So the hubby finally relegated his stupidphone to its rightful place in the refuse bin and upgraded to a smartphone: a shiny, new Droid X. We are an Android family.
Been showing him the Android ropes and suggesting apps for him to try and, in the process, have discovered several new fabulous apps. So I figured it was time to update my list of best Android apps.
New Most Essential Apps:
- Amazon Appstore – This app lets you download and install apps from Amazon.com’s Android app marketplace. And to entice folks to use their appstore instead of the Android Market, Amazon is offering a different free paid app every day. Of note, once you “buy” a promo free-paid app, it remains in your app list even if you uninstall it, so you can re-install it whenever you like without having to pay for it. To date, the apps I’ve snagged include Weatherbug Elite, Fancy Widget Pro, TuneIn Radio Pro, PhotoVault, Trillian, and WolframAlpha—several of which made my new Top Apps listing. Definitely worth the download.
- Go Launcher Ex – After discovering LauncherPro, I thought I’d found my eternal home screen replacement app. But this baby converted me, and I am now a devotee of Go Launcher Ex. In addition to all (or most of) the awesome features that LauncherPro offers, Go Launcher Ex also provides an overhauled app drawer with a tabbed interface which you can create folders inside of, view a recently used app history, as well as uninstall, lock, and kill apps within. Due to Go Launcher Ex’s additional app organization options, I’ve dropped the number of home screens I was using from four to two. Yowza.
You can also add/delete and move home screens with a simple tap and long press+drag, respectively, and the number of home screens you can have is mindbogglingly many (I seem to recall reading somewhere that it maxed out somewhere around 30, far far more than I can imagine anyone needing). Go Launcher Ex also allows you to change the appearance of shortcut/dock icons from the home screen after you’ve added them, re-size widgets, and delete shortcuts via long press, without having to drag them to the trash bin. And it’s utterly theme-able, with numerous themes already out there with more being developed. To top it off, I’ve found it to be snappier than LauncherPro, running faster with fewer redraws.
The area I’ve found Go Launcher Ex lacking isn’t functionality related. It’s developed by a Chinese development team, so there’s a bit of a language barrier between English-speaking users and the dev team, and Go Launcher Ex doesn’t (yet) have the community support base that LauncherPro enjoys. But so long as you don’t need to pow-wow with the devs, Go Launcher Ex is well worth trying.
- Widgetsoid (2.x) – One widget app to rule them all, one app to find them, one app to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Widgetsoid is the One (Widget) App. Switcher toggle widgets, indicator widgets, shortcut widgets, notification widgets, clock widget, flashlight widget, root function widgets, it does them all—with elegance and uber customization options. This amazing app replaced four widgets for me, including one native Android widget and three installed widget apps.
There’s a lot of features which means a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the creation, theming, and application of Widgetsoid’s widgets, compounded by the fact that the developer appears to be French—resulting in a few oddities in grammar and wording within the app. But it has a very comprehensive website (in both French and English) with an extensive help page.
Stay tuned for my Most Useful and Most Fun apps additions!
I’ve been looking at possibly getting a new phone, I’m thnking andriod ought to be paying you.
Kim: I luvs me my Droid :). And hey, if Google wanted to toss money my way, far be it me to refuse them. But I somehow doubt they will, alas.
Don’t forget to show him how to save battery life. My droid gets like 2 or 3 days now with advanced task killer and having certain things checked.
love Amanda Slavik
Don’t forget how to conserve battery life. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/25319/complete-guide-to-maximizing-your-android-phones-battery-life/
those power skins that have another battery in them that goes on your droid actually slowly drain and kill the batteries memory that is in the phone. I have heard this from more than one source when I was considering getting one for my TMobile MyTouch 4G
Amanda: Thanks for the excellent link! I think the battery efficiency algorithm on the Droid X, or possibly the battery itself, is better than that of the Droid. Matthew M. Foster seems to be getting more zip out of a full charge than I do, to the point of him not really worrying about battery life–although I have been pointed out battery-preserving tips to him anyway. (And it’s not a battery age thing as the primary one I’m using is relatively new; got a new Droid battery+external charger for Christmas.)
Power skin? Uh? I just gots a new battery and a charger I can use on my spare battery (my old one) without it having to be in my Droid…
That sounds cool too.
Some good recs here, Eugie. I use ADW launcher myself (comes with Cyanogenmod these days), but I’d be very tempted to give all of the above a go…
I’ve already ordered a new phone — a Samsung Galaxy S2. Not that I really needed it…