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I got my first Android November 2012, shortly after I started working for Google. Prior to that I owned an iPhone 4. As a Google employee I'm bound to be slightly biased, but I'm quickly seeing how Android is more versatile and powerful. Some might argue it is a tiny bit "harder to use" but for most teenagers today that's only the difference of an extra 10 minutes figuring out how to add applications through Google Play (App store equivalent) and arrange either icons or "widgets" on their home screens. The Android phone I own is a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. I use this page to keep a track of applications I have installed or been recommended.

Installing an APK

I stole these instructions from WikiHow - How to Install APK Files on Android:

APK stands for Android Package Kit, and is the standard format used to distribute apps for Android. These instructions assume you wish to install an app from a source other than the Google Play Store.

  1. Allowing "Unknown Sources":
    1. Open your device's Image titled Android's Settings app.
    2. Scroll down and tap Security. It's in the "Personal" section of the menu.
    3. Switch "Unknown sources" to "On" and tap "Okay".
  2. Installing an APK File:
    1. Download the APK file shared with you (or download one via a website like for testing).
    2. Open your Apps Tray (usually a button with a grid of dots ⋮⋮⋮ at the bottom center of your screen).
    3. Open 'File Manager > Downloads.
    4. Tap the APK file you downloaded, and hit Install.

Recommended Android Applications

Ride Share

  • Lyft (free) - better company than Uber. (*****)
  • Uber (free) - some bad business practices. (***--)


  • Pandora (free) - an extremely popular program for playing song(s) you like and streaming similar songs. Highly recommend. (*****)
  • Spotify (free) - also highly recommended... slighty different in functionality. (*****)


  • AK Notes (free) - a nice simple note taking application. There are actually a few good ones, including the powerful and popular Evernote, but after reading an excellent article "Best note-taking apps for Android" by Android Authority I decided AK notes was just what I needed. (****-)

Recommended Android Settings

Do Not Disturb at Night

If you sleep with your phone close to you:

  • Open your phone's Settings app > Sound > Do Not Disturb preferences.
  • Under "Schedule" or "Automatic rules," select "Sleep" > change settings.