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Must Have Apps for your Android Device

Here is a brief list of some apps I have found to be among my “must haves” for the Android platform. I look forward to hearing what others find some of their “must haves”.


kindleReading apps

Even though it’s not the best reading app available I find the Kindle app to be just OK feature wise, but combined with the benefit of being able to sync what I’m reading with my phone and my Kindle Touch I find I usually use this app for any tablet reading I do. When I say it’s just OK that doesn’t mean the reading experience is really inferior, just that I wish it had a few more features including some kind of real organization.


moonplusFor me the only reason to use any of the other store apps (Nook, Kobo, Sony, Google) is if you need access to a book on the go and don’t have it available to a third party reading app. When not using the Kindle app my favorite at the moment is Moon+ Reader Pro. It took a few minutes to get the settings how I want them, but once that’s done I find I like this app a lot and Moon+ will read various formats including both ePub and Mobi. Other reading apps worth a look are Mantano, Cool Reader, Aldiko and BlueFire (Mantano, Aldiko & BlueFire support Adobe Adept and B&N DRM). For PDF I find both ezPDF and RepliGo to be great.




I find that in some situations I have devices that are just to bright for comfortable extended reading periods. Thankfully that’s no longer a problem with the use of ScreenDim and with presets I can be ready to read by touching a single button.




I love DropBox. I have my Caibre library stored there so this app makes accessing my books from any device super easy. It’s also great for pictures and other files you might want access to while on the go. Alternatives to look at include Box and SugarSync.



astroAstro File Manager

A file manager is a must have for any Android user and I use Astro all of the time. Not only can you browse and manage files on your device, but you can also use it to access files on your local network. Astro also has integration for DropBox, Google Drive, Facebook and Skydrive. There are also tools included to backup apps, kill tasks and see your SD card usage. Another popular file manager is ES File Explorer.


outofmilkOut of Milk Shopping List

There are tons of list apps out there, but I’ve settled on this one as my favorite. This app allows you to create Shopping Lists and To-Do Lists and keep a Pantry List as well. Items can be added by typing, by voice or by scanning a barcode. You can then share your list(s) with others and sync them as changes are made. An iOS version is in beta testing right now and will hopefully be available soon.



In the past I’ve been really bad about passwords in the past. Using the same one or two at many site, using something easy to remember and thus easy to guess. Last year I made a concerted effort to start using hard to guess passwords and different passwords at the various sites I use. Thanks to mSecure I’ve been able to do this and no have to worry about what my passwords are. All you need to do is remember one master password and you can lookup your various passwords any time. It also has a password generator so you can have something totally random if you desire and there are options to sync via WiFi or DropBox if one were to desire that. There are versions for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows (for separate fees) giving a lot of flexibility of use and the apps database can easily be backed up via email as well. It’s not the cheapest password manager/locker out there, but I’ve been quite happy with it. mSecure uses 256 bit “Blow Fish” encryption to keep everything super secure.


Other apps of interet

Airdroid – Manage & control your Android device from your computer’s web browser

Flashlight – Simple, yet useful in all kinds of situations

Plume – I don’t Twitter, but I’m told by friends that this one is great


Brian is an avid reader who loves books of all kinds. He's been known to try just about anything once, but is partial to SciFi, Fantasy, Mystery and Romance. His favorite authors include Jane Austen, Ray Bradbury, Jacqueline Carey, Lisa Kleypas, Michelle Sagara West, JD Robb, David Weber, Julie Miller, Lynne Connolly and Lynsay Sands.


  1. Chris
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 09:01:51

    I’ve switched from Mantano Reader (I have the paid version) to using FBReader almost exclusively. Have you tried it lately?

  2. Brian
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 09:47:59

    @Chris: No I haven’t tried it lately. Last time I tried it it didn’t support CSS in ePub’s and I haven’t checked to see if that has changed.

  3. Brian C.
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 11:47:50

    I am also a big fan of FBReader, and use it when reading ePubs. It has a nice built-in feature that’s also covered by another entry in your list — you can drag your finger down the left side of the page to progressively dim the screen, and then up to brighten it. Very handy when reading in bed.

  4. leslie
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 12:59:30

    Love, love Flashlight and I use it all the time. Out of Milk sounds good, I’ve been looking for a good list app. Thanks

  5. Julie
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 14:20:31

    I follow several forums through the Tapatalk app, and gReader Pro as I’m an RSS junkie (which is where I tend to see this blog).

  6. Stephanie Scott
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 14:28:58

    Ooh, Out of Milk and lists! I need that one.

  7. sgl
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 16:05:40

    Adding Nook app, Wattpad, Goodreads, Jukepopserials… all reading apps or reading-related.

  8. Beth
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 17:35:32

    Just downloaded Msecure and Astro.
    Desperately needed both of those and had no idea they existed.

  9. Liz
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 17:56:44

    My “must haves” are the Nook and Kobo apps, Goodreads, the Overdrive Media app so I can listen to audio books from the digital library (alas, only the mp3 versions) and the Audible app. I like being able to listen to audio books through the phone speaker instead of being stuck wearing earbuds. I like the Any.Do app for keeping track of my tasks. And I’ve got to have my Solitaire game. :)

    The mSecure and screendim apps looks good; I’ll definitely check them out. Thanks!

  10. library addict
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 17:58:52

    Brian, I got Out of Milk the last time you had a suggested apps thread and love it.

    And I love having Dropbox, too. I have it installed on my PC, laptop, and phone.

    Another app I find very usefull is Evernote. I use it solely for list making and haven’t done much with the photo storage option or tagging things, but it’s a great app. I have the free version and have never felt the need to upgrade. Like Dropbox, I have it installed on my PC, laptop, and phone and I love that it syncs between them all. I know you can make To Do Lists in Out of Milk, but I find Evernote more convenient for keeping track of all sorts of stuff.

  11. Brian
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 16:10:30

    Just got an email from the Out of Milk developers. The iOS version has just launched in case anyone is interested in checking it out.

  12. Laura
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 21:56:03

    I liked Out of Milk for shopping lists until I found another app that I like better. Grocery iQ has categories (aisles) and you can sort the aisles according to different stores. You can type, speak or scan barcodes to add items. I do still like Out of Milk for the pantry lists and the to-do lists.

  13. Brian
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 21:58:08

    @Laura: I’ll be sure and check it out.

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    Jan 11, 2013 @ 07:31:36

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  15. Sasha
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 23:58:40

    Great list Brian! Out of your must have apps I also enjoy DropBox and Kindle. I have not tried any of the others you mentioned though, but I will give them a download very soon! When it comes to my favorite iPhone apps they are: DISH Remote Access (DRA), Chase and Pinterest. I have a lot of other favorites, but those are the ones I tend to use the most; especially when it comes to DRA. One of the girls I work with at DISH got me a Sling Adapter a long time ago so I’ve been using the app to watch all of my shows from home, live or from off my DVR, everywhere I go in the word. It’s nice for entertainment purposes, but as a TV junkie I love that I can keep up with my shows while I’m traveling across the country. :)

  16. sao
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 12:52:04

    I like smart tools, which has measurement tools and handyman calculator which hsd hundreds of calculators from how many rolls of wallpaper do you need to cover your wall to more mundane metric conversions

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