Five pricey Android apps worth paying for

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We all have smartphones or tablets, and at some point everyone is going to want to install an app or two on them. These apps fall into four groups: paid, free (with ads), free (with in-app purchases), and truly free. Notice how there are three kinds of “free”, only one of which really is “free”. The others all cost you something: watching ads, sharing personal information, paying for things inside the app, etc. It’s the other kind of app that I want to focus on: paid apps. Apps that you’ve forking out your hard-earned money to download and install.

I headed over to Twitter and asked my Tweeple what are some Android apps worth paying for? Here’s what they said.

android apps worth buying

SwiftKey

SwiftKey is one of the most useful and innovative keyboards on the planet — nay, in the entire UNIVERSE!! When other keyboards were making you hunt and peck for letters one at a time, SwiftKey was letting users swish across the screen to input words without lifting a finger.

Taking things even further, SwiftKey is multilingual, letting you type in three languages at once, and available in 60 languages. Unlike other keyboards, SwiftKey learns how you write, making auto-correction smarter, word prediction more accurate, and ultimately makes getting text into your phone or tablet faster.

To help keep things personal, SwiftKey supports themes and keeps what it’s learned about how you write in the cloud so it works across all your devices, and even your new phone — no re-learning required.

SwiftKey is US$3.99 in the Play Store.

Action Launcher Pro

The best way to customize your Android experience to your liking is through the application of a custom launcher. Action Launcher Pro picks up where some of the apps we featured in our Launcher Wars series left off. One of the hallmark features of this launcher is its “sliding quickdrawer” for instant access to all your apps and widgets through a simple swipe from the left of your homescreen.

It also includes Covers, Shutters, Quicksearch, support for smartphones as well as both 7- and 10-inch tablets, icon packs, and more.

Once you get everything just the way you want it, you can back up (and later restore) your settings to (and from) your sdcard.

Action Launcher Pro is US$3.99 in the Play Store.

Pocket Casts

If you like podcasts (whether audio, video, or both), you’ve probably been pretty frustrated with Google’s omission of a built-in podcast play for Android. Many “podcatching” apps have made their way to the Play Store, but none of them have offered the ease and functionality that iOS users have had since, well, forever.

Luckily Pocket Casts was updated not long ago. Updated? It was more like a complete overhaul! And it’s amazing. In addition to doing everything that you’d hope a podcatching app would do, Pocket Casts lets you sync and backup your subscriptions, playlists, and progress, so switching to a new device or a new ROM won’t interfere with your podcatching experience.

Don’t have time to listen to a dozen podcasts? No problem, you can speed up playback to as much as three times the original, slow it down to half-speed, or anything in between!

This one is a no brainer! Go and get it, then subscribe to the Pocketnow Weekly.

Pocket Casts is US$3.99 in the Play Store.

Titanium Backup PRO

If you want to backup anything on your device, this is the app for you. Yes, you’ll want to have root access, and yes, the app is free and the PRO key is somewhat pricey — both are well worth it!

Titanium Backup allows you to backup settings, apps, SMS, MMS, calls, bookmarks, Wi-Fi access points, and so much more! You can save your backups to a local sdcard, or to the cloud in a Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive account. You can even package up your apps and their configuration into an update.zip file that you can restore when you’re flashing a new ROM. Yeah, it’s that awesome!

Titanium Backup PRO is US$6.58 in the Play Store.

Netflix

Netflix

When I was a boy I’d plan my personal schedule with the TV Guide in one hand and a day planner in the other. MacGyver, Knight Rider, Air Wolf, and Star Trek were my go-to shows. We didn’t have DVRs back then, and programming a VCR became tiresome after an electrical brown-out wiped the memory, which happened all too often. Brown-outs and surges resulted in missed shows and the dreaded, blinking 12:00 that haunts my nightmares even today.

My late-father would muse about “the future” and how some day we’d be able to watch anything we wanted “on demand”, just as easy as going to the library and checking out a book — but it would be in our homes, through our computers.

Finally, that day has arrived — almost. Netflix, in case you didn’t know, offers a video streaming service that let’s you watch many movies and TV episodes, streamed over the Internet, on your TV, tablet, or even your smartphone. The selection of titles is fairly complete, as long as you’re okay with waiting a while to see the new season of your favorite show. The price is superb, and when teamed up with a ChromeCast, you can stream episodes to your TV or monitor from across the room. It’s nothing short of amazing.

Netflix is available for free in the Play Store, but requires a US$7.99 monthly subscription to be able to do anything with it.

Honorable Mention: Falcon Pro

Lots of people mentioned Falcon Pro in their recommendations. Unfortunately, it’s not available for sale in the Play Store, in fact, it was kicked out. There’s a long and exhausting tale that involves Twitter, their API, the developer of Falcon Pro, and someone’s request to have the app removed because it was allegedly in violation of Twitter’s acceptable use policies. We won’t go in to all of that. You can no longer buy it from Google, but the developer will still let you download it directly from GetFalcon.pro. You’ll need a token to be able to use it, and if you don’t have one “all Falcon tokens are used up”.

There is a work-around that involves a hidden color code combined with a gesture which will allow you to use your own developer API to get access. It’s technically possible to get and use Falcon Pro, for now anyway, as long as you’re willing to jump through some hoops.

Your turn

Did I miss your favorite paid-app? Want to voice your support for one that I covered? Did I fail to mention your favorite feature? Head down to the comments and let us know!

Responses

I’d like to thank all of you who replied to my tweet! You guys and gals are great! If you’re not already, and would like to follow me, I’m @JoeLevi, and don’t forget to follow @Pocketnow!

For the rest of you, here are some of the replies that I got.

  1. @N1troz: Lux. Best auto-brightness app out there.
  2. @Huffey140: Asphalt 8, SwiftKey, and The Room to name a few!
  3. @diogobrs: swiftkey
  4. @Brooks_Barnard: @swiftkey, ActionLauncher, and @TitaniumBackup
  5. @Gangigazmic: action launcher, rocket player prime… swiftkey and i think that’s like it.
  6. @kongdickie: pocket cast, swift key, sliding messenger. Stuff I use everyday.
  7. @WajdJTohme: that would be @SwiftKey keyboard and @falcon_android Falcon pro Twitter client.
  8. @jBradh: Android system panel.
  9. @cezarcociorba: endomondo sports tracker, Plume and Falcon Pro. Sleep as android, titanium backup, Tasker, triangle away.
  10. @CristianIstrate: SwiftKey
  11. @MartijnM1971: Most of the apps i bought i use for backup and rooting stuff, the app i bought and use every day is Action Launcher.
  12. @funkymobileman: Nova Launcher, and some Islamic apps like ipray, myduaa. Swiftkey became a waste after Google keyboard was released
  13. @hayatohuseman: Action Launcher and Falcon Pro. I’d buy either of them three times over.
  14. ‏@darryldoak: Swipe Home Button which I use to bring up recent apps, Clipper which is a cloud synced clipboard, and Alarm Clock Extreme. And Nova Launcher.
  15. @n_alvarez2007: SwiftKey, Nova Launcher Pro, Titanium Backup.
  16. @icu: TiBu, Nova, BeyondPod, Falcon Pro, DigiCal, SwiftKey, MX Player
  17. @t3chmaniac: Franco Kernel updater and Asphalt 8

Itching for the latest on the Nexus 5? Watch how you can get KitKat on your Android today, check out how the phone compares to other flagships on the market, then listen to our latest episode of the Pocketnow Weekly!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video.Read more about Joe Levi here.