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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Core Android Apps

Sun, 16 Jan 2011

Having spent a month using Android 2.1 Eclair in anger and now having flashed the new Froyo 2.2 ROM on to my San Francisco I can safely say that I have a core set of apps that are designed to set the phone up as I want it. These are:

Launcher Pro: the Froyo launcher as it should have been. Configurable and sleek. Nothing flash: it just works
Dialer One: I prefer a T9 dialer and this is as good as the rest
Quick Settings: you can use a widget to get one click access to common settings (wifi, GPS, BT etc), however I find this less cluttered. Hit the button then get a screen with plenty of configurable button
Wifi Widget: wifi access is commonly used and I place the 2x2 widget on my home screen to tell me the MAC address, access speed and IP address. Also gives me one click access to the wifi panel.
Button Savior: worried about your hardware buttons wearing out?? I know the ones on the San Francisco are a bit flimsy so this gives you an alpha layer set of buttons to access "Power", "Home", "Back" and "Menu".
AdFree Android: many of the apps here are free ad-supported versions. Get rid of the ads with this app which updates the hosts file to create blacklist to ad-serving sites.
Advanced Task Killer: want to keep the apps running to a minimum? ATK installs in to the notification bar (swipe down menu) to give quick access to task killing
3G Watchdog: monitor your data usage. Notification bar app
Andclip: get a clipboard tool that gives you access to commonly used copy/paste items
SMS Popup: lots of people rave about Handcent SMS and it is a decent messaging tool, but I like the simplicity of the default messaging app. However the one thing it lacks for me is a popup when a message comes in. This adds that functionality
Spare Parts: access loads of useful system info
Swype: need I say more!!
Android Mate: good replacement for your app listings. Can also install and uninstall apps
Ringo Pro: yes, the only paid-for app. Get this to support custom ringtones for all of your contacts

Core apps in the next post.

[/computing] permanent link



Comments

James OBrien wrote at 2011-01-17 08:34:

Mike,

You don't need ATK as Android has it's own task management processes built in. All you're doing running ATK is adding an extra process to burn up processor cycles & ultimately running your battery down quicker.

Try Data Counter Widget instead of 3G Watchdog and flick SMS Popup in favour of Handcent. Handcent doesn't have the unintended receiver bug that plagues the standard Android SMS app. And I've got to ask - why would you use Eclair for a month when Froyo was available? Presumably you're using a CyanogenMod ROM for it.

If you want some more useful apps get AppMarket which suggests apps for you based on user recommendations.

Mike wrote at 2011-01-17 08:35:

The same hardware version of the ZTE Blade running Froyo has only just been released (in China) and source code for the kernel made available. So whilst custom ROMs have worked on the SF they appear to have suffered a variety of problems. The latest SF specific ROMs appear to be pretty reliable now hence the wait.

Ta for the suggestions; I liked ATK cos it was quicker to kill apps than the stock version, but its a hang over from having used Eclair. Not needed and deleted now!



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