I’m sure you’ve seen this type of post before. In the 2-3 years I’ve been using Android, I’ve relied on posts like these to give me a view of the best apps available for Android at differing points in time.
Well, I think it’s finally time I returned the favour and provided the applications I install on every device I own. These are not necessarily apps I use every day, but they’re apps I use and what they do is deemed worthy of installation time and time again. The list is below, any root apps will be highlighted with an asterisk*.
As a long-time user of the desktop version, Chrome is one of those apps I didn’t take a moment to consider before installing. It far outshines all alternate browsers and almost mimics the desktop experience.
Your tabs and bookmarks are all synced to and from any other computer you’re syncing with Chrome which means switching devices mid-article is a doddle.
Chrome is available for ICS and up (4.0+) and is available free in the Play Store.
As the social network has grown and evolved, so has the Google+ app. It’s gone from very humble beginnings to a full-blown, media rich application that improves almost weekly. Most of the time I use this app over the desktop equivalent, and enjoy doing so!
Naturally, you’ll need to be on G+ to use it, but then why wouldn’t you be? 😉 The Google+ app is available for most Android versions and is available free in the Play Store.
SMS Backup+ is an awesome application. It takes your SMS and call logs (the latter on request only) and uploads them to a label in GMail. It syncs on a regular basis, and after every SMS received. In addition, it’ll restore your SMS messages from the same GMail label.
Restores can take a while if you have a lot (I’m at 9000+) so if you’re not a believer in deleting SMS messages, you may wish to use another method of backup and restore on an infrequent basis, and simply fill out the missing messages from SMS Backup+.
SMS Backup+ is available free in the Play Store.
Thumb Keyboard has typically always been known as a tablet keyboard. More recently however they’ve been adding support for more and more screen sizes. The layouts can be customised both in shape and style and work really well for thumb based typing on several devices I’ve installed it on. Naturally the right keyboard is different for every person, however for the larger (4.5″ +) devices, I recommend giving this one a go.
Here are the default settings I use (save to SDCARD/ThumbKeyboard). Import them from the settings menu. (Note: I type fast, hold the key too long and it’ll jump to another character). Try it both with and without my settings if you’re going to try the app.
Thumb Keyboard is available for £0.96 during a 50% off period in the Play Store.
Disk Usage is a very simple, handy application that provides a graphical overview of what’s using your storage. It allows you to select your storage medium (internal, external, etc) on launch and will show you where all of your storage is going down to file-level.
You’re able to delete from within the app, but as a precaution it may be worth double checking what you’re planning on deleting through a filebrowser before doing so.
Disk Usage is available free in the Play Store.
Titanium Backup has been around for a very long time and improves dramatically with every update. It is the ultimate backup/restore app for your rooted device allowing for full data+app backup to local or remote (box, drive, dropbox, etc) storage. Furthermore, it even allows the creation of update zip files and restore from NANDROID.
Beyond backup/restore, Titanium backup allows you to freeze any applications (similar to how you’re able to disable apps in 4.0+) on the device, merge user apps into system apps (and back) and more. It is a must-have app for any rooted device.
Have you been looking for a way to automatically perform differing tasks based on time, location, etc? Tasker automates Android and allows the user to create tasks such as changing the volume based on time of day, sending text messages when you reach different locations, send a birthday email every year, keep the screen on when you’re running the browser, etc. You’re only limited by your imagination with Tasker.
It’s certainly not the easiest application to use, but the results can be amazing. It uses very little battery (when not using location tasks!) too.
Tasker is available for £3.99 in the Play Store.
Best wishes for the new year,