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Best general reference apps for Android


Published onJuly 13, 2012

Our Android devices can be used in a lot of different ways. Aside from receiving calls and sending out SMS messages, our Android device can work just like a mini computer. You can check your mail, browse the Internet, play HD games, and as general reference. With the hundreds of thousands of apps on the Google Play Store, you can easily transform your device into a handy and pocket-sized dictionary, thesaurus, how-to manual, book of facts, and much more. Check out our app list of some of the best general reference apps for your Android device.

Do you need help with your mathematical equations? Want to search for the meaning of a word and look for its antonyms, synonyms, and rhyming words? Do you need help answering the questions bothering your mind? Ask the WolframAlpha app and get answers instantly right on your Android device. This app helps you learn and discover new things about what you are looking for. You can find a lot of useful information through the app — from the biggest celestial bodies to the tiniest cells that ever existed. You can also use this app to automatically solve mathematical problems.

The app features two input keys on its interface: a basic QWERTY keyboard below, and a number keypad on top. Type in your search terms or mathematical equations on the search bar. Ask the app’s intelligent mind and you can search for the constellations, the world map, Android smartphone, and anything you want to look for. I was also amazed at how this app transformed my Android device into a virtual dictionary and thesaurus. Search for a word and you will get its meaning, rhyming words, synonym, antonyms, common keywords, and a lot more. The app even tells you the scrabble score for that word. What’s more, the app can also be your virtual calculator and mathematical equations solver.

Make your Android smartphones even smarter with the WolframAlpha app.

One of the advantages of the Internet is that you can search for almost everything on the Web–fast and easy. Although books and hard copy sources are still the best sources of information, using virtual sources can be used to back up, update, or enhance the information we get from hard copy materials. If you want to have a virtual and portable encyclopedia, download and install the Wikipedia app on your Android device.

This app lets you search tons of Internet articles from the web right on your Android device. You can search about 20 million articles in 280 different languages. I have been using Wikipedia together with my printed material and sources to finish my reports and do my assignments. With this app, you can fit a set of encyclopedia right on your Android device.

The app also allows you to save articles and read them later offline. This feature is really useful when you are out to work or doing a report in class. The Wikipedia app also features a Nearby option to let you search for articles related to your current location. This can be useful when you are touring a place and you want to equip yourself with useful information about that place.

Transform your Android device into a virtual encyclopedia with the Wikipedia app.

Being a writer is hard work. A writer is not someone who carelessly combines words and produces mediocre work. A writer is someone who has skills and effectively expresses herself or himself through writing. To become a good writer, one must be able to read well. And, in order to read well, one must also be able to understand words by knowing their meanings. For amateur writers, you can improve your vocabulary by knowing the meaning of a word by using a dictionary. If you don’t want to carry a big and heavy dictionary, try making your Android device a virtual dictionary with the Dictionary – Merriam-Webster app.

This app lets you use a virtual dictionary right on your Android device. If you are reading and come across an unfamiliar word, just open the app and search for the meaning of the word. You can also use voice search for finding new words hands-free. To expand your knowledge about a word, the app also includes its synonyms, antonyms, origins, and sample sentences. You can also enable the Word of the Day option and learn one new word everyday.

Improve your vocabulary with the Dictionary – Merriam-Webster app on your Android device.  

Another dictionary app for your Android device is If you are fan of and on your computer, you will enjoy using this app right on your Android device. You can use this app to access the word database from these sites while on-the-go and check the meaning of a word.

You can browse up to 2 million definitions, synonyms, and antonyms. You can also get to know more about a certain word through its history and origin. For proper pronunciation, the app also includes an audio sample that will help you learn how to properly pronounce a word. The app can also introduce you to a new word with its Word of the Day feature.

Other features include voice search, sample sentences for each word, support for landscape orientation, compatibility with Android tablets, a widget for your home screen, and many more. The app, with ads, can be download free from the Google Play Store. You can also download the premium version to remove those pesky ads.

Learn new words and practice proper pronunciation with the app for your Android device.

If you are an expert in the English language and want to learn how words are linked together, rather than their meanings alone, you can use the Advanced English & Thesaurus app on your Android device.

Aside from giving the meaning of each word, this app shows you how each word is linked to other words in terms of synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms, hypernyms, and similar words. This manner of organizing the words will help you know the meaning of a word, how it is linked to another word, and facilitate memorization of a certain word. This app is perfect for those who want to learn the relations and uses of a word rather than its meaning alone.

You can also use this app while you are offline. You will need first to download the app’s word database and you can use this app while on-the-go. The app also features various filter options to help you search for words easily. Use the Fuzzy filter option to search for a word when you are not sure of its spelling. The Keyword filter option lets you search words by using keywords within other compound words. Replace a letter or a group of letters with “?” or “*” with the Wild Card filter option.

Other features include word transcriptions, browsing your last 50 searched words, smooth article scrolling, adding a word of the day as widget on your homescreen, and many more.

