Android apps for everyday life


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Android apps for everyday life

An Android phone being used to pay for goods at an EFTPOS machine

What's coming up?

In this activity, you'll learn about the Google apps that help with everyday life. These include:

  • Using your phone to pay for things in shops
  • Making shopping online more secure
  • Keeping your calendar up to date
  • Notifying you of upcoming events
  • Checking the local weather
  • Taking notes.
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Your Android phone comes with lots of apps

Android phones come with apps from the phone manufacturer and from Google. Brands like Samsung and Oppo provide their own apps that do many of the same things as the Google apps in this course.

The advantage of Google apps is that they work on every model of Android phone, so if you get a new phone from a different manufacturer, you can keep using the familiar Google apps.

The Android and Google logos
An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

On the Google Play Store, Google apps are titled Google Wallet, Google Maps, Google Photos and so on. But on your phone's Home screen or Apps screen, the apps drop Google from their name and are labelled Wallet, Maps, Photos etc.

Some Google apps are useful for everyday life

This activity explores the built-in apps that you are likely to use every day as you go about your routine. They include:

  • Google Wallet
  • Google Calendar
  • Keep Notes and lists
  • Chrome (Google's web browser).
The Google apps icons for Wallet, Calendar, Keep notes and Chrome
The Google Wallet app icon

Google Wallet is for payments and more

The Google Wallet app lets you use the Google Pay service in stores that accept this kind of payment. To pay, you'll first need to set up your bank's credit or debit card in the Google Wallet app.

You can learn more about Google Pay in our What are pay services? activity.

Setting up Google Wallet

When you first use Google Wallet, the app will ask you to set up a card to use for payment. You can enter your card details, including the three-digit security number on the back, and Google Wallet will ask your bank for permission to use your card.

Depending on your bank, you may need to visit a website to authorise the card with Google Wallet, or you may see a screen in Google Wallet that asks you to enter certain banking details.

An Android phone displaying the Wallet app
An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

It's safe to enter banking details into Google Wallet. This app has been designed to be very secure, and your banking details aren't shared with Google or any other third party.

An Android phone being used to pay for goods using the Wallet app and an EFTPOS machine

What happens when you pay using Google Wallet

When you have a card set up in Google Wallet, you can use your Android phone to pay at the register in shops that offer Google Pay as an option.

When the cashier rings up your purchase, you unlock your phone, and hold it to the EFTPOS machine, the same way as using tap-to-pay with a plastic credit card. Your Android phone provides the EFTPOS machine with enough credentials for it to authorise a payment from your bank.

An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

When you use Google Wallet to pay for something in a shop, there's no communication between the shop and Google, only between the shop and your bank. It's the same as using your plastic credit card.

Some Android phones might not require you to unlock your phone to make a transaction under $100. You can change this in your phone's settings menu, or switch the contactless payment feature off when you don't need it.

You can load more than one card into Google Wallet

If you use different credit or debit cards, you can authorise them all in Google Wallet. This saves you from having to dig in your purse or wallet for your other card.

Instead, you just swipe the screen to select the card you want to use. You'll see a small picture of the card on the Google Wallet screen so you always know which account you are using to pay.

The Wallet app with more than one card added
The Recent Activity panel in the Wallet app

What happens once you've paid with Google Wallet?

After the payment goes through, Google Wallet will send a notification about the payment. You can also explore the Google Wallet screen and menu options to see a record of your recent payments.

Google Wallet does more than just pay

As well as letting you authorise cards to pay in shops, Google Wallet is also useful as a secure way to store important documents. You can also register loyalty cards, and many airlines support sending a digital boarding pass to Google Wallet.

Depending on the airport you're at, you can bring this up on the screen to pass through security and board your flight, instead of having to keep track of a piece of paper.

A boarding pass displayed on an Android phone using the Wallet app
The Wallet app icon surrounded by icons for keys, cards, tickets and transport

Other Google Wallet features

There are other useful ways to use Google Wallet, including as a hotel key, for storing vaccination certificates and e-tickets that you've purchased online.

You can learn more about Google Wallet in our Using pay services activity.

Keeping track with Google Calendar

With the Calendar app, you can enter important events, appointments, and reminders, and your Android phone will send a notification when the event is getting close. You can choose how often to be reminded about an event, and how long before it's due that you get reminded.

Google Calendar app notifications
The Google Calendar and Google Cloud app icons

Synchronising your Google Calendar

Because you sign in to Google Calendar with your Google Account email and password, it synchronises (syncs) your calendar dates and appointments to the cloud. This means you can access it on another signed-in device, or even via a web browser.

To learn more, visit the Google cloud apps course.

Taking notes on your Android device

The Keep Notes app lets you quickly jot down a note such as a shopping list, number or address you need to remember. The app is simple to use and notes save as you write them, so it's much faster and easier than a word processing app.

A shopping list on the Keep Notes app
The Google Chrome logo

Chrome is the official Google web browser

Android phones often come with a web browser from the manufacturer or the Google Chrome browser, so you can view websites and search the internet. If Chrome is not installed, you can get it for free from the Play Store.

How Chrome works

Chrome works like the web browser on a computer but allows a mobile version of many websites to display, so they are easier to read on your phone's smaller display.

Also, when you tap on a link in app, such as the Gmail app, the link will open in either Chrome or the manufacturer's browser and load the website it points to.

An Android phone showing the Google search page
An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

Because you can open any link on your Android phone with just a tap, it's important to only open links that you trust. You should never open a link from a text message as these are often used by scammers. Only open links in emails from people and businesses you trust, when you are sure the email is legitimate.

Well done!

This is the end of the Android apps for everyday life activity. You've learned how some of the built-in apps can be used to make secure payments, keep your calendar up to date, check the weather and more.

Up next is the Android apps that make communication easier activity, where you can learn about the built-in apps that let you make free video calls, send messages, and sync your email with the cloud.

Google app icons