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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

All about my phone!!!

All about my phone!!!

I just got a smartphone about 2 months ago. Before that I was using a Samsung Rant, which is a very nice feature phone with a slide out physical keyboard. I really loved that thing!!! My wife and I decided to step into the world of smartphones with out income tax return this year. My wife chose an iPod 4S, because it's cute. After much research I chose a Samsung Galaxy S2 Touch, because I wanted Android and I loved the big screen. I told my wife that if she wanted to go with an iPhone, then she was on her own, because I wasn't learning two systems. I chose to go with Android as my OS because I don't like the idea of someone at Apple deciding which apps can run on my phone. I'm not a big fan of the "walled-garden" management system. I didn't choose a Windows phone, even though I'm big on Microsoft, because there's not as many developers working for them and the platform just isn't as polished as the Android's. I could root my phone, but I haven't had a good reason to yet. I just want my phone to work, and don't want to tinker with the thing all the time. So here's a list of the things I use my phone for the most, along with some app recommendations.

  • Email - I have Gmail, and sync with my work account as well. I have the Yahoo Mail app, but that's just a junk mail account I use for newsletters and cruft.
  • Calendar - The Exchange calendar, plus my wife and I use an app called Cozi to track who's doing what.
  • Trendi - This widget lists the top ten things trending on Twitter right now.
  • Tweetdeck - Use use this to post to Twitter and Facebook.
  • Friendcaster - I use this to browse Facebook. It's much faster than their app.
  • Foursquare - I use it when I go out.
  • Goodreads - Let's me keep track of what my friends are reading and what I want to read next. I use this list when I go to the library to grab a new book.
  • Skype - I haven't used it yet, but it's there.
  • LinkedIn - LinkedIn client

  • Alarm Clock Extreme Free - I love using my phone as my alarm clock - I don't ever have to worry about setting it before bed depending on the day, because the app keeps track of different alarm times on different days.
  • GroceryIQ - My wife and I use this to make sure that whoever goes grocery shopping has the current list.
  • Waze - A great navigation app.
  • Inkpad - I keep my to-do list in here. I tried Astrid, but I didn't need something so complex.
  • Firefox - I'm a Firefox user through and through. I love having my bookmarks synced everywhere I go!
  • FindMyCar - This app will keep track of where you parked, and guide you there using GPS.
  • KeyRing - Keeps a copy of all of those pesky rewards cards.

  • Google Reader - This keeps track of RSS feeds. I currently am tracking most of the major news sites, as well as Ars Technica, Slashdot, ComputerWorld, and Lifehacker.
  • Other News Apps - USA Today, BBC News, TMZ, Drudge Report, CNN, etc.

Phone System Stuff:
  • Camera ICS - This is a clone of the Ice Cream Sandwich Android phone. Sprint hasn't given me the ICS update - I'm still on Froyo. Sad Panda.
  • Just Pictures - I like this photo gallery app a lot better than the one that came with my phone.
  • Pocket - This used to be a service called "Read it Later". Basically, I can mark a web page in my browser anywhere, and it will add it to this list, so I can.... uh... read it later.
  • Vibe - This lets me customize how my phone vibrates when different people call, or for different notifications. I keep my phone silent at all times, so this allows me to know if my wife's calling, because my phone vibrates like a heartbeat, and I don't have to look at the screen.
  • Avast Mobile - Avast had the best mobile antivirus app in a roundup I read recently.

File Access and Media Stuff:
  • DropBox - free storage
  • Google Drive - free storage
  • Cloud Explorer - an app for accessing Microsoft's Skydrive
  • ES File Explorer - This is a file browser, but it has the added ability to allow me to browse LAN shares
  • AndFTP - a full-featured FTP client app
  • Skifta - This is a DLNA client, and handles streaming from my home media server
  • MX Player - the best video player I've found so far
  • Doggcatcher - This is an app that automatically downloads and manages your podcasts. I listen to This Week in Tech, Tech News Today, Lifehacker, CNet Reporters Roundtable, Windows Weekly, The 404, and The VergeCast. It's much better than listening to morning radio on the way to work.
  • DoubleTwist - This thing syncs my iTunes playlists at home with my Droid.
  • Google Music - This will stream my MP3s from the cloud. Google Play allows you to save something like 10,000 songs on their servers.
  • KeePassDroid - I use KeePass to keep track of my logins and passwords. I use DropBox to sync them from home with:
  • Foldersync - can sync on a schedule with my phone and various cloud services.

System Admin Stuff:
  • Teamviewer - I would use this in a pinch to access my computer at work.
  • Pocketcloud - an RDP client
  • AirDroid - Allows me to copy files and stuff through a wireless connection.
  • Hotspotting - uses GPS to map and track hotspots. It's wardriving with a memory, basically.
  • Fing - can scan a network for clients, IP Addresses, etc.
  • WifiAnalyzer - measures wireless networks around you for channel and signal strength info

  • Spark360 - I can keep track of my XBox Live account through this
  • John NES Lite - a Nintendo emulator.
  • Cracked - Love it!
  • FML - for a good laugh.

My droid does more than I ever dreamed it would and has simplified my life in many ways. Once I decide to pull the trigger, I plan on buying:

  • Locale - Manage your phone's setting based on where you are
  • Tasker - Automate anything!!
  • Tapatalk Forum App - an app for browsing web forums. I frequent the Ars Technica forums quite a bit....
  • Ultimate Call Screen - Manage incoming calls better.

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