Inclusive Android's 2014 End Of Year - Must Have Apps

It's the end of the year and like so many other spots we are looking back at the last year.  What was hot, what was not and what are we using all the time in terms of Accessible or usable Android Apps?  We have polled some of our content contributors to see what apps they just can't live without and here are the results:  As a quick advisory, we received submissions that contained less than 5 or more than 5 apps.  So while this is published as a Top 5 List from our content contributors, it’s really simply a “Top Apps List” simply because people can’t count.  As the person compiling this list, I have chosen to go first.


Jeffrey's Top 5


  1. Listen Audiobook Player: When I came to android, I wanted a full featured audiobook software.  It had to support everything that I used on a Victor Stream speeding up the audio, bookmarking, a sleep timer, keeping track of where I left off in multiple audio books, jumping by audio increments or by file, etc.  What is great about this app is that you point it to a folder on your device and it manages the files and folders you copy into that folder inside of it's audio book library.  shows you your audiobooks library through a straightforward interface and everything is accessible and labelled.   I really like the sleep timer that can be setup to extend the timer by simply shaking the phone. It can also be setup to auto-rewind if you fellasleep while listening.

  2. AquaMail: This is the most feature rich and accessible email client out there.  It can connect to multiple email accounts at once and supports all types of services from standard pop3, to gmail to corporate email systems.

  3. Tweetings: I am an avid twitter user and this client is very fast and efficient to use and works really well with Talkback.

  4. Transit Times: If you take a lot of public transit than this app is a must.  It allows you to download for offline use a city's transit schedules.  It uses your GPS and can show you the nearby stops and transit departures.  You can mark certain stops or routes as favourites and easily access them and you can use it to plan travel.

  5. Touchless Notifications: This app is a bit hard to describe.  It can be setup in several different ways; however, basically what it does is summarise your notifications verbally.  I have it set up as a shortcut on my homescreen and if I open it summarises the notifications, text messages and other communications using my chosen Text To Speech Engine.  It can be setup to update you when you plug in your earphones or plug your phone into the wall or by several other activation methods.  You can blacklist certain apps that you don't want to hear and customise the way it shows each notification.


Warren's top five apps of 2014:


  1. Fast Customer:  I don't have to scour the net to find a customer service number nor a tech support number. This is a one-stop app. Launch it, tap on the company in question, and your phone rings when you are first in the cue.

  2. Ciacs: For some odd reason, Android forgot to include a VCard / Contact Management app on the OS and this is where Ciacs bridges the gap. Very easy to use and there are no surprises.


  1. PDF to Speech Pro.: Forget all those so-called blindness apps for reading. This one hits the ball out of the ball park!.  Simply launch it, open a book, document or whatever, and read away. Includes the ability to choose a different TTS from the one that your screen reader uses. Can't get any simpler than that


  1. PocketCasts: Without a doubt, there are a few unlabeled buttons, but if one is equipped with a device running JB 4.3 or higher, one can easily label these unlabeled buttons and have one great app for listening to netcasts or podcasts, (whatever one calls it).

  2. Google Maps: I do pay for apps, but when there is an app that is free and does the job. I truly would rather use that than watch my money fly out the window like a Hamster wheel!   So, Google Maps happens to fit the bill for me in terms of navigation and the fact that I can start navigating where I have internet, and when I get into a dead zone, the navigation stays on with a turn by turn until I reach my destination. I thus, don't have to dlownload maps for offline use if I don't want to in a situation where space is priced!


Erik's Top 5


  1. Acapela TTS:  It's always been my favourite TTS since my first windows mobile smart phone back in 2007 and one main reason why I chose android in the first place.

  2. Tunein Radio: I'm not a radio fan at all, but I want toronto sports when I'm in Reno and reno rock stations when I'm in toronto and I like the fact that I can load custom url's like commercial free shoutcast stations.

  3. Firefox: It's probably time to move to krome, but I like the keyboard support in firefox.

  4. Downpour: I've hardly cracked my sansa fuse in a month and a half.  The sansa is far and away a better player for both music and audiobooks than my phone, but the convenience of buying my audiobooks  and having it thumped straight to my phone and not having to carry the extra device is becoming adicting.

  5. Nearby Explorer: Any time you fork over a hundred bucks for an app, it better be in your hot list.  The fact that I travel so much and nearby explorer is extremely useful not-with-standing..



Reeva's Top 5  (Actually 4)


  1. Amazing Audio voice Recorder: can we give stereomatch the golden android award seriously  devs have come and gone from the  hectic drama of the eyes free list over the years but not only has he stayed on list he has put in so much work to make this app the best experience for us we need more devs like him

  2. ETI Eloquence: As much as i want to hold a grudge against cf for the abandoned over priced mobile accessibility android suite i have to give them kudos for eloquence, Voicewise they made so much effort to make eloquence  the best it could be  putting out fixes for reported  issues multiple times within half a day of  them being reported 

  3. Dice World: the great os equalizer now you want to severely injure both ios and android users  for blowing up your twitter feed lol seriously, i was happy to see the devs make equal effort for both platforms  and not half ass it on android

  4. Witch voice: by voxygen ok, not the most important app in the world but even there non novelty TTS voices  are actually semi decent  are they acapela quality no,  but I think they have potential to be a viable tts option in the future


Oliver's Top 5


  1. Sirius XM: If you are a Sirius subscription holder this app is superb. There are no access issues I have come across. I am a huge sports fan, and in particular the NFL and MLS. I can get every NFL game either the away or home call and many of the MLS gams. There is an awesome variety of music and talk stations.

  2. Google Keep: Perfectly accessible. I use this app for all my written or voice notes. I can set time or place reminders with it. I used Keep this year to make a Christmas shopping list and checked off each Item I bought as I bought them.  It is a great personal note taking organizer. You can log into your keep on the web with your PC as well.

