Android devices need a kit of essential tools just as much as contractors tinkerers do. But instead of drills hammers, they’re apps that are installed consistently updated so that they’re always ready to use.
Five apps in particular are so fundamentally crucial, it’s a surprise they haven’t been rolled into ‘s own suite yet. Best of all, the apps are free to download, so there’s nothing holding you back from these Android enhancers.
GSam Battery Monitor
GSam Battery Monitor (Free, or $2.49) is one of the most effective battery monitoring apps available. It offers an accurate reading on your device based on both current past usage. It also comes with a helpful tool that displays which apps are sucking the most power. (Here’s the tablet edition.)
Astro File Manager
Astro File Manager lets you organize, view, locate every file or folder on your Android device. You can use the app to move files between folders the mounted SD card, or move things to cloud accounts like Dropbox Drive. Astro File Manager also works well with peripherals like an Android-compatible flash drive, so you can shuffle videos photos as you see fit. It’s kind of like using a regular desktop computer, but on a smaller screen.
If you’re not using AirDroid (Free), then you’re not using Android to its full potential. This app lets you painlessly access your device from your computer, without a cord. Neat features include a remote camera controller the ability to easily uninstall a batch of apps. And if you really fall in love with the app, you can download one of the newly launched desktop clients for your or Mac.
For watching movies or television shows on your Android device—or just playing the home movies you’ve recorded on repeat—you need MX ayer (Free). It supports a raft of file types subtitle formats, it also features hardware acceleration, multi-core decoding, pinch to zoom, gestures, a “kids lock” to keep adventurous tykes away from your other apps. Best of all, MX ayer has recently been updated with Android 5.0 support.
ke AirDroid, shBullet (Free) lets you interact with your phone from your computer. You can send receive text messages from your phone no matter where it is in the house, or push links, notes, files to a tablet with just the Chrome extension. shBullet even has channels that alert you to breaking news updates based on your interests.
Got any other apps you find essential? Share them in the comments.