Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top Android Apps

Android Top APPS(Android market):

You may install (and run) security software/app like "Lookout"  before installing and running any new app.(which also provides a cool free facility to backup  your information(dont backup images - just contacts) - and provides phone locating service)
However antivirus like lookout may take battery - and hence remove it if you dont need it.
Most anti-virus tools use signature scans - and are HIGHLY UNLIKELY to detect any malware - at least if you are installing apps from android market. Because by the time signature scans are
well known - google will remove those apps from android market - and also will eventually
remove the malware from your machine using "kill switch".(however they may not be
able to completely recover your phone or undo damages done ).. The best a user can
do is to avoid installing apps with permissions that can cost money(eg phone calls, sms).

MOST IMP TIP: AVOID INSTALLING "JUST IN" Apps.(unless you are a techie and understand the permissions). Alos AVOID AUTOUPDATE of any "non google apps" - as the malware guys
typically post good software (like Spiderman) initially - and then quitely push update which
causes harm. 

Do download "amazon app store" from It  will give you some paid apps as free - besides some apps are at better priced then the default android market.
Download apps for Default Android Market using : from your PC - instead of using default android market app on your phone(as the web site is much easier to use)
I would say the top free apps on android are :
a) Advanced Task Killer Free - It will kill any undesired applications running(or really hibernating) in background. Its a good software to free memory - and monitor what application are unnecessarily active in background(using memory - not cpu).
However you should not use it continously.(as to kill it - you are using cpu).

b) Barcode Scanner or Shopsavvy-  It would allow you to scan any barcode of products and give you price comparison.(eg you can go to say rite aid/walmart - and check its online price)

c) Games!!(check top rated ones like "Angry Birds", "Doodle Pro", "Talking Tom")

d) Skype Mobile(only on verizon) - you can receive skype calls - and make international
call with Skype over verizons 3g/mobile network.(ie no need for Wifi - unlike in iphone)

e) There are lots  of good apps - depending on your taste. (eg Google Skymap , pandora radio(or slacker, yahoo),, google places, Urban Spoon for restaruants, coupons etc) You can use internet radio station like Pandora to act like satellite radio - if you hook it to aux input if your cars mp3 player(and charge phone via mp3 players usb output)

f) For techies - you have (paid) like remoteDb , VNC Viewer , No Lock etc

g) Meebo IM Tool- to chat on yahoo, hotmail, aim, google etc

h) Verizon Users   - download NFL mobile now(free app -till dec 2010). Verizon
paid millions to be exclusive provider for  NFL content. I beleive that you have to still pay money (vz cast subscription) to WATCH live matches.

i) The default photo app does not preview picasa etc - so use "JustPictures" app to view your online photos.

j) I like skyfire browser - as an alternative to default browser.(some sites like google map/cnn seem to work better or give full version on it). Dolphin HD may be another good browser.

k) Google Goggles- This is a good tool to scan and import information from
contact card(make sure - not to select area containing logos). You can
also use it as a primitive "image to text" scanner - by taking photo/scanning two(or 3) lines - clicking on translate button-doing long press on translate text field - and doing copy(and later paste on your emai: l).
The primary purpose of google goggles is to identify images or places(mainly by GPS).

l) Google Voice : You need to first open browser and register google voice online (eg choose number) - and associate it with your telephone number . Once you have done that - you can then download and use Google voice app(else you will be stuck in verifying number). Google voice allow you to control voice mail to be sent to gmail account,  allows phone call to be routed via google voice - and hence google voice number will come in other persons caller Id, allows if some one calls your google voice number (which can be local to that persons area) - it can be routed to your cell/home.

m)No Lock App: If your outlook/mail forces you to have password configured
for your device - then NoLock App will remove the need to enter password(Except startup).. It may however lock some keys like "home key" etc - and you can then use Advanced Task manager to kill it.

n) Others :Comic strips like daily Strip(dilbert, spiderman etc) , Jokes for kids, bonsai blast, hamster climb, jewels, Connect 4, replica island, Softrace(for jogging etc), compass, weather channel, urbanspoon, Astrid tasks, astro file manager, color notes.

(Verizon: You can also install myverizon - which will give you your minutes/data usage/balances in one click.)

You may note that per Googles Refund Policy - you can try paid app for free - as
long as you unistall it within 24 hours from point of purchase.

Uninstall/Removing Software:
Click on menu ->settings ->applications.. You can use then use "manage applications" to uninstall/remove software.  Go ahead and check all your running services also - as you dont see it in Task Manager software(and crosscheck that services are what you need)

Why do some apps start on bootup or randomly?
If the apps is starting on bootup or randomly -then check the
"services" section. Its likely that there is an associated service which is doing that.
You must AVOID apps which uses services .
Also some apps even though they are not using services may randomly startup
as they may have fired "alarms"(using Alarmanager) or requested permission to start on bootup.
Its hard to detect whch apps are using "alarms"(there is no tools for it) - and
the pre-installed crapware like CityId, Amazon Mp3 are highly likely to use such features.

IMP: If some apps(as seen in advanced task manager) keep coming back or
come up at start up - then consider removing them.(unless they have option - not to start at startup). Similary stop running services (menu->settings->Application-> Running services)  - and check all of them (eg skype) that you dont need.


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