Sunday, August 7, 2011

My top 5 Essential Apps (so far)

I've had my Galaxy S2 for just a little over two weeks now, and I've download quite a lot of apps from the app market already! This blog post is to make mention to those that I've found most useful, and an absolute must to get for your Android phone.

1. Facebook and/or Twitter and/or Google+

Ok, this is three apps, but they serve pretty much the same purpose. If you have any of the above social networking accounts, and you like to frequent them, then you must get the apps for them.

I've never been a very big tweeter, but since I've had my phone, I've been doing that quite a bit more, and since then, have gotten quite a few new followers (which was pretty stagnant before I started tweeting more...).

The app works very well, you see the people you're following's tweets, can reply on tweets, and you can tweet yourself as well.

As for Facebook, that also works very well, and they've updated the app twice since I got my phone, so at least they're active in fixing bugs and keeping it up to date. It also works well, and gives you pretty much access to everything Facebook has to offer (I haven't tried working with Facebook applications through it though...)

And lastly, Google+ - now, I have a cool 3 people in my circles who are also Google+ users, which means I haven't used this one that much. Will, once Google+ gets some more momentum (for me at least) post some more info on it.

Get Twitter here, Facebook here and Google+ here.

2. Tiny Flashlight + LED

The Samsung Galaxy S2 has a very bright LED at the back that it uses as a flash when taking photos at night, but with this very handy little app you can convert your phone into a flash light - it shows a big button, and a handy battery indicator on it's main page. Tapping the button, yup, you've guessed it, turns on the LED light at the back of the phone. Here's some screen shots:

Get it here.

3. ES File Explorer

Now, I've already mentioned this little gem of an app on this post, so have a read through there on what it's all about (this one pretty much replaces the standard file manager app that comes with the phone) - probably the best feature of it is allowing you to browse your local network through your Wifi connection.

Get it here

4. APNdroid Free

If you've read my intro post, you will see that I'm from South Africa. Now, being in South Africa still means I'm in AFRICA, which means really EXPENSIVE out of bundle data costs. The contract I'm on with Vodacom doesn't include any data whatsoever, which means that I'll be paying ZAR1.00 per MB that I use. (this is, at the time of this writing, about $0.14)

THAT'S ALOT!!! Anyway, lots of the apps on my phone constantly updates over the internet, and when I'm not home, it uses my cellphone network's 3G network to get that very expensive bytes from. This little app gives you access to a widget, which with a single tap disconnects any data flowing in or out of your phone. A big must if you live in a third world country!

EDIT: I had a look again, and APNdroid Free isn't available any more. Instead, have a look at the APN on/off widget - it does exactly the same thing, plus the icon is a bit nicer looking :)

Get it here

5.  Google Sky Map

Ok, so this one isn't very essential, but it's the one I use the most to show off my phone. By using your phone's built-in sensors, and your GPS location, simply tilting your phone (at night) up to the sky will tell you which star/planet you're looking at! Quite nifty, and you can even search for specific objects in the sky, and the phone will point you in the right direction! See, my phone is showing me which way Mars is:  ;)

Get it here.

That's it, 5 very cool and essential apps for your Android phone. Feel free to leave a comment and suggest some apps, I'll check them out, and if I like it, will do a post about it!

Till next time!