Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Oct 2011 18:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless So, today I finally joined the ranks of millions and millions of Android users, meaning I now have access to three of the major mobile platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7). I am, however, a complete Android noob, and I'm suspecting there will be many more Android noobs in the years to come - among OSNews readers as well. Hence, I figured this might be as good a time as any for an OSNews Asks item: Android all the things! Okay, technically that's not a question, but these are: what are the best Android applications? The most useful widgets? The most beautiful themes? Should you root your Android device? Is there any reason to add the Amazon App Store? Are there any tweaks to improve the Android experience? And so on.
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Some Suggestions
by intangible on Wed 12th Oct 2011 19:26 UTC
intangible
Member since:
2005-07-06

Definitely install the Amazon Market, if nothing else, the daily free app is sometimes a great deal. When you have multiple Android devices, you'll see that stuff you bought in the Market or the Amazon store is easily shared between multiple devices.

I'm seriously addicted to the Google Voice integration, I've migrated my number over so I can switch phones and numbers with ease.... Even if you don't use Voice for your dialing, it's great for your Voicemails, I love the voicemail transcribing and avoiding the phone company's Voicemail menus.

For Google Reader, I really like d7Reader or NewsRob, though some people like the less useful but prettier readers like Pulse and such. The latest Reader app from Google is pretty good too though... I'd definitely suggest disabling background downloads on any of these if you follow a lot of feeds though, they can chew up some serious battery.

The Google Calendar and Exchange Calendar integration is beyond useful for me... I use 5 Calendars and CalWidget for the great widget support, though it's a bit of effort to configure and customize the colors the first time you use it... A Calendar widget of some sort is a requirement for me.
The only other widgets I use are Widgetzoid and Aix Weather Widget.

A concise list of must have apps follow:

Swype (if your phone doesn't come with this keyboard, get it)
Folder Organizer (manage home screen icons in folders defined by tags with custom icons)
Google Docs
Google Reader or d7Reader or some other reader
Google+
Google Music Beta (LOVE THIS)
Hulu
Netflix
Tango (great video chat app)
Movies (by Flixter)
Adobe Photoshop Express
Dropbox
Barcode Scanner (or maybe QR Droid)
Fandango
Google Authenticator (two factor Auth for your google accounts)
Google Chrome to Phone
Google Sky Map
KeePassDroid (I use this and dropbox for all my password management)
kWS (a web server for your phone, makes sharing files super easy)
Square :-D
TeslaLED Flashlight

If you're a big nerd:
Android VNC Viewer
ConnectBot (SSH)
AndFTP (SFTP and such)
Teamviewer
Titanium Backup (ugly, but useful)

I usually only root a phone so I can use the "force uninstall" using Titanium Backup of carrier crud apps on the phone, but be aware, this may make OTA upgrades not apply properly... If your phone isn't full of crud that you can't turn off in the background, then I wouldn't do it unless you want to try a custom ROM down the road.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Some Suggestions
by Boldie on Wed 12th Oct 2011 20:30 in reply to "Some Suggestions"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

I'll add Listen, Google's pod catcher. It plays the podcast and remember where you pause.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.google.android.apps.listen...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Some Suggestions
by zima on Wed 12th Oct 2011 21:40 in reply to "Some Suggestions"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Google Voice isn't really very available in all minus one places; not when it comes to its real niceties of integration with usual phone service / incoming calls / voicemail (with only English and maybe Spanish transcription?).
Generally, voicemail seems to be used much, much less throughout the world than the US average, so it's not that big of a deal (possibly similar dynamics to how automatic answering machines didn't seem to have much uptake - I've seen first-hand how virtually no messages were left on one for a ~decade - maybe something related to different billing methods or such). And now, SMS is for times when it's not urgent.

Similar with such "must haves" like Google Music Beta, Hulu, Netflix, or Movies (by Flixter).

Reply Parent Score: 2