The First Apps To Install On Your New Android Device

Christmas season has come and gone, but those of us who got new Android devices as gifts now get to play with their toys!

For Christmas, I got hold of a Samsung Chromebook Pro. This device has the ability to run Android apps similar to a tablet and is becoming my productivity device of choice for both personal and work uses. Since I already use many Android apps on my smartphone (also a Samsung, in fact), I have a stable of apps I already use which also will run on the Chromebook. Here’s my list of apps which I recommend you install on your new Android device.

  • Security
    • LastPass (Free/$12 per year)
      This should be the first app you install on any device. I use LastPass to create and store all of my passwords. LastPass is very secure as it encrypts my credentials both in the local app and on their server. Even if one were to get hacked, the second level of encryption would still be in place, keeping my passwords safe and secure. I also use LastPass to randomly generate passwords for new accounts I create and for existing accounts which need a stronger password than what I’m currently using. Security is the most important consideration for any device you use and LastPass will help you plug any security holes you have from a password standpoint.
      App download
  • ¬†Productivity
    • Email
      • Personal – Gmail (Free)
        The Gmail app comes standard on all Android smartphones and tablets and, since you need to have or set up a Google account for use with an Android device, you most likely already have your Gmail set up!
        App download
      • Work – Microsoft Outlook (Free)
        While the Gmail app does have the ability to sync with work email Exchange accounts, there are a few functions I like which Gmail will only do for Gmail accounts, such as the ability to archive email to a folder with a single swipe. The Outlook app does that and more, is free, and, as it is from Microsoft, works seamlessly with Exchange mailboxes.
        App download
    • Calendar
      • Personal – Google Calendar (Free)
        Again, the Google Calendar app comes standard on all Android smartphones and tablets, so it’s easy to just jump in and put the app to good use. There are some great features with Google Calendar, as well, including the option to create time or location based reminders and the ability to set goals (read a book, spend more time with family) and block time on a regular basis to achieve them.
        App download
      • Work – Microsoft Outlook (Free)
        Just like with the desktop version of Outlook, the Android app version does much more than simply email, integrating calendar functionality as well. I actually chose the Outlook app for two reasons. The first is that I like to keep my work and personal mailboxes separate. The second is that both Gmail and Google Calendar require a security setting change which I simply can’t access on a Chromebook, hence I can’t use those apps for work. Since Outlook handles both email and calendar for me, it’s a quick and easy fix.
        App download
    • Tasks/To-Dos
      • Personal – Todoist (Free/$28.99 per year)
        While Google has baked reminders and basic task management into its ecosystem, I prefer a more dedicated task management solution. Todoist is an excellent app in that I can create tasks using natural sentences. For example, if I wanted to create a recurring task to wash my clothes every Sunday, I would literally write “wash the clothes every Sunday” when creating the task. Todoist would then create the task for Sunday and, when I complete the task, create a new task on the next Sunday. I don’t know of another task manager that does this and that alone makes Todoist my task management app choice.
        App download
      • Work – Wunderlist (Free/$4.99 per month)
        Why would I use a separate task list for work? As I mentioned earlier, I prefer to keep my work and personal stuff separate. Why Wunderlist, then? The Outlook app lets you link your Wunderlist account with it. Outlook will then display any tasks with due dates on your Outlook calendar. Since I rely much less on recurring tasks at work, Wunderlist and its Outlook integration come in very handy for me.
        App download
    • Notes
      • Personal – Google Keep (Free)
        As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m a huge Google power user, so it only makes sense that Google Keep is my personal note taking app of choice. One particular function I enjoy with Google Keep is the ability to take a picture, add it to a Keep note, and then extract any text from the picture into the note. Also, as with just about everything Google, I can archive any note for future reference, keeping my main view clear of clutter
        App download
      • Work – Evernote (Free/$34.99 per year)
        As with Wunderlist, Evernote can integrate into Outlook and display any notes with reminder dates assigned to them. Evernote is also much more robust for note taking than Google Keep, featuring text editing and formatting tools similar to Microsoft Word. Evernote is perfect for taking meeting notes, project planning, and many other work related events where notes come in handy.
        App download

There are plenty of other Android apps which you’ll find useful. Post in the comments if you have any favorites!