Must have Android apps of 2012!

Must have Android apps of 2012!

Having recently flashed my Galaxy S to Android 4.0.4, I decided It might be a good I idea to list some of the applications that I always seem to have to install. The list discussed in this post are some of the many apps that I find that I cant live without.

Tasks/To-do

Astrid Tasks

I find this to be a as solid a task manager/ To-do list app as you can get. It will sync your tasks with Google calendar and It also has a Chrome plugin so I can keep track of my tasks while on my laptop. During the college year especially I find myself using this to keep track of assignment due dates, project deliverable  etc. There is a free and a paid version available, however I find that the free version has everything that I need.
Link: Google Play Store

 

ColorNote

ColorNote is a simpler version of Astrid in a way, It is more of a note/memo taking application. It lacks some of the more advanced features like setting due dates for tasks however it still has the ability to backup your notes securely online so if anything happens to your phone you can recover your notes. The interface is simple and I find that I use it if I need to take a quick note of something or to write up a quick shopping list. Well worth a look if you don’t require the added features of Astrid.
Link: Google Play Store 

Evernote

I find Evernote to be a mash-up of ColorNote and Astrid. Currently I am just using ColorNote and Astrid but Evernote is the safe middle ground. Much like the others it allows you to backup your notes online easily, its interface is nice and clean, and it constantly being improved and updated. It also comes with a great looking widget. Definitely worth a look.
Link: Google Play Store

 

 

Multimedia

VLC

VLC has been my desktop media player of choice for years now so naturally when an Android release emerged I wanted to take a look. Its currently still in the beta phase but its functions great and I’ve yet to experience any freezing or crashes. The interface is nice and clean, You can specify which folders on your device to monitor for video files and It will generate thumbnails for each video found creating a nice, easy to use UI to navigate. Also worth mentioning is hardware acceleration works perfectly on my device (Samsung Galaxy S), I have trouble playing HD content with some media players.
Link: Google Play Store 

BSPlayer free

BSPlayer free was one of the first media players I found to fully make use of the hardware acceleration on my phone. Currently I have both this and VLC installed, just in case VLC fails to play a certain file, BSPlayer will play it. This player provides the smoothest playback and best battery life to any player on the market the I have tested. It also includes some nice features like scraping the internet for subtitles for the video you are playing or LAN mode, which enables you to stream media from a local media server strait to your phone. Very useful when im at home. This player is  invaluable if you want 1 solid player to play a huge selection of file types.
Link:Google Play Store 

PowerAMP

PowerAMP is one of a few paid programs in this list. In my opinion its the best music player available on the market. Beautiful widgets which are fully customizable,  a clean easy to use interface. It also includes a great equalizer which allows you to tweak the sound output how you like it. I highly recommend this player. A trial version is available on Google Play Store.
Link:Google Play Store

 

Useful

ConnectBot

ConnectBot is a handy application for SSHing into your remote servers. It can save details for several SSH sessions and copy and past between applications. I find it very useful to SSH tunnel if I am using a dodgy network or just to login to the Raspberry Pi from away from home. If you use SSH frequently this is an ideal tool for you.
Link:Google Play Store

 

 

Dropbox

If you haven’t heard of Dropbox already I don’t know where you’ve been. The folks at Dropbox explain the application themselves at www.Dropbox.com. I currently have this installed on all of my devices. It allows you to sync folders across multiple computer using the cloud. The android app itself is extremely useful. A feature recently introduced is camera sync. This will sync pictures/videos I have taken on my phone and upload them to the cloud, meaning that when I sit down at my laptop in the evening, all the media is there. If your interested in signing up why not use my referral link and gain yourself an extra 500mb of space 😉 http://db.tt/2w4LCcf.
Link:Google Play Store

Google Drive

Google Drive is a service very similar to Dropbox. It allows camera sync as-well as a number of other useful features. I use Drive personally for working on group college assignments as it allows live editing of document by multiple users at once. Its a toss up between Drive and Dropbox really, You can decide for yourself which is better :).
Link:Google Play Store

 

SWiFTP

SWiFTP is an application which runs an FTP server on your Android device. I use this application daily to transfer files to and from my phone without the hassle of having to connect it via USB. It very easy to set up and use. All you need to do is start SWiFTP, start the server and then use a client such as Filezilla to connect to the server. From here you can browse the device. It was recently removed from the Play Store due to the fact that the developer is discontinuing support, but its available on Google code in .apk format.
Link:Google code

 

Procrastination

Reddit Sync

This is for the Reddit user that needs a fix on the go. There are plenty of applications on the market which allow you to interact with Reddit but I have found this to the best. Its interface is clean, you can view images and videos from within the application or open them in a browser with a click of a button. It allows you to login to view your saved items. following threads and commenting is easily done, and the GUI is slick. If you’ve been looking for a way to view Reddit away from the computer, try this out!
Link:Google Play Store 

 

Twitter

If you use Twitter and own and Android device you probably already have the Twitter app, but if you dont, get it. Its easy to use and well designed (unlike the Facebook HTML5 mess).
Link:Google Play Store 

 

 

Facebook

Like Twitter, if you use Facebook you probably already have this app. A native Android Facebook application should be on its way soon thank god but for now you have to do with this.
Link:Google Play Store 

 

 

Chant

Chant is a handy application for browsing both 4Chan and 420Chan. Its layout and features are similar to Reddit sync. All the required features are there, browse multiple boards, comment, save threads/images. Like SWiFTP its recently been removed from the Play store, but its available at the link below.
Link:Chant 

 

Other

uTorrent

uTorrent is a popular torrent client that has recently been released as a beta on Android. Great little app for downloading torrents on the go. It has no limits on speed or file-size and its currently completely free! I have experiments with a number of torrent application on Android and they have failed to impress me. This one is actually pretty good though. Give it a try and see what you think.
Link:Google Play Store

 

SwiftKey 3

SwiftKey is a must have for myself on an Android device. touch keyboards can be very temperamental and can ruin a good device. I tried the trial of SwiftKey and had to buy it, no other keyboard I have tried felt right. It can learn from your Facebook,Twitter and email to build your own personal dictionary. Theres a reason its the top paid app on the market. Try the trial and see what you think. You wont go back!
Link:Google Play Store

 

Google Chrome

The default Android browser is not exactly the best, currently if you want a decent browsing experience you need to install one. Google Chrome is exactly like its desktop brother. It will sync tabs across your devices and allows you to sign-in to sync your bookmarks also. The browser itself is responsive and relatively lightweight. Give it a try, especially if you use Chrome on your laptop/desktop.
Link:Google Play Store 

 

There you go, a small list of the Android applications that I find useful. Drop me a comment below if you have any applications that you find interesting, or if you have any questions 🙂

– Dan.

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