Best Apps for Your Amazon Device
Amazon's Appstore may have been a scrappy upstart when it first debuted in 2011, but tight integration with Amazon's services, some well-received Amazon-branded tablets and promotions such as Amazon Underground have won the Amazon Appstore a loyal following. In fact, the number of apps has ballooned to more than 600,000. Let's take a closer look at some of the best Android apps available in the Amazon Appstore today. (Photo: Jeremy Lips/Tom's Guide)
Amazon Underground is an neat Amazon promotional app that allows users to download premium apps and games and run them, all for the low low price of free. Premium games, office productivity suites and everything else in between can be had without dropping a cent, with in-app purchases and other normally paid features unlocked. Amazon Underground is already baked in to Amazon's Kindle and Fire devices. It's had a good run, but Amazon is planning to shutter the Underground program in 2019, so take advantage of it while you can.
Facebook & Messenger
Facebook is a ubiquitous presence in today's social media world, and the Facebook mobile app keeps you in touch with your family, friends, contacts and groups. The Facebook mobile app compresses much of the website's functionality into a mobile package, allowing users to post and share status updates and photos, view notifications and keep updated on their news feed. One caveat? Facebook split off the messaging features into a separate app, Facebook Messenger, so if you want the full experience, you'll want to install Messenger as well (which also includes texting, voice messaging and call functions).
Twitter has taken the world of culture, entertainment, and online news by storm with its succinct microblogging platform featuring 280-character tweets (up from the original 140 limit) that are easily displayed on mobile devices or on desktop. The mobile app takes Twitter on the go, allowing you to post tweets, share media, view your timeline, and browse through other people's tweets and direct messages in a convenient mobile format.
As mobile computing and smartphones become more and more important to our daily lives, unscrupulous cyber criminals have increasingly turned their attention to malware aimed at smartphones and tablets. Malwarebytes is a respected name in the computer security market that also makes a capable mobile app to protect your mobile device from malware, potentially unwanted programs, malicious links, and other security threats. The app can run on-demand or perform scheduled scans. It can scan files and apps you access in real time, while updating its protection database automatically to make sure your device is well protected.
Podcast Addict is a solid, feature-packed Android podcatcher that comes with neat extras. It covers the basics with automatic updating of episodes and downloads, as well as automatic deletion to save space. Other neat features include variable speed playback and a sleep timer. Podcast search allows you to quickly find individual episodes, or you can look through a variety of databases for new podcasts and trending shows. In addition, the app also supports video podcasts, YouTube channels, audiobooks, streaming radio and other media sources.
Evernote is one of the premier, cross-platform note-taking services, allowing users take and upload notes, pictures, audio and video snippets and organize them into cloud notebooks that can be synced across different devices. Loaded with powerful organization, formatting and sharing options, Evernote is still king even with the rise of competitors such as Catch Notes and Google Keep. The free version lets users upload 60MB worth of content monthly, with paid accounts allowing more options.
Feedly is one of our favorite mobile and desktop news reading tools, and the mobile app manages to merge the best of multiple interfaces, with a text-only list view for quick browsing through your news feed, and flashier magazine and card-style layouts for a more visual approach. Users can sign up for topical updates from a variety of websites and blogs, or add custom subscriptions from sources like RSS. Articles can be saved in the app (or through Pocket) for offline viewing and shared through a variety of other apps.
Given how Amazon's Kindle devices are great at the reader experience, you might want to check out Goodreads, a social network geared toward bookworms. Bibliophiles connect here to review, rant or rave about books from every genre of fiction and non-fiction. In addition to being a vibrant discussion hub for bestsellers, classic works and everything else in between, Goodreads also includes a book discovery feature that allows readers to discover works that might appeal to them based on their own ratings, reviews and favorite books.
A standout password manager on desktop, LastPass also features excellent mobile support. The LastPass app is a password vault, strong password generator and browser all rolled into a single mobile app. Users can sync their password vaults, and then have LastPass automatically fill in forms and login details when surfing the Web and accessing sites. The service lets you use a master password, or TouchID to access your vault and login. Users can also generate new passwords, as well as add or update their list of Form Fills, Sites and Secure Notes. LastPass recently made cross-platform syncing free to all users, so you can now sync your password vaults between your Amazon device and other machines such as your Mac or PC.
