Favorite/recommended Android apps
These comments/recommendations are based on a phone running ‘stock’ Android version 2.3.4, your mileage may vary. Most of these are free apps.
- AndFTP - A great fully-featured FTP program if you do any work on web site(s).
- Android Lost - App that offers tons and tons of options to locate and control your phone remotely if it’s lost.
- ASTRO File Manager - Access and work with files on your phone, and also links in to several cloud services
- BeyondPod - An excellent podcatcher which is essential for podcast addicts like me that ride the subway often and can’t stream podcasts. The paid version downloads all of your podcasts automatically (to avoid using too much cellular data, it’s a good idea to turn on the ‘download on wifi only’ or ‘toggle wifi’ option). It also has a great built-in audio and video player that lets you set custom forward and rewind settings, and a widget (see below for details on widgets) that give you one-tap play/pause from the home screen.
If you want to manually add an RSS feed for a podcast that’s in iTunes, this site will extract the feed
- Contact Owner - Displays your contact information on the lock screen so you can be contacted if you lose your phone. I also added my ‘in case of emergency’ contacts.
- Cool Reader - Decent app for reading epub ebooks (and many other formats)
- Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder - Record to MP3 on your phone
- Jota Text Editor - Decent basic text file editor (I use this in conjunction with AndFTP for updating web sites on the go)
- K-9 Mail - My favorite email program, does everything I need.
- KeePassDroid - Great for keeping track of passwords - it’s an app that stores your passwords in an encrypted file. Used in conjunction with the desktop application that can be found here
- NYC Bus & Subway Maps - Self-explanatory, so useful!
- ONE Browser - Good replacement for the built-in web browser
- Photoshop Express - Basic image editor
- Pocket - Very cool app / desktop browser plugin / website that lets you save web pages, tweets, youtube videos, etc. by selecting ‘Add to Pocket’ from the ‘share’ menu in apps or through the desktop browser plugin. It saves web pages for offline viewing, again very helpful if you’re in the subway. It’s addictive though! The web site where you can get the plugin is here
- RockPlayer - Supports a huge number of audio and video formats.
- SoundWireFree - This is SO COOL - you install a server application on your Windows or Linux computer and it streams audio to your phone over wifi. Basically it turns your phone into a wireless headset with the range of wifi (so much better than Bluetooth). This is essential for listening to my favorite BBC radio show that you can stream on the desktop but not through their app if you're not in the UK. The free version has an occasional “SoundWire free version” announcement in the audio stream, but it’s not too annoying. But the paid version is only $4 and has some additional features. So far it works *really* well with audio only sources, but chokes a bit streaming audio from a video source. That could be due to my phone though, which is a bit underpowered.
- SwiftKey - The best keyboard replacement I’ve used, especially good for old farts like me that still struggle with an on-screen keyboard (RIP Palm Treo). It’s a paid app but it’s only $4, well worth it.
- If you have HBO and/or Showtime, they have apps where you can watch shows on demand.
- The built-in Google Local app is great for finding restaurants, etc. near your current location.
After you install a widget, you add it by long-pressing on an empty space on a home screen, select ‘Widgets’ and then select the widget from the list.
- AutoRotate OnOff - Sometimes auto-rotate is annoying; this turns it off and back on with one tap.
- No Lock Screen - Activate or deactivate the lock screen with one tap. Useful when my phone is in a safe place like at home, and I don’t want to have to keep unlocking the phone.
- Silent Toggle Widget - One-tap switching between ring, vibrate only, and silent.
- kmttg - This isn’t directly related to the phone, but I’m including it here because it’s SO useful if you have a TiVo. It downloads shows recorded on the TiVo to your computer and shrinks them down to a size that’s manageable to copy on to your phone to watch. It can be set up to automatically download and shrink the files on a schedule as well. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the crappy reality shows my boyfriend hates without it, lol!