7 efficiency-enhancing Android apps

    Your telephone is basically your private assistant — and like all aide, it wants the best set of instruments to do its job successfully.The excellent news? As an enlightened Android telephone proprietor, you’ve got bought no scarcity of efficiency-enhancing choices. Unlike (ahem) sure different cell platforms, Android grants you the chance to customise and management the core consumer interface so it is completely tailor-made to your wants and the way in which you wish to get issues executed. And whereas the extra superior UI-adjusting instruments are typically focused on the power-user crowd, you do not have to be a card-carrying geek to benefit from what they provide.Behold: seven superior apps that’ll empower your favourite high-tech helper and permit it to achieve its full productiveness potential.All of the apps listed right here have smart and accountable privateness insurance policies, as offered by their builders. They do not require any permissions past what’s acceptable for his or her functions or have interaction in any method of eyebrow-raising information practices.1. Niagara LauncherOne in every of Android’s best effectivity benefits is the flexibleness it provides you together with your telephone’s residence display setup. Plain and easy, you do not have to stay with a static grid of bland icons for each app conceivable.Instead, you’ll find a customized Android launcher that is completely suited to your fashion and optimized for the way in which you’re employed. And an app referred to as Niagara Launcher is an ideal instance of the facility that affords you.Niagara Launcher is a decidedly totally different tackle the usual smartphone residence display setup. Instead of exhibiting you a jumbled mess of icons and widgets, Niagara cuts the muddle and encourages you to create a single small listing of the apps you really entry most frequently. Everything else will get tucked away into an alphabetically scrolling menu that is out of your hair but straightforward to entry while you want it — by swiping your finger up or down on both facet of your display. Basics apart, Niagara has some extremely considerate options for ergonomic effectivity. You can arrange any of your predominant app icons to incorporate on-demand and interactive entry to associated notifications, shortcuts, and even widgets, all accessible with a sideways swipe. And talking of widgets, it’s also possible to now stack a number of Android widgets inside the launcher’s top-of-screen space for quick at-a-glance views of essential information. JR Raphael/IDG

    Niagara Launcher’s options — such because the stacked widget, proven above — are designed to reinforce your effectivity with out creating muddle.

    Niagara Launcher is free with an non-obligatory $10-a-year or $30 lifetime improve for ongoing entry to its extra superior choices.2. Easy DrawerNo matter what launcher you is perhaps utilizing, a artful little app referred to as Easy Drawer will assist make it as speedy as may be to search out and open any app in your telephone.The manner Easy Drawer works is straightforward: Once you place its widget on your private home display, you will see a particular keyboard that is still seen and prepared for fast-finding motion. Whenever you wish to open an app that is not instantly in entrance of you, all you do is faucet the app’s first letter inside that keyboard. In a break up second, Easy Drawer will pull up an inventory of all apps that start with that letter — no looking out or scrolling required. You can set often used apps as favorites, too, which makes them instantly obtainable on the prime of the Easy Drawer interface. You may at all times entry your favorites by tapping a particular coronary heart icon inside the Easy Drawer keyboard — and you’ll pull up an inventory of just lately used apps by tapping a clock icon in that very same space. JR Raphael/IDG

    Easy Drawer provides you a quick and environment friendly method to get to any app, anytime.

    Here’s the place issues get particularly attention-grabbing: In addition to serving as a launchboard on your apps, Easy Drawer can expedite how you discover and get in contact with any of your contacts. Once you activate the suitable choice inside the app’s settings, its keyboard will pull up contacts by letter with the velocity of lightning and present ’em above its common app outcomes. And a single faucet of any contact can both provoke a name or a textual content, relying on which choice you like.Easy Drawer is free with an non-obligatory $2 improve for its premium model, which provides in some additional customization choices.3. Pixel SearchWhy cease with apps? Inject a touch of scrumptious effectivity into your telephone’s total search setup with a sensible ‘n’ saucy app referred to as Pixel Search. And do not let its title idiot you: While the app is modeled after (and builds on) the highly effective common search system current on Google’s Pixel merchandise, it really works on any Android gadget — irrespective of who made it. And it’s going to convey a major improve to each Pixel house owners and anybody utilizing a non-Google-made Android gadget.In quick, Pixel Search provides you a wiser, quicker, extra environment friendly manner of discovering nearly something in your Android gadget. With only one faucet on its widget or shortcut, you possibly can search not just for apps but additionally for particular features inside apps, like composing a brand new electronic mail or creating a brand new doc — one thing the usual Pixel search system does not even do.Similarly, Pixel Search can pull up contacts, conversations, and information or folders out of your native storage. And it lets you search the net itself in addition to seek for particular information from inside apps — a location in Google Maps, as an illustration, a video in YouTube, or an merchandise from the Play Store — all from that very same single spot and with a single streamlined question. JR Raphael/IDG

    Pixel Search supercharges your telephone’s search system with a single immediate for locating nearly something.

