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Monday, August 6, 2012

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I have been using Android Phones and Tablets for quite some time now and have monitored my use for apps that I use on a daily basis and those I would not even come to know if they were removed without my knowledge. So clearly there is a personal perspective on the list below:


  1. Gmail - The most obvious and the most heavily used app. No introduction required.
    • What I like best?
      • Clean Interface
      • Push Notification
    • What can improve?
      • Ability to zoom messages.
  2. AppyGeek / AppyGeek for Tablet - I use this app on a daily basis to get my daily dose of news in technical world. 
    • What I like best?
      • It pulls news based on keywords you can select. So my feed includes news on tags such as "Linux", "Smartphones", "Galaxy Tab", "Nexus", "Raspberry Pi" ...you get the gist.
    • What can improve? 
      • Ability to access to stories in offline mode.
  3. Guardian Anywhere - Fine, I admit wholeheartedly, I am strong left wing supporter. Now with that out of the way, I prefer this app over the official Guardian app as this downloads content overnight. 
    • What I like best?
      • Offline Access to stories.
      • You can schedule the time for download, I prefer 4:00 AM so I have all fresh news first thing in the morning.
      • "Picks" tab which learns my taste over time and provides stories to match it.
    • What can improve?
      • Ability to copy a small section of text from the story. 
  4. Financisto - It is an opensource app to manage your budget and track your expenses. It's very comprehensive and one of the best app available on any mobile platform in my opinion. It does require initial set-up and perhaps something I will write about in another post soon but generally I find using it a very easy affair.
    • What I like best?
      • Highly Configurable
      • Complete Package equivalent to any desktop finance management software.
    • What can improve?
      • App can do with a basic list of category to reduce the burden of creating list of categories from scratch.
      • Improved Documentation - Something I fully intend to support.;-)
  5. QuickPic - It is a photo gallery which have got accustomed to as initially the stock gallery app on Android was not very good. However, recent gallery app has seen some very good enhancements yet I still feel more at home using QuickPic.
    • What I like best?
      • Ability to hide folders that have downloaded photos from other apps and are not taken by phone camera.
      • Ability to share a photo right from within the app through gmail, email, bluetooth, G+, FB etc.
    • What can improve?
      • I don't think there is much to improve. It's a pretty well rounded app in my opinion.
  6. Android Assistant - It's a android system utility for monitoring system tasks, killing apps etc. All these are not what make it interesting though as there are several apps out there doing the same stuff. What I like most is listed below:
    • What I like best?
      • With latest version, it prompts to move any newly installed/updated app to SD card if it is possible.
      • It shows the total start-up time and allows you to select apps that should be silent at start-up.
      • It allows for batch uninstall, which comes quite handy when on a system clean-up spree.
    • What can improve?
      • Can do with a more glossy makeover.
  7. ES File Explorer File Manager - The primary function of this app is to allow user to browse the file system but it really has loads of features under the hood.
    • What I like best?
      • Simplicity.
      • Cloud Connection to support likes of Dropbox, Google Drive, Ubuntu One etc.
      • FTP
      • Everything really.
    • What can improve?
      • This app covers the area of accessing files, network and so on. It has a lots to offer but I don't think it's used to it's full potential by many. I think this app can do with a strong tutorial for each of it's feature.
  8. Profile Scheduler: This is better app than Smart Profile and I have found that it's ability to switch profile based on WiFi saves me a complex set-up that would have been based on time but even so the time based set-up is much easier and straight forward and it does allow priority over rules which makes things super easy. It's not a drain on battery and I am very satisfied with this app. Nothing to improve really.                   Smart Profile - This app is a profile management tool that helps in switching to a profile based on user defined time slots. I have FOUR profiles that I switch between - Sleep (Completely Silent Mode every day from 23:45), Work (Vibrate mode Monday to Friday from 09:00), Normal (Monday to Friday from 17:00), 0600 Weekends + Mornings (Normal Profile everyday from 06:00). How it works then is Starting Monday morning 06:00 phone goes on normal mode, then at 09:00 turns to vibrate mode, then at 17:00 switches to Normal profile and in night at 23:45 goes to sleep mode. This continues till Saturday morning but as "Work Profile" is scheduled only from Monday to Friday so from Saturday 06:00 onwards phone continues on normal mode whole day till 23:45 in night when it switches to sleep mode, only to get back to normal mode on Sunday at 06:00. Then again remains on normal mode whole of Sunday and in night 23:45 goes back to sleep mode. Then the cycle starts again.
    • What I like best?
      • Free yet effective.
    • What can improve?
      • As you can see from my explanation above, it is a bit complex to set-up. There was an app called audioguru which stopped working on ICS forcing me to switch but it had a simpler interface. That said in free version of audioguru there was no ability to schedule weekend so this is much better at the lovely price tag of "free". :-)
  9. HulloMail - It's a visual voicemail app that works with most of the providers in the UK for their pay-monthly customers.
    • What I like best?
      • Ability to select the voicemail I want to listen to first.
      • Replay the important part of voicemail
      • Store VM as mp3 for future refrence.
    • What can improve?
      • I don't want much else from this app in it's free version. So it's alright as is.
  10. Go SMS Pro - Go SMS Pro is a SMS client which is better than the stock client as it provides many useful additional features
    • What I like best?
      • Ability to schedule SMS.
      • Ability to send SMS in batches / groups
      • Cool skins
      • Go Chat is another useful feature as long as your mates are using it too.
    • What can improve?
      • They are improving it all the time but I can't think of any complaints at the moment.
What apps do you like?

-Ankit.

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