Monday, September 20, 2010

Favorite new Android apps

  • Call Block Unlimited:  Highly configurable app that lets you set policies for how to handle incoming calls.  I used this when on vacation to send all calls not in my contacts list to voicemail.  Shows an alert of which calls were blocked.  Very nice and free!
  • App Brain App Market:  Install this and never open the lame Google Market app again.  This does everything that the Google market should do but doesn't.
  • OurGroceries:  This app has a lot of promise for sharing grocery list ideas between my wife and myself.  Even can input recipes and then add ingredients to store lists from those.  And allows you to check off items as you buy them so you won't miss anything.  Very sweet!
  • EStrongs Task Manager:  This is a very fast task manager that has the best UI of any that I've seen so far.  I rarely use one these days but when you've got to kill a task, this is a slick one for doing the job.
  • Dropbox:  Dropbox is about the easiest way to synchronize files from your desktop to your phone wirelessly.
  • Wireless Tether For Root Users:  This was sooo cool.  Lets you set up your phone as a wifi access point to allow Internet access to devices nearby.  Used it this weekend and got better performance than the DSL (not saying much as this place must have been on the far end of the line from the central office)
  • JuiceDefender (free):  I have found after lots and lots of testing that the #1 killer of battery on the HTC Hero is constant use of the APN (mobile carrier data network).  The more apps you install that synchronize data, the worse this gets.  It's not so bad if you stay in one place where you have good cell coverage.  But if you are in an area of spotty coverage, your battery life will go down the toilet.  It seems as if whenever you get even the weakest data link back, all your apps that need to synchronize data light up and overwhelm the terrible connection and pretty much do this all day long.  When at work, my battery would not last long at all (22nd floor with poor coverage) but at home it would be great.  That's how I figured it out.  I stopped using task killers since they can be worse for your battery life and use JuiceDefender.  I used to have Wi-Sync plus to do the same thing, but that has apparently been abandoned.  

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