16 Apps for every Indian Android phone

by - August 15, 2012

Let's be honest. We're way beyond the era where a mobile's job is to make a phone call. 

Once upon a time, we were ready to forgive Nokia even though the other mobiles had better features ( Sony - Sound, Samsung - clarity ), simply because Nokia had the better interface. Well, that ship sailed once smartphones stepped into the picture. 
And with all the crazy-awesome apps available for us today, I wanted to share my list of apps ( not games ) I feel everyone in India ought to have, irrespective of Quad-core/screen size/Android version. Remember, this is my own personal choice. You're more than welcome to add to the list with your own personal choices.

1. Evernote : 
Plus : For someone like me who loves writing-on-the-go, Evernote is heaven. It allows me to sync notes across the mobile and computer. So even if I get a good idea while travelling in a crowded bus, I can type and save it on the phone and it's automatically there in my computer when I get back. It also allows for easy tagging/searching across multiple documents. 
Minus : None that I can think of. Doesn't crash. Doesn't eat up memory.

2. Dropbox :
Plus : What Evernote does for your written thoughts, Dropbox does for your photos and documents.
Minus : None. Works just fine.

3. Opera Mini :
Plus : One of the best net browsers in a mobile, right from the Nokia days. Extremely handy if you're on a volume-dependant net plan as it cuts down page size by upto as much as 90% ( my own observation. )
Minus : Recent updates have shown the occasional tendency to crash.

4. awallet Password :
Plus : A place to store all your passwords at one shot. You can arrange them by categories ( online, credit cards, banking etc ). Does not sync online - this is a good thing because your passwords cannot be transferred online and so there isn't any chance of it falling into the wrong hands.
Minus : Can't think of any. Easy. Efficient. Doesn't consume memory.

5.  Rail Time :
Plus : Tired of having to depend on IRCTC just to find train timings ? This is the perfect app for you. It downloads the whole Indian train schedule so you can check it offline at your own leisure. It also allows you to check your PNR status and shows you the time the train reaches each station.
Minus : Again, no complaints.

6. JustDial :
Plus : I love how efficient this site is. You can ask them the address and phone number of anything and they seem to have it in their database. 
Minus : Needs a net connection. Also their own efficiency is this App's Achilles heel - they have an awesome phone service so who would need the app ??

7. AllIndiaBankInfo :
Plus : Totally offline. Click your bank, choose your state, pinpoint your town and you get the address, phone number and IFSC code. Brilliant.
Minus : Not many.

8. JiniBox - India TV Guide
Plus : For Tv addicts, this is your nirvana. Gives you the entire schedule of TV programmes across all the channels so you know when yiur favourite movie is coming on. Allows you to select personal favourite channels so you can view them at a click of a button.
Minus : Memory-guzzler. I'll be frank. I've uninstalled this app for this reason alone. It's as heavy as the Facebook app ( which doesn't find a place on this list for the same reason - why struggle with the Facebook app when I can view it on Opera Mini ?)

9. Whatsapp : 
Plus : Sigh. Remember those days when you'd cut down letters in your sms because an international sms cost Rs 5 ? Well, Whatsapp has done and dusted that for good. Free ( for the first year ), unlimited, rapid messaging across all platforms (Android, Apple, Blackberry ) across all countries. Awesome emoticons. Easy transfer of videos, music and more. Group conversations. Minimal memory and battery utilisation. What more can you ask for ?
Minus : Requires a net connection unlike traditional sms.

10. Local :
Plus : I believe this is nothing more than Google Maps. Either way, it is amazing. With GPS on, it made my life a hell of a lot easier in alien surroundings. I knew which building was coming, could see reviews of that restaurant around the corner and even find alternate routes when roads were suddenly converted into one-ways. I can also save maps of cities offline.
Minus : Of course, maps aside, you need the net for GPS and finding travel routes. That can eat up your battery life down to half in no time.

Honorable mentions :

11) Doctor at Home : Offline app which gives you good-ol' homemade cures for common ailments like acidity,asthma, fever etc ( Eg : Clicking 'cold' gives me bitter gourd, garlic, lemon, ginger and turmeric - clicking any of them gives the explanation as well as how to prepare it. ) The only thing missing is the nagging voice of your mom, telling you to 'just eat it.'

12) SweetNSpicy : Online app for recipes - both Indian and continental. I love cooking and I love the easy interface on this app and the 'Browse by Ingredients' section where you type in what you have in your fridge and they give you recipes you can make. For those who want the same features for cocktail recipes, head over to Mixologist ... uh, or so I've heard. Hic.

13) Noom : I just realised I haven't put a fitness-related app in the list and you all might find out the truth of my ( lack of ) an exercise schedule. Noom allows you to keep track of your daily meals and exercise workouts, logging in the calories based on the type of workout you are doing. Thoroughly efficient. Thoroughly demoralising for me.

