more and more friends and colleagues are getting an Android phone and with that of course comes the question: “Which apps are you using?” This post will be my take on “got to have Android apps”. For me these apps help me in my daily life, either by being productive, sharing stuff with friends or just keeping up to date with the latest news.
For most apps, I am using the pro-version, this because I like the app and want to support the developer.
This was one of the first apps for the Android. Small detail, it was developed by a dutch guy who also one a developers contest hosted by Google. Back to the app, this app allows you to perform some basic photo edits, change the color, resize it but also add small stickers or some text. The app itself is not updated that often but the developer adds loads of stickers for specific seasons or holidays allow you to customize your pictures with St. Patrick’s day or Independence Day. After editing the picture, you can either save it or share it directly with all other apps on your phone and post it directly to Facebook or twitter!
Advanced Task Manager
Multitasking is nice and great plus one of the best features of Android. However, once in a while, you just want to close all the applications that are running in the background, either to save data or battery. This app allows you to do that either all in one go or one app at a time. Giving you flexibility on what should keep on running. The app even allows you to add a shortcut on the home-screen to close background apps from your home-screen with just one ‘click’
A smartphone is nice but every now and then it is just good to use your laptop and connect to the internet, even when there is no land-line or wifi available. PDANet allows you to use the data-plan of your phone to connect your laptop to the internet. (NOTE: it could be that your telco is not allowing tethering) While many apps require you to root your device and that is still a bit nerdy. PDANet doesn’t require any hacking of your phone what so ever, you can safely install it and use it to hook your laptop up to the internet. Great way to use your data-plan to its full extend!
I read a lot of RSS-feeds, although twitter is nice, something you just need some offline time and read stuff that you might have missed on twitter. What many RSS-apps lack is the ability to sync with Google Reader, NewsRob does this seamlessly. Items you read in Google Reader are read on your phone as well. No need to come to the conclusion you already read that story. NewsRob can also store the entire article including the page it refers to offline on your phone, allowing you to read your RSS-feeds while being disconnected. It can sync using a schedule so it will keep you up-to-date even when you forget to manually sync.
Because I travel a lot, a data connection is not always available (either on the plane or abroad). Paperdroid allows me to store webpages/newsarticles offline on my phone so I can read them while being offline. Paperdroid gives you several options to save the pages on your phone; Starred items in Google Reader, Read It Later or long-press a link in the Android browser and select Save to Paperdroid. The app will then on a scheduled interval download all the information that is needed (text/images) and make them available offline to you. A must have for the traveler who needs something to read.
I just recently started running again and what can help you better then ‘somebody’ who keeps track of the distance and time you run? Buddy Runner will do that. Using the internal GPS-sensor, it will plot your run on a map and give you accurate information on the distance, time and calories burned during the run. When you are done, it will give you the option to upload the information to your personal dashboard so you can keep track of your milage.
One of the flaws of Android, it lacks good MS Exchange support. Since 2.1 it does offer the ability to add an Exchange mail/contact account but the support for that is basic. Touchdown Exchange gives you a full-blown MS Exchange experience on your phone. Access your emails/tasks/contacts/calendar like you are in the office using your PC. All actions you do on your phone are instantly reflected on the Exchange-server. The best thing of all, your Exchange server supports this, Touchdown even add push to your Android phone. Pushing all changes near real time to your phone. Never miss that important email or meeting!
(All HP colleagues, drop me a message when you need support to set this up)
Most Android-phones have a more then decent camera on board but what is the fun of taking pictures but not sharing them? Mobypicture allows you to share your experience directly with your friends. It gives you the ability to use photos, video and even audio. After uploading it to Moby (this all happens in the background) it will push your content to whatever platform you want, being it flickr, twitter or facebook.
Android allows you to use Home or Google Maps to find your way around but some times you just need that little extra more. CoPilot live allows you to navigate without using your data-plan which could come in handy when traveling abroad. It has a nice interface and is updated regularly. The price is a bit steep but I have to say, it saved me already a few times.
I need to remember a lot. A LOT! Now the remembering part isn’t that hard, it is the moment you need to retrieve the information and use it again. I have been a fond user of Evernote on my PC and the moment they release the Android-app I started using it. The app gives you the ability to upload new notes and search your existing notes so you can view them on the road. Evernote is part of my daily life and having it around on my phone just makes it all a bit easier.
Remember The Milk
Together with Evernote, RTM helps me to remember whatever I need to do, being it grocery shopping or that important presentation I still need to create, RTM will notify and remind me of it. The app syncs seamlessly with the RTM-website and provides you the same functionality but still giving you a good and mobile experience. You can use the app even when there is no data-connection, handy when you need to do some bargain hunting.
Twitter for Android
Just a few days old but already a good client. The official twitter Android app. A no-nonsense twitter client that gives you the same functionality as the twitter homepage. Don’t expect any multi-account or other fancy features, for that you have to get Touiteur or Twidroid. Twitter for Android does the job, quick and easy.
I spend a lot of time traveling around and one the things I never lose sight of is my flight schedule. I want to know exactly when a flight is leaving, which gate and whether it has a delay or not. FlightTrack allows me to add all my upcoming flights &track any changes to them. I even noticed that the app was quicker in notifying me of any delays or gate changes then the PA at the airport. It even allows you to add a list of upcoming flights to your home-screen.
So, this is it for the moment. These are the apps which I would re-install straight away if I had to reset my Nexus One. Stay tuned for some more app reviews and I will throw in a game or two as well!