My Top 4 Android Apps as of Late

google phone and good apps

These are the top four Android apps I’ve been using lately, all in health and education:

1. Habits
When I was attending uni, I used to use an iOS app called Lift, not to be confused with Lyft (the ride-sharing service). Lift is now known as Coach.Me and they still have an app, though it is still only really compatible with iOS. They have a web version, though it wasn’t always convenient for tracking habits in the moment or before/after bedtime without having to hop onto your computer.

Then enters Habits, an Android app for tracking habits FREE. They also have a customizable way to record habits as either a check (yes/no) or a number of units (e.g. read 5 pages, exercise 15 minutes, toss away 3 items, clean 5 dishes, meet 2 new people, etc.). You can also set either a daily goal, a weekly goal, a monthly goal, or no goal at all. AND, you can archive habits or add them back in.

I don’t know if this app has a premium version, but if it does, I haven’t had yet run into any issues with that. There are no ads, which is a rarity for free apps like these. And so far, I have 1 archived habit and 8 active habits. It also has some color coding and you can track which habits you progressed on that have reached your daily/weekly/monthly goal. If you click on each individual goal, it even has a way to look at previous days and months and see what days you checked off. Plus, a notes feature to go more into detail on the habit.

I tried Steve Pavlina’s intention deck idea before, and that was great in the physical space with less distractions. But since becoming distracted, it had become difficult to focus on the intention deck. For some reason, having this app reminded me of the intention deck (basically the same intentions), except it was easier to check off and stay focused. Intention cards aren’t meant to be tracked, though something about checking it off in some way or tracking it helps me, since I intend certain activities anyway (such as learning, physical activity, or meditation).

2. Balance
It’s a meditation app, and they do have a premium version (and depending on how you downloaded, a free first year of premium). I have only been using the free version (I do not want to tie my card to Google, mostly because it’s too easy to accidentally click on something and pay without meaning to). And still, the free version is great. I actually love it because I don’t have to think about choosing the next meditation. It can decide for me.

I am currently going through the Foundations course, which focuses on breathwork. Breathing is my go-to form of meditating/relaxing, so it’s perfect for me. They also introduce other methods later on. You can choose to do your first meditations for 3 minutes, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes, and is personalizes based on your previous sessions and how you’ve felt/rated.

Most meditations are locked for me since I don’t have premium. However, there are a few meditations available to me that visibly show, such as a couple for the morning and one for the evening. I haven’t actually tried any yet since I’m still trying to get into the habit of meditating daily. But, I actually love the limited version right now, and prefer this app over Insight Timer. I personally love the guided meditation approach and that it checks in to see how you’re progressing. Not sure if I’ll ever give into the premium version though, honestly speaking.

3. Elevate
This is a brain training app for English speakers. It has various brain games for improving English language skills (reading, writing, speaking), math, and memory. I have only been using the free version of this app as well. However, that’s more than enough for me, since I generally don’t spend more than half an hour on the app in a given day.

It has its own proficiency quotient measure to track performance across all the different categories and for overall progress. The quotient is numeric and also has different rankings (novice, intermediate, advances, expert, elite, and master). Memory is the only one “locked” for me (stuck at intermediate), I’m guessing because unless I purchase premium, I cannot access those games. My current levels for all the other categories is advanced, with some getting close to the next level (reading being my highest scored category).

On the free version, they customize workouts each day in 3 specific games, while the rest are all locked. I actually prefer this from a minimalist viewpoint because that means, I only focus on those few games and then get off the app and go about my day. You can play those available games as many times as you want in a day, though you will generally get your usage out of it within 10-15 minutes.

The cool part is, they have a review part. They send notifications within the app for you to review mistakes. After each workout you do, they also allow you to review all your answers and any finer details. They also have a study section, with mine currently showing the categories: public speaking, speed reading, mathematics, and vocabulary building.

I haven’t used the app extensively, but I’ve used it enough to say that I enjoy it, and that I do feel like I am consolidating good information and skillbuilding. I’ve noticed in real life, I’m feeling more confident and comfortable using unfamiliar words and phrases. And, I’m also getting better at tipping without pulling out the calculator. 😂

4. Duolingo
I started getting back into this, honestly after I talked a bit with someone who is fluent in 6 languages… I started to remember how I had a goal of getting fluent in at least one more language. So! I decided to give Duolingo another chance, especially as it was coming up on top for language-learning apps.

I think Duolingo has changed their format quite a bit, and I love it. They used to give you random phrases to learn like, “I’ll have a glass of red wine.” Ugh. But thankfully this time, they have actual units, and they have a way of assessing your level before showing you anything at all.

I went ahead and started on Spanish. I also coincidentally picked up a free Spanish-English dictionary when the local library was getting rid of old books. So, maybe it was timely!

I loved the language placement test before getting into the lessons because I started to feel a bit confident and realize that I didn’t completely blank out on previous language classes. So, it’s like my old work didn’t go to waste, and that Duolingo could adjust to that.

The ads are present without the premium version, and there does seem to be some limit to how much you can use the app based on how many mistakes you make. I don’t mind that though since I don’t see myself stuck on the app for hours at a time. I probably ideally wouldn’t spend more than 30 minutes a day on it anyway, just for reducing my smartphone usage. They do have a web version too though, so I may look into that.

I actually forgot, I was using Duolingo again for a bit when other friends and I were getting back into language learning. (I realized this after trying to update my username and seeing it was taken– by myself, lol.) It saves your progress, which is neat. Though, I’m gonna be starting with my new account and try to get through basic oral fluency of Spanish first. 😀

Yep, so those are the top apps that I’ve been enthused about lately! It feels nice to get back into the learning and health-minded spaces again. (Also, for anyone who is getting back into language-learning, feel free to add me on Duolingo: nessyonthego.)