Grab These Cool Paid Apps, Now Free!


PlayAndroid has come a long way if you have used the platform from 2010/11 when it made a local début with popular devices such as the Huawei IDEOS, which was distributed by telco Safaricom. The operator was selfless enough to package the device with free data and airtime for some, which was then used to familiarize a user with the data-hogging operating system; but most of us did not understand usage patterns until those free bundles were exhausted and reality struck home. Remember, that period was characterized by pricey data plans, as well as minimal flexibility. If memory serves me well, Daily Plans were unheard of, save for monthly subscriptions. Surely, strides have been made in the right direction with solutions such as the excellent FLEX and affordable plans like Tunukiwa and BLAZE.

So, with that excitement of picking an Android phone (I never thought I would say this but 2011 is a long time when you factor in developments that the platform has achieved to date), probably a Samsung or Huawei because choice was limited, some of us dived into Android Market (sorry, kids) to load system hoarding room with apps. Some of these apps were popular titles such as bar code scanners. The excitement of scanning and reading barcodes to get access to for products, emails or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) with a pocket device!

Anyway, one of the paid that we’ll look into today is…

QR & Barcode Scanner PRO

When it has a price slapped on it, the app costs KES 400. Typical to paid apps, it is discards apps because they are annoying, and meets its functionality by taking a simplified approach to scanning QR and barcodes; you are not going to take any pictures or press a combination of buttons. All you need to do is point to a QR/barcode you want to scan and the app will do its thing quickly, with options to take appropriate actions afterwards.

How is this going to help you? Well, say you are in the mall, you can whip out your phone, scan codes and compare prices. If online prices from other malls are better, you will save money by checking it out.

Tiny RTF Reader

Rich Text Format (RTF) is often used across multiple programs and platforms because of its readability. For instance, major word processing programs can read RTF, in addition to several OSes, database apps and email clients. Another reason RTF is often used because it does not spread viruses because it is difficult to embed infected macros as RTF does not use them.

On the Android side of things, Tiny RTF Reader opens such files on a browser, and can convert RTF files that are often big in size in a timely manner, and it supports hyperlinks and Unicode. The app is also very light.

Jokes and Funny Posts

There are tens of social media apps out there, but this one targets users who wants funny posts and memes. Any user can post jokes, be it from other social media or chat apps as Facebook and WhatsApp. Administrators verify them before they can be posted.

I have checked it out and while some of jokes have been recycled heavily, there are a few original ones (which you have probably seen elsewhere) that are good. Like these…

Screenshot Pro 2

This app is mostly useless to modern Android phones that have inbuilt screen-recording/taking features. If your device does not have such toggles or gestures, and pressing button combinations makes you angry, then you will love Screenshot Pro 2. It lives under your notification menu, so taking a screenshot is one button away. Of course, it is a handy app for serial screenshot takers, but its persistent presence on the notification shade may annoy some people.

Fella for Facebook (Beta)

There are tens of Facebook replacement apps in Google Play. Some of them are free but have a sizeable share of setbacks such as ads and missing features. Fella drops the ads, is light at 1.33 MB, clean and has a colour options for theming. Unfortunately, you cannot see Facebook stories, but can reach messages without the Messenger app.

Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Foundation

This app is for kids who love mobile games (all kids worship games, I think), and while at it, they will hone their arithmetic skills with a playful and intuitive presentation. It is an interesting app (costs KES 600) that is worth checking out.