Apps you can only use if you have an Android

Android homescreen app

If you like the feeling of being ahead of your friends and colleagues and you use an Android device, there is a way. There are actually apps for your device that are only available for use on the Android platform. This trend is not going to last forever, as we expect the boundaries between operating system platforms to disappear. All apps and games will be available for all platforms, as is already the case for many.

A different home

If you’ve had enough of the home screen on your Android device, there are alternatives. The Nova Launcher is a home screen-launching app that replaces your home screen with one you can control and customize. You can substitute standard icons with new ones, change the screen layouts and have animations. Nova Launcher also includes features like custom gestures, a custom app drawer, and support for OK Google.

There is a free version of Nova Launcher and a Prime version at US$4.99.

Android means automation

Most users love automation. The idea of a device making intelligent decisions on your behalf to make your life easier, intrigues us all. Tasker performs tasks (basic actions) based on contexts (triggers). Basic actions include automatically turning on Wi-Fi based on the time or where you are, or automatically starting to play music when you insert headphones.  The app comes with more than 200 built-in actions.

Triggers can be another app, time, date, location, hard/soft state, event, shortcut, widget, timer and plugins.  Tasker is available as a free trial, but it costs US$2.99 for the full app.

No pesky ads

Do you spend a lot of time on the Internet using your mobile device? Browsing web pages can be annoying when the occasional ads keep popping up. Flynx is a free app that loads web pages in the background, ads-free, for later reading.

Biometric security

Most security conscious users have implemented some form of device lock that requires a password each time you use the device. This is good practice, but unlocking your device can be cumbersome and occasionally (in my case) requires a second try because of finger trouble.

There are better options, like using your face or voice to lock and unlock your device and even individual apps. AppLock  enables you to “enrol” both your face and voice by simply looking at your phone and selecting which apps you want to secure.

The app is free. It is surprising that these are only available for Android platforms, but your friends will no doubt quickly come up with alternative apps for their own platform that offer the same or similar functionality. Your answer could be that the four apps discussed here all rate very high with users and are probably of better quality. So there.


Anton Venter

Anton covered Google technology for over four years from the the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. He has reviewed mobiles and Android devices for a number of local blogs and magazines; Anton loves researching and numbers.

Leave a Reply