From the Principal's Office: Android Apps Anyone?

8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Ever since becoming connected in March 2009 I have relied on two primary mobile devices.  The first was a trio of Blackberry smart phones, which many of my connected friends have busted my chops about even up to recently.  I relied on this type of smart phone for years as it was provided to me at work.  Even though the number of apps was, and still is, very limited, the ability to connect to the Internet was good enough for me.  I was able to deal with the ridicule from my tweeps, but it wasn't until my wife got sick of the fact that I still had a common flip phone that I used for personal calls that a major shift occurred. She eventually gave me her iPhone when it was time for her to upgrade and this has been my primary mobile device for the past year.

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In 2010 I purchased my first iPad and this has been my primary tablet ever since.  Over the years I have become quite proficient and knowledgeable about iOS apps that I rely on to increase productivity and to grow professionally through my Personal Learning Network (PLN).  I have become so reliant on Apple devices that I never saw or anticipated the need to learn anything about Android apps since I could never see myself making the switch.  

Well things recently changed as I got my hands on what I think might be the hottest and most exciting Android tablets to hit the market - the Sony Xperia Z.  I can't wait to fully vet this device.  The only problem is that this is the first Android device that I have had in my possession for any extended time. I did have an original Galaxy tablet a few years back, but I quickly became disinterested as its capabilities paled in comparison to the iPad's.  It was then passed off to my son who used to strictly to play Pumpkins vs. Monsters

With the Xperia Z I want the full Andoid experience. This is where you come in.  I have no clue where to even begin with Android apps.  There are many iOS apps also on Android that I love and have begun to download (i.e. Zite, Flipboard, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.).  What I am looking for are some of the best native Android apps that are not available on iOS.  Please consider recommending the apps that you find to be the most useful and why in the comments below. Thanks everyone!

cross-posted on A Principal's Reflections

Eric Sheninger is a NASSP Digital Principal Award winner (2012), PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient (2012), winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award (2012) and co-author of Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals and What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science. He presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders in effectively using technology. His blog, A Principal's Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2011 by Edublogs.

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