Showing posts with label Android OS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Android OS. Show all posts

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Android Top 10 Utility, Tools and Communications Apps for 2010

A lot of new apps are now available on the Android Market this year. With so many new apps and Android phones, it's hard to keep up. So, I'm going to do several top ten app lists for various categories this year. This is the 2010 installment of my Top 10 Android Utility, Tools and Communications Apps for 2010, in no particular order.

  • Star Contact by StarObject provides advanced Contacts search functionally that is missing from almost all smartphones (even Palm). Though I do not use this app every time I need to look up contact, it proves itself to be essential when searching contacts based on criteria other than a person's name. (Also listed in 2009.)
  • Easy Dialer Premium by UIP ($) does cost a small nominal fee, but it is worth the chump change! It provides a well designed speed dial interface that really should be the standard for any Android smartphone. There is a free version with small and unintrusive ads called Easy Dialer. (Also listed in 2009.)
  • App Referrer by Drathus allows one person to quickly give an app to another person's phone by scanning a simple barcode. (Requires Barcode Scanner app from Google.)
  • Blogaway by Kumar Bibek is a simple and convenient method to post articles to your blogs.
  • WordPress by Automattic, Inc (WordPress makers) is a fairly powerful app that allows you to add and edit comments, articles and pages to your WordPress blog.
  • Shazam by Shazam Entertainment Ltd is a powerful tool that can quickly identify a work of music just by listening to it, with information about the artist, myspace pages, etc.
  • FPT System Manager by FPT Software is a powerful app provides detailed system and app information, with many tools built-in. Unfortunately, this app may no longer be available.
  • Mute by Marko Mitic is a very simple tool that allows for one-button press to toggle the fully muted mode on the Android phone. This is on my home screen and I use it almost every day.
  • Tip Calculator by Techmind determines a tip on the pre-sales tax price. It also calculates the amount each person owes on split bills. There are many tip calculators on the Android Market, but this is gets straight to the point with a simple and easy to use interface.
  • Twidroyd for Twitter by PostUp, Inc is a great Twitter client app with a lot of bells and whistles that are missing from homepage. It tracks multiple accounts, has LivePreview which automatically shows webpages or profiles associated with a particular tweet, and has an intuitive interface. There is also a paid version called Twitdroyd Pro for Twitter, which I recommend if you want additional control over your Twitter experience.

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Cool Apps for Android Smartphones

Android has thousands of apps. Many are worthy of mention. This is a list of ten that I thought are cool, though not necessary. Most are simple and to the point with full functionality:

Tips Calculator by KajaBo Mobile is a simple tip calculator based on the bill before tax. Most tip calculator apps do not determine the tip based on the pre-tax bill, even though this is customary. This app even calculates how much each person owes for multi-party bills.

GPS Speedometer by Char Software, Inc. is a cool little app that keeps track of one’s near current speed (in the car), average speed, and a few other data points.

Quick Settings by Sergey Shafarenka allows the user easy access to basic Android smartphone settings on one screen.

Google Sky Map by Google Inc. displays are real time image of the night sky constellations based on whatever direction the smartphone is pointed.

Thinking Space by Charlie Chilton helps in developing and recording thoughts and ideas. This is helpful for abstract problem solving or getting through writer’s block.

Ringdroid by Ringdroid Team let’s you splice up your MP3 and iTunes music to create custom ringtones.

Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team will read any barcode. If the product is found in the database, it will show information and reviews.

AttachEmail by gasoline allows the user to attach files to emails being sent from the Android smartphone.

GDocs by WildArt will access your gmail GDocs account and the documents you have stored there.

Superpages by Idearc Media LLC is the link what some may call real yellow pages online these days.

Friday, December 04, 2009


In this special edition, I hereby give the Epoch-Fail award to AT&T for their recent nonsensical lawsuit to stop Verizon from advertizing a truthful comparison between their respective 3G network coverage areas. Needless to say, this lawsuit did nothing but highlight the pathetic nature of AT&T's 3G coverage.

