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Top smartphone apps

Installing apps on your smartphones has a benefit. It helps keep your phone fresh and feel brand new. Gone are the days when you have to buy a new mobile just to keep it up to date. But with the thousands of top smartphone apps out there for your calling device, it is downright difficult to know which ones to load. Deciding which apps work best for you depends on your everyday needs as well as your desire to get the most out of your phone.

Popular apps

Here are top smartphone apps we thought you'd like. A few require subscriptions while others are free.

1. DocumentsToGo - is your complete productivity suite combining Google Docs and Adobe PDF. You get Word, Excel, and PowerPoint without the need to go to your computer. It has full editing capabilities.

2. Evernote - available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. It's a free app that lets you sync everything from notes, texts, photos in your phone to the web or the PC.

3. Scan2PDF Mobile by Burrotech - uses the phone's built-in camera to scan documents and convert it into a PDF form. You can then send it as an email. It is a paying service.

4. Vlingo - voice to text app that lets you do things while on the road. Free download and there is a one time fee for downloading Vlingo Plus.

5. Dragon Dictation - a speech to text app, lets you dictate notes, texts, and emails. For iPhone users.

6. SmrtGuard - lets you track and lock your phone if it goes missing; you can back up your data remotely with an upgraded version; available for Android and iOS.

7. Opera mini browser - an alternative to the Safari browser, loads fast. It is available for iOS, Symbian.

8. LootTap - an Android app that searches the web for the price of an item you are willing to pay. Just tell the phone how much is your budget for an item you want to buy and it will keep searching till it finds a deal.

9. Slacker Radio - works like Pandora; you get access to millions of songs from radio stations and lets you listen to them offline.

10. Viigo - supports different systems of smartphones and integrates news and social media websites.

Then there are apps that help you organise your life better and more efficiently from checking and sharing grocery links (Our Groceries) to keeping track of finances (Personal Assistant). You can also check the weather (Weather BUg), get financial news and tools (Mint and Expensify), receive updates on your flights (The WorldMate), and feed your Facebook and Twitter accounts (HootSuite).

Apps and performance

Now that you have all the top smartphone apps, it's time to look further. Note that overloading your phone with apps slows down its performance in the same way that a computer slacks when there are too many programmes. Choose wisely and make sure to expand the memory of your device by getting an extra memory card.

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