35 free apps for Android
Yay! Free stuff! Everyone loves free stuff. And there's plenty of it on Android, with more than 927,000 free apps available in the Google Play store right now. We know, because we counted.*
But a word of warning - much of it is rubbish: a frustrating mix of non-official rip-offs, shonkily designed bedroom projects and, in the worst cases, plain old arrgghh-this-doesn't-even-work-at-all duds.
Fortunately, for every 10 bad apps there's at least one good one. Which still leaves 92,700 good apps out there. We'll be honest, we've not tried all of them - but we have rounded up 35 crackers for you here. Read on, download and enjoy.
* We didn't really.
1. GOOGLE TRANSLATE
We've seen a few clever translation apps in our time, but recently Google Translate has crushed them all. It now offers (sometimes clunky, word-for-word) translations of over 70 languages with input via text, handwritten words or symbols, spoken words or even text recognition via the camera. It can then give you the translation in the form of text or speak it for you.
The core app can do all this with a data connection, and language packs can be downloaded for free so you can use it abroad without the need for Wi-Fi or the fear of roaming data charges.
2. NASA App
This isn't the best looking app in the world, but it's full of geek-level info and media from the NASA archive, along with news and updates on what's going on up there and back at base. Maybe one day they'll get a slick front end for it all, but for now this raggle-taggle collection of links, pictures, videos and news feeds has plenty to keep space cadets informed and entertained.Download NASA App
Twickets is a way to buy or sell spare tickets to gigs or events, but what makes it special is the rule that tickets can only change hands for their face value or less. That means the profiteering touts stay away and genuine fans get to recyle spares in good faith - great if one of your mates has dropped out and left you in the lurch, or you need an extra seat at short notice.
You can browse what's available or offer tickets via the app and finalise the deal via Twitter (hence the name).
4. Audible for Android
Audible For Android
Long journey? Tired eyes? Audio books! A bit like radio shows that you actually want to listen to, a bit like podcasts before all the funny people stopped doing them, a bit like books being read to you (OK, mostly the latter), audio books are a treat to be savoured.
Amazon's Audible app is a gateway to its own audio book service, drawing you in with free tasters of some of its best sellers. It's worth downloading even if it's only for those free nibbles.
You've got Google Maps already and that's lovely. However, that relies on a data connection, which isn't always available even in your home nation and will sting you with ludicrous charges abroad. Navfree is based on an open-source map database and provides mapping and voice-guided sat-nav for no cash at all.
You can load it with paid extras if you like, but it's fine as it is. Download the local variant for any country you're visiting before you leave and you'll always have a map and a sat-nav tool at your hip.
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