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)

    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.

  • (Image: Screenshot by James Kendrick/ZDNet)

    Google Now widget

    Free

    The Google Now widget is part of Google Search, and it has an uncanny knack of providing pertinent information on the home screen. It learns how to help you the more you use it.

    It shows a wide breadth of information types depending on where you are, what you are doing, and where you are going.

  • (Image: Screenshot by James Kendrick/ZDNet)

    Flipboard

    Free

    There is no better way to follow online news and social networks than Flipboard. The gorgeous magazine layout works well on large screens. The interface is well designed, making it a breeze to swipe from one screen to the next.

    In addition to news that can be tailored to suit the user, Flipboard is a great way to follow updates on Facebook and Twitter. The entire list of social networks that can be accessed with Flipboard is impressive: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, Sina Weibo, and Renren.

    News articles can be saved for reading later in Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability.

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