Android App Options for Your Samsung Galaxy S 4 - dummies

Android App Options for Your Samsung Galaxy S 4

By Bill Hughes

Before you head to the Google Play Store on your Galaxy S 4, it helps if you have a sense of what you’re looking for, so you don’t spend more than you intended.

The applications for your Galaxy S 4 phone fall into the following subcategories:

  • Games: Your Galaxy S 4 phone takes interactive gaming to a new level. Games in this section of the Play Store fall into the following categories:

    • Arcade and Action: Think of games that are based upon arcades: shooting games, racing games, and other games of skill and/or strategy.

    • Brain and Puzzle: Think crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other word or number games.

    • Cards and Casino: Find an electronic version of virtually every card or casino game.

    • Casual: This crossover category includes simpler games, some of which are also arcade, action, or cards, but are distinguished by the ease with which you can pick it up and play and then put down. Solitaire may be the most widespread example of a casual game.

  • Applications: The “non-games” fall into many subcategories, including these:

    • Communication: Yes, the Galaxy S 4 phone comes with many communications applications, but these Play Store apps enhance what comes with the phone: for example, tools that automatically send a message if you’re running late to a meeting, or that text you if your kids leave a defined area.

    • Entertainment: Not games per se, but these apps are still fun: trivia, horoscopes, and frivolous noise-making apps. (These also include Chuck Norris “facts.” Did you know that Chuck Norris can divide by 0?)

    • Finance: This is the place to find mobile banking applications and tools to make managing your personal finances easier.

    • Health: This is a category for all applications related to mobile medical applications, including calorie counters, fitness tracking, and tools that help manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

    • Lifestyle: This category is a catch-all for applications that involve recreation or specials interests, like philately or bird watching.

    • Maps & Search: Many applications tell you where you are and where you want to go. Some are updated with current conditions, and others are based upon static maps that use typical travel times.

    • Multimedia: The Galaxy S 4 phone comes with music and video services, but nothing says you have to like them. You might prefer offerings that are set up differently or have a selection of music that isn’t available elsewhere.

    • News & Weather: You find a variety of apps that allow you to drill down into getting just the news or weather that is more relevant to you than what’s available on your extended Home screen.

    • Productivity: These apps are for money management (like a tip calculator), voice recording (like a stand-alone voice recorder), and time management (for example, an electronic to-do list).

    • Reference: These apps include a range of reference books, such as dictionaries and translation guides. Think of this as like the reference section of your local library and bookstore.

    • Shopping: These applications help you with rapid access to mobile shopping sites or to do automated comparison shopping.

    • Social: These are the social networking sites. If you think that you know them all, check here. Of course, you’ll find Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and MySpace, but there are dozens of other sites that are more narrowly focused that offer applications for the convenience of their users.

    • Sports: Sports sites to tell you the latest scores and analysis can be found in this part of the Play Store.

    • Travel: These apps are useful for traveling, such as currency translations and travel guides.

Many of your favorite websites are now offering apps for your phone that are purpose built for your phone. You can use the full site with your high resolution screen or use the mobile version. A third alternative can be an app that makes it even easier to access the information you want from your phone.

Each application category comes with the applications divided into the following categories:

  • Top Paid: All apps in this category have a charge.

  • Top Grossing: These are the apps that are both popular and cost money. This is often a good indication that the app is really good, or at least that it has a crack marketing team. (If the app is not good, the customer comments will show that right away.)

  • Top Free: None of the apps in this category have a charge.

  • Top Paid: All apps in this category have a charge.

  • Trending: Our friends at Google show the applications that are catching on. It is worth considering this category.

  • Featured: These apps are relatively new, and might or might not have a charge.

In general, you’ll probably want to see what you get with a free application before you spend money on it. Many software companies know this, and offer a lower-feature version for free and an enhanced version for a charge. Enjoy the free-market mechanisms on this site and never feel regret for enjoying a free application.