In contrast with the dictionary, a thesaurus is a reference book that groups words that have the same meaning (synonyms). It also includes words that have the opposite meaning of a certain word (antonyms). The largest thesaurus in the world, which contains 920,000 entries, is the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. You can now also a fit a thesaurus right on your Android device with the Thesaurus app.

The app features a simple user interface. Opening the app will bring you to its main menu where you can find a search box on top. Searching for a word will then bring you to the word’s page with its respective synonyms and sometimes its antonyms. The app also supports a variety of languages such as English, Italian, Russian, Romanian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, and German.

Download the Thesaurus app and have yourself a virtual thesaurus right on your Android device.

Do you need some help preparing a dish? Do you know how to maintain your waist line? Do you need a how to guide for doing anything? If you are having trouble doing things, worry no more–there’s an app that may just be right for you. The wikiHow – the how to manual app is your step-by-step reference manual on your Android device.

The app’s main menu consists of four main tabs: Featured, Categories, Search, and Bookmarks. The Featured tab lets you browse some of the hottest and most popular guides. Choose one from the list and you will be directed to its page with its specific instructions. You can learn how to marinate hotdogs with beer, how to stay safe under the sun, how to take your dieting friend out to dinner, and much more with this app. You can also find tips and warnings within the how to page.

If the topic you are looking for is not included in the featured list, you can go to the Categories tab and select a category that fits your desired topic. You can select a variety of categories such as arts, computers, family, finance, health, hobbies, and many more. For faster searching, you can go to the Search tab and type in the desired topic. You can also save your favorite how to guides in the Bookmarks tab for quicker access.

Learn everything under the sun with the wikiHow – the how to manual app on your Android device.

Another alternative virtual encyclopedia for your Android device is the WikiDroyd app. Just like the Wikipedia app, you will be able to browse different articles from the web right on your Android device. The only difference between the two is that WikiDroyd can be used while you are offline.

The app makes this possible by downloading a virtual encyclopedia right on your Android device. The encyclopedia contains different articles which can be accessed by using this app. Encyclopedias also come in different languages. Choose your language and download virtual encyclopedias with this app. Once you have downloaded the virtual encyclopedia, you can now browse and read various articles even if you’re offline. You may also download and install the WikiDroyd Speech Plugin. This add-on will allow the app to read your articles out loud for you.

Browse your virtual encyclopedias while on-the-go with the WikiDroyd app.

The Current General Knowledge – GK app helps you learn about almost everything. Using this app lets you learn stuff such as the winners of Miss Universe, the first man who walked on the moon, the first female president, Olympic game winners, and a lot more. You can use this app to buff up your knowledge or if you’re participating in a general knowledge quiz bee.

The world of general information is accessible through the app menu’s main tabs: Career, GK (general knowledge), India, Science, Sports, World, Feature, and More.

Tapping the Career tab brings you to a selection of various articles about career. You can find here tips for winning an interview, finding a job, writing irresistible resumes, and a lot more. The GK tab brings you to a selection of articles about abbreviations, books and authors, awards and honors, most popular quotations, and a lot more. You can also find here general knowledge quizzes that will help you test your skills.

The app also includes an India tab which talks about the country India. You can check its geography, history, economy, important personalities, and much more. For general knowledge about the different branches of science, visit the Science tab on the app. Select the Sport tab for sport terms, Olympic games, World Cup tournaments, and all about sports. For world geography and general knowledge about the world, visit the World tab within the app. You can also check featured and popular selections on the Features tab.

Increase your general knowledge with the Current General Knowledge – GK app on your Android device.

Do you know that people who like riding roller coasters have a higher chance of getting blood clots in the brain? Do you know that soaking beans for twelve hours in water can reduce flatulence caused by beans? Do you also know that 10% of people around world are left-handed? Get to learn and discover new facts with Funny Facts Free 8000+ on your Android device. This app will buff up your knowledge by feeding you facts about you and your surroundings.

Find facts fast through the app’s main buttons: Categories, Favorites, From last slide, Random, Gesture Tutorial, and Rate app. To start viewing facts, tap Categories and choose the category that you like best. The app features a variety of categories such as nature, statistics, the human body, world records, and many more. You can also check out the Short Jokes category and learn some “Yo Mama” lines. Tap the lips icon on the upper-right corner of the screen and hear your Android device tell a fact or a “Yo Mama” line.

If you found an interesting fact, you can tap the heart icon on the upper-right corner of the screen and view them later on the Favorites tab. You can also view your last viewed fact with the From last slide button and select a random fact with the Random button.

Buff up your knowledge with cool and interesting facts with the Funny Facts Free 8000+ app on your Android device.

With these apps, your Android device can become a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, general knowledge book, how to manual, and a book of facts, snugly fitted inside your Android device. What other Android apps are you using as reference? Share them in a comment below.

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