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Herein lies one of the most epic battles since Vader faced Luke: Google (Android) Vs. Apple (iOS). More than simply search engines, tech companies, operating systems, or software developers, these are the sole two entities reeling in the majority of traffic dedicated to the app frenzy. Google's Marketplace and Apple's App Store are the most resourceful places where you can find the best apps to upgrade your phone.
"Upgrade my phone?" you may be asking yourself, "but I thought it's up to date?" Well, your software may be up to date (which you can check under system updates), but this 'upgrade' means the optimizing of productivity, providing better data, and utilizing the best performance out of your phone's app store. Factory settings on any number of smart phones—and even tablets—tend to be riddled with unreliable, often clunky apps that can be substituted with any of the following downloads. Upgrade that precious mobile device before you get stuck in the past.
Sleep Cycle by Northcube AB
Of course you could just use the factory-set clock application on your iPhone or Android device, but what if, instead of programming it yourself, it learned all on its own? May sound a tad bit creepy, maybe even invasive, but Sleep Cycle simply means to track the natural patterns of slumber to expertly calibrate your alarm system so it's as personal as it can get.
Highly advanced and sophisticated to maintain the most effective alarm system, Sleep Cycle is one of the best apps to upgrade your phone. Yeah, it saves you time, but it also ensures a more energized sleep pattern and all day concentration.
Waze Navigation by Waze Inc.
Don't bother using Google's pesky and incredibly misinformed GPS when the awesome application known as Waze can easily make your trips simpler, stress free, and so, so much quicker.
Waze also provides a host of awesome features, one of which is live alerts from its vast community of users. This lets drivers send in data on police presence, road closures, traffic, even dead animals, and so much more. Plus, you can talk to friends through its in-app messaging service, which makes it almost feel like a social GPS club. Can't beat that, which is why Waze is one of the best apps to upgrade your phone.
VSCO by Visual Supply Company
VSCO, quite similar to Tumblr, is a sort of social media platform that blends photography with connectivity. It's an extremely creative concept, and while it may seem like a rip off of various other social networks, like Instagram, VSCO is much more intuitive and immersive.
That's not to say Instagram is a bad app in comparison to this one, in fact they kind of go hand in hand with most dual users sharing the same pictures through both platforms. If you want one of the best apps to upgrade your phone, VSCO can do that in a snap.
Telegram Messenger by Telegram LLC
The days of internet privacy (and even net neutrality!) are long behind us. To better conceal your more private conversations with something that's much faster and more reliable than competitors, Telegram Messenger is one of the best apps to upgrade your phone.
Finding the right and most secure messaging service can be tricky. While some may vie away from third parties and instead stick with Snapchat, it's actually much more dangerous than you think. Telegram boasts some of the best components in the biz, including unlimited limits, simplicity, privatization, security and a 100 percent free price tag.
Quip by Quip
Calling all writers out there, sick and tired of Microsoft Word? So is the entire world, and I hate to break it to you but Pages doesn't make anything easier. Fortunately for us, Quip is one of the best apps to upgrade your phone if you want quality documentation utilities.
Similar to Google Docs, Quip is a personal word document processing app that is made extremely easy for collaboration and other file sharing purposes. It's not just word, either. You get most of the same features akin to Microsoft's own line of programs, like Excel and PowerPoint.
Dark Sky Weather by Jackadam
It's not something I'm fond of saying, but the Weather Channel widget on my iPhone more often than not has our forecast all wrong. This is why I quickly turned to Dark Skies and now I never dress in contradiction to the weather (it's happened more than I'd like to admit).
It may sound like some video game, but Dark Skies is actually one of the best apps to upgrade your phone, because its projected forecast updates every hour with complex findings on anything from humidity levels to cloud cover. Unfortunately, there's no Android version, but there are still tons of great apps for weather tracking on the Marketplace.
Just Press Record by Open Planet Software
Being that it has some of the most useful iPhone X photography tips, Just Press Record is undoubtedly one of the best apps to upgrade your phone.
At the push of a button, instantly record your favorite moments and cherish them forever, share them with friends, or do some fun editing to make them last a lifetime. The app also has an unlimited recording time, which means you could potentially film your own feature length movie! If you've got the space for it, that is.
IFTTT by IFTTT
An inventive and otherwise groundbreaking tool for utility purposes, IFTTT is an app that simplifies projects and makes productivity at home and within the workplace a breeze.
For those unaware, IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. In terms of connectivity, it can be shared through the likes of Twitter, Twitch, Google Drive, and more.
Chrome by Google Inc.
It may be the unwritten king of internet browsers, beating Safari and Firefox in a multitude of areas. I, for one, download Chrome pretty much immediately after buying a new phone, simply because it’s one of the best apps to upgrade your phone.
Trust me, Safari isn’t as protected or as personalized as Chrome can be, and with its own marketplace full of helpful tools and add ons, it rarely can be beaten. Link your Google account with your web browser, install Google Play, and you've got yourself a chrome-sleek web browser that leaves all competitors in the dust.
Dropbox by Dropbox
Making file sharing an easy and simple operation, Dropbox is the perfect outlet for giving and receiving any number of various documents, all of which can the be stored in a cloud database that takes up none of your internal memory space, saving you storage capacity and data.
Save your thousands of pictures, work spreadsheets, and that novel you have yet to finish, all seamlessly available to anyone of your choosing. As one of the best apps to upgrade your phone, Dropbox makes it feel like you have a virtual locker of all of the files and hoopla that puts your phone over capacity.
Plex by Plex Inc.
If Dropbox is the locker, then Plex is the movie theater, one that plays anything and everything at your whim. Their motto, front and center on the Plex home page, reads:
“Cut the cord, keep your cash! Now watch and record your favorite free HDTV digital broadcast channels - including local news and sports - and then view on any device, anywhere in the world.”
Plex, despite being relatively young, could be the future of broadcasting and may even take part in drastically redefining how we all experience our everyday entertainment. That’s the future. Like it or not, streaming has become the new and most viable source for entertainment of any kind. As a pioneer in this endeavor—albeit small in comparison to Netflix or iPlayer—Plex still rises among the ranks of the best apps to upgrade your phone.