It’s been almost a year since I did Round 1. The apps landscape has changed considerably and the App Market has gained countless number of apps that perfectly rivals the iOS Appstore. I’m glad that I can still stand by my Round 1 list as they are still around / being maintained / confirmed malware-free… and mostly still one of the top choices among their own kind in this ocean of apps.
I’ve put together a new list of apps now. Android 4.0 is just around the corner for a lot of people and some are already enjoying it on the Galaxy Nexus (and SGS2 if you check out Galnet MIUI!) and of course Android OS adoption is higher than ever. This list will supplement the last, with only one or two replacements so be sure to revisit Round 1. While this list is no longer full of free apps only, the paid ones are absolutely essential in my daily life when I often have to juggle between setting up new phones for friends and my own 3 androids (SGS2, Transformer, DHD if you must know).
Google+ (Google Plus)
Well now that the Google+ hype (by invitation) has died down, is there a reason to put this on your Android?
Other than being a capable social network, it also does one thing brilliantly: automatically upload all photos and videos you take with your camera to Google Picasa (picasa web).
Privacy? well that’s ok because they’re all uploaded to a private folder called “Instant Uploads”.
Worried about data usage? That’s fine too because you can tell it to only upload when connected via wifi.
Worried about battery life? tell it to upload only when on external power.
It’s all in the Settings.
Lookout Security & Antivirus
I’m sure a lot of people have heard about Android apps security by now..how some developers make rogue apps or even spoof popular ones to get themselves onto as many Androids as possible, steal data and then send them home. Naturally, anti malware, spyware and anti-virus becomes the next most essential app your Android must have.
Now, there is never one perfect Anti-virus for anyone since viruses and such are detected and added to the scan lists at different rates across different companies so Lookout or no other can claim to detect 100% of the bad guys out there. But this is lightweight, doesn’t hog resources, has other (some paid) useful features such as “missing device” (like iOS’s Find my iphone). Most importantly, it scans new apps as soon as they’re installed so you should be aware of malware before you even run it for the first time.
It’s free. You can’t go wrong with this.
Of course, you can also checkout offerings from the big companies: Symantec, Kaspersky, McAffee.
So Lookout was a good choice after all. They rank right at the top when stacked against most other Android anti-virus scanners!
see this makeuseof page for more:
Galaxy Nexus on Amazon.com
Galaxy S2 on Amazon.com
The only battery saver you’ll ever need. This app sits in the background and takes control of all your connectivity options and puts a leash on them depending on how you want it to. It even does brightness and cpu speeds and many other fine grain stuff.
I’d just go Pro (6 bucks). Because I did and I’ve been at peace with my SGS2 ever since. It’s worth every cent especially when there are just so many options and settings, each and everyone designed to help you save battery.
Most importantly, it works well.
Plays all types of videos, stutter-free and..well just FREE (ad-supported)
It appears that this app is no longer on the market (was just a couple weeks ago). Probably due to how it kept removing the paid version, doing refunds and then putting up a “new” paid version and then finally offering a free ad-supported version. I mean it’s just plain confusion.
But it does what it says on the tin and freezes useless crap that runs in the background when they don’t need to, thereby freeing up resources for you.
This puts an overlay on top of your default launcher when you double tap the home button or hold some other shortcut button..I forgot.
Most useful for when the dock and the home screen just can’t hold enough icons for you…or you don’t want any clutter.
Quickdesk doesn’t just allow app icons, it also has recently used apps and even allows widgets.
Absolutely perfect…except it doesn’t quite work with the SGS’s stock firmware. This is because Samsung highjacked the Home button’s double tap function and made it into a shortcut for voice control. I got it working when I installed Galnet MIUI.
Spare Parts Plus
This has actually been featured before but “Plus” is a no-ad version.
Just very quickly, its most useful function is that you can tweak the speed of all the UI animations of your phone. As you may or may not know…this is the way mobile OSes..or even desktop OSes hide load times and any possible stutters. Play around with the speed to find your own personal eye candy.
Galnet MIUI is a variation of MIUI. What’s special about this is that it’s actually Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich underneath. Essentially, that means you’ve got all the fancy 4.0 animations and RAM optimizations on a MIUI ROM (correct me if I’m wrong)
If you want to read about my personal experience with Galnet MIUI, go HERE.
A quick reminder- Android remote app install
Don’t forget that you can download and install your apps wirelessly. clicking any of the app links above will take you to Google’s Android App Market. From there, you can install apps to the various Android phones that you have signed in with your google account. As long as your phone is online via 3G 4G or wifi, the apps will download and install themselves without you ever having to touch the phone.
Only on Android.
Galaxy Nexus on Amazon.com
Galaxy S2 on Amazon.com