Apps I use the most on my Galaxy Note II

Besides the Phone app of course. My Samsung Galaxy Note II (Verizon) came with many apps pre-loaded, some useful, some bloatware. (Getting rid of the bloatware will be the subject of another post). Additionally, the Google play store has many interesting apps. Maybe not as many as available for an iOS device, but still many, varied and useful. This was not my first Android device, so I had preconceptions regarding which apps I would use the most. I was only partly right. The large screen of the GNII changed my usage, and thus, the apps I use. Here’s a description of my most used apps. (I’m not including utilities – that can be the subject of another post — just apps I use day to day).

Email and GMail – I just use the built-in apps. One surprise is I no longer use TouchDown. It’s a good product, but I really don’t need it anymore. Jelly Bean supports multiple Exchange accounts and also supports Exchange tasks, albeit through the Calendar app.

Messaging – This is the built-in SMS app. I started using SMS because it was the best way to contact my daughters, who were much better about returning texts than phone calls. Since, I use SMS more or more to communicate. The only downside is I am not real good at typing fast texts. I have three solutions. One is the microphone. It was a pleasant surprise how well the microphone transcribes my voice to text. The second solution is …

MightyText – When I’m near a PC, MightyText enables me to type messages, using my PC keyboard and large screen, and then send them via my phone’s SMS app. My PC’s MightyText app and my phone’s SMS are sync’d for both incoming and outgoing messages. And did I mention that MightyText is free? Another pleasant surprise.

Finally, one of my email accounts is Office 365 Exchange, which has excellent SMS support. So I can receive and send texts via Outlook.

Talk – This is the built-in Google Talk app. I have IM+ Pro but don’t really use it like I did on my iPad. I only IM on Google Talk. Unlike the iPad, the GNII has a built-in Talk app, not surprising since this is an Android (aka Google) device. As with SMS, the built-in microphone can be useful. 

gReader Pro – I try to stay well informed on tech by subscribing via Google Reader to various tech blogs. (Which blogs could be the subject of yet another post). On a smartphone screen, even one as large at the GNII’s, Google Reader clients work better than the Google Reader website. There are several good clients, but gReader Pro is the one I use, with its support for offline reading. A very pleasant surprise is how well the GNII’s 5.5” screen size really helps in reading posts and linked web pages.

Chess at ICC – I used to play chess professionally. Now I’m a washed up has been (or never was). Nevertheless, I still like to play and watch speed chess (3 minutes a side) on the Internet Chess Club, where my screen name is the dreaded ElJeffe.

I’ve just begun to explore the capabilities of what really is a small computer as much as a phone. So my omission of any app (such as for podcasts, music, etc.) probably just means I haven’t gotten there yet, simply due to not enough time.

One surprise though is I haven’t used the SPen much. Digital inking on an active digitizer was the unique feature of this smartphone, and one I thought I would use a lot. I haven’t. Not sure why. Digital inking  works when I use it. However, I just haven’t used it too much yet. Again, this relative non-use simply may be because I haven’t yet really explored the capabilities of the SPen. I could say the same about the multi-window feature.

I will update when I have done further exploring.

3 Responses to “Apps I use the most on my Galaxy Note II”

  • The must have apps on my note2 VZW.

    1. Foxfi for tethering
    2. Flipboard
    3. Dropbox – set to automatically upload all pics and videos over cellular
    4. Chrome with tab synching and bookmarks
    5. Hungry shark 🙂

    Do you use any of these?

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