nicely (‘n glws in Welsh, according to Google Translate).

The application stores up what you have asked for and puts it into a history section - so you may want to erase ‘estas sola?’ from the list before your partner asks what it means.

Other great things the app does is that it can translate whole text messages for you and you can also send your translations to others.

The app is so easy to use that you will be using it to chase foreign students in no time. Just be warned that the robot voice makes you sound like a female Stephen Hawkins.

48.  Google Chrome to Phone

Price: Free

Share desktop and mobile content with the Google Chrome to Phone app

Share desktop and mobile content with the Google Chrome to Phone app

Bringing together your phone with Google’s desktop web browser, Google Chrome to Phone is the app to share content between the two devices.

The first stage is to sync your Gmail account in three steps on the app, after which you need to download the extension on your Chrome browser. That generates a clickable icon.

Once you’ve done that, you can hit that button to push content such as links, maps, texts and phone numbers straight to your Android device. You’ll receive a notification in your status bar and shortly after you can open the link.

If you’ve sent map directions, the link opens in Google Maps, while sending a phone number launches the dialpad with the number inputted inside. If you send over an email address, it appears in your phone’s email client.

Google Chrome to Phone takes just a few minutes to set up, delivering synergy between your desktop and phone, which transfers content instantly. It definitely comes in handy when you are in a rush and don’t have time to print off directions, which is a situation many of us have been in.

49.  Fring

Price: Free

Fring

Fring

If you are an online social butterfly, the plethora of instant messaging options your extended social network uses probably makes it difficult to keep up with what is going on and where.

So, if you keep getting your Twitters in a twist, Fring could be for you.

Fring enables you to contact your social network at any time without the need to log into to all the sites you have joined. So you can contact someone who is on Twitter without needing to be on the site yourself.

As with most apps of this type, Fring uses your phone’s web connectivity to contact people. But it doesn’t have any messy subscriptions to go through, which makes it instantly more likeable.

We were surprised by how well Fring works. Its navigation through myriad social networks - in our case, Twitter, Skype and Messenger - worked well and you were even allowed to choose whether you used it over 3G or Wi-Fi.

50.  Go SMS

Price: Free

Go SMS enables you to do more with text messages than you ever dreamed of

Go SMS enables you to do more with text messages than you ever dreamed of

For those not entirely satisfied with their integrated messaging service, Go SMS serves as an alternative source for all your text-related chatter.

Offering more than just another place to send and receive texts, Go SMS enables you to customize the entire look of your inbox by adding profile pictures, changing background and font colors assigned to contacts.

As well as searching for contacts via previous messages, you can view conversations in chat-style threads, and use the Find SMS feature to search texts by specific words to find conversations about topics you’d like to pull up for reference once again.

You can share messages via the likes of Twitter and Facebook, and in Night mode, make text reading in the darker hours a lot easier on the eye.

Security settings enable you to lock access to the app using either a gesture pattern or a simple PIN to keep those unwanted eyes away from your messages.

There are probably things you’ve never wanted or even thought to do with your messages, but Go SMS will certainly change that. Rival application Handcent SMS offers many offers similar features but the wealth of options here makes this the more desirable download.

51.  Gmail

Price: Free

Keep on top of your emails when you’re out and about by downloading Gmail

Keep on top of your emails when you’re out and about by downloading Gmail

Bringing the email experience from the desktop application to your phone, the Gmail Android app helps you keep track of your emails while you are on the move.

With support for multiple Gmail accounts, you can expect many of the features already familiar to Gmail users, such as searching through messages and viewing email messages by conversation. You can also expect priority inbox markers, accessing synced messages when in offline mode and a toggle so that you can hide or show quoted text.

Email notifications appear on your status bar, but you can also choose to assign a ringtone or have the phone vibrate for incoming emails. In a bid to help keep your email organized, you can add stars to favorites and labels for personal, work and travel. To make the transition from another email client easier, you can import contacts and mail from the likes of Yahoo!, Hotmail and AOL accounts.

Gmail users will be happy to see that the app stays relatively true to the desktop version, and with the ability to fully customize your account, those new to Gmail will quickly recognize that this is one of the best email clients around for Android phones.

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