According to Paul Thurrott,
AT&T, of course, is the exclusive US carrier for the Apple iPhone, and—as any iPhone user will tell you—AT&T's 3G network is tiny, ill-equipped to handle the iPhone's voluminous data traffic, and often completely unavailable.
There has been several news stories in the Silicon Valley area (home of Apple and Google) which have highlighted AT&T's much complained about network, including non-3G problems, such as frequent dropped calls (issues that may have been carried over from the Cingular days). Among 3G complaints, speed (slowness) is one of the major issues. AT&T has said they are in the process of upgrading their network right now. However, why would a company put forward such a poor product at the heart of one of the world's technological centers?

It almost goes without saying that the lawsuit was thrown out of court (already!). Can't sue the truth away from the public eye!

Paul Thurrott concludes,

[AT&T's] 3G network is widely considered the be the shoddiest of the major wireless networks in the United States, a fact that was coincidentally confirmed this past month in the latest issue of Consumer Reports, which rated AT&T's overall cell phone network as the worst of the major carriers.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Ten Most Useful Android Apps (and one Outlook Plugin)

The Samsung Moment is a good Sprint smartphone that runs on the 1.5 version of the new Android OS. One great function is that it offers direct syncing with the user’s Google accounts. However, for some reason, Sprint didn’t include enough applications on the Moment. It is fully functional off-the-shelf, but it just seems to be missing stuff that experienced smartphone users would want. Fortunately, the Android Market has more than enough apps to quickly add most (if not all) functionality that one might expect from an advanced smartphone.

This is my Ten Most Useful Android Apps for Samsung Moment (and really any other Android smartphones) in no particular order:

  • Android Backup Tool by Marigold backs-up a multitude of data from the smartphone to the SD Card, including Contacts, SMS, browser links, settings, etc.
  • Star Contact by StarObject provides advanced Contacts search functionally that is missing from almost all smartphones (even Palm).
  • Easy Dialer Premium by UIP ($) does cost a small nominal fee, but it is worth the chump change! It provides a well designed speed dial interface that really should be the standard for any Android smartphone. There is a free version with small and unintrusive ads called Easy Dialer. Another free alternative is Speed Dial by CRinUS. There is no interface to speak of in Speed Dial. It simple allows the user to put speed dials directly on the home page as links.
  • Where by where is highly rated and updated frequently. It provides up-to-date information and reviews about restaurants, movies, local news, weather, friends, etc.
  • Dolphin Browser by MGeek is a great Android internet browser that has powerful and time saving capabilities.
  • OI File Manager by OpenIntents is a good and simple file management utility for the SD Card. It allows for the renaming and copying of files.
  • Wikidroid for Wikipedia by Sirius Applications Ltd is a rapid and simple alternative to just loading the Wikipedia website directly. It loads articles very quickly without all the extras that weight down Wikipedia in an internet browser.
  • ASTRO File Manager by Metago is another powerful file manager. It has different functionality than OI File Manager, so I really recommend installing both until one app starts including the functions of the other.
  • AirPlaneSwitch by C-LIS Crazy Lab. is a simple application that allows the user to switch their phone over to Airplane mode without having to navigate into the smartphone’s settings.
  • TwitterTweet Twitter Client by MEDIAFILL LLC is an underrated app that allows the user to efficiently and simply sync their Twitter account and feeds to their phone.

Sync Android with Outlook

Right now, a PC application that syncs the Moment with Windows Outlook is not included. There is a fairly good Outlook plugin which will sync your contacts, calendar and notes with your Google account. The plugin works great as it allows your smartphone to be updated without ever attaching it to a computer! The plugin is called gSyncit for Microsoft Outlook by David Levinson. It is available at It costs $14.99 and does have unusually strict licensing for installations, so I will be keeping an eye out for free or more customer friendly licensing. For now, this plugin provides a much needed service, so I do recommend the investment if you have any Android smartphone.