14) Advanced task killer : For freeing up memory and shutting all the open apps with the click of a single button.

15) Tweetcaster : I use Tweetcaster for Twitter. Works well enough for me. I'm sure there are better options out there, but I have no complaints with this bird and its various colourful interfaces and options.

16) Pulse : This app allows me to read most of the international news/gossip/sports websites ( not Indian newspapers, mind you ) offline. It also lets me sync my google reader so I can read all the recent blogposts as well.

So that's my list. I haven't added any music-player app (I use Poweramp) and picture editor (Pixlr-o-matic) so feel free to chip in. 
Which apps would you like to recommend and why ? 

Readers add :

*Ritika - Instagram
*Avina - Go Launcher, Shush, Soundhound, Shazam, MusiXmatch
*Dr Mosyn - Camscanner, Onenote, Flipboard, Ngpay, Dominos, Aldiko, Aviary
*Dr Danny - Google Current, Latitude, Amazon Kindle
*Sonam - Mintm

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  1. Very very useful post! I have evernote on my ipad but never used it ! Now I know its pros from the post and will start using it. Nothing like the emoticons in whatsapp. Totally in love with it!

    1. install evernote in your computer too.. you can link them together with basic email.. after that enjoy.

  2. this is so informative Doc..!!!
    thankyou..i guess Evernote is something that i am going to install right away.. :)
    and whatsapp is just the best!!!

    god bless :)


    1. please do... Evernote is wonderful... and yes, whatsapp is indeed just the best ... any you'd like to recommend.

  3. Good list! You can add the Hangman game also! Totally addictive!

    1. No games... thats for another post.

      c'mon.. gimme some apps ! :)

  4. My list will always top Temple Run :D

    Thats a really good list,I would probably list the same 10 ones

    1. Ritika, as I told Rohan, games will be a separate post coming up... and i still have to play temple run on the mobile. how is it ?
      plus, any good apps to add from personal experience ?

    2. I just saw you didnt add instagram,I am guessing you are not a picture person :D
      I think its a great app for sharing plus its easy to use :)

    3. I mentioned pixlr-o-matic, but true. I have been following all the hype on Instagram and have yet to download it myself... that should probably be first on my list.

  5. I had this notion that doctors are rarely tech-friendly and that all this app hoopla was for the zillion engineers in our country. You've surprised me :D

    1. I'm infamously known as the tech-saavy doc since ages in all the hospitals I've worked in across different states now :)

  6. Rail are they exact names for the apps?

    GoLauncher is the best interface i have used. Shows the battery in %, then torch, alarm, light focus are available on home sceen.

    Another amazing app is 'Shush'. While putting mobile on silent it asks for the minutes/hours phone to be silent!

    For music lovers, soundhound and shazam are apps for recognizing music playing anywhere.
    musiXmatch- it gives the lyrics of the song, with the song playing and best thing, lyrics available offline too.

    1. Avina, these are the names as they appear at the store.
      I have used Go Launcher and presently still use the Go sms instead of default sms format.
      Soundhound I have indeed tried and musixmatch sounds like something I'd love to have.. thanks.
      Shush reminded me of the FAKE CALL app.. superb. can get your mobile to ring at a pre-decided time showing anybody from your contact list as the caller :)

  7. My job does not allow me to bring a camera mobile to office. I have a 1500 Rs Sony Erricson which is going to die any day. My wife has an Iphone 4. And I must admit that I use it to download and play as many games I like whenever I have time. The latest one which both of us play like crazy is 'Catapult King'.
    So, I guess I will wait for your games post.

    1. Have always been gadget crazy here... funnily enough, hardly ever play these days.. will have to try out this Catapult King, now that you mentioned it.

  8. Off late been using Google Current to read through various magazines and newspapers all over the world... You left out amazon kindle! One of the best apps on android for reading ebooks!

    I have been using the latitude app from google maps, if you are connected with a friend on it, it helps you know where exactly they are all over the world!

  9. Will have to check Google Current... and since I have a Kindle Fire, have stopped reading novels in mobile.. but you're right. There should be a reading app in this list.

    I have Local.. again it feels like Google Map so I dont know what the difference is between all of them.

  10. Hi,
    There is an award for you on my blog.

  11. great list Roshan... and after going through the discussions I came across many more valuable apps...which are worth for using...
    but no one mentioned about any shopping apps...as I am a shopping freak and recently used mintm app for shopping n reward...
    try it... www.mintmapp.com/app

    1. Thanks. Had not considered shopping, but its definitely a necessity today.

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  13. I bet - this is super-duper useful :)

    1. thanks.. try them out. You'll like most of them.

  14. And Roshan I do use a lot of them, so much so that i use it more like an organizing gadget and seldom a phone, lol, this is great info!

    1. same here Poonam :) I use it for virtually everything except calling ppl.. thats like a secondary use :)


Let me know what you think.