My list of productivity apps and why I have them - recommend better ones?

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by PulsonicVoid, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. PulsonicVoid
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    PulsonicVoid New Member

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    I'd like to know if you know of any better (preferably free) apps than what I am currently using; and, if you do, tell why the are better?

    Also, this may help those new to Android to find some basic apps to start out with.

    I HIGHLY recommend rooting your phone to gain access to Ad Blocking and other minor conveniences and customizations.

    NOTE: These are on my Droid1. I am running Stock, Odexed Froyo 2.2 FRG22D (MetickOne's). DroidX/2 may have better stock apps so this list probably won't apply fully.

    ------

    (* requires ROOT access)
    (PAID app)

    ADWLauncher / Launcher Pro: Home (Launcher2) replacement. Add extra screens and dockbar buttons and lots more. Both are way better than the limited Stock (Launcher2). I personally use ADW because it has been more stable and has more themes; although, Launcher Pro has more features. Launcher Pro also has a paid version that adds some useful widgets.

    * AdFree: Updates your .hosts file to block common ad sites. I like using this because they provide updates every month or so.

    Agenda Widget: Syncs to Google Calendar automatically and provides a highly customizable, scrollable widget. I use this to display a 2x4 calendar agenda on my homescreen.

    AppRemover: One of the fastest and easiest apps to let you quickly uninstall other apps. There are at least 5 others of these that work 99.9% the same way, but this has been my favorite so far.

    aTrackDog: Manually check for the latest versions of all your apps (including non-market ones) and one-button click to update them.

    Bubble: simple bubble level.

    * BusyBox installer: Manually and conveniently checks for the latest version of BusyBox (only needed for ROOT users)

    Camcorder: Creates a 'button' that takes you directly to the Camcorder. Simple, nice shortcut.

    ConvertPad: Simple measurement converter.

    Currency Converter: Simple currency converter.

    Date Status Bar: Adds permanent (that is, the [CLEAR] button won't remove them) notifications that let you add text to the notification bar (in this case: the date). Simple app that adds functionality that should have been included in Stock as far as I'm concerned.

    * droCap2: Simple way to take screenshots of your phone screens.

    * Droid Wall: One of (if not THE) only firewall apps. Has black/white list options.

    eBuddy: Better than Meebo IMO and best multiple-account IM client to use until Trillian on Android is completed. NOTE: There was a fake version of this on the Market a while back that appeared first in searches.

    GTasks / Google Tasks Organizer - Trial: Both connect to your Google Tasks and auto-sync. Great for making quick shopping lists, to-do lists, etc.

    Handcent SMS: Vastly superior to stock SMS app. Works and looks nearly the same, just with a LOT more features and highly customizable.

    JustPictures!: Connects and auto-syncs to various popular photo sites (including Flickr and Picasa). Simple interface and features that I like much better than stock "3D Gallery".

    Last.fm: Streaming music, especially great for listening to specific genres.

    Lookout Mobile Security: Android "antivirus" but mostly useful for backing up your SMS/text/data and locating a lost/stolen phone. Whatever the "antivirus" does adds some piece-of-mind I suppose - there are countless other apps for backing up data and finding phones but this one has been the most reliable and easy to use.

    MotoTorch LED: Use your screen and LED Flash as a flashlight. Fastest on/off response time and includes a widget.

    Music (or MP3) Downloader Pro: Easily search and download MP3 files. Seems legit so far, but I have been a bit paranoid about using it as it finds MP3s so easily. NOTE: Once they are downloaded, moving/copying them somewhere else makes them unplayable on the phone in the new location (somehow?).

    mVideoPlayer: Same as JustPictures! but for videos. Doesn't play as large of a range of videos; but, works very well for Android-optimized (non-.AVI) videos. Stock 3D Gallery falls far behind.

    * OSMonitor: Provides detailed information about running tasks, network activity, etc.

    Pandora Radio: Streaming music app that plays artists/songs that sound similar to what you search (i.e. Metallica Radio will eventually play Megadeth, Slayer, etc as well).

    PicSay: Simple way to edit photos directly on your phone. Easier and more reliable than the Photoshop app IMO. I have only used this a few times, though, as editing photos on a tiny screen is tedious at best.

    * Quick Boot: Provides a "button" to give you more shutdown options: reboot, reboot into recovery, etc.

