Author Topic: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?  (Read 8705 times)

wearfannypacks

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New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« on: July 10, 2013, 07:05:22 PM »
I figure this crowd may have some interesting insights.

1st smartphones for us. Opted to get a Nexus 4 instead of an iphone on a prepaid plan. Thrilled to be able to access my google calandar on the go!

What apps should I look into getting to make my life more efficient and save time and/or money?

nkinthehouse

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 08:50:34 PM »
GasBuddy is great for finding the cheapest gas.

Mint for all money management.

icefr

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 08:59:14 PM »
* The Google Drive app is helpful if you use their spreadsheets much.
* Your health insurance company might have an app and it might be useful.
* Your cell phone company might have an app and it might be useful.
* I use Remember the Milk for to dos. If you just use it locally (no sync) and don't mind not having widgets, it's free.
* I've been using the Sleep Bot app to track my sleep.
* Google Voice is pretty awesome if you call Canada at all.
* If you live in Washington State, the WSDOT app can be helpful.

sol

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 09:20:29 PM »
Yay, a thread about playing with phones!  I freely admit to having spent way to much time sorting out my android experience.  For a while there, it was like a hobby.

I use the powertoggles widget daily because my phone has poor settings access.  Having instant homescreen toggles for wifi, flashlight, gps, and battery performance is handy, and not available naturally in all versions of android.

I use a (paid) podcasting app called doggcatcher that automatically downloads all of my podcasts every night while I'm plugged in and on wifi, so no data usage to always have new podcasts on tap.  It automatically deletes things I've listened to, and has lots of settings for what to download and store.

Past that, I probably use google maps and navigation more often than anything else.  They're default apps on most phones now.

I use google voice for voice calls when at home since I'm on a limited minutes plan.

I use MightyText to sync text messages across all of my devices.  It has a chrome extension that lets you send/receive texts from your browser, which is handy when I'm at a big screen and my little one beeps at me.

I use a white noise app called Relax and Sleep to generate background noise for a fussy baby when we're away from home.  Also good for calming nervous dogs on holidays with fireworks.

For news aggregation, I use Pulse.  It pulls content from all of my specified sources and consolidates it one easy place, without ads, in a format that's easy to read and navigate.  And it circumvents paywalls for things like the NY Times.

I use APW widgets for bookmarks and my google calendar.  I like the interface on the calendar better than any other gmail calendar app I've used.

I've been playing with the new Yahoo Weather app, which has recently had a lot of press because it's included in the new iphone OS.  It's kind of nifty, it will scrape the web for pictures of your current location with the same weather as you currently have, so, it's kind of like having a widget that serves the same purpose as looking out a window.  But of course supplemented with weather data like temp and forecasts.

And because I have a really old and slow android phone (optimus elite), I've replaced my stock (Virgin Mobile) launcher with Holo Launcher.  It's been customized pretty heavily with monochrome white icons on a dark background, SiMiClock for time on the homescreen, and notification apps that update my email/text/voice icons with little numbers overlaid on the icon, which I find very handy for keeping easy visual track of what I have waiting to deal with. 

With some minor tweaking, this Holo Launcher setup is quick and buttery smooth, much nicer than my old Evo of my wife's HTC One.  Newer phones tend to be so heavily skinned that those fancy fast processors don't give you much improved user experience because they use up the cycles on fancy graphics.  My slow phone doesn't have 3D animations but it's far more pleasant to use because it's so smooth, and as a side effect I get great battery life (like three days) because it's not spending any power on useless prettiness.

Micheal

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 11:30:03 PM »
Evernote is the first thing i usually install and i've been using it for years.  MX Video Player will let you watch any video format you put on it.  Skype and Google Voice are good.  I like Pulse for rss aggregation.  I like the EX Launcher as it has lots of free themes and options to modify the phones look and feel.  For Podcasts I like Beyondpod which has a pretty good free version.

gooki

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 02:36:30 AM »
Thanks for starting the thread. My first android phone is on its way from China, and the app tips are appreciated.

cerberusss

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2013, 03:20:25 AM »
HomeBudget is awesome:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anishu.homebudget.full

It's available on iOS, Windows and Mac, too.

Left

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2013, 03:36:50 AM »
I like copilot or sygnic GPS (paid version, but might have free I'm not sure) for gps. I prefer offline maps with online search built in (locations/gas price/weather/traffic). Google maps is nice but it needs a data connection :S

I've been using Google Keep for a todo list and it's been great. Dropbox gets used a lot to transfer files. I also like games (sorry which games is a personal thing so I won't list them)

I've been using News 360 and I like it more than Pulse now. Google voice is good for texting too since it goes to browser window when at computer as well.

impaire

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2013, 03:57:26 AM »

For news aggregation, I use Pulse.  It pulls content from all of my specified sources and consolidates it one easy place, without ads, in a format that's easy to read and navigate.  And it circumvents paywalls for things like the NY Times.


