My Top 10 Mobile Apps for 2014

The year 2014 was the year when I feel I actually started using my smartphone smartly. I could get much of my work done on my mobile, many a times not requiring me to switch on my laptop. In the new few posts I will share with you my top apps for networking, productivity, music, photography, chats, reading/news and games. Since I use an Android phone, the links below are Google Play links. I am sure you can get most of these apps for iPhone and perhaps Windows Phone.

My Top 10 Mobile Apps that I used and liked most in 2014 are:

  1. CamCard Business Card Reader: I collect a lot of business cards as part of my job. It is hard to manage these physical cards even though I have a nice card file. After trying out a few card scanning apps, I have narrowed down to CamCard Business Card Reader. I can just take a photograph of the business card and the app will scan and store the info in different fields. I can save the contact details in my Google account and they will then automatically appear in my phone book. The free version allows you to scan only 5 cards in a day and up to 200 cards.
  2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary: What use is a smart phone if it doesn’t have a dictionary? I use the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app to quickly browse words and even hear their pronunciation. This app has been really handy for me and my savior when my kids ask me the meaning of any word.
  3. Google Maps has become my most favorite companion on my drives every day. Almost every time I get into the car, I switch on the GPS on my phone and feed in the destination in to Google Maps. I use this primarily to check the traffic and it gives a fairly accurate time to destination. I have found the ETA is very accurate for shorter distances and reasonably accurate for longer distances, given then unpredictability of Delhi traffic. The Greens, Yellows and Reds representing the traffic are quite accurate. At times I have used it to follow the shortest route to my destination but I wouldn’t recommend it for the weak hearted. It has taken me through the smallest of the lanes in Delhi that I didn’t even know existed.
  4. Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic is another cool navigation app that I used during the year. This is an interactive and social navigation app. You can see other drivers online, you can see other drivers sharing hazards on the road (like an accident, or construction on the road). You can connect with friends, share your destination, and see each other’s ETA. The few drawbacks I felt it has is that the traffic situation is not as accurate as Google Maps, the connection to the server seems to keep breaking and there aren’t enough other people using this app in India to really get the benefit of social driving.
  5. Delhi Traffic Police app is really useful to get alerts about Delhi traffic. You could get the same alerts on Twitter or Facebook, but it is useful having an app just for these alerts. I found these updates quite current and extremely useful.
  6. HTC Sense TV app is really useful if you always have trouble finding your TV or Satellite set top box remote. Since I use HTC phone, I use the HTC Sense TV app, but you should check out other similar TV remote apps. I can set up the phone as the remote for TV, Set Top Box, and the Home Theatre system. It configures well with Indian DTH providers and once configured, it provides complete program guide too.
  7. Truecaller Called ID & Block: The DND directory hasn’t been very helpful in stopping unwanted calls and SMSs. I have been relying on app to help me get rid of unwanted spam calls and SMSs. The app not just identifies the called, it even tells how many other people have blocked that number. It also helps identify the caller even if you don’t have the number stored. Don’t expect it to work on ALL numbers, it is not an official telephone directory. It works on the basis of reading and uploading your address book (with due permission from you, thankfully).
  8. Sync.ME also propagates itself as a Caller ID and Block app. However I have found this app most useful to link contacts to Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. You can sync your accounts with Facebook and/or LinkedIn and it will show you the latest picture and other info about your contact.
  9. Unit Converter: This is fantastic app to convert almost any unit of measure, even currency conversion. The app gives you a long list of units that you can convert. You can add to favorites the most used ones to access these quickly.
  10. Flightradar24 is a cool app just to play around with, and a really useful app if you are going to pick up someone at the airport. You can see planes around the world move in real-time on a detailed map. In the paid version of this app, you get detailed info about each flight, including ETA. The cockpit view is a simulated view and it quite cool initially. After the initially euphoria, you don’t find it much useful. You can even point the phone above the horizon to see planes around you, but this is also just a pizazz feature rather than anything really useful.

Also see:
My Top 10 Productivity Mobile Apps for 2014

Look out for my other soon-to-be-published lists:
My Top 5 Social Networking Mobile Apps
My Top 5 Reading and News Mobile Apps
My Top 5 Music Mobile Apps
My Top 5 Chat Mobile Apps
My Top 10 Camera and Photos Mobile Apps
My Top 5 Mobile Game Apps

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