just.yoga

June 19, 2010

12 essential apps for the Desire


After much persuasion I’ve finally got my very own .com Please do update your bookmarks to my new blog

http://www.yogaretnam.com

 

Now that I’ve covered the awesome games and cool applications on the Desire, it’s time to finally find the essential Swiss army knife for the Desire. After all even with the greatest hardware, it will still be a mediocre experience without the right software to fully utilize it’s capabilities.

In no particular order here’s a list of applications that I install every time I reset the Desire, yes I’ve done it countless number of times during the past week or so, all in the name of thoroughly testing it out 😀

1. Astro File Manager

As it’s name suggest, Astro File manager is basically a File Manager for the Android. It allows you to manipulate the files on the Desire without having to connect it to a computer. Some of the things that Astro File Manager allows you to do

  • Manage all files on your SD card (copy, move, rename)
  • Manage multiple files and directories at once
  • Backup applications
  • Manage running applications
  • Send files as attachments
  • View thumbnails and images
  • Browse and create compressed files like Zip and Tar

One really useful feature of Astro is the ability to backup applications to the SD card. This is basically a band-aid solution for those who are running out of internal memory space. You can backup the installer files of applications you seldom use but want them around just in case you need them one day. Back it up to the SD card, uninstall it and free up precious internal memory. If ever you need it again browse to the SD card and reinstall it.

Apart from that you can now browse compressed files like Zip and Tar files. If you’ve ever received an email with zip files attachment, you know how frustrating it is to not be able to open it, well now with Astro you can open it just like a directory. You can copy,move,delete or even rename  individual files without having to extract the whole file. A must have for those who download files with their Desire.

Astro File Manager

Astro File Manager

 

Astro File Manager

Icons View

Installed Application Manager

Installed Application Manager

Process Manager for Apps

Process Manager for Apps

2. FX Camera

The camera application that comes with the Desire has many fine tuning options to take great pictures but that involves a lot of tweaking to get the desired effect, by which time you might have even missed the opportunity to capture the moment. I’ve been using FX Camera for a while and absolutely loved the effects that came with it !!

The effects that FX Camera has

  • ToyCam – Toycam allows you to simulate the experience of taking pictures on an old camera. You’re able to choose the level of vignetting and add a variety of colour effects to add the feel of a soft focus shot.
  • Polandroid – The infamous Polaroid camera effect is also available giving you a choice of three different color filters (faded,aged and mono). You’ll also get two border frames,sadly it doesn’t allow you to add any text to the picture.
  • Fisheye – The ever funny fisheye lense allows you to take interesting shots of anything imaginable. Great way to annoy or amuse friends !! 😀
  • Symmetricam – Create strange symmetrical photos
  • Warhol – Andy Warhol effect allows you to take a boring picture and turn it into a pop art masterpiece.
  • Normal – Tired of having too much fun ? Then there’s the Normal mode with some pretty basic effects such as sephia, negative and solarise. Yes despite it being Normal, it takes much better pictures compared to the standard photo application. Go figure.

Toycam effect

Toycam effect

Polaroid effect

Polaroid effect

Fisheye effect

Fisheye effect

Mirror

Symmetricam

Warhol effect

Warhol effect

Normal mode

Normal mode

Pictures can also be uploaded directly to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Picasa.

As great as it sounds there are certain things I don’t like about the app

  • No zoom function
  • No way to control the flash
  • Once you’ve taken a picture with an effect there’s no way to undo the effect
  • Can’t add effects to pictures taken under normal mode

Definitely a must have for those who love to take pictures with their Desire. To see more amazing pictures taken with the FX Camera do check out this Flickr group

3. App lock

Now I’m sure you’ve shown your Desire around to friends and even have some of them try out some of the applications installed. Now I know some people are anal about people seeing their SMS or emails, or maybe even some other application which might have some sensitive data that’s for your eyes only, then this application is for you !! This application basically allows you to password protect certain application with a 4 digit pin number. Now you can safely pass your Desire around without having to worry about them tweetjacking your account and start posting nonsense on Twitter 😀

Passcode required to enter settings

Passcode required to enter settings

Protected applications

Protected applications

4. 3G Watchdog

The HTC Desire loves the internet a lot and does a lot of data exchange in the background syncing with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr ensuring that data is always up to date on the Desire. For those on limited data plan this could be very bad news especially when you’ve exceeded your quota. Fret not now with 3G Watchdog you can monitor your data usage from the Desire and be warned when you reach a set limit of your quota. Excellent FREE application to have 🙂

Keep track of your data usage

Keep track of your data usage

Set quota and warnings

Set quota and warnings

5. Advanced Task Killer

Yes this is an application to kill other applications !! 😀 Basically the Desire allows multiple apps to be in memory concurrently which has it’s own pro’s and con’s. Con’s because some processes and apps can really make the phone really slow right up to a crawl and only when that happens will the Force close option appear. With Advanced Task Killer you have the ability to stop certain background apps, set an Ignore List or with just a click of a button kill all running apps with just one button. Your Desire will feel like it’s just been reset and you’re good to go with a fresh Desire.