WPS Office is the latest incarnation of Kingsoft's mobile office apps, providing users with the ability to open, read and edit a wide variety of office file documents, from slideshows, documents, spreadsheets and PDF files. Extra tools include collaboration features for change tracking, file sharing and the ability to save and open files from a variety of cloud services.
Piriform's CCleaner is one of the best PC maintenance tools for Windows machines, and now, it's also gone mobile with an Android app that's the perfect tool to help you clean the crap out of your Amazon tablet's system. Like its desktop sibling, CCleaner for Android is a multipurpose cleaning tool that can clean out your application cache, download folders, browser history and other temporary files. In addition to its fast, ad-free cleaning experience, CCleaner also comes with an app manager, CPU, RAM and storage meters, as well as battery and temperature tools.
Autodesk Sketchbook is a mobile art app that comes with a variety of drawing tools and brushes, all of which you can customize on the fly, pinch to zoom, a gallery organizer and support for saving and storing your works to Dropbox. In addition, users can create a free Sketchbook account to gain access to more features such as layer and symmetry tools. A premium subscription unlocks more pro tools such as an expanded brush library, and more powerful layer and selection tools, all of which carry over between iOS and Android if you happen to have more than one device.
VLC for Fire
If you're looking for a versatile, all-in-one media player that'll play just about any file format that you can throw at it, then give VLC a spin. A mobile build for the popular desktop media player, VLC is designed to play just about any file format out of the box, from ubiquitous .mp3 and .mp4 files to more unusual formats such as .mkv and .flac. In addition to playing local files, VLC for Fire also supports network streaming and media library organization.
Spotify has become synonymous with online streaming music, thanks to its familiar interface, Facebook integration and massive song library of more than 20 million tracks. Mobile and tablet users can choose to listen to music from any of the artists, albums and playlists in Spotify's massive library, and premium users can enjoy an ad-free experience and the ability to download music for offline listening.
Foxit Mobile PDF
The mobile version of the popular desktop tool, Foxit Mobile PDF is a solid dedicated PDF reader app for your mobile needs. On the display end, Foxit handles normal and password protected PDFs, with support for document and user bookmarks. Annotation options let you highlight, underline or strike through text. You also can add sticky notes text boxes, or even draw freehand on the document. Text reflow allows you to read comfortably even on a small smartphone screen. Cloud support lets you upload and download PDFs from popular storage providers. Password and certification protection are available as in-app purchases.
Pocket is a great offline reading tool that allows you to select and save articles, pictures and videos for later viewing. Its trimmed down, cleaner format means you can enjoy content without a lot of the side clutter. Tagging, cross-device and platform syncing and many other features make this a total electronic device experience rather than just locking you to a particular device, computer or browser.
ES File Explorer
ES File Explorer is one of the most popular file managers available to Android users, and rightly so, as it provides a wealth of features for file management. The app covers the file management basics with an explorer window for copy, paste, delete and move operations; a sidebar for accessing your favorite folders; local storage locations; media galleries; a light media player; and an archive creator. Additionally, it can serve as a cloud storage client for services like Dropbox and Google Drive, and it also supports FTP and LAN Samba, as well as app management.
Food Network: In The Kitchen
Aspiring cooks and anyone wanting to whip up some really good eats might want to check out the Food Network In The Kitchen app. More than just a channel guide, In The Kitchen puts recipes from the network's celebrity chefs right at your fingertips. Users can view thousands of recipes, photos and videos so you can cook with the pros, with new recipes added every month. Users can search by chef or ingredient, view seasonal collections, import recipes, create custom shopping lists and access useful extras like unit converters and cooking timers.
The Comics app by Comixology is a great starting place for a mobile digital comics collection, as the app serves as an all-in-one digital marketplace and comics viewer. Featuring content from major comics publishers such as Marvel, DC and more, Comics lets you purchase and read your favorite titles and sync your content across multiple devices. Guided View features assist readers on a mobile screen. The downside is that it's a closed marketplace. You can purchase and read content, but you can't import an existing comic collection.
A streaming media juggernaut, the free Netflix app allows subscribers to log in and enjoy unlimited access to Netflix's vast library of movies and TV shows on the go with their mobile device. Powerful search tools let you easily work through a treasure trove of film and television, while a user rating system allows the app to tailor its recommendations to your viewing taste. In addition to a wealth of movies and TV shows that you can stream straight to your Kindle, Netflix is also pioneering a rich array of original content, from crime stories such as Narcos, to the SF/horror blend of Stranger Things, to a wealth of TV tie-ins to Marvel's superhero comics.