As promised, following my review of five new “Most Essential” apps for my Droid, herein five additions to my “Most Useful” apps list:
- WordPress for Android – I’m typing this post into my WordPress blog on my WordPress website, so it’s not much of a surprise that when the WordPress for Android app came out, I glomped on it. “Write, edit, publish, and manage comments from my Droid?” I thought, “What could be sweeter?” But it was glitchy, full of bugs, unreliable. I left it installed for emergency WordPress updates on the go (I develop WordPress websites on the side and support/maintain several different sites) but was unimpressed-unto-disappointed.
Then the developers put out a couple updates, fixed the glitches and bugs, added some shiny features, and it turned from “meh” to “squee!”
- Kaloer Clock – This app replaced Dockrunner as my default nighttime clock. It has seven different skins, including an animated weather one and a customizable one, can be set to automatically launch when you plug your Droid into an AC power source, and my favorite, you can set it to speak the time out loud on a long press.
My eyes are really, really bad, to the point of needing glasses to see a bedside clock display. Now, if I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, wondering how much time I have until my alarm goes off, I don’t need to fumble for my glasses or even open my eyes. I just reach over to my Droid, long press the screen, and Kaloer Clock tells me.
- TeslaLED Flashlight – My Droid really is my sonic screwdriver. I use it for everything, even as a flashlight. And I like that I have two flashlight options, the screen (diffuse/ambient light source) and the LED camera flash (focused beam). I still use ColorFlashlight as my preferred screen flashlight, but TeslaLED replaced my previous LED flashlight, Torch, by virtue of it being several magnitudes brighter. Don’t look directly at the light. Seriously.
- Skype Mobile – I reviewed this one back in April. Skype on your phone. Nuff said.
- TweetCaster – When I was prepping for Dragon*Con, I became enlightened unto the heretofore unappreciated virtues of Twitter and went on a mad search for the very best Android Twitter client. TweetCaster won out with its multiple Twitter accounts, several themes, intuitive interface, and Twitlonger incorporation, although Seesmic came in a very close second. Basically, I liked TweetCaster’s pretty, bright colors better than Seesmic’s staid display. But if I had to switch to Seesmic for some reason, my world would continue to spin.
“Most Fun” apps reprise and some honorable mentions coming up next. Stay tuned!
OK – I don’t use any of these. Used to have Tweetcaster but got rid of it because I just haven’t had time to get sucked in by Twitter yet (a convention is the perfect place, though – I’ve seen it used very effectively at OSCON long before I had a smart phone.)
I use a different flashlight app but I suspect there’s not much of a feature differential between apps that light up your screen as much as possible. Yes, I did choose Color Flashlight due to the options to strobe or have rotating psychedelic patterns b/c I thought that was neat, but I never use those options – when I need a flashlight, I just want something bright.
Apps I would add to either one of your lists are ASTRO, which is a pretty good file manager for your SD card (eliminating the need to go into USB mode if you want to drag, drop or cut & paste) and Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud-based file sync program. You can sign up for the free 2GB service and install the program on your computer and the app on your phone and the act of getting something from phone to computer or vice versa becomes dead simple. Also, if you share files with your friends, it’s a great way to push or pull the stuff you want to share with the people you have invited to your folder. I use it with the band to distribute copies of our practice sessions and works-in-progress. Since I also use my phone as my primary mp3 player (there are some cool accessories and, yes, other apps I have that make this work even better) this makes it very convenient for me when I need to listen to whatever new song we’ve been working on and I’m nowhere near my computer – just go into dropbox, sync a file and it’s there. Awesome.
I could also ramble on about great photo taking and editing apps for Android, but I think I’ve talked enough for one comment. Take it easy!
Astro is one of the apps I included in my original top-10 essential Android apps back in January (http://www.eugiefoster.com/top-10-essential-droid-apps.htm). It was one of the first apps I installed, and I don’t know why stock Android doesn’t have a file manager like it included. Totally essential.
I’m currently using Sugarsync as my cloud/sync app, but I’m not all that enamored with it. It does the job, but it’s clunky. I’ll have to take a look at Dropbox.