Good Android apps for the Galaxy S4, Note 2, and other big screens

Good Android apps for the Galaxy S4, Note 2, and other big screens

Summary: You can never have enough apps and good ones are the best. The apps in this collection work beautifully on the large screen of the Galaxy Note 2 as they should on the newest Galaxy S4.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Android, Apps
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  • (Image: Screenshot by James Kendrick/ZDNet)

    Google Keep

    Free

    This recently launched note app from Google is not the most capable, but it makes good use of the screen. Colorful tiles turn the note collection screen into a useful way to find the note of interest.

    Creating notes can be done by entering text, speaking voice notes, or taking photos. Lists in notes can now be turned into checklists, making to-do lists possible. One of the coolest features in Google Keep is the automatic (and instant) transcription of voice entries.

  • (Image: Screenshot by James Kendrick/ZDNet)

    TripIt

    Free, but you need to upgrade to TripIt Pro to get full benefit

    Frequent travelers are probably aware of the online service, TripIt. It builds travel itineraries from confirmation emails from airlines, hotes, and car rental agencies. These itineraries make a complete picture of upcoming trips, and it all can be easily synced to calendars.

    The TripIt Pro Android app is a convenient way to access the online service, optimized for the phone screen. In addition to the trip overview screen (shown above), it is easy to drill down into any event in the list to get details. It also integrates with Google Maps to give instant maps with navigation from airports to hotels.

  • (Image: Screenshot by James Kendrick/ZDNet)

    Zite

    Free

    Zite on iOS was long the standard for great app design and functionality. When Zite was first released for Android, it was so bad it was embarrassing to compare it to the iOS version.

    That's been largely rectified with the current version for Android, which is a solid app for accessing news in an attractive format. You can vote individual articles up or down to personalize the news that Zite serves up in the app.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Apps

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12 comments
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  • I guess I can't abandon iOS completely...

    I'm just waiting for the next Galaxy Note to be released this year to finally jump into Android after being on iOS since '07 so I'm NOT trolling...but...man, some of these apps are hideous!! I can't understand why Android's apps can look so...Windows 3.1-ish. It's just code, right? If the developers can release Zite on iPad to look gorgeous, why do they make the Android port so awful?

    Whatever. My next phone will be the next Note but I'll cling on to the iPad to have the best of both worlds I guess.
    furious00
    • apps are craps

      true - they look crap which is why I don't have games on my note 2. if they could do decent graphics I would!
      greg-w-h
  • Disagree

    Your premise that you can never have too many apps is false. Unless you have no life in the real world, you CAN have too many apps. How about engaging in some real interaction with real people and not machines.
    John Hanks
    • Laugh out loud

      I like it james!
      You click on a link with SAID title to troll?
      You claim to have a "life in the real world"
      Yet HERE YOU ARE lol
      stick it to him bud. Done well
      Wayne Berry
    • Oh crap

      My irony detector just exploded.
      lizardspock23@...
  • Apps suck

    99% of the apps available out there suck and every damn web site wants to force their attempts at developing one down your throat. To use them usually they require you to sign up, create a password, enter your private info, etc. On a tablet or phone, this is ridiculous. I use Lastpass to remember all the crap accounts I'm required to make with my browser, but with all the pointless apps, I have to open LP, re-enter THAT password, C&P the one for the app. It's a huge waste of time and offers me no benefit at all while it clutters up my screen with icons for garbage I probably use once every other blue moon. Apple and Google all rave about the number of apps they have in their stores, but it's like boasting about the size of a turd in your toilet as far as I'm concerned.
    Berish Beri
  • note 2 battery life using live wallpaper

    you either don't seriously use tge note 2 or don't know what you are talking about. I got rid of live wallpaper and it's a good thing. Note 2 battery life is about 8 hours at best on any day if you seriously use it. I don't mean gaming but use it as a wi-fi hotspot, gps, email, web browsing etc. you NEED either a charging case or car charger or both. Live wallpaper actually means a lot less than 8 hours. get serious when recommending apps!
    greg-w-h
    • Mine lasts all day

      Even when traveling (as I currently am) my Note 2 battery easily lasts all day, even with live wallpaper running. I use it pretty heavily, too.
      JamesKendrick
  • Unacceptable article format

    It is now the second quarter of the new year.

    ZD Net only had one important New Year's Resolution this year. '"No Slide Show Articles with out a prominent 'View-as-one-page' link." How's that working out for you so far?
    Leo Regulus
    • More reasons the format is unacceptable

      What's worse, I only see one "Next" link, and it's at the top of the page, so one has to scroll up to find it. And the images are not only larger than they are on the phones themselves, they are taller than my laptop screen, so yet more scrolling is required. Strike three, you're out.
      dw4comp
  • boring

    Not impressed with this selection of apps, don't have any of them apart from flipboard. I wonder why you bought the office application when Samsung does it's own office appealed Polaris office, but maybe it's worth it.
    richard in norway
  • Quickoffice is rubbish

    try to navigate a largish spreadsheet in quickoffice and the zooming and scrolling is illogical and stupifying.
    Polaris office handles spreadsheets better.
    Kingsoft Office beats them all, and it's free!
    the best app on Android is Opera Mobile Browser. Maxthon browser and Dolphin for programmable gestures.
    must have Android apps:
    VLC player: plays more formats than any other player.
    Astro file manager: although the new UI sucks a bit, all the power features are still there. Backing up APKs is very useful feature to keep older versions of apps when new updates screw up certain functions.
    warboat