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More Than Birds: 4 Android Apps Worth Purchasing
By: Melody Weister
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At the beginning of my experience as an Android user, I would frequently insist, “There’s no way I’m paying for an app.” However, as time went by and I began to explore the operating system more, becoming increasingly comfortable with its many functions and the apps available in the marketplace, even I could not resist the pull of certain apps, most of which cost me $0.99 or less. These apps have now become a necessary part of my Android experience, and although many users I’m sure are comfortable with using the free versions, the paid apps offer features that I find to be worth the investment in the long run. So this is my list of the four Android apps worth your money.

1. SoundHound Infinity. This app is simply amazing. I use it on a daily basis because it is handy and a great app to show off to people. SoundHound listens to music playing, or you can hum it that tune that’s been stuck in your head all day, and it displays the name of the artist and the album as well as lyrics and links to iTunes. The free version has similar features, but the paid version has no annoying ads and also features Live Lyrics, which scroll slowly along with the song, so you can totally pretend you know all the words in front of your hipster friends. Available on the Android Market here.

2. OfficeSuite Pro. If you use Microsoft Office at all, you’ll want this app, which is a little pricier than most but completely worth the investment. OfficeSuite lets you edit, open, and create Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Any businessperson on the go will want to have this handy application, especially if you’ve ever received emails with attachments and had to say, “I’ll look at it later, my phone can’t open that kind of file.” It also gives you a list of recently viewed applications for handy reference, and can open PDF files. Another app I use on a daily basis. Available on the Android Market here.

3. SwiftKey X. This is unquestionably my favorite keyboard app available on the Android market, and coming from a woman with seven or eight keyboard apps currently installed on her smartphone, that’s saying something. What I love about SwiftKey X is that it learns from not only my prior SMS messages, but also from my Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts (for those of you concerned about privacy, you have to log in and grant it access; if you aren’t comfortable doing so, you don’t have to) in order to better enhance its predictive text features. You can also advise it as to whether you are a rapid or precise typer to adjust how and when it inserts predicted words. If you’re not convinced yet, it’s consistently atop the list of Top Grossing Android apps featured on the market, offers a full variety of language packs, and is available here.

4. ADW Launcher Ex. I’ve tried every launcher replacement app available on the market, and this one wins out for me every time. It’s completely customizable, from the style of dock to the number of dock icons to the shortcuts on the screen. I had the free version at first and liked it so much I shelled out for the paid version. There are hundreds of themes available on the Android market, making this launcher well worth the price. It also works great with the SimpleText icon creator app, which lets you replace regular icon shortcuts with a text icon, for those minimalists who hate a screen full of tacky multicolored icons. There's a demo video available here.

So, that’s my personal list of Android apps worth the investment — most of them have free or trial versions available, which are great despite the ads and/or limited features. I know it sometimes seems strange to spend money on applications for a smartphone, but as I’ve mentioned, I use most of these on a daily basis and have had nothing but positive experiences with them. Give them a try, or recommend your own paid apps in the comments section below.

Article image courtesy of androidcommunity.com.

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About the Author
Melody Weister is a technology aficionado, unashamed smartphone geek, and casual gamer from Montclair, NJ, where she works as a Social Media Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter: @msmelodyrose.
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