As Android operating systems continue to gain in popularity, and apps for Android devices sprout like mushrooms, it is sometimes difficult to choose the most useful apps from among the thousands of mediocre ones. Let’s have a look at Ten apps which offer ease of use and superior functionality.
Quick Settings is a comprehensive, straight-forward app allows you to quickly change many settings. It requires Android version 1.5 and up.
The interface is fast and clean and it arranges almost every setting of an Android device in a list of shortcuts. Common setting options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, APN, and volume control are arranged in the list.
Quick Settings can save you a lot of time by giving quick access to commonly used settings whilst bypassing the Settings tab.
AppMonster helps you backup, restore and manage apps on your Android device. It requires Android version 1.6 – 2.3.3.
With AppMonster users can make a backup of a single app or all applications installed on their Android device. The app is available to download from Android Market free of charge. This application doesn‘t have a lot of frills but it can backup and restore apps quickly and reliably.
The Advanced Task Killer application offers the most comprehensive set of options for setting auto-kill defaults for individual and multiple apps. It requires Android version 1.5 and up.
This app allows a quick and easy way to close apps which may be running in the background and eating up your Android device’s battery life. It circumvents the complicated steps which this usually requires (you have to go to settings first, open manage applications, select the application and then close it). The Advanced Task Killer allows you to close multiple apps at once.
Battery Booster provides information on your battery usage, capacity, temperature, and voltage, allowing Android users to optimise battery life. Requires Android version 1.5 and up.
This app provides real-time battery status such as charging status, temperature, voltage and capacity, additionally it has battery boosting techniques to boost battery life and improve the long-term life of the battery.
Screenbl allows you to teach your Android device when to turn off the screen. It requires Android version 1.5 and up.
Screenbl checks the Android device’s orientation to determine whether or not it is in use before activating the screen timeout. This prevents the screen from turning off when you‘re watching movies or a photo slideshow or when the screen locks up when there‘s been no touch activity.
Screebl has many customization options to configure orientation for both portrait and landscape modes. You can manage screen brightness, sampling frequency and stillness configuration according to your preferences so that Screebl will recognize your preferences and trigger a screen timeout only in the right circumstances.
App Protector Pro allows you to selectively lock sensitive apps, it requires Android version 1.5 and up.
Using the App Protector Pro, any app that you have on your Android device that might contain private or sensitive information can be protected with a password so that if your device ever gets into the wrong hands or is lost, those apps can’t be opened.
There is a free trial version of App Protector Pro available, but it is only valid for 7 days.
Wi-Fi Analyzer allows an Android user to detect local Wi-Fi hotspots and choose which is least busy. It requires Android version 1.5 and up.
Wi-Fi Analyzer displays the wireless networks around the user and shows the strength of the access points on an attractive speedometer-like gauge. The details of each network, including the security type, SSID, MAC address, and the channels which have the least amount of interference are also shown.
Wi-Fi Analyzer is available free of charge on Android Market.
Quick Exit is a free app which allows Android users to add an “exit” button in the status bar which will close any open app quickly and easily. Quick Exit requires Android version 1.5 and up.
Smart Taskbar allows users to launch any application instantly by accessing a mini sidebar for immediate launch. It requires Android version 1.5 and up.
Smart Taskbar also helps you organize apps, switch tasks, kill tasks and manage shortcuts on your Android device. You can organize the apps into different categories and label them (e.g. games, utilities, reference, camera apps, etc.).
Smart Taskbar has excellent customization options to give you quick access to not just apps but also system settings, such as turning on/off Wi-Fi, 3G, and Bluetooth.
It is available free of charge from Android Market.
SD CARD Storage Optimizer allows Android users to get the most out of using an SD card with an Android device. It requires Android version 1.5 and up.
The SD CARD Storage Optimizer app is available free of charge on Android Market. With it users can compress, delete or copy data on their SD CARD, as well as bookmark frequently used files and create a bookmark folder using the app.
The app also includes an ‘FTP Upload Manager.’
By Angela Meadon
[From e-book "Top Ten System Tools For Android" by MetaPlume Corporation]