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What Is the Number One App to Install Onto Your Phone?

There really is an app for that.

From social media, to games, to apps that can track your sleep cycle, both the App Store and Google Play Store have just about everything you may need or want in your day-to-day life. The small rectangles in our pockets can carry an extraordinary amount of data, and various applications help us navigate that data in a way that no other generation has been able to do.

But out of the hundreds—no, thousands—of apps on these stores, which is the best? What is the number one most valuable app to have installed on your device?

In my opinion, it’s Google Photos.

Why do I think Google Photos is better than the rest? What makes this simplistic picture app the most important?

Not enough people take advantage of the amazing features Google Photos has to offer, even when it comes pre-installed on some new devices. Here are the reasons I think everyone should have this app installed on their phone, and what makes it so great to use:

  • Google Photos can back up all photos at a high resolution (up to 16MP) at no cost to you.
  • It can back up all videos at up to 1080p resolution.
  • The amounts of pictures and videos Google Photos can back up at this quality is unlimited, which means you don’t have to pay for any additional storage.  
  • Google Photos is available on both Android and iOS, so you can access your pictures on any of your devices.
  • This app will automatically start to back up your pictures and video as soon as you connect it to Wi-fi. or you can set it up to back them up on the go as you take them. For this, you will have to go into Settings > Back up and sync > turn on Use Cellular Data (I would only recommend this for people with unlimited data, as it may end up costing quite a bit, depending on how many photos you take)

To take advantage of these features,when you use the app, make sure your “upload size” setting in your app is set to“High Quality.” If you want to retain a higher resolution and size, you can select “Original Quality,” but your photos will count against the 15GB of free storage that Google Drive allows. Once your 15GB is full, you will have to start paying for extra storage, or delete some of your photos to make room for new ones. And who wants to scroll through a year’s worth of cute dog photos to choose which ones to ax?

To use this application, you must also have a Gmail account. That way, Google can tie your photos on all your devices to you, giving you access to them on any device you sign in on.

Google Photos is a valuable tool for the casual cell phone photographer. With this app, you don’t have to choose between saving your vacation pictures and freeing up your storage. The Google Photos app gives any smartphone user, iPhone or Android, a way to save those memories without stressing about running out of space. The days of desperately mass-deleting old photos can end.

Why I Ditched Android for the iPhone XS

It was seven years ago when I opened the box to my brand new iPhone 4S. It was a magical moment, full of wonder and awe, at a time when smartphones were really starting to become capable little machines with the capacity to enhance our lives and hold our attention at ransom. This was the first time that I had ever bought a brand-new iPhone, and by any definition you could have called me an Apple fanboy. I was soon obsessed with jailbreaking and tinkering with these devices. It quickly became known around my school that if you needed a phone unlocked or a screen fixed, I was your guy.

However, it didn’t take long for iOS to feel kind of dull, even with all the customizations that jailbreaking brought. Not 6 months after buying that iPhone, I would go on to trade it for a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and enter the world of rooting and loading custom ROMs, only sometimes checking in to see what iOS was up to. I personally was not a fan of the limitations put in place by Apple on a device that I owned; considering myself a “power user” (read: nerd) at the time, I found the limitless potential of Android refreshing.

Now don’t get me wrong; though I’ve had my qualms with Apple for years, I’ve always found their operating systems to be intuitive and honestly designed with the user in mind. Over the years I have watched from the outside as Apple slowly started to figure out what exactly its users wanted. To believe that Apple is still at the forefront of innovation would be disingenuous; instead, they have shifted their strategy to one of patience, taking the time to let others make mistakes first while slowly perfecting the technology and releasing it once mature. Examples of this include Apple Pay, Touch ID, Face ID, wireless charging, dual cameras, and the list goes on. A lot of features were blatantly stolen from Android and the Jailbreak community, none of which I have a problem with, but feel it should be mentioned.

I’ve been an Android user for quite awhile now, but even with all the customization options, I still found myself becoming bored with the platform. I couldn’t help but wonder if I could go back to an iPhone now that the platform has matured. Even with the iPhone XS’ flaws, such as the notch, no fingerprint scanner, and lack of headphone jack, I couldn’t avert my gaze. I decided to take a chance and buy the new iPhone. What started as a mild curiosity has blossomed into full-on infatuation. I love how slick this phone is. Ditching the home button has proven (to me at least) to be the last piece of the puzzle to iOS’s fluidity. Gestures work great, Face ID surprisingly works very well (even in the dark), and my battery life is fantastic. I have very little to complain about with the phone itself. What annoyed me the most is that, this time, the phone didn’t come with a headphone jack to Lightning adapter. For how much this phone costs, there’s no excuse not to include an adapter besides greed.

To be honest, there’s not a whole lot, or anything really that this phone does that any new Android flagship can’t. However, everything it does do, it does extremely well. Every little detail has been thought of and polished. The OLED panel is beautiful, the 120hz Touch Sample Rate is snappy, and the Dolby Atmos speakers are something I didn’t know I needed, but are absolutely incredible, and not just for a smartphone either.

Is the new iPhone worth $999? To me it isn’t, and I actually didn’t pay that much for it. When the phone first launched, Sprint had a killer deal making the iPhone XS free on lease with eligible trade in that I took advantage of.

All in all, the phone is going to cost me less than $500 when I pay it off. If you have an aging iPhone, or if you have an Android and are thinking of switching to the dark side, I’d recommend holding out for a good deal if you can. If the price doesn’t deter you (most phones will require a 30-year mortgage soon anyway), keep the iPhone XS on your radar. If you are looking for something that works well right out of the box and don’t need to be bothered by a bunch of unnecessary options, this could very well be the phone for you.