    RealCalc: Scientific calculator with way more functionality than stock calculator app.

    * Remote Wipe: Remotely wipe your entire phone and SD card if it is stolen. It works by responding to a specific SMS message you send your phone. I haven't yet tested this but the comments/ratings say it works. (I think this needed root to nuke your SD Card. Let me know if I'm wrong).

    * ROM Manager: Easily install various ROM, Kernels, Themes to your rooted phone. Also has quick access to recovery mode and can update/change your recovery "program" (SPRecovery, etc). I highly recommend the PAID version for extra features and to support the ROM community.

    * Root Explorer: File manager for Root users. Alternatively, "Astro File Manager" is great for non-root users.

    * SetCPU: Under/Over-clocking app with temperature monitoring, profiles, and a widget. If you want to OC your Droid1, get this.

    ShopSavvy: Barcode scanner that can also search for prices and similar, local items.

    SpeedView: Speedometer (like in your car) with many other related features. This works and is +/- 1MPH accurate when I use it in my car so it'd be great to have if my car speedometer ever broke.

    StopWatch & Timer: Simple StopWatch...and Timer!

    * Superuser: Keeps you updated to the latest Superuser version. Only needed if you have Root.

    Terminal Emulator: Simulates a LINUX terminal. If you have Root and know LINUX commands then this will be useful - otherwise...probably not so much.

    * Titanium Backup: Back up your apps to SD card and much much more. I don't actually use this any more; but, if you are frequently changing ROMS then this will save you a lot of headache. The paid version gives you more convenience options such as clearing DALVIK cache w/o going into recovery mode, etc.

    Tip Calc: Simple tip calculator.

    Vignette: The most reliable, yet easy-to-use camera app I've used. Many more options than stock camera (timer mode, scene mode, effects, etc). You can also disable the camera shutter sound with this.

    Google Voice: Free minutes and texts. Free voicemail. Free visual voicemail. Free extra phone number. If you have an unlimited data plan but limited minutes/texts then you should use this. NOTE: Currently, you CANNOT send SMS picture messages (text only).

    WeatherBug: My favorite, free way to keep the current local temperature in the notification bar. Also shows live weather, etc in the app, itself.

    Winamp (currently in Beta) / Mort Player: Much better and more customizable than the stock music player. Has widgets.

    -----

    The great thing about Android is that most of these apps are 100% free (albeit, with ads).

    The crappy thing about Android (the Droid1 at least) is that most of these apps are vastly superior to their stock versions (the photo, video, and music player and camera apps especially) so you have to do a bit of work to 'fix' your phone with better 'stuff'. Also, a lot of the basic stuff (converters, scientific calculators, etc) doesn't come with the phone.

    Hopefully, this helped you with that 'stuff'.

    Please let me know your opinions and/or alternatives or if I left something vital out!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  2. mwhartman
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    mwhartman Super Moderator/RS Premium Member

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    Nice work! Appreciate you taking time to evaluate, compare, and post!
  3. PulsonicVoid
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    PulsonicVoid New Member

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    Thx - and my pleasure; it's the least I can do after lurking and trying all the MODders great stuff for the past few months. dancedroid
  4. boostedhonda
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    boostedhonda New Member

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    Very nice post, great list for new android users to start off with.
  5. PulsonicVoid
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    PulsonicVoid New Member

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    Thx, I hope it will help. I just sent the same list to my collegue that just got a DroidX and seemed a bit lost.
  6. SGTiger
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    SGTiger New Member

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    Gtasks by Dato is the best IMO. Of course both versions of Gtasks sync with Google Tasks. If you have Pure Calendar's agenda widget it displays gtask's items along with calendar items. This agenda widget is also scrollable if used with a home replacement such as LP PRO that supports scrollable widgets. Comes in real handy when you have a long list of items.
  7. PulsonicVoid
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    PulsonicVoid New Member

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    Yup. I just recently switched away from GTasks for the one I listed in the OP because it's easier for me to click/check the items (they are spaced further apart). But GTasks is also great because it's free (ad supported). Its integration into Pure Calendar Widget is great, too.

    The scrolling capability of the PCWidget is my primary reason for using it - great way to look ahead!
  8. pyro6128
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    pyro6128 New Member

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    Nice list, i would recommend

    Tesla LED over moto torch. It appears to be brighter, and has multiple widget sizes.

    Also I would advise against lookout since its a bit of a resource hog, but to each his own.

