The essential guide to ward off the app assault

More than a million apps on Android. As many on the iOS. And, not a piffling number on Windows. It’s a veritable app assault. But which ones do you really need? We give you the lowdown on the ones that you really can’t do without, the absolute essentials.

Security & Antivirus

Avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus


`Virus threat’ is what bothers us when we start using a new device. Even though it is said that Android are not likely to catch virus, it is hard to believe. For the last two years, I have used Avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus on my Nexus 4, and the device is safe.

This app offers security tools such as virus scanner, protector, app manager and app lock and others.  There is a web-based locator feature to find a missing device also. Try this free app for Android & iOS.

Caller ID & Block

To avoid being bugged by unwanted calls, I started using this app. It helps me to block spam callers and telemarketers. Moreover, Truecaller automatically updates contacts to phonebook with information and photos from social networks. Install the app from here.

Music Apps

Shuttle+ Music Player

I am currently using two solid music apps. The first one is Poweramp Music Player (Price: Rs.62). I use this app for listening to music, while the second one, Shuttle App, is dedicated for audiobooks. Though similar to the stock Google Play Music app, Shuttle app features folder-browsing option (for a paid version of Rs.50) and a few display tweaking features.



For years, I have used USB cable to transfer media files from or to a desktop/laptop. It was not always a good experience, as sometimes the wired connection did not work. However, with AirDroid app, it has become possible to connect wirelessly. For this, one needs to login to AirDroid website and connect with the phone via your login name/QR Code. On the site, one can add, delete and manage folders and apps.

Airdroid also shows pop up messages of incoming calls and notifications on desktop. One can read and reply to SMS from within the app. This app is available for Android, Windows Phone and iOS.



One news app that I use daily is NewsHunt. This app provides news update from national and regional dailies. The content is available in 11 Indian languages – Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya and Urdu. NewsHunt doubles as an eBook reader also. The app renders content perfectly even if your phone lacks regional language and font support. Try this app for iOS, Android and Windows.


Do you think WhatsApp is the best one out there? Try Telegram. Look and feel is similar to WhatsApp, but Telegram is better in many ways – desktop version and Chrome extension, secret chat, support to GIF images and transferring of bigger files. Moreover, Telegram is free forever. This app is slowly catching up and I hope more of my friends start using it soon. Try it here.

Note-taking app


For basic task management – to list groceries and to make urgent notes – I use Google Keep. However, Evernote is my favourite multimedia note-taking app. I add text notes, audio notes, insert attachments – all the notes that I need for my book writing projects.

With a Chrome extension, I also send text, web clips, photos and documents to my Evernote account. The app also provides options to add tags and create notebooks. Try making Evernote the nest where your dream projects can grow. Try this awesome app here.

Photo editor


Photo editing is quick, easy and fun on Android thanks to apps such as Snapseed. I use the incredible features in this app to enhance and transform the snaps. As a Google property, Snapseed comes with built-in Google+ capabilities, using which I share photos with my contacts. Try this app here.

Offline reader

Pocket – Read It Later

I don’t usually read news and articles on browsers, I send them all to Pocket app. Pocket offers a clutter free reading experience – no ads, pop-ups and no sidebars. Pocket provides multiple display options – white, dark and sepia backgrounds – to set for different lighting conditions. Other features such as adding tags helps organise and save hundreds of articles in the app. With a Chrome extension, it is easy to send the webpages to pocket account and tag them. Try pocket here.

Health & Fitness


RunKeeper is a simple app that inspires one into working towards a better health. It tracks running, walking, bike rides, training and other fitness activities. RunKeeper uses GPS to track activities. This app is great for setting fitness goals and tracking progress over time. Get the app for your Android and iPhone.