Now this is interesting to me... Cool! Where do you find the NYT to add, though?

davisgang90

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 05:06:58 AM »
Runkeeper for tracking my running, cycling, hiking.
Google Maps
Amazon MP3 player (keep my music on the Amazon cloud)
Pandora
YNAB
Robodefense tower game (huge time waster)

smalllife

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 05:51:58 AM »
Pandora
YNAB
Business Calender for Andriod - better than the default, use it for my personal life
WhatsApp - web based texting
for females - My Calender to track periods (tracks symptoms, weight, etc.) 
Weather.com has a great app
I just bought Grocery King to try and build a price notebook for groceries
NPR
Advanced Task Killer (Free) to save the battery
Success Log

Will

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 07:54:36 AM »
-AVG anti-virus
-my financial institutions' apps
-Craigslist
-Flixster
-Gas Buddy
-Key Ring
-Pandora
-Shazam
-Shop Savvy
-Wallaby
-YNAB

TKE Super Dave

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 08:08:13 AM »
In no particular order:

Google Centric Apps
Gmail
Google Calendar - Sounds like you already know about this one
Google Play - Allows you to stream your music where ever on whoever's computer
Google Drive - Allows access to files much like dropbox
GoTasks - Connects to Google Tasks

Health
Sleep As Andriod - Paid app that helps track your sleeping habits, there is a nice 30 day free trial (it's the only app I've ever bought)
MyFitnessPal - Tracks workouts and diet
Motoactv- Works with my GPS tracker to track runs and allows me to take phone calls while out running.

Learning
Wikipedia
Dictionary
Duolingo - Learn different languages
Amazon Kindle - Can read books
TED - TED Talks app

Social Media
Twitter
Facebook
Skype
Hangouts
LinkedIn

Financial Apps
Mint
Key Ring - (Note: I just recently downloaded this and haven't used it yet) Allows you to add the keychain rewards cards to your phone so no having to have a zillion on your keychain.

Note: all apps below in this section are mostly none Mustachian and I rarely use but if I'm going to spend money on something I'll check these first to see if there's a cheaper option:
Groupon
Living Social
Newegg
Slickdeals
Amazon's PriceCheck
ShopSavvy

Other Apps
Advanced Task Killer- Could probably use the built in task killer as google has made it better but I have this one since I have an older phone
SoundHound- ever hear a song on the radio and want to know what it is? This app listens to it and finds the name and song so you can purchase it or listen to it for free.
Flashlight - Turns your phone into a flashlight using the camera flash if it has one.
Fandango - (Anti-Mustachian, but can be if you are trying to find the best deal) Allows you to find a movie theater and show times
MeetUp- Meet Up's app
QR Driod - allows scanning of QR codes and barcodes
Speed Test- the app version of SpeedTest.net
The Weather Channel - I really don't like this one but it works unlike most of the weather apps I've tried
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 08:50:31 AM by TKE Super Dave »

Zee

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 08:13:25 AM »
Vanguard!  I'm surprised this app hasn't been mentioned.

sol

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 08:19:59 AM »
Google maps is nice but it needs a data connection :S

Technically not true anymore since you now can download map coverages for a specified area.  Just draw a box around it on the map.  Bigger maps take up more space on your phone.

Now this is interesting to me... Cool! Where do you find the NYT to add, though?

If you swipe left in Pulse, there's an "Add Content" button that makes recommendations or can be searched for specific feeds.  Dig around in there, it links to all kinds of interesting stuff.

Vanguard!  I'm surprised this app hasn't been mentioned.

I only access my life's savings over secure internet connections.  Your phone is about as far from secure as anything can get.

Zee

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2013, 08:24:20 AM »
Vanguard!  I'm surprised this app hasn't been mentioned.

I only access my life's savings over secure internet connections.  Your phone is about as far from secure as anything can get.
[/quote]

Great point!  Thanks for the advice.

impaire

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2013, 10:32:39 AM »


Now this is interesting to me... Cool! Where do you find the NYT to add, though?

If you swipe left in Pulse, there's an "Add Content" button that makes recommendations or can be searched for specific feeds.  Dig around in there, it links to all kinds of interesting stuff.


Duh! Thanks, when I try it the non-derp way, it does indeed work better...

wearfannypacks

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2013, 12:23:32 PM »
I think I may be going into andriod world for a few days once this phone gets here. My world is expanding...

@sol Doggcatcher sounds fabulous! I'm a bit of a podcast junkie and love listening when I'm doing long car rides or menial housework. What podcasts do you listen to? I've gotten into Dan Carlin's Hardcore History recently.

I never though about google maps, my GPS needs a map upgrade...perhaps I can googlemaps it from now on instead

white noise = genuis. A 4 month old in the car this can be a life saver

Pulse sounds amazing. Especially to get into NYT

@icefr I pretty much use most of my word processing and docs on google apps. This will really be life changing if I can access those on the go

@eyem I've never heard of google Keep. My daily to do list have been on index cards as of late, I'm interested to check this out

@will I've heard of shopsavvy but no experience with it. Do you use the coupons on it much?

