Last month I got my first Android, a Samsung Mesmerize.
I love it. I do miss the keyboard of my Blackberry. But I’m ok with that.
Here are my favorite apps:
- Hootsuite I love that HootSuite [affiliate link] lets me tweet from my two accounts as well as update my Facebook profiles and pages. All from my phone. Love this.
- YouVersion I love having the ability to access the Bible from my phone. And YouVersion has dozens of reading plans. I’m currently following the Book of Common Prayer and the “100 Days of Essential Jesus.”
- Angry Birds I’ve successfully avoided online games for years. I even delete the preloaded ones from my computers. But I downloaded Angry Bird and got hooked. Unlike the iPad version, the Android version gives you the whole game, it’s just supported by ads. (Not a big deal.)
- Google Sky This app shows constellations and other space things in the sky. It’s been too cold in Maine to use this at night. But man, it makes me feel really smart.
- Advanced Task Killer My battery has lasted a lot longer since I installed this app. It shows you all the things running and selectively stop them. Yahoo! Mail? Nope. I use GMail. But the Samsung keeps Yahoo! Mail running. ATK lets me kill it. 🙂
I use the Facebook app a lot but it’s not one of my favorites. And the Google Reader app is very helpful–I’m starting to actually keep up with my blogs again. But it isn’t a favorite yet either.
Why did I include this on FundraisingCoach.com? Because more and more of us need to find ways to be more efficient. For me, smartphones have been an invaluable tool. With my smartphone, I’m able to quickly find out things about donors or get directions to their homes.
What I’d love to find is an app that helps me track my work-related mileage.
For any consultant that needs or wants to track billable time, the only app I’ve paid for: TimeClock from Spotlight Six Software. Fantastic. And support? Let’s just say over the couple years I’ve used, I have several back-and-forth emails with the developer himself about features, most of which have been implemented. Great app.
Yay, more android users.
If you are running android 2.2 (froyo) or higher, uninstall the task killer. You don’t need it and your phone will run better without. Do, however, download titanium backup which lets you uninstall all those annoying spam apps that come built in: amazon, etc. This will make a big difference to performance. Be careful you don’t remove system apps though. When done cleaning, uninstall titanium because it too likes to run in the background.
For RSS, try scrollable news widget. That’s how I read your blog every day.
Ashley: Thank you!
Why isn’t ATK needed with Froyo? It’s helping me but maybe there’s something built in…
And with titanium, the free version says “root.” Does that mean it’s rooting my phone?
Ah, yes, sorry. I forgot. You need a rooted phone to use titanium, which is like jailbreaking an iPhone. Android runs on Linux. Root gives you super user (su) access to the underlying system which is only needed for advanced operations like removing system apps.
As for atk: android 2.2 greatly improved its built in memory manager. The system will kill apps in memory as needed to make sure the running app has sufficient memory. Killing apps with atk works against android’s memory manager and forces it to work harder. Google search “froyo memory task killer”. There are several good discussions on the subject, especially over at xda-developers. That being said, if it is really helping you than who am I to say otherwise. But try uninstalling it for a week or two and see.
And thanks for a great blog.
Ashley: Thanks for the help! I think I will try uninstalling it and see.
What other advantages to rooting have you seen? I had a friend swear by it. It really helped his phone’s usability. But I think it’s just outside of my tech comfort-zone! 🙂
Personally, it satisfies the geek in me that wants total control over my machine.
With root access you can install different customized roms (the operating system), many of which have been tweaked for maximum performance. It is useful for me because I have an old underpowered phone but to be honest, it matters less with the newer 1ghz phones.
My friend had a Nexus. The level of control and performance he got from rooting was amazing.
Is it hard to keep up with updates? Or are they easy to install?
Depends on the phone manufacturer, how quickly they update your particular phone. As phones get older they get less frequent updates. Unless you have root in which case the community will release updates, usually fairly quickly.
The key question is how easy or difficult it is to root your particular phone. Search xda-developers to learn that.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT root your phone unless you are savvy enough to UNROOT it as well. Rooting VOIDS your warranty with your cellphone manufacturer and your carrier will refuse to support the device if you bring it in rooted.
That being said, I should also add, Marc, that the Mesmerize has it’s own task killer that’s a widget. I just use that and get 1.5+ days out of my battery.
Now! My five favorite apps at the moment are:
Hmm. I guess my 5 look something like this:
Memory Trainer (fun and important game)
Google Books (book reader app)
Springpad (amazing for storing information you randomly come across online or IRL–bookmarks, recipes, DIY instructions, notes, etc)
Last.fm (awesome radio & music suggestions)
Camera 360 (really cool filters)
What is the name of that Bible app? Sounds like a good one. Searching You Version brings up a lot of stuff.
Yvonne: I just checked. It’s actually called “Bible” and is by LifeChurch.tv
Aerin: Thank you for your professional warning. 🙂
I can’t wait to check out some of your five!!