Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What's On My Android?

A friend tweeted last night:
"Am a renewed Android user. What are the apps you recommend?"
Rather than respond via private email, I thought I'd put up my Android layout on this blog. Maybe it'll help out a few other folks as well.

So here's a rundown of my applications, divided into free and paid categories.

  • Gmail. Since a lot of my online life is, for better or worse, tied to Google, it makes sense to have the Gmail app on my phone.  My most recent messages are available offline, so if I ever need to check something it's there.  Older messages, though, need a network connection.  It's serviceable, and the reason I haven't gone to something else is because I've gotten used to it.
  • Car Cast. I listen to podcasts while driving. By far the best podcast feed and player out there, and that's because of its simplicity.  Car Cast gets my latest podcast subscriptions -- BBC's "In Our Time with Melyvn Bragg", "Get-It-Done-Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More", and "Geek's Guide to the Galaxy"-- and remembers exactly where I last left off.  I plan to get the paid version, just because I want to support the developer.
  • Google Chrome. I like its interface.
  • Barcode Scanner. For scanning book ISBN numbers and QR-codes, for later reference.
  • CamScanner. By far the one app I don't want to do without.  CamScanner turns my phone into a portable scanner for documents.  It automatically resizes images and adjusts their brightness and contrast.  The free CamScanner is limited in the number of docs you can scan, but by registering with an academic email address (.edu), you can unlock all the full version.
  • Dropbox. For syncing with my desktop.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Because I pretend I write for a living.
  • RealCalc. A better calculator than stock, with scientific and engineering functions.  Free version available, but what I have is the paid one, which cost me $0.10 during one of the Google Play sales.
  • Laudate. For my daily Gospel reading.  Also handy for traditional prayers and such.
  • Flipboard. Interesting news in magazine format.  This reads from my Twitter and Google Reader accounts, too.
  • Twitter. Because I like to keep in touch.
  • Google Reader. For reading my RSS subscriptions (more on that on a future post.)
  • Pocket. For reading long-form articles.  If I find an interesting article on the web, whether I'm reading from desktop or phone or tablet, I can add it to my reading list.  Pocket (or Get Pocket) syncs on all my devices so I can read the articles offline.
  • K-9 Mail. For syncing with my Ateneo email account.
  • Cool Reader. Best e-book reader app, very customizable, and understands several file formats.
  • WordPress. For uploading pictures direct to my WordPress blog.
  • Google+. Because you can never have enough Google in your life.
My paid apps I got during 10-cent sales on Google Play. Most of them have been games, but the ones I really end up sticking with are the productivity apps.

  • Nova Launcher. By far the best desktop app launcher for me. Free version available.
  • Beautiful Widgets. Provides me with the clock and weather display on my home screen.  Customizable with lots of themes.  
  • Business Calendar. Syncs with my Google Calendar, and displays in day, week, or month format.
  • Tasks. Syncs with my Google Tasks.
  • OfficeSuite 7. For reading those pesky office documents.


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