What I used in 2012: Simon Sage

It's time to get up close and personal with the Android Central editors. You get a taste of the apps we're trying on a week-by-week basis, but what about those that actually stay on our phones for the long haul? Given, all of the authors here have wide and varied preferences, but hopefully this series will give you guys an idea of which apps have serious staying power. 

Ingress (opens in new tab)

Google's location-based game is still growing on me, but I love the idea. Mobile gaming is still maturing and ironing out relics from consoles, and though games that actively use a device's GPS have been around for awhile, Ingress is the first one in a long time that feels remotely compelling. It's got an original premise, multiplayer, simple, but stylish graphics, and it gets you out of the house every once in awhile. The only real downside right now is that you have to finagle a beta invite. 

Bump (opens in new tab)

Basically, any time I have screenshots to shunt over to PC for review, I use Bump's website. It's a lot more elegant than e-mailing a batch to yourself, and the latest update has enabled the transfer of any kind of file. It's not often I need to swap files between mobile devices, and I'll use NFC if it's available, but even then I find Bump can sometimes be less finicky.

Google Maps (opens in new tab)

Okay, I know it might seem like a cop out picking this one, but seriously, I use Google Maps every day. It has become such a cornerstone of my daily routine that I would have a hard time owning a device that didn't have access to a native version of the app. Sure, there are plenty of third-party navigation apps out there that are arguably more fully-featured, but the way Google Now remembers the stuff I look up is just downright awesome. 

Steam (opens in new tab)

I'm a big PC gamer, so staying on top of the latest Steam sales is a high priority. The latest update has made it so you get a notification when a game on your wish list goes on sale, which is great. Beyond cruising the store, you can also message buddies and see what they've been playing. I've been tossing around the idea of making a Mobile Nations gaming group of some kind... Planetside 2, anyone? 

Songza (opens in new tab)

There are a lot of music services out there to pick from, but Songza has been an easy choice to make for a number of reasons. For one, it's free - there aren't even any audio ads. Two, it's available in Canada, which is more than I can say for Pandora or Spotify. Three, it's got a really great interface and playlist-centric angle to music that suits me just fine. If I was particular enough about what I listened to that I needed the ability to create hand-tailored playlists and pull up individual tracks on-demand, I'd go with Rdio, but the playlists Songza has built and the way they let you discover them is just so, so good. 

I would say that this selection constitutes about half of my day-to-day app usage outside of the obvious stuff, like web browsing, answering e-mails, and making phone calls. What are your top five most used applications?

Simon Sage
Simon has been covering mobile since before the first iPhone came out. After producing news articles, podcasts, review videos, and everything in between, he's now helping industry partners get the word about their latest products. Get in touch with him at simon@futurenet.com.
  • Do you really have your own face as the wallpaper on your phone? *Thats* gangster.
  • If he does, I would rather call this sad...
  • Yep, it would be sad. SMDH
  • I would tend to think that he has done this for the sake of the article...
  • Hah, yeah, I swapped it out right after I took the shot. Kinda weird looking at your own face every time you unlock your phone. 
  • I want that as my wallpaper....
  • it really works well with an angry face, kinda like giving people the "get the hell off of my phone" look
  • I would think it was friggin hilarious. Thats it im going to take a pick of myself thumbsing up with a photoshop of "YOUR AWESOME!" right on there. So everytime I unlock my phone I see my amazingness.
  • Oh I think it's neat to use a picture of yourself as wallpaper. It's different.
  • Its different, as long as you spell "Different" beginning with an "N".
  • ingress ftw
  • Songza is AWESOME.
  • But what is your daily driver? I can't tell if thats a Gnex or a N4. Either way, why is that your daily driver as well? I feel like you could've gone more in-depth with this like Phil did. EDIT: Looks like a Gnex
  • Well that was disappointing? Games and music comprise over half of everything you do the most? Time to get a life. I think there's an app for that.
  • With a mobile device? Yup, same here. I think that, other than checking e-mail and such, you'd find that's true of most people.
  • i like these articles