Preferences

Preferences

Free memory and current running tasks

Free memory and current running tasks

6. Touiter

Touiteur (pronounced as “Twitter” but with a french accent), is a new Twitter client for the Android platform. This is the best Twitter client on the Android !! I’ve used Twidroid, Seesmic and HTC Peep and all of them doesn’t come close to Touiter.

Touiteur is better looking than Seesmic, has multiple accounts like Tweetcaster, and packs enough features to be the best app to rival Twidroid. Many Twitter Android apps have tried to take Twidroid’s crown; Touiteur may actually pull it off. There are some bugs and areas for improvement but considering this is the first release of the app, it’s very promising. Touiteur delivers everything you would expect from a Twitterclient; retweet with comments, post a new tweet, easy access to user profiles, URL shortening, multiple Twitter accounts and of course ability to share pictures and videos.

At times there are tweets which are longer than 140 characters which utilises Twitlonger, Touiteur reads those longer tweets directly from the app itself. Apart from that it has the ability to view replies directly in the news feed and a useful quick-use bar bar that has all the things you would likely do in a response to a tweet (reply, view links, retweet,direct message) as well as a full conversation view right under the selected tweet. This for me was the most awesome feature, I would like to know the flow of the conversation before replying and sadly many applications don’t have such feature. Try it for yourself, there’s definitely no turning back 🙂

Main screen

Main screen

The quick-bar

The quick-use bar

Conversation view

Conversation view

Preferences

Preferences

7. gTasks

If  you’re already syncing Google Mail,Calendar and contacts; make sure to check out gTasks to complete your Desire. gTasks allows two way synching between your Desire and Tasks in Google Mail. Now you can go around town checking your tasks as you complete them and add more when required. A must have for those who love to have checklists 🙂  One thing that’s missing though is notifications.

Seamlessly integrate your tasks

Seamlessly integrate your tasks

Preferences

Preferences

8. Shazam

Everyone should have heard of Shazam by now, right ? Well if you haven’t Shazam is a music recognition application. Hear a familiar tune that you can’t remember ? Just launch the application, point the Desire towards the speaker and let Shazam do it’s magic. As easy as A,B,C 🙂

Shazam

Shazam

Found a match

Found a match

9.SMS Backup

If you use your phone for business or just want to archive any important text message that you’ve receive then this is definitely an app you want on your phone. The best part about this application is it backs up all your SMS’s to Gmail. Now even if you lose your phone or it somehow loses all the data you have everything backed up to Gmail, makes searching for text messages much easier too.

Preferences

Preferences

Threaded SMS view in Gmail

Threaded SMS view in Gmail

10. SMS Quick Delete

When you have a lot of text messages, deleting them can take quite sometimes even up to a few minutes. The solution ? Install SMS Quick Delete and instantly your old text messages get deleted with just a click of a button.

Tick the SMS to delete

Tick the SMS to delete

Delete all sms in threaded view or just one

Delete all sms in threaded view or just one

11. aCurrency

Simple yet effective. Get the latest currency exchange at your fingertips. The app also shows a graphical view of the currency exchange history. Really useful app for those that travel often.

Ability to choose desired currency

Ability to choose desired currency

Exchange rate history

Exchange rate history

12. ConvertDroid

This one has saved the day countless of times. Ever needed to convert units and can’t remember what exactly the conversions are ? Put your mind to rest and let the Desire do all the thinking for you !! After all a smartphone is suppose to make life easier and fun for you right ?? 😀

Complete list of conversion

Complete list of conversion

Enter preferred unit

Enter preferred unit

There you have it, my top 12 applications. It might vary based on your day to day requirements but for me these are the applications which makes things easier for me and warrants the need for a smartphone in the first place apart from the usual browsing, checking email, chatting needs. There are still tonnes of applications that I have not covered but I guess you can call this my essential applications. Let the Desire make your life desirable !! 😀

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3 Comments »

  1. Awsome awsome Android!!! I want it!

    Comment by Joceline — June 19, 2010 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  2. Joceline
    Buy buy buy 😀

    Comment by yoga — July 5, 2010 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  3. […] unresponsive. The solution for backing up those messages and deleting a long thread are covered here; SMS Backup and SMS Quick […]

    Pingback by Android Low on space « just.yoga — February 18, 2011 @ 5:29 pm | Reply


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