Every Android smartphone comes pre-loaded with a cluster of Google apps under Google’s mobile application distribution agreement with smartphone makers. These Google apps are pretty much baked into the Android operating system, and are a part of a wide package of apps including Maps, Drive, the Chrome web browser, Gmail etc. Unfortunately, not all of these Google Apps are actually as popular as some others. We take a look at some of these apps, the reasons why you aren’t using them, and the alternative apps that you may have adopted along the way.

Google Keep

Google’s note-taking app Keep has a very simple layout and all the notes you take on it are synced to the Google account you are using with it on the phone or PC.

This is where the very popular Evernote app comes across as a better proposition as it offers more features such as the option to record and save sound to a note, save webpages and attach pdf or docs files. You can access all your notes and recording on a PC as well as a smartphone. Searching for a note is a lot easier on Evernote as it allows users to classify all notes under customisable notebooks. Interestingly, these features are free and you don’t need to be a premium account user to access them.

Play Books

Play Books is a Google app which allows users to read e-books on smartphones, tablets and laptops. It follows a simple pay as you read for each book model just like Amazon’s Kindle, and both platforms offer a wide array of books and at similar discounted prices.

What makes Kindle a better app is that it has got almost every book you want to read, which you may not find on Play Books. Amazon Kindle also has a subscription model which allows users to read unlimited books for a monthly subscription of 199.

Play Movies & TV

Google Play Movies & TV is a video streaming app, where you can rent or purchase a movie or TV show and watch it on your phone. Paying up for every movie can be really expensive. Any popular movie will cost somewhere between 200 and 400. Going with Netflix, which provides access to unlimited movies and TV shows for a monthly subscription starting at 500 seems more value for money than Google’s Play Movies & TV. It comes with other options where for a slightly higher price, users can access Netflix on up to six devices simultaneously and even watch movies in ultra HD resolution. One can run it on a PC, TV or smartphone, whereas the Play movies is available only on smartphones.

Play Music

While Play Music in the US also serves as a music steaming service, in India, it only works as a music player for files stored locally in the phone. The settings are limited and there is no option to enhance the audio quality.

Apple Music which charges 120 every month is a lot superior with its huge collection of English and international music which can be streamed and downloaded for offline listening. Then there is Saavn which also has a wide repertoire of Indian music. You can enhance the audio quality by switching to superior streaming.

Play Newsstand

This is a news aggregator on similar lines as the Flipboard and News Republic. However, it doesn’t have all major publications on board yet. The collection of international publications on Flipboard is by far the best. Moreover, Flipboard not just aggregates news from publications but also pulls out news shared by friends on social media networks. Also, Flipboard and News Republic look better designed than Play Newsstand.

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