Tech Play: where to begin... how about apps?

A self-diagnosed smartphone-a-holic talks about his current favorite three apps.

Looking at the iPP Podcast Player on my smartphone.
Looking at the iPP Podcast Player on my smartphone.

As with any red-blooded American, I am a bit of a smart phone and app junkie - I am always looking at the markets to see what's new, asking my friends what smartphone apps they are getting the most use out of in their day to day.

So I will start this blog by asking myself, on the reader’s behalf, what are the top three apps I am using the most with my Android phone this month?

1.     Google Drive – I use a lot of Google products, and Google Drive is the place where they all seem to come together. Not only does Google Drive give you 15 GB of free cloud storage you can access from nearly any device, it ties right in with your Gmail account so that you can easily save, sort and edit all of your email attachments in one place.  Plus Google drive has it’s own self-contained office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheets, slideshows and more. Plus the app allows you to save files locally to your device, so you can still work (or play) without fear of losing your data connection. It can do more – a lot more – but I think it’s best I move on to my next top app…


2.     iPP Podcast Player – I love audio podcasts, and that is not an exaggeration. Unless something strange is interrupting my day-to-day, I listen to at least one podcast a day (which podcasts? Well that will have to be a future blog post). I have tried about six or seven different FREE podcast apps from the Android Play Store and iPP has come out on top.  It does take a bit getting used to – some of the user interface navigation just seems counter-intuitive to me – but once you know where you are going within the app it had everything you could ask for in the form of a free app. Searching for and downloading or streaming your podcasts is quite easy – the app actually searches the very bountiful iTunes library of podcasts – plus the folks behind iPP are actively improving the app and responding to user feedback on the market, bless their hearts (I will be getting the paid ad-free version of this app sometime this week as a show of appreciation for the developers). One thing I must note – I have only viewed one video podcasts with iPP, and I really only do audio podcasts, so I cannot in good faith speak to iPP’s full video podcasting viability.


3.     Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign – Hey, we all need a good game on our phone, right? MPQ:DR is a puzzler which plays like the infamous Candy Crush Saga, but with the added flare of personas (both heroes and villains) from the Marvel Universe.  If you are not familiar with Candy Crush Saga, I would say that MPQ:DR is akin to the Tetris and Dr. Mario games of yore. Now, I have only been playing this game for a week, so I cannot comment on its value over time, but it’s a really fun – and again FREE – app that looks great, plays well, and keeps you coming back to find out which hero you can next unlock in your battle against the baddies. An added bonus is that the power-ups you can win from your battles come in the form of old comic book covers – well, pictures of them anyway – and I have more than once come across one that I remember reading as a kid. Nostalgic and contemporary fun all in one!

Want to check out these apps at the Google Play Store? Here are links to each: 

Google Drive:


iPP Podcast Player:


Marvel Puzzle Quest – Dark Reign:


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