Jan 6 2013
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”.
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.
For 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.
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.
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