@TKESuperDave Duolingo is incredible! We are taking at trip to Paris it looks like playing on it for 10-20 minutes a good day is a great way to develop some basic French. I also didn't know meetup had an app!

yolfer

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2013, 03:15:20 PM »
I'm kind of an app junkie. Here are my favorites...

* Talkatone - lets you use google voice to make outgoing phone calls (use when on wifi so you can keep your minutes low)
* Maybe your bank has an app?
* Maybe your local mass transit system as an app? Seattle has onebusaway which is amazing.
* uber/sidecar/lyft - like taxi services that you can order from your phone (very un-mustachian but they often offer free rides, so that's when i use them)
* paperkarma - take a photo of your junk mail and it'll figure out who sent it and unsubscribe you
* camscanner - turns your phone's camera into a document scanner
* prey - anti theft/tracking should your phone get lost or stolen
* dropbox - sync photos and docs between your computer and phone

davisgang90

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2013, 03:18:04 PM »
Quote
* paperkarma - take a photo of your junk mail and it'll figure out who sent it and unsubscribe you

I read the first five words of your post and was like "Whoa!!!"

Then I read the rest and felt silly.

Then I posted this and felt silly again.

Will

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2013, 08:17:27 PM »

@will I've heard of shopsavvy but no experience with it. Do you use the coupons on it much?


I've only used it to check prices on something I see but might want to buy somewhere else.  It really isn't as good as it used to be.  I'm not a coupon user really.

Micheal

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2013, 09:47:16 AM »
The thing to remember about andriod is that there is no "killer app" for everything.  When you find a need for an app just look for and try several, and pick the one you like.

JJTheJetPlane5657

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2013, 01:37:32 PM »

With some minor tweaking, this Holo Launcher setup is quick and buttery smooth, much nicer than my old Evo of my wife's HTC One.  Newer phones tend to be so heavily skinned that those fancy fast processors don't give you much improved user experience because they use up the cycles on fancy graphics.  My slow phone doesn't have 3D animations but it's far more pleasant to use because it's so smooth, and as a side effect I get great battery life (like three days) because it's not spending any power on useless prettiness.

Can you tell me a little more about this? I'd love to hear more. I'd give anything to squeeze more battery life out of my phone.

MountainFlower

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2013, 02:24:57 PM »
Thanks for starting the thread. My first android phone is on its way from China, and the app tips are appreciated.

Tell me More! 

I'm thinking about doing that.  What did you order?  I'm thinking about ordering a very cheap wifi phone from ahappydeal.com for around $50.  We've never owned a smart phone, and I don't really plan to get a data plan (we're on airvoice), but I'd really like wifi on my phone.   I don't know if that would be $50 down the drain, or $50 well spent on a no-name phone. 

gooki

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2013, 03:16:33 PM »
I'd avoid the super cheap no name ones out of china (unless they've been well reviewed). Stick to Android 4 devices, and check the cellular frequencies match your desired providers.

I ordered a Haier W910 (dual core, 1gb ram, 8gb storage plus SD card slot, 4.5 inch 720x1280 screen, water proof, dust proof, 8mp camera, Android 4.0 etc). $139 inc delivery. Essentially a waterproof HTC One X. And cheap/rugged enough that I be happy taking it to the beach.

$99 gets you a Lenovo or ZTE, with a 480x800 screen. I wouldn't go much below this.

$207 gets you an Iocean X7, 1080x1920 screen, quad core etc.

Micheal

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2013, 10:19:50 PM »
When you look at your phone and all it's apps you are actually looking at Trebuchet, or the Launcher.  This is usually bloated with fancy stuff like 3d transitions and the like.  You can however install an app that replaces trebuchet, EX and Holo are the two most popular and supported.  These can have little upgrades like better battery reporting, notification bar brightness and volume controls ect.  And since they have more control over settings you can turn the fanciness off preserving your battery for things you actually need like texting and calling.

captainawesome

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Re: New Andriod user - what apps do you use?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2013, 06:10:45 AM »
I too have the Nexus 4, great platform. My work phone is an android as well, but has horrible interface.  Most people have mentioned all the good apps - evernote, pulse.  If you are into music spotify, pandora, iheart radio. I use any.do for every day tasks.  I still use the google functions to put stuff on my calendar, but any.do has a great interface for reminders and keeps me going for daily tasks.  If you are into twitter, I would suggest plume.  I like it better than the stock twitter app. ESPN apps (watch espn and scorecenter). Coming with stock android you get a lot of the good google apps, but I would def suggest adding in talkatone to google voice, I use it for texting and calls when traveling on wifi and in foreign countries. 

When I get out today, I'll up date this post when I take a look at my phone to see which apps I really use the most. 

I'd say go through the most popular free apps on the marketplace and pick out ones that best fit your life/use.