    I used to use pure grid calendar and pure calendar agenda, but I have found the calendar widget from launcher pro plus to be much better. The reason being its re-sizable, scrollable, and you can have it in grid view, then press a button, and it switches to an agenda view, so its like having two widgets in the same place. It also scrolls way smoother than pure.

    Some other apps I would recommend

    Personal Finance by Pageonce
    This has got to be one of my favorite apps. You can monitor your bills, bank accounts, and credit cards in detail right within the app. No personal info is shown on the app itself, and you can't do anything with the accounts besides view, so even if it got into the wrong hands, they couldnt do anything with it. And whats great is you get emailed emailed when your bills are due, or when any sort of suspicious activity occurs. You even get notified when you get hit by a finance charge from your credit card company. I cannot recommend this app enough.

    Catch Notes (formerly 3banana)
    Great note taking app that also syncs online. I like it better than the other note taking apps I've tried

    I also use Got to Do Lite for my todo lists. It syncs online, and you can organize your to dos into different folders or categories and choose which ones to display on the widget.

    Blackmoon Attachsave
    Great little app here, allows you to save any attachment from your gmail. No longer do you have to deal with the frustration of your phone not letting you download something. Its small, and unobtrusive.

    Xpenser
    A nice expense tracker app. You can track expenses, sort the expenses, then have the app produce expense reports for you. Great if you have a job where you need to track expenses, or just if you want to be able to track where your money is going and adjust your spending
  9. PulsonicVoid
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    PulsonicVoid New Member

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    Thx for the additions!

    I used Tesla LED before, as it is compatible with their other apps; but, it always took the longest to load because the camera was focusing or something (I heard it making noises like that, anyway). For the flashlight, I like the insta-on feature in Mototorch. It also has multiple widget icons, but not sizes (what do u need bigger widgets for? just easier button access?). I think both have the extra features of strobe light, morse code, etc.

    Has Launcher Pro officially released the paid version w/the widgets or do you still have to pay separately via Paypal? I'd definitely like to check it out as I like the extra features they had; and, if the calendar widget has at least the functionality Pure has than I wouldn't mind buying another app.

    The Personal Finance app looks great - I used to use something like this on the pc before all of my transactions became digital. Luckily, Google Calendar and online bill payments removed the need. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to personally keep track of things to compare against the bank, etc.

    Are those non-Google-sycning Notes and ToDo apps reliable? I was always afraid of using them in case they died suddenly and all my info would be lost (online, anyway). I was forced to using Google-syncing apps for those types of things.

    I'll check out Blackmoon now - haven't had to download anything non-standard to my phone yet; but it is definitely a good idea to have the support.

    XPenser sounds great too - I've always just kept spreadsheets for this but using an actual app designed for that will probably be faster and easier.
  10. Jaycea22
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    Jaycea22 New Member

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    Great List! Thank you
  11. justin82
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    justin82 DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Great list.. thanks for spending the time making it
    here my list of add ons

    Chomp SMS (similar to handcent just better IMO)
    Andro Zip (file manager, install non market apk/ zip & unzip files etc)
    Sticky notes
    and
    Tapatalk
  12. inphoenix
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    inphoenix New Member

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    Very nice list. Thanks for putting it together.
  13. Hyposprayer
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    Hyposprayer New Member

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    CamScanner - Allows you to take pictures of notes or papers and enhance the image. Good for those little pieces of paper you write important things on and always lose. Just take a pic of it and it's in your phone.

    AlarmDroid - Does what it says and has fantastic alarm options.

    AppAlarm Pro - Pro just recently went free. Allows you to wake up to apps that you choose to launch. I use it to wake up to Pandora.

    KeePassDroid - allows you to keep passwords under lock and key as well as keep track of them. I sync mine using Dropbox.

    Shush! - Takes your phone back out of silent mode after meetings or other events you'd rather not have your phone go off in. Allows you to choose how long you want your ringer in silent mode.

    Y5 Battery Saver - This enables your wireless wherever recognized networks are available, saving you data and power. Also disables wireless when out of range.

    I'll be honest I didn't read everything on the whole list so I hope I didn't repeat any...
  14. pyro6128
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    pyro6128 New Member

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    I just started using shush. It so simple and useful
  15. Sal R.
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    Sal R. Member

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    QuickPic as a my gallery replacement.
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