Android apps/widgets I use (phone)

YOU’RE probably thinking to yourself that you don’t much care which apps I use. And that’s fair enough, too – why would you?

Well, it’s a good starting place when you’re new to the game of Android. These may not be the apps that you end up using, but they’re the ones I’ve settled on – currently – after a lot of testing.

I’m running an HTC Desire HD as my phone, and an Acer Iconia A500 for the tablet. (The tablet is stock (as of July 04, although that may well change soon), while the phone has been rooted for ages.)

Let’s go.


Virtuous Unity 2.33b Sense 3.0 based on Pyramid
Great replacement ROM running Sense 3. I wasn’t a Sense fan at all (one of the reasons I rooted the phone in the first place) but this is great. Fast, doesn’t eat the battery, and I like Sense 3. (I was using CM7, but much prefer this ROM ATM.)

I was using LauncherPro, but am now using Sense3. (FWIW, I’ve got the "Blue Unity" theme running.)

The first thing I install is always the Swiftkey keyboard. This keyboard has an almost psychic ability to predict what your next word will be, as it learns form your typing/language patterns. Saves an enormous amount of time. Brilliant.

What can I say? Evernote is an awesome program, and you should all be running it. I couldn’t exist without it. (OK, I guess I could, my life wouldn’t be as easy 🙂 Can store notebooks locally as well as search the cloud for your stuff. Absolute must.

One of the joys of a smartphone is that you can use it for more than phone calls. In fact, the younger you are, the less likely you are to use it for calls at all. SMS is one of the main alternative uses, and for me, Handcent is a great – and free – replacement. There are others, but I keep coming back to Handcent. Has really good skin support, so you can make it look the way you want.

I don’t use this any more, as it was killing my battery life.

Web Browser:
I find the "Dolphin HD" browser to be clearly the best for my purposes. Has a bunch of plugins, including one for the "Lastpass" password manager, which I use on the PC and highly recommend.

Barcode Scanner:
Scans QR Codes (example below) quickly and easily. Get it, it’s a huge change coming.


Bible App:
If you want one of these, the free "YouVersion" is the one. A bunch of translations, and many can be downloaded to your card for offline use.

Folder Organiser:
A great way to organise your apps – you can sort them in to categories, and/or star them, and put dynamic/static category folders on your desktop. Love this thing.

The iPhone is laughable in terms of music quality, something Apple clearly agrees with given the atrocious headphones they bundle with it. (Why bother with even semi-decent ones when the source is so bad?) The Desire HD (and probably other Androids, I don’t know, I haven’t used them) is streets ahead, and the best music app I’ve found is PowerAmp. I’ve bought the full version.

The best image viewer I’ve found. I’m using it to show my portfolio on both the phone and the tablet.

ReaditLater Pro:
If you use this on your main computer – and you should – this is a must-have on the phone. I’ve got the pro edition, but there’s a free one too. Great for when you see something you want to read, but haven’t got time right then.

If you’ve got this on the PC – and you should have – then this is something you should have on your phone.

Very cool little applauncher. Easy to setup and use for launching the favourites. I launch mine from the top-left corner.

Titanium Backup:
Needs root, but the best backup tool by far.

For all your IM needs – messenger, etc.

Tunein Radio:
Radio from around the world. Expand your listening horizons!

THE Twitter client for the Android phone, especially if you use lists, which you really should, as it makes Twitter usable.

Not used for music playing, just to get my iTunes playlists from the computer to the phone.


Gauge Battery:
Cool and quick way to see battery state.

Beautiful Widgets:
I don’t use this any more, now I’m running a Sense3 ROM, but it was great when I was using LauncherPro to get rid of Sense2.1. Beautiful set of Widgets containing clock widget, clock and weather widget, weather widgets, date widgets and toggle widgets with skins/themes support

I used Calwidget before going back to Sense3. It’s a calendar widget, funnily enough.

Mobile Signal Widget:
Shows your phone signal strength. Interesting but not essential.

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