Twelve apps you need on your Galaxy Note II

Posted on Feb 4 2013 - 3:22pm by Martin Gicheru

Galaxy Note II appsThese are not your usual stylus (S Pen) apps that make the experience different in a huge way than other smartphones. Okay, call it a phablet, either way it’s the best smartphone there is right now in my opinion. Let’s not argue if you haven’t used it. That sorted, there are apps you wish you knew existed immediately you set up your device and wondered where they were a month later after you discover them either through a search or referral.  The apps I have listed here are good for the Galaxy Note II with all its processing power, battery life, RAM and screen size. Makes it more of a productivity device. Also the apps I have listed here are not limited to the Galaxy Note, so if you are on Android, go ahead and install them.

App Backup and restore

This app is quite good when you have so many apps you want to install, and for a reason or another, wish to uninstall them for some time leaving them available for re-installing in a  near future. You see, not many of us have Wi-Fi at their beck and call, so you want to save those bundles when you already went through the installation process. This app allows you to archive the installation files of the apps you have installed, you can choose one or several and you have them stored either in the microSD or in phone’s mass storage in the absence of microSD. Reinstalling is one click, you can even export these files into another storage

App lock

Sometime you may want to restrict access to some apps without necessarily barring access to your phone. Say if you want to give your phone to a friend for them to experience without necessarily craning your neck to see whether they are already inside your messages and photo gallery. You can always install this app and set a password, then add the apps you wish to prevent access to. It even gives you an option to turn lock on or off to cater for situations where you are the one using the phone and don’t want to input login credentials every time you access an app.

Swiftkey for tablets

Well, Swiftkey is available for smartphones and would work better on this phone. Before I proceed, lets first agree that its the best keyboard on Android, while it is the most downloaded premium app on Android. Swiftkey for tablets is even better on larger displays over 4.65 inches since it splits the keyboard when in landscape mode, thanks @teriwanderi for helping me realize that. Swiftkey learns the way you write, learning your language from many applications like twitter, messaging, email or even your blog. So it will be suggesting words based on what you write and how you write, and believe you me, it learns fast, makes you type even faster and more accurately.

SMS Backup and restore

This is good when you need to switch devices and wish to keep an SMS string you had, probably with a client. You can export the texts and import them to another device and keep walking.

PesaDroid

Well, this would work for MPesa users, Kenyans feel me on this. For those of us who are entrepreneurs and are paid via Mpesa, you want to get this app to assist you track your Mpesa record. It’s not just spending, but business transactions. Get the paid app for two reasons, to support the Kenyan developer and also to get your statement exported to an excel sheet on request. Your banker will want this when you suddenly want an emergency loan. You even get a transaction assistant that will help you send money better. Reports are well defined and you can even group people you send and receive Mpesa to for easier management.

KRA PIN Checker

This one is another app by a Kenyan developer and will work in Kenya.  The app can assist you query the KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority) database for a business PIN. You could wish to verify if a certain business you are transacting with has a PIN for TAX purposes. It also offers a chance to check for tax compliance, no need to ask their accountants, fetch the info for yourself, information is power!

Pulse

I am a blogger and reader so you wouldn’t be surprised that I live this app and use it a lot. Pulse helps you keep track of your favourite news sources, just add from the available news sites and blogs or if you want to go specific, there is a search bar that will allow you add the specific blog or RSS you want to keep in touch with. I prefer this to Flipboard for that small and important reason of offline reading.

Pocket

Pocket is another reader app, but this one is more dynamic than Pulse. Formerly Read It Later, this app allows you to add blogs and links of any kind, including videos to the pocket app for offline reading, of-course off-line does not apply to videos, but you have them somewhere central as opposed to favoriting tweets, you know some will think you are stalking them. Pocket has a Chrome Web app that allows you to add and read on the web, the same app allows you to integrate twitter so you can add links directly from tweets.

Doubletwist

Music music music! Well this is one of the best music players on Android, I would wish to be notified of better apps though. Double twist for those of us who listen to music on the go, will work even on a locked screen and respond to the volume buttons and play controls on the home-screen. Plus you can create playlists easier, shuffle the whole album and other nice things.

Drippler

Drippler is an app that allows you keep in touch with what the blogs are saying about your specific device. You get hacks and tricks of your device model before your peers. It pushes notifications, so you get things in real-time, and you can read the whole meat of the blog post or video is the blog has the RSS available in full.

Airdroid

The moment you switch Airdroid on, it pushes a notification with URL on it that you can use to access the Android smartphone on your PC or Mac browser. This will work as long as you have the same Wi-Fi being accessed by both devices. Once connected you are able to access files in the smartphone and do better things that you would do with KIES, well except OS upgrades.

Dropbox

Last but not least, we have Dropbox. One you were not bound to miss for this productivity device. Cloud computing has become part of our daily lives, and you want to have those important files backed up incase anything happens to your mobile device. Your contacts are there with Gmail, why not ensure your much prized photos and files too. Quick tip: If you get access to Wi-Fi once in a while, set your files to sync every-time there is Wi-Fi, that way you need not remember when you need to sync files. But of-course if you find that you haven’t accessed on in a long time, sacrifice those data bundles to save your you-know-what.

Of-course here is where you list some of the apps you would wish us and other readers to discover and improve our experience on the smartphones/phablets.

About the Author

is the Managing Editor at Techweez, he has a passion for consumer technology and the ecosystems around it. You will find him interested mostly about mobile phones, mobile operating systems, application stores, social media and internet business. He does the mobile phone reviews on this site. He loves watching animations movies and series like Garfield. Follow him at @martingicheru on Twitter and Google+, he doesnt bite.

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