Android Apps I Can’t Live Without

Date Tue, May 10 2011

I don’t usually do lists so this shall be refreshing. Since getting my Android smart phone, I’ve had the pleasure of customizing my phone, downloading applications and exploring the Android market. I have come to rely on a few applications almost religiously.

This application replaces my default messaging application which is pretty lame. Because I text at least once a day, I’ve spent a lot of time with it. I’ve customized my message list and the individual conversations with backgrounds, text colors and avatars. I can block or blacklist people directly from Handcent and there’s an option to immediately save all SMS files. The pop-up alerts that Handcent provides when I receive a message are especially useful
I download the official Twitter for Android app within hours of purchasing the phone. I far prefer it to HTC’s Peep application, but I can’t tell you why. I love being able to upload or take photos directly from the application for posting. The instant Twitter updates are awesome when I’m away from the computer
After Opera somehow uninstalled itself, I opted for Firefox 4 for my phone. Not only can you sync settings and plugins across installations, so you have the same bookmarks on your phone and computer, but it feels pretty intuitive. Pulling the screen to the left or right allows you to view open pages/tabs, go forward or back, view history and bookmarks and edit settings. Clever.
Lightning Bug sleep Clock

Lightning Bug sleep Clock

Juice Defender
Juice Defender helps to prolong battery life. When using it, I see an improvement of about 150%. It does shut off WiFi and radios when the phone is locked so it’s not ideal for using when using Pandora
Lightning Bug
Lightning Bug is the most useful white noise/meditation/sleep-inducing app I’ve found. It’s not quite as effective as Sleep Machine Lite on the iPod but it’s got a great interface and I enjoy the themes. The built in timer is awesome and I love the ability to add thunder and multiple occasions of the sounds.
Because I don’t especially like the FM radio application that comes with Android 2.2, I use Pandora frequently. You’re probably familiar with it but, if you aren’t, this streaming radio apps allows you to listen to stations based on genre, artist or song. I have over a dozen stations and, if my phone’s not dead, I turn on the speaker and listen to Pandora while I shower.
Titatnium Backup
With this application, you can save all your settings just to be careful or if you’re flashing new ROMs. If you’ve rooted, Titatnium Backup even allows you to uninstall stock software, which I’ve used it for. The commercial version lets you freeze programs that your phone doesn’t normally allow you to mess with. All in all, invaluable.
Visionary and Terminal Emulator
Visionary supports on click rooting of your Android phone, to allow you to edit system settings, switch ROMs, take screen shots and more. Terminal User is a great tool to check if you have superuser permissions. With these two tools, and some PC software, I rooted my phone after a few tries.
I use Multicon every day even if I don’t realize it. This application divides up the basic space allotted to icons on your home screen(s) into smaller icons, thus allowing you to display more icons on screen. It’s pretty self explanatory. I can’t believe I didn’t install it earlier.

I plan to post an entire list of games for Android sometime in the future, thus this list consists entirely of functional and feature-enhancing apps. It’s not the definite list but I don’t need it to be because I’m usually not far from my computer.

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