With 2015 in sight, it’s time to send some Christmas cheer to the Android apps that rocked in 2014.
Pushbullet links all your devices so that you get a seamless experience moving between devices. You can get all your phone notifications on your computer, you can see text messages on your computer, you can copy a link on your computer and paste it in your phone or vice versa. This app makes transitioning from your desk to your commute or your couch easier than ever.
Key Takeaway: Want seamless cross-platform integration ? Get it.
#2: Link Bubble
Click a link in an app, and you’re thrown into Chrome where you get to watch a page load (and load and load). Boring! Well, Merry Christmas, the Link Bubble browser will make you want to click links again. Link Bubble loads those web pages in the background so you can stay in the app you were using, and when the page is ready, it animates on the screen.
The app-to-app experience is much smoother with Link Bubble than the native Android experience. If you’re using the LinkedIn app and you click a YouTube link, Link Bubble will take you directly to the YouTube app. It also plays nice with embedded YouTube videos. Instead of playing the video in the page – which you can barely see – it launches the YouTube player.
Key Takeaway: Hate jumping between app and browser ? Get this app.
#3: Estar Battery Saver
Estar Battery Saver is one of the few “battery saving” apps worth its name even if it is a bit of a misnomer. It doesn’t claim to actually do anything about battery drain other than let you know which apps are battery hogs. Still, this is extremely useful for those of us who can never quite get through a full day without finding a charger.
Key Takeaway: Can’t be bothered to carry an extra battery or charger ? Get it.
#4: HERE Beta
HERE Beta is probably the only serious contender to Google Maps on the Android platform. My biggest gripe with Google’s offering is its dependence on internet access. HERE Beta can get you where you need to go even if you’re offline – helpful for a frequent traveler like me. Some people might simply choose to swallow the data roaming charges, but I can’t quite stomach that. HERE Beta has really great maps and routing for both online and offline use and is produced by Nokia.
Key Takeaway: Need to get somewhere even if you’re offline? Get it.
Don’t end up like Anthony Weiner. Get TextSecure, which as Jon wrote is your best option for secure messaging. The TextSecure server never stores your data or accesses your messages. The only hitch is that for the encryption to work, your friend needs to use it too. So give your friends the gift of privacy this holiday season and tell them about this app.
Key Takeaway: Don’t get doxx’d. Get this app instead.