Wednesday, 7 January 2015

10 best free apps for Android


1. GOOGLE TRANSLATE


We've seen a few clever translation apps in our time, but recently Google Translate has crushed them all. It now offers (sometimes clunky, word-for-word) translations of over 70 languages with input via text, handwritten words or symbols, spoken words or even text recognition via the camera. It can then give you the translation in the form of text or speak it for you.
The core app can do all this with a data connection, and language packs can be downloaded for free so you can use it abroad without the need for Wi-Fi or the fear of roaming data charges.

2. NASA App


This isn't the best looking app in the world, but it's full of geek-level info and media from the NASA archive, along with news and updates on what's going on up there and back at base. Maybe one day they'll get a slick front end for it all, but for now this raggle-taggle collection of links, pictures, videos and news feeds has plenty to keep space cadets informed and entertained.

3. TWICKETS


Twickets is a way to buy or sell spare tickets to gigs or events, but what makes it special is the rule that tickets can only change hands for their face value or less. That means the profiteering touts stay away and genuine fans get to recyle spares in good faith - great if one of your mates has dropped out and left you in the lurch, or you need an extra seat at short notice.
You can browse what's available or offer tickets via the app and finalise the deal via Twitter (hence the name).

4. Audible for Android


Long journey? Tired eyes? Audio books! A bit like radio shows that you actually want to listen to, a bit like podcasts before all the funny people stopped doing them, a bit like books being read to you (OK, mostly the latter), audio books are a treat to be savoured.
Amazon's Audible app is a gateway to its own audio book service, drawing you in with free tasters of some of its best sellers. It's worth downloading even if it's only for those free nibbles.


5. Navfree


You've got Google Maps already and that's lovely. However, that relies on a data connection, which isn't always available even in your home nation and will sting you with ludicrous charges abroad. Navfree is based on an open-source map database and provides mapping and voice-guided sat-nav for no cash at all.
You can load it with paid extras if you like, but it's fine as it is. Download the local variant for any country you're visiting before you leave and you'll always have a map and a sat-nav tool at your hip.


6. Airbnb


Hotels are great when other people are paying, or if you have pots of cash to waste, but otherwise they're rarely situated where you want them. Airbnb is one of the stars of the so-called shareconomy, an accommodation network built around normal people offering up their unused rooms for a little bit of extra cash.
The result? You'll be able to find somewhere to stay right in the heart of the city, up a mountain or even down a river, often for a very decent price. Just spend a minute browsing the amazing pads on offer and you'll be hooked.

7. Any.do To-do list & task list

We're all busy. Busy creating Stuff To Do lists and sticking them in our bags, on the front door, in our back pockets and tapping them into note apps on our phones. Any.do is the best way to keep on top of all those loose ends, thanks to its cloud syncing and sharing skills. You can have it running as a live widget on your homescreen and also separate your tasks into different folders.

8. Comics


With access to over 45,000 comics from DC, Marvel, Image Comics, IDW and Disney, the Comics app is the place to go for all things graphically novel. You get quite a few freebies to get you started, with more free titles released each week. Paid-for comics will typically set you back between £0.69 and £2.49. The app really comes alive on larger devices, where you can pore over the panels in a more leisurely manner than on a phone.

9. Zoopla Property Search


It won't necessarily find everything in your chosen area, but Zoopla (which incorporated Findaproperty.com in 2012) has a huge amount of properties for sale, and even if it's just used as a jumping off point it can give you a good idea of what's available and the prices involved. The app itself could be easier to use, but it does the basics of allowing you to search on specific area, property type, number of bedrooms and add keywords, then browse photos and link up with the agent.


10. Cocktail Flow - Drink recipes

The best feature of this cocktail recipe book is the way you can tell it what odds and ends you've got lurking in the cupboard under the sink, and then ask it to suggest palatable ways to mix them up. It also comes with a library of popular cocktails, with additional packs that can be downloaded for a small fee.