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My favorite Android apps

Around 35 of the apps on my mobile device are there by choice. Here are the ones I like, use and recommend the most. What are yours?

  1. Locale - At $9.99, far and away the priciest app I've ever installed. You give it conditions like location and time, then it tells your device what to do in those conditions. When I'm at the office during office hours, for instance, Locale turns off my ringer and changes my wallpaper from that hot manip of Derek and Stiles work-inappropriate to a respectable image of the Portland skyline, and changes my google chat status to "Hard at work. No, really. Working. For real." When I get home (or if they're rude enough to keep me after 6:30), on comes the ringer and the fun wallpaper. And at bedtime, things go dim and quiet. Totally worth the ten bucks.

  2. County Plus - Knitting app. You tell it about your pattern repeat, and it keeps track of the rows. The screen is on but dimmed while County is active; you just tap when you finish a row. A project- and sanity-saver on projects where row count matters.

  3. Custom SMS Tones - Does what it says--lets you set text message tones by contact. As far as I can tell, this capability still isn't built into Android. (I use FreeSound, by the way, to find cool sounds.) It's useful to me to know without looking who's texting me, especially when I'm on my bike.

  4. Libra Weight Manager - Extremely well-designed daily weight tracker that generates a graph (exponentially smoothed moving average, I think it is) per The Hacker's Diet method, plus some BMI and calorie calculations. A vital part of my weight management program.

  5. Kindle - I do break out of the Google corral in a couple of places. Thing is, I have a whole system for putting AO3 fic where this app can find it and render it. Sometimes I buy actual Kindle books, too. Very nice to read from on the new larger smartphone screens.

  6. Audible - My other concession to Amazon (though it wasn't owned by Amazon back when I first started using it). In sheer hours-per-day, this app gets more use than any other. It's perfectly designed for its single use, which is playing DRM'ed purchased official Audible.com audiobooks. I just wish I could make it play podfic and podcasts as well.

  7. Beautiful Widgets - I've had this one for years. Lets you customize the clock and weather displays, has a large open-source selection of themes and styles, and includes a bunch of handy toggle widgets for silence, flight mode, wifi, etc.

  8. Tesla LED Flashlight - It turns your LED camera flash on like a flashlight. It's amazing how often I find a use for this--so often, in fact, that the shortcut to it is on the ever-present bar right next to the camera and the phone.

  9. Google Play Music - I'm pretty new to digital listening after a long, long, sad divorce from music altogether, so I don't know how this stacks up against iTunes. But it works well for me, and there's a related Linux app so all the music on my laptop is automatically all the music in my cloud is automatically all the music on my mobile device. Works reasonably well for podcasts and podfic, too. Makes no DRM distinctions at all. So far.

  10. Mint - Not so much the Android app per se as the whole personal financial management system. I am the world's laziest money manager. I never pay my bills, I never keep receipts, I never pay attention to my budget, I never balance my checking account, I never check my retirement fund, I'm careless about fees and charges, I'm useless at tracking tax-deductibles...so Mint does all that for me. (Except the actual bill-paying. I have all that on automatic. But Mint knows, and tells me.) I can enter cash transactions on the fly with the well-designed Android app, and I always have access to my account balances.

  11. Evernote - Again, not so much the Android app as the whole cloud thing. I use Evernote all the time, mostly from my laptop, but it's extremely handy to have my knitting patterns, shopping lists, saved articles and random musings instantly visible from my mobile.

  12. MyTracks - I have no idea why I think mapping is so cool--I'm just a map geek from way back, and the ability of MyTracks to make--and share--a little map of exactly where I go (with speeds, distances, and elevation gains) just thrills me to my toes.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Jul. 28th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'm all Apple, so don't recognise all these apps (at least some of them do have equivalents on the iPhone). I have Stichminder for counting rows and pattern repeats, but it sounds as though County Plus may be better, if you can do other things (e.g. use Audible) at the same time.

Locale sounds brilliant! I also like the sound of Custom SMS Tones - I have different ringtones set up for different people, and it would be great to do that for their texts too. It certainly isn't standard on the iPhone, so I'll look for the equivalent app.

Do you think Libra is the best of the various weight management systems? I've been reading about a few of them.

I am equally useless about finances, so I have all my bills set for direct debit payment. I'm amazed that Mint can do so much!
Jul. 29th, 2013 03:04 am (UTC)
I can't imagine that the Android app selection covers anything that iPhone doesn't do--and possibly do better.

I don't know if Libra is the best system--it's really just a place to enter your daily weigh-in and generate a graph that smooths out the day-to-day fluctuations and gives you an estimate of your caloric deficit (or overage). I like it because it's simple and I've racked up hundreds of data points in it, plus it gives me a daily reminder to weight myself, which is either good or annoying, depending on where I am with my program!

For actual food and exercise tracking as well as weight, there are several systems, tied to websites--Livestrong, Daily Burn, My Fitness Pal, and probably a bunch more.

Mint isn't primarily a mobile app--rather, it has a mobile app. It's a very sophisticated system, run by Intuit (the tax software people)--you give it access to your accounts. I trust their security, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. Also, I'm not sure whether it runs outside the US. But if you're comfortable connecting your bank accounts to a third party, it's awesome.
Aug. 4th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
ETA - I was mistake, it is possible to change the text tone for each contact in the iPhone 4S without buying an app for it.
Aug. 5th, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)
Your comment prompted me to do a little digging, and it turns out that somewhere in an Android version upgrade, I gained that same functionality. Now I know! One less app to keep track of. :D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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