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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Essential Android Applications

In the Android Cup Cake review I had mentioned that there are some areas in which Android did not live up to simple basic things like missed call alerts (though it gives a notification). But customization is Androids top priority. This is achieved through the hundreds of free applications available in the Android Market. I will cover some of the applications that will eliminate the couple of grey areas in Android 1.5 . There are lots of related applications in these categories. Many of them rely on Internet connection where all the processing is done in a far away server. And some applications come with lots of adds which might eat your resources pretty badly. So I have covered those applications that simply perform their intended task pretty neatly without connecting to you Internet.
This is not the review of application but a list of applications that will in fill your needs.
In this post I will also discuss memory management in Android.

1) Advanced Task Killer:

One thing to notice in the Android is there are applications which run in the background sucking your battery and especially when connected to Internet. This can seriously slow your Droid’s performance and decrease the battery backup quickly. The easy fix is Advanced Task Killer: just launch it, hit the big Kill button at the top of the list of running programs and everything non-essential is turned off, including itself.

You can remove programs from the kill list if you so desire, which means any program say for example G mail is trying to synchronizes, you may opt to kill it.

2)Documents to Go:

Most of the Android phones (nick named droids J) do not come with an office application to view/edit Microsoft office files like word, PPT etc. Documents to Go is the application that does this job pretty neat though you will be able to only view word and spread sheets.

You need to purchase the full version to edit these documents. The paid version also comes up with support for view/edit all Microsoft Office documents and view PDF files.

3)Missed Reminder:

As I had mentioned earlier in the review post of Android Cup Cake, there is no option inbuilt to notify the missed events such as calls, sms or mails. Only way was through the notification area. Missed reminder is a nifty tool, which will notify you of all the missed events through beep, vibration or LED glow.

Some of the options for notifying are: blink LED (if your phone comes with an LED flash), notification intervals, number of repeats for notification, popup options and vibrations. The events that are covered includes: SMS, MMS, Calls and Gmails. You can make this application run at start up so that you need not manually run this application every time you switch off and switch on your phone.

4)Note Everything:

This is an application where you can create text-, voice- and paint-notes and view simple text files. Your notes can be organized in folders. You can create shortcuts on home, send notes, use live folders & much more!

Pro version (paid version) add-on adds more features to Note Everything such as: Photo notes, Checklists, Durable checklists, Reminder, Encryption (password protection), Stick notes to status bar, Full backup to SD-card, Imports your Palm/Outlook Memos.

5)OI file manager:

The stock Android Cup Cake does not come with a file explorer/manager though the gallery can be used to view multimedia files. Open Intents file manager lets you access all the files on your phone or from the memory card, and allows you to copy, paste or delete them. You can do the same with filled folders too. This is very handy, as uninstalling an app often leaves associated temporary files on your phone taking up valuable space.

With OI you can simply remove the entire redundant program folder. OI also integrates with Google mail allowing you to send just about any file directly as an attachment.

6) NodEcon:

This is a budget/expense-tracking tool. With this you can set a budget for a particular period, create categories where you spend the money and view the status with a good bar chart or graph that summarizes your daily expenses.

Customizations include: budget begin date, budget type, monthly budget amount, expense chart type and login password. You can also backup your expenses to your memory card.

7) Pic Say:

Pic say is a photo editor tool with which you can color-correct your pictures and add word balloons, titles, graphics, and effects like distortion, spotlight, marker, pixelize, exposure, contrast, colorize and many more. This comes with an all in a fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface.

8)Digi Clock:

This is a digital clock that can spice up your droid’s desktop. Other than a good digital look it can also set up alarm where you can customize the ring tones.

It also has options to activate alarm even when your phone is in silent mode.

Memory Management:

Memory management is always important because the applications installed may use up some space and its always vital to have thorough check on its usage. For example a
youtube application can be used to view videos, which takes up space to store the streamed video.So its always important to have a check on its usage and free the space then and there to make sure that your application does not eat up your resources.

Maneuver to Settings->Applications->Manage Applications. This will list all the applications installed and used in your phone. Selecting an application will tell you how much memory it has used. You can release that memory by simply selecting clear cache or clear data whichever is applicable. Applications can also be uninstalled from this space.

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