The Samsung Galaxy S4 is king. The S4 is a combination of class and performance geared towards giving the ultimate android experience. Dubbed the Life Companion, the S4 is out to make life easier. The S4 runs on the latest jellybean 4.2.2 with a superior 5-inch display coupled up with a Full HD AMOLED display. A 13 megapixel camera and a quad-core processor (or octa-core depending on the market you’re in)!! Clearly, it is a Beast.
Assuming you have just bought the Samsung Galaxy S4 (this should be possible in a few days’ time), and downloaded the security enhancements from the Samsung Apps Store (That is always the first thing I do) what apps should I install?
Browsing the internet is the first thing on everyone’s mind. It’s typical to have Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and all other mobile browsers on your phone but on the S4, Chrome will be the best choice. Chrome is fast in response, and easily handles tabs and lets the user to switch between the desktop and the phone and manages bookmarks and user’s most visited sites for ease of access.
Alternative: Users can also download Dolphin Browser, which offers a closer experience to Google Chrome (and has multiple plugins for added functionality).
EDITOR’S NOTE: The stock Android browser on Android 4.0 and up has been given a face lift and is one of the best mobile browsers you’ll ever come across. Besides, it supports flash whereas Chrome does not. It is still a very solid app and stands neck to neck if not even towering above its competitors like Chrome.
I am not sure if the Galaxy S4 will come with Chrome as a stock application or you’ll have to download it from the Play Store. Whichever the case, you’ll surely need it.
I have always had problems with the Samsung keyboard and the decision to have the S4 come with the SwiftKey Keyboard, as the default was futuristic. SwiftKey Keyboard is faster, easier and more accurate. It also learns the words and the phrases commonly used and how one interacts with the keyboard.
Alternative: Hackers Keyboard it provides the layout used on computers and offers an equally better experience. It is also free on the playstore
Link: [Hacker's Keyboard]
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Galaxy S III was the last flagship Samsung Android smartphone to pack Samsung’s stock keyboard, which is a slightly customized version of the Android stock keyboard. Starting with the Galaxy Note II, Samsung has partnered with SwiftKey to integrate the SwiftKey keyboard’s algorithms into the stock keyboard for an enhanced Keyboard experience. this is exactly the case with the Galaxy S4. Though it was never much publicized, the Galaxy Note II has one of the best stock keyboards on any smartphone. Actually during my short stint with the device, I never got to install a third party keyboard. Expect an even better keyboard on the Galaxy S4.
With the 5-inch display and quad-core/octa-core processor, gaming will be a top agenda for most S4 users. Top on the S4 accessory lists is the Galaxy S4 Game Pad that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow the user to play their games. Among the games Galaxy S4 users can enjoy include Dead Trigger that lets the player shoot zombies over various levels under a basic progression system where players upgrade their arm assortment as they progress. Popular games such as Temple Run, Angry Birds and Cut the Rope need minimal introduction. With the gamepad, racing and sports gamers are out for an experience. The likes of Asphalt 7, FIFA 2012 and FIFA 2013, should offer the player quite the thrill.
Link: [Dead Trigger]
Keeping up to date with all the news and information is no longer about reading 7 newspapers daily. Flipboard not only makes reading news fun and casual, it makes wholesome. If you do not fancy politics, users can easily edit that and read what they like. Sharing information is also easy with links to Facebook and twitter. Appy Geek is also another platform that delivers the latest news in the tech world and keeping you knowledgeable. Additional applications a user may need to make the news experience better include Pocket and Instapaper where users can post articles and read them later on.
Alternative: Alternative applications for Flipboard, Include Pulse, which offers users a chance to choose topics they are interested in and a feed for the same is delivered to them via the application. Currents and Material Beta also offer the user such an experience.
EDITOR’S NOTE: With Google shutting down its Reader service in a few days time and on a device as gallant as the Galaxy S4, you’ll want a slick app that aggregates news feeds in a much better way and in an attractive format. That is what Currents and Pulse exactly do. Besides Pulse has a simple way of migrating your RSS subscriptions from Google Reader. Another news aggregating app worth a mention is Feedly. It also has a straightforward way of transferring your RSS subscriptions from Google Reader. News 360 app for smartphones is also a good one.
It is common knowledge that there is an influx of malware on the Android platform. Actually, the number has tripled and subsequently quadrupled meaning security is key. I would advise that you use McAfee and Norton antivirus but they will not be as effective as the Mobile Antivirus Security Pro, a product of AVG. I have used the antivirus on various android devices and it has not only been effective but also does not eat into your RAM. It also lets block call and texts, protects from spammers and warns you of impending threats.
Link: [Mobile Antivirus Security]
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an open question. Whether you really need an antivirus or any other security app on your Galaxy S4 is up to you. As I earlier stated, this is all about how well you take care of your Android device. besides the Galaxy S4 has the Knox feature. This makes sure there’s a “wall” or a separation between your usual smartphone usage experience and your corporate/office stuff. Actually, security should be the least of your worries on most 2013 Android and the Galaxy S4 won’t be an exception.
There are also those must have applications on your phone. Some of the applications which are a must have on the S4 include Google Keep provides a unified remainder that is integrated with your email, with the 5” screen, Side Bar Pro will aid in switching apps, Google Googles this application allows you to search via photos or images. With the 13MP camera, there is just so much Google Googles will Google. MA3Route an application that will keep you aware, on the traffic situation in Nairobi, PesaDroid to help you manage your M-pesa balances better.
The Samsung Galaxy SIV launches on the 26th. Pre-orders through Safaricom via this link once you lay hands on the beast, be sure to use the Checklist. Wishing you and your “Life Companion” an easy life .
PHOTO credits: [extremetech.com] [SwiftKey photo: theslanted.com] [Gamepad photo: svetandroida.cz/]