Saturday, June 6, 2015

Best Android Apps For A Regular Light User

This is something I usually don't write about, but I just want to share the apps I use on a daily basis, which have all passed my 'trying new apps' phases, and have been retained on my mobile for months, years for some. So let's get started. Note: All the following are just my opinion

1. Launcher : Nova Launcher
I am sure we all have that phase, as android users, when we want some fancy graphical launchers. This is for after that phase, although it won't disappoint you either way. Nova Launcher is by far the most stable, rich-featured, lightweight and highly-customisable. For example, I have configured double tap to launch a particular app, swipe up to open system settings, etc. Changing icon of a particular app while still using another icon-set theme is another simple thing that makes me happy. Apart from these, there are tons of customisations and tweaks.

2. Calendar :  Sol Calendar
This is definitely one of my most used apps. I use calendar for everything - reminders, planning, keeping track of events(past and future), etc. It's like a lite version of a dairy for me. Sol calendar is perfect for my use because it offers me everything I need in a fancy and sleek manner. It supports fancy stickers, to-dos, various repeat options, week/month/day views, weather, etc, and it syncs with google and other popular services. It also supports different widgets including countdown and timetable. One cool feature is it allows you to search through your events!

3.  Gallery : QuickPic
The desription says "Fast, lightweight, modern, QuickPic is the best alternative album/gallery app for all your beloved photos, which can replace the stock Gallery app! It is so small with only 1MB size, less than 10% of other gallery apps, but more powerful than the others.", and that is the fact. This has been on my phones for years. Something you might not care, but is very useful, is when you share images to other apps, it sorts the apps based on how often you share pictures to, so when sharing to WhatsApp, you won't have to scroll down the list. Little things like that. 



4.  Music Player : Shuttle Music Player
You probably won't need another music player, but if you are not happy with what you have, this is the right choice. - free, great equaliser, album art download, customisable theme, sleep times, Last.fm scrobbling, etc. 

5. Notes : Google Keep
I like to write down ideas, ticket details, default grocery items list, default packing list for travel, some random usernames I used on some sites, my medications, etc. This of course directly syncs with my google account, so I don't have to worry about losing my notes and I can access them from anywhere. Plus, the search feature is also handy if you are trying to open a note quickly. You can set a reminder as well. I have a note with details about my daily call at work which reminds me of the call when it's time.

6. News Updates : Newsinshorts
I don't really read news, but this app is the one that keeps me updated. It gives you a headline and a paragraph summary of the news. You can also get notifications which are very in my case, very useful.
  • Read summary of all important news
  • Flip the screen to read the full story from trusted sources like Reuters, India Today, The Hindu etc.
  • Share the news with yours friends through social media, whatsapp, hike, reddit, mail etc.

7.  Do you share bills/expenses? : Splitwise
I do. I have a flatmate, and at work, teammates. We share bills all the time. But the truth is, you have to split the bills, and you better be fair. Splitwise is the solution. Just enter your expenses, you don't need to know who needs to pay who and how much. Also, you get a summary email at the end of each month, which is very useful.

8.  SMS : Chomp SMS
If you still use SMS, and your built-in messaging app is UGLY, this is an awesome lightweight replacement. Chomp SMS allows you to build your own bubble themes and use fonts of your choice, and supports a pattern lock for privacy control.

9. App-locker : LOCX
This is the best of it's kind. It's lightweight and completely free. However, I only use it to lock apps, and not for hiding photos and videos, can't comment on those. It has a lock widget that allows you to enable/disable locks for all apps at once. So just use this widget to lock all apps before handing you phone to your friends.

10. Identify songs : TrackID
Comes in handy when you hear a song and you like it, but you don't know what the song is, this app identifies 98% of the songs I have tried. It basically just does that and provides some details about the song. I know there are other apps that do this, but this simply does this and not much else, and that is why I love it. I want an app that identifies songs, and this provides me that. I don't want other extra features I won't ever use. 

11.  Internet Traffic Metre : Internet Speed Meter Lite
This app provides live network traffic speed right on the status bar and keeps track of your data usage for both mobile and wifi. You know how frustrating it can be when your download takes forever and you don't know the download speed! Also, it is just nice to see how fast you are spending your data.

12. Expense Tracker : Expense Manager
There are many apps like this, including with the very same name. This one is simple, graphical and lightweight and supports backup and restore using google drive.

 Other apps that I use are clearly of person interests, so I shall end here.

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