Top 8 Reference Apps Android

How about some reference apps for your Android smartphone or tablet? These days, reference apps can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and I suppose you might even consider search apps like Google’s to be a reference app since that’s precisely what you are using them for – despite such search engines being most users’ entry point on the web in general. Google pretty much covers everything, but there are a few standalone Android apps out there worth checking out if you’re the kind of user that often finds yourself looking up info, whether that info be general stuff as you would on Wikipedia, the definitions or translations of specific words and a whole lot more. As always, there’s an app for all of these things and we present a few of them here in our Top 8 reference apps that are currently available for Android from the Play Store. Check out our picks below and then feel free to suggest your own in the comments section!

8. Merriam-Webster (Free)

Let’s start off with a couple of dictionary apps, the first of which is the official app of the world renowned Merriam Webster brand. Such apps can be very useful if you are a writer or even a translater and often find yourself looking up words, confirming their meanings or even looking up synonyms to insert in place of more common alternatives. If you are a writer for example, a dictionary becomes something of a useful assistant, though can be a pain to carry around with you. Fortunately, there is the web version of the Merriam Webster dictionary and of course this Android app to make things more convenient. – Download from Google Play

7. Dictionary.com (Free)

Slightly more reliable, at least in my humble opinion, is the Dictionary.com app which is basically an Android specific version of their much used website. Again, if you’re a writer or student who will often look up the definitions of words or synonyms of words than the Dictionary.com site has probably proved useful in the past: this app basically gives you the power of the website but allows you to use it even when offline, which is of course a fantastic ability to have if you are often jotting down ideas or writing away when traveling or whatever. Retreating to an isolated place in the woods for example to get some writing done can prove difficult with no internet connection, but at least you have your dictionary! – Download from Google Play

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6. Scribd (Free)

While not exactly a traditional reference app, the Scribd app can prove very useful if you are a bookworm who prefers to look up things in literature rather than the web. Scribd has over one million titles currently available, from bestselling fiction to obscure non fiction, as well as audiobooks and comics. Like the Google Books website, the wealth of info here is almost unnerving, and membership here us just $8.99 a month which is less than the price of a paperback, as the developers of this service proudly remind you. While Scribd words as a useful information resource, it’s also great for book lovers and is an excellent way to receive new recommendations and expand your literary horizons. It also allows you to quickly and easily save titles for offline reading, which is great for those who like to read using their Android tablet or smartphone when roaming about or perhaps on an airplane when traveling.  – Download from Google Play

5. WordReference (Free)

I mentioned briefly the importance of a dictionary if you are a translator, but that really only applies if the dictionary provides translations as well as definitions and examples. Having spent some time translating documents in the past, I can confirm that by far the best website out there to help you is WordReference. Their dictionary of language to language translations is fantastic, and the user driven community will always come up with answers if you can’t find specific words in the dictionary or whatever. This can be very useful if you’re translating specific dialects. – Download from Google Play

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4. WolframAlpha ($2.99)

It’s really hard to catgorize something like WolframAlpha, though one thing we can say for sure is that it’s a reference app. Whether you are looking for help with your mathematical equations or simply searching for the definition or synonym of a specific word, WolframAlpha should be able to help out. The app is a great way to learn new things and discover stuff as you go, covering a huge range of subjects from mathematics to space and the solar system. It’s one of the more useful apps I currently have on my Android tablet, and is full of nice touches such as providing the Scrabble score for a specific word as you’re searching the dictionary. – Download from Google Play

3. WikiHow (Free)

I’m sure that most of our readers will have stumbled across the wikiHow website at some point. This website is basically an infinite resource that teaches you how to do things, from preparing a specific dish to losing weight over the holiday season, fixing a wireless router and a whole lot more. The wikiHow app for Android devices is basically a collection of the info you may have already encountered on their website at some point, providing in depth guides to achieve just about anything you want – from simple tasks such as boiling an egg to more compicated projects such as fixing a computer, it has just about everything covered. – Download from Google Play

2. Google Translate (Free)

Again, for translators and also for travelers alike, the Google Translate app remains perhaps the most useful of the translation apps currently available for Android devices. It can prove absolutely indispensible if you are traveling in a strange land where you don’t speak the language and (shock, horror) the locals don’t speak English. But the Google Translate app is a lot more than your usual text to text translation app, offering you a variety of different input methods in order to break down language barriers on the fly. You can enter words by text, or have the app listen to audio and then either provide an audio or text translation. Finally, there is also the visual translation option which allows you to take photos of signs or scan in flyers and immediately see the content translated. – Download from Google Play

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1. Wikipedia (Free)

The ultimate resource for the 21st century, Wikipedia continues to be abused by those who take it for granted but it remains one of the most impressive and in depth user driven resources we currently have available to us. It remains to be seen how long this will remain available for free, but for now it is and as such we should really take advantage of it and treat it with care! As expected, there is also a Wikipedia app which allows you to access the wealth of info from your Android device. While browsing Wikipedia requires a connection, you can easily store articles and pages to peruse offline and there’s even a nice Nearby feature which goes out and finds pages that are relative to your current location. – Download from Google Play

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