  3. Keeper Password Vault: Almost totally accessible with a couple of minor exceptions. Keeper is both phone and web based like Google Keep so I can access the same information either way. There is a free version which is phone only or a small subscription for web access. This app allows you to secure all of your passwords and by tapping on an unlabeled, but obvious graphic, one can automatically fill both the user name and password fields of any website or app on your phone. There is an option for Keeper to generate a random password for you. I also use Keeper to lock away any documents which I want secure such as a list of my credit card numbers and bank info.

  4. Walk For a Dog: This isn't a productivity tool or something to make my life easier, but I use it every day and it makes the life of some animals easier. With Walk for a Dog every mile I walk is recorded and used as a basis for donations to a local animal shelter. Simply open the app when you start your walk and watch the miles add up. It is a nice way to turn your walk into something positive for our animal friends. I walk at least 2 miles every day and I now walk for a dog.

  5. Google Chromecast:  Now I know this isn't exactly an app, but it is just freaking awesome! Once you own the Chromecast hardware and install the Chromecast app you can start streaming multiple music and video programs to your TV or sound system. Once you have started the stream you can use your phone as normal. The real upside for me is that once the stream has started accessing the playback controls can be done on your phone either on the app your are streaming or in the notification tray.


Ray's Top 5 (Actually Top 4)


  1. Switching away from tunein which has become bloated.)  Rad.IO is a simple, easy-to-use Internet Radio player.

  2. BubbleUPNP (DLNA Server): has come to replace Avia PRO DLNA -- Digital Living Network Alliance -- is a protocol for streaming media in a home network.

  3. PDF to Speech Pro: for reading ebooks in all formats.

  4. Notnav:  for navigation as a companion / replacement for WalkyTalky.



Kyle’s Top 5 (Actually Top 7)


  1. Blind-Droid Wallet: Where in the world would we be without this gem, and its daddy, ... uncle, whatever it would be, Darwin Wallet? Back in the before time when we had to ask someone what our money is, they tell us its $20 and we have to find out too late it was really $1. And Blind-Droid Wallet supports far more currencies than anything else available, which makes it the go to identifier world-wide. Way to go!

  2. Google Goggles: It's nothing new, but it certainly gets the job done. Reads just as well as the old scanner software that used to cost an arm, a leg, a few teeth and even a rib or two, but Google Goggles does it all at no cost. Yeah, there are other free apps that do this now, including Text Fairy, but Goggles just seems to pick up text better. I guess I wouldn't want to let Google see my private mail or anything like that, but it's good for identifying products and reading the gist of some Miscellaneous things around the house.

  3. Amazing Audio Voice Recorder What more can I say? What more is needed? This should certainly get an app of the year award. It just needs to be able to record while other applications are open or if I get a notification while recording, but other than that, it's by far the best voice recording app I've used on any device. The developer truly cares about the app and its usability, and it most certainly shows.

  4. Ghost Commander: This one has to be the best file manager available that knows how to work on rooted devices, not to mention how well it works even if the device is not rooted. I can't see myself using any other file manager now that I've found Ghost Commander. Quite simply, it rocks!

  5. Jango Radio: It's a little like Slacker Radio, but most all the buttons are labeled. It's a little like Pandora, but stations are far more customizable, the commercials are far fewer, and most importantly, the sound quality is much much better. Their biggest claim to fame is their policy of playing a single commercial every 24 hours, and this is no exageration. I've never heard more than one commercial during a 24 hour period since I put this awesome app on my phone and started going to the website to listen in my browser as well, which is the other thing that makes it so awesome. Jango is simply the best music app around, as I am able to create and customize my stations on my phone and then listen to the last station I played on the computer via my web browser without any other devices or apps, and all this for the low price of 1, only one, commercial each day. I can't say enough good about this one. It's been around too long to get an app of the year award, but it certainly deserves top 5 status. Note: it has been reported that this app only works with Spiel  and not talkback

  6. TuneIn Radio: I use this one all the time, mostly for keeping up with my Dallas Cowboys, but it's great for other things as well, including streaming podcasts and listening to most local radio stations. I have the pro version because I got it on sale long before the price went way up, but the free version should still work just as well. My device seems to be one of very few that doesn't have problems with it though, which is why it only gets an honorable mention here.

  7. Link2SD: This app is essential on rooted devices with SD card slots. It allows an SD card to be partitioned to allow a second filesystem with dedicated app space. This second partition, if formatted as something other than a FAT filesystem, can hold apps as well as private app data if the Link2SD Plus key is purchased, which I have done and recommend for those who want to be able to free up even more internal storage space. Link2SD gets an honorable mention here because it requires root and isn't all that useful for the general audience with a non-rooted device. It is indeed a must-have with root though.

  8. F-Droid: This is mostly just another market app, but it is quite friendly to Talkback and  Spiel, and it has only free and open source applications. I give it an honorable mention here because it is extremely helpful for finding that great open source app like Ghost Commander, which I found on F-Droid first. The accessibility alone makes it worth mentioning, as the developers have made it perfectly usable even through several interface changes.

  9. OwnCloud: It's a pretty good file sync app that I use all the time to keep files synchronized between my computer and my phone. It needs some other apps to integrate things like the calendar and the contacts, but it's really good for files, so it gets the last honorable mention here. The accessibility to screen readers is very good in the OwnCloud app, and the open source code makes it even more attractive. It replaced Ubuntu One Files, which is unfortunately now defunct, although OwnCloud is better for me, as it runs on my own server, so the only 3rd party I need to deal with is my server provider.


And that rounds out our End Of Year 2014 - List Of Top Apps From Our Inclusive Android Content Contributors

Now let us know in the comments below which apps you find you just can’t live without: