One of the primary uses for the smartphone is communications. At a base level, that means phone calls, web browsing, text messaging, and emailing. However, when you extend the thought of communications deeper, you see that it also applies to the way our devices communicate with each other: tethering, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
There are generalized apps across both the iOS and Android platforms that tailor to our human-to-human communications like Gmail, Google Voice, and Google Chrome. And while iOS does take a modicum of apps to the device communications level, Android comes out on top by a landslide.
This is an aspect of Android that directly relates to the fact that it is built on an open development platform. The result is often growth and innovation that spreads to realms of thought iOS cannot venture because of Apple’s stringent regulations.
This week’s top 10 apps focus on SMS, web browsing, and tethering. Android stretches the functionality of SMS further than iOS and offers browsers with rampant customization and hardcore privacy options.
So enjoy the victory this week, and use these 10 apps to become an Android communications master.
- Chomp SMS (free): This souped-up alternative to stock messaging has more than 800 emojis and features, message locks, privacy options, future text options, and an SMS blocker. They also have themes for notification icons, LED colors, ringtones, vibration patters, colors, fonts, and backgrounds.
- Cloud SMS ($0.99): Designed with tablet users in mind, SMS sent to your phone arrives on your tablet as well. It runs simultaneously on both devices, works via the Internet, and hashes your account email for security.
- Ninja SMS ($1.50): Never switch between SMS and YouTube again. Ninja SMS features a popup feature reminiscent of Chat Heads, and it lets users read and reply to incoming messages without ever leaving their current screen.
- Barnacle WiFi Tether (free): One of the best free options, Barnacle turns your phone into a wireless ad-hoc hotspot to share your 3/4G connection with computers or game consoles. The only requirement is that you root your phone, which is a bit too complex for some.
- Easy Tether PRO ($9.99): Unlike Barnacle, no root is required to share your smartphone connection with your computer or tablet. It works via USB for computers and supports Bluetooth tethering for Android 4.x tablets for no monthly fee.
- PdaNet+ ($14.95): The ultimate tethering app out there, no root is required and USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi tethering are all supported. Use your Android’s connection to power your computer, tablet, PS3, Xbox, and Wii for no monthly fee.
- Boat Browser ($2.99): This smart and fast browser brings a premium web experience to the mobile platform. The fully customizable features include changing button locations on the screen and tons of add-ons.
- Exsoul Browser ($1.99): A rich browser, Exsoul leverages its many features to make browsing comfortable and easy; it is designed for use with one hand. Navigate through several histories at once, view desktop sites via a quick switch agent, work in 21 different languages, and save pages in PDF.
- Naked Browser ($1.89): A browser built on four principles of trust, speed, features, and free use. You get no spying from outside parties, lightweight browsing speed, and no ads. Naked browser wants to be the most trustworthy and resource independent browser on the market.
- Ninesky Browser (free): Built specifically for Android mobile, Ninesky is smart, fast, pays attention to your Internet security, protects your private data, and supports HTML5. Use the Speed Dial and Smart Address Bar to quickly type and use cloud bookmarks across all of your devices.