Thursday, May 30, 2013

Android App Roundup

There are many great apps for android devices, unfortunately some are more difficult to find than others. Below is a quick roundup of a few recommended apps…


As a Nexus 7 user, I want widgets—damn the performance hit, let me fill my screen with widgets! Kostya Vasilyev has designed a pair of nice widgets called Bluetooth Widget and WiFi Manager; I find the latter particularly useful as I can see at a glance which wireless network I am currently using. If one is merely interested in turning things on and off, the best widget I found is part of HD Widgets by cloud.tv. Perhaps best known for pretty clock and weather graphics, I like the HD pack best for it's very configurable widget bar; I didn't find any of the pre-configured widget sets to my liking, so I created two custom bars, of which one I use as a lock-screen widget.

I also happen to like the widget for Google Play Books, but have more than a few books in Amazon's Kindle app; fortunately Lucian Schulte has created the Kindle books widget, which resembles the Google book widget in both form and function. If someone creates a similar widget for FB Reader then I could happily browse all my e-books by widgets alone.

As a technical consultant, I go few places without my network toolkit, which includes ConnectBot (secure shell client), WiFi Analyzer, and Fing. I also run SSH Droid, but this is mainly a convenient way to load files onto my Nexus 7. Onec upon a time I also used Terminal Helper to store handy (or lengthy) terminal commands, but this is merely a subset of the function of a good clipboard manager, thus I've switched to Clipper by Rojekti.

Naturally, anyone without a password vault is simply asking for trouble. In my own experienced opinion, there is none better than Lastpass, particularly once one enables critical features. Fans of multi-factor authentication will want to install Google Authenticator and a barcode scanner.