    Pixel Search is totally free to make use of for now, although it does appear like it could finally help some method of in-app upgrades.4. Edge GesturesAndroid is more and more a gesture-centric working system — however you do not have to restrict your self to the gestures Google provides you for getting round your telephone.No matter what sort of gadget you are utilizing or what Android model it is operating, you possibly can create your personal customized Android gestures for particularly environment friendly navigation with an distinctive app referred to as Edge Gestures.Edge Gestures allows you to create as much as three gesture-sensitive scorching zones in your display — on the left, on the best, and alongside the underside of the show. So, as an illustration, you possibly can set the app to take you again to your private home display anytime you long-press anyplace on the upper-left facet of your display, have it open Android’s Overview space everytime you swipe up on that space, and have it act because the system Back key everytime you swipe proper on it.You can create comparable kinds of actions for adjusting your display’s brightness, opening your notification or Quick Settings panel, and toggling Android’s split-screen mode. You may allow a “pie control” choice that provides a tiny translucent button onto any scorching zone you activate. Pressing and holding that button will then pull up a pie-shaped semicircle of your favourite shortcuts, and you’ll swipe to any of ’em for simple on-demand entry to these apps from anyplace. JR Raphael/IDG

    Edge Gestures’ “pie control” function allows you to simply entry your favourite apps from anyplace.

    All of this makes for a extra pure and ergonomic phone-using expertise, particularly on a tool with a bigger display — the place it usually takes a good quantity of finger yoga to achieve the highest or backside areas of the show.Edge Gestures prices $1.50. And for those who actually wish to take full benefit of all the pieces it could supply, you will wish to take into account the subsequent app on this assortment alongside it.5. Popup Widget 3Give your customized gestures some additional pop with Popup Widget 3 — a thoughtfully crafted app that works hand in hand with Edge Gestures to summon some spectacular Android-exclusive powers.Created by the identical developer as Edge Gestures, Popup Widget 3 allows you to hold any common Android widget at finger’s attain, it doesn’t matter what you are doing in your gadget. You simply join the widget to an motion — like swiping over to the best out of your Edge Gesture scorching zone — after which everytime you carry out that motion, the widget will seem as a floating field over no matter else is in your display.That means you possibly can pull up and scroll by way of issues like your inbox, your newest textual content messages, or your private notes just by swiping your finger on the facet of your display — with out ever having to change apps or interrupt your workflow. JR Raphael/IDG

    With Popup Widget 3, you possibly can at all times hold your inbox a single swipe away.

    Popup Widget 3 prices $1.50.6. PanelsNeed an much more versatile type of on-demand entry to something, anytime? An app referred to as Panels is simply the software for you.Panels, as its title suggests, allows you to create customized panels that pop up while you carry out particular gestures alongside the perimeters of your telephone’s show. Similar to the Edge Gestures and Popup Widget 3 combo, you possibly can have it pull up a floating window with a widget while you swipe in your display in a sure manner — however past that, it’s also possible to use it to create complicated panels with your personal customized mixes of widgets, apps, shortcuts inside apps, and contacts for quick common entry.Panels may even offer you an entire app drawer so you possibly can scroll by way of your entire put in apps and open any of ’em from anyplace in your telephone, with out having to first head again to your private home display. It can do the identical with contacts, too. The potentialities are virtually infinite. JR Raphael/IDG

    Panels allows you to hold all kinds of helpful shortcuts and features at your fingertips, it doesn’t matter what you are doing in your gadget.

    Panels is free with an non-obligatory $2 improve to take away some limitations, unlock additional choices, and remove advertisements inside the configuration interface.7. Typing HeroFinal however not least is without doubt one of the most potential-packed Android effectivity instruments of all — a strapping secret weapon that may prevent tons of time and switch you right into a text-summoning smartphone sorcerer.The app is named Typing Hero. It allows you to retailer any variety of prewritten phrases — something from a phrase or sentence to a whole paragraph of textual content — after which summon these phrases anytime, anyplace, and have ’em immediately inserted into no matter you are writing.Typing Hero works by way of macros. Those are particular key phrases you arrange that then rework into your saved phrases. So, as an illustration, you may:
    Make it in order that typing *a causes your full enterprise mailing handle to look in no matter textual content discipline you are typing in
    Set up *d to pop in instructions to a navigationally challenged location you end up sharing with purchasers consistently
    Or create a key phrase like #thanks that’d insert a generic thanks message you ship out routinely
    Beyond that primary sort of textual content substitute, Typing Hero can do some fairly wild stuff involving variables and even actions in your telephone. You might need a inventory electronic mail response with a clean house the place you possibly can fill in a particular recipient’s title, as an illustration, or perhaps an area for a day and time for a gathering. Anytime you sort within the command to name up that snippet, Typing Hero will pop up a type prompting you to fill within the blanks — and after you fill the data in, the app will end sending the message for you in a single fell swoop. JR Raphael/IDG

    Typing Hero may also help you ship complicated messages with subsequent to no effort.

    I’m tellin’ ya: This is one significantly highly effective app. And it provides you knowledgeable stage of desktop-like productiveness you completely will not discover on some other cell platform.Typing Hero is free with a $20-a-year or $60 lifetime subscription for entry to all of its most superior choices. With all of the minutes it is sure to save lots of you, that may simply be cash nicely spent.This article was initially revealed in July 2017 and most just lately up to date in June 2023.

    Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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