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Apps for Android: my personal list

Everyone has their own, preferred constellation of software for their Android devices. But I found to my pleasure that I can manage separate devices while usually only purchasing the software once, and that's allowed me to do some interesting things. Here's what keeps me productive, day to day:

Password Management

Datavault Almost 60% of my use of my smartphone is to look up the hundreds of passwords I'm forced to manage in a day. I chose the somewhat expensive but high quality Datavault because it also has a Mac OSX app and permits you to sync back to your desktop and export encrypted backup files wherever you want. I want no part of "cloud sync" for my passwords, thankyaverymuch. This is probably my most-used app, as I have to deal with dozens of passwords in the course of any given day (annoying!)

Writing and Creating

Textmaker and Planmaker: I've long used these apps on Linux and FreeBSD and later, Windows, but having a very professional and well thought-out office suite on my tablet is a plus. Furthermore, I used to do a lot of writing on my old Psion 5MX. My tablet, a bluetooth keyboard, and Textmaker is my new rig.


PhoNews and NNTPReader: The Dictator's Handbook forum runs on Usenet, but I also have an account with and still prefer Usenet as a discussion platform. In sum: I like being on Usenet and being able to do so from a phone is awesome. These two apps are each good in their own way and work well on everything from a high end smartphone to my Samsung Pocket running Gingerbread.

Web Forums

Tapatalk: This cool app allows you to access a lot of web forums where the manager has installed their software. I manage and installed it there. I can now keep up on forum conversations without much hassle at all, and have used their directory to find a few forums about other topics that interest me. Tapatalk however does some annoying things to forums' web interfaces though; I ultimately uninstalled it from GotoNicaragua.

Mail, Calendar, Addresses, To Dos

Aquamail: I demand a lot from my IMAP email client, and Aquamail was worth the money. It's really well-thought out, and it provides a nice widget that allows me to keep an eye on my mailbox at a glance, even from the home screen.

Martin Gnadja's CalDAV and CardDAV sync: my calendar and addressbook are on Fruux, because I think Google already has enough of my information and I wanted a standards-compliant Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android solution. These little apps give me full access to my calendar and addressbook with such simplicity and elegance it's almost invisible. And now Fruux has its own app, making it even easier.

2Do: I tried a lot of task managers and finally settled on this one. Tabbed lists, color coding, priority-setting, categories, start and end dates, and sync to ToodleDo. It's just a bit heavy on gingerbread, but works like a champ on my Nexus and Note III devices.

RSS Readers

RSS Reader: In the age of Google Plus and Facebook etc. it seems everyone has forgotten about RSS feeds, which mystifies me, as they're so intensely useful. I still subscribe to several dozen RSS feeds, and RSSReader manages them in style for me. It could easily be the only app on my phone I need while drinking coffee and girding up to go to the office. There are dozens and dozens of RSS readers out there; I tried well over ten before settling on RSSReader. I'd previously used something called RSS Demon until the developer pushed out an update that destroyed it utterly. I dumped that one and never looked back (check out its reviews for a fine dose of user vitriol).

Ebook Readers

I prefer Nook over Kindle, so I've got that app, as well as Kobo. Goodreads gives me access to reviews, although I use it infrequently (ever since Amazon bought it, actually). Finally, I quite like Aldiko, which reads several formats and doesn't come with all that "integrated book store" baggage. When I download free ebooks from Project Gutenberg, I use Aldiko to read them.


I've paid for JuiceSSH, Connectbot, and BetterTerminal. I'm hard pressed to say which one I like best (None works as well as iSSH on my wife's ipad). Connectbot has trouble with my Motorola bluetooth keyboard and Juice sometimes has some screen refresh problems I don't understand (but I get tired of hitting Ctl-L to clean the screen). BetterTerminal works on phones but not tablets and I can't understand why.


I've got an LDAP addressbook out there connected to my mail account, so I downloaded LDAP Client to see if I could access it. Yes, but not in a way that was useful. For a while I used ProSQL to access my remote MySQL databases and MobSQL Postgresql edition for my Postgresql databases; no complaints about either although frankly, doing database work from a tablet is annoying.


Living in Africa, there's still shortwave radio around (though not much). The old, classic, printed directory of stations and programs is no longer printed, but in its place is the Shortwave Schedules app, which I like almost as well, and which permits sorting and searching by time or location - useful!

Tides and Currents was the app I chose to track tides where I live (it doesn't seem to be on the market anymore though). I actually don't find it as useful as the old tideapp I used on my Palm device, but it's much faster and far more beautiful. There are so many tide apps out there, and so few of them are useful for anything other than a very narrow subset of tides: very annoying. I no longer see this app on the store - it may have been withdrawn.

I use Baconreader for Reddit, and have dedicated apps for the BBC and the Guardian UK. I used Simply Slashdot to read Slashdot before the Slashcott that drove me back to Usenet.

I turn out to not be much of a gamer, and in fact the last device I spent any serious time playing video games on was my Commodore 64. But Infinite Surf is fun, and I've paid for Backgammon and Chess.

Lunar Phase is useful and fun for me, fits in well with the tides app, and has alerted me to several eclipses I'd have otherwise missed!

Tweetcaster: I'm not a huge Twitter fan, but this app makes it bearable and clearly far surpasses Twitter's own website and app in functionality and ease-of-use.


My office allowed us for a while to use Good to connect to the corporate Exchange Server and Sharepoint site, which was pretty damned useful (I once took a one week business trip and carried nothing more than my Nexus 7 and Motorola keyboard). My team uses Trello to organizes our team to-do lists (it's one of the best apps I have ever used, and is highly productive - I recommend it fully). I use Tasks ToDo Pro to organize and manage tasks I've assigned my local office staff, since I don't want them in the 2Do list I use for my personal tasks.

FilemanagerHD is great for managing pictures I download, etc. It drives me crazy that on the ipad they don't really let you poke around the file system - another reason Android is the better fit for me.


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