A compilation of most used Android Application

Recently I have a friend who just bought an Android phone. He posted in facebook asking for most favorite and most used Android apps. And I do have some other friends who kept asking about Android apps and all which I’ve noticed that I kept on repeating myself about it again and again. As I’ve been using Android since a few years ago (started off with HTC Magic) and have gotten quite used to it, I believe I should write a few about it and posted this here as “the best is to share, not to keep!“.

My favourite Android applications
in no ranking order

#GPS#
Ndrive (market link)

I’ve used several GPS voice navigation software before (such as Sygic and Papago, and there should be some more which I could not remember) but kept going back to Ndrive for it’s great voice navigation guidance. Ndrive is fluid without lags and have simple, nice interface. Great thing about it is that once you speed up, it will automatically zoom out the map so you can see more of what’s ahead. And when you slow down, the application will zoom in so you can see a more detailed map instead. There is an option to toggle this if you want more of manual control.

As much praise as I can give, Ndrive (I’m using version 10 currently) is horribly bad when coming to it’s searching capabilities. In Malaysia, there are a lot of mis-spelled road names and POI, and doing search on POI is a nightmare as the software will ask you for which town the POI is in, and you really need to be accurate in order to find what you need. For instance, if I enter Selangor, I will be prompted with multiple Selangor entries such as Selangor Setapak Gombak, Selangor Hulu Kelang Gombak, Selangor Batu Gombak, Selangor Bukit Raja Petaling, Selangor Damansara Petaling and so on.. it’s really frustrating when you just unsure of the exact POI that you are looking for and when you only know it’s in Selangor! I wish Ndrive could simplify this what Garmin did which made it so easy (and I still use Garmin on my Windows 6.5 phone when I have the chance to!). There are some rural areas which have roads without names. This is kind of frustrating especially when you’ve paid quite a heavy price tag of the software.

But still, I liked it for some unknown reason…

#religious#
iQuran (market link)

This is my favourite. I know that this is similar to the iPhone version, but I’m glad they also have it on Android. I’ve covered this application before in my previous post. So you can read all about it > HERE < and yes it’s FREE.

#religious#
Quran Android (market link)

After some time, I believe Quran – Madina was one of my most favorite Quran apps as it appears exactly like the real quran. If you want the text to be bigger, just flip the phone sideways for landscape support. However, I am not sure why this does not work on my Xperia Play anymore (I kept getting Force Close error). So an alternative to this was the Quran Android pictured above. Although text is a bit plain looking but it has support for audio recitation (like the iQuran), and easy to read without having to scroll much. This application is FREE as well.

#file management#
File Expert (market link)

Please remember this application was developed by ‘Geek Software Technology Inc’ and it is as geeky as it can get. You will not only have the normal file explorer capability, but access to your phone internal storage (without root, however root is required to perform write actions), access to your dropbox, box.net, kanbox, kDrive, etc straight from File Expert, server capability (Windows / Samba sharing, FTP, SFTP, FTPS, WebDAV, Bluetooth OBEX), backup and uninstall of apps, and many more which I honestly have not tried it all yet. Most common function for this is the easy file transfer via Wifi which when I get home, connect the phone to my home wifi, turn on web sharing and I am able to access the phone content (files, pictures, videos) on my PC browser wirelessly. Best thing is that I can download or even upload files to my phone without plugging the USB in. A top 5/5 must have application (I have no use for Root Explorer anymore, sadly, but still it was a good app), and did I mention it’s FREE?

#sms backup#
SMS Backup + (market link)

My wife been running her own business and have tons of SMS from clients on her Android phone. And the fact that Android only holds 200 of your SMS before the rest disappears unknowingly is quite scary for some who does not know about it (the one who keeps all SMS and never bothered to delete, until one day when you need to take a look at the old SMS only to realize that it’s not there anymore). SMS Backup + is a fine application which stores (automatically if configured) all of your SMS to your Gmail account. It’s simple to set and runs great. I’ve covered about this application before, so you may read it further over > HERE <

In short, this application is useful for people who either subscribed for data plan or frequently connect their phone to Wifi. For an offline version, read on below!

#sms backup#
SMS Backup (market link)

Now this is an offline backup application which backup your SMS to your MicroSD Card. Great for those who does not have data plan and does not frequently connect their phone to any Wifi connection. It’s pretty straight forward to begin with.

First, open the app > click on settings (tools icon on upper right), I usually click on ‘Archive Mode’ so new SMS are added into the same file automatically (does not generate a new file each time backup). I will just leave the rest of the settings by default. Then, click Schedule settings, specify what time to auto backup and the intervals (repeat every .. 1 day?) > Click Enable Schedule, and click on Save to accept the new settings. After that click back on your Android button, and do an initial backup by clicking Backup.

You can also view backup without restoring the SMS by clicking view. This will show a plain text layout with all SMS organized by received date / time. Clicking on any SMS will bring up it’s thread. And the awesomeness is complete! (It’s free of course, duh!)

#proxy#
sl4a (link)

There was this article on the internet in regards to SOPA which mentioned “the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran” – and look what appeared in Malaysian local newspaper…

Did you spot it? So, for this there’s this great Android application called sl4a which actually processes script (and I believe a few more functions which I am not quite familiar about) – so what we do is to run this script (WARNING only works on a rooted device, Ha, told ya to root before!) and you may (yes, some doesn’t work anymore) access these blocked sites like piratebay again. I’ve covered this before, so head > HERE < to read all about it (link to download is there as well).

#productivity#
Mindjet for Android (formerly known as Thinking Space), (market link)

I personally have not really tried Mindjet that much as of yet, but I have used Thinking Space before and it works very good. This is a mind mapping software that you can use on your Android. Of course, it is best when used on tablets and devices such as the Galaxy Note (*cough*) which have a bigger screen estate. But it works well on a typical 3 – 4″ screen.

The application is fast, have ability to export mindmap in png (although Mindjet now only allow you to do that if you’re sending the image file over via email – Thinking Space -if I remembered correctly- have an option to save png on SD Card, so it’s more easier to export. I think they should have this option in paid version of Mindjet Pro). And when you have access to your desktop, you can load your saved file in FreeMind (open source, free app for Windows), although I have not tried this with file saved under Mindjet (it does work before with Thinking Space saved files, although there were minor loss of details during conversion).

#picture editor#
PicSay Pro (market link)

The free version is OK, but the PRO (paid) version is awesome. It contains lots of effects and photo fix options from adjusting contrast, saturation, to applying vignette, dialog box, text, stickers and much more. It also allows you to upload the edited picture straight to social network eg Facebook and option to save it to your SDcard. As I said, the free version is OK, but I would recommend the PRO version for sure.

#emulator#
GameBoid emulator (Google for it!)

Android phones are powerful enough to decently run Gameboy Advanced games. Imagine playing back games such as Dragonball Supersonic Warriors, Balloon Fight, Super Mario Bros, Bomberman, Digimon, Pokemon, Metal Slug… you name it, if it’s there on the GBA handheld console, you can load it up on Android.

Unfortunately Gameboid is not listed in Android Market. But with some Googling, you should be able to find the .apk and also BIOS for GBA easily (this should be in zip file). As for ROMs, that I will not say further 🙂 but feel free to ask uncle Google, he might be able to point you out to one or two…

So that’s it. I do have more, but if I post em all, I wouldn’t have any more to write on next time, right? So what are your favorite and most commonly used Android apps? Come share!

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