Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting the best out of your Android device, using apps

With mobile manufacturers finally starting to make affordable Android tablets, there is a new revolution happening and you don’t want to be left out. With the cheapest Android tablets in India such as the Accordpad, we are looking at an explosion of these devices in the next few months. With thousands of applications (Apps) available on the Android ecosystem, it can be a little daunting to get that perfect app. We sift through tens of thousands of apps to find out the ones which are the most relevant and useful applications that Android users must have. The apps featured here do not consume too much of your devices resources and have been tested extensively by thousands of users.

Getting Started

It is important to understand that apps are at the heart of the Android Operating System. So the first thing is to get to know your Apps in and out. Here are five ways to do just that.

Get a Google Account

So, what is the best way to make friends with your new android device? Get a Google Account. This is a no brainer and in fact your android device will literally force you to associate it with a Google Account. If you don’t have one already, creating one is a breeze. However, this is not a bad thing at all. With your device synced with your Google account, you have access to your all your mail and more importantly, your phonebook, contacts and calendar. This is also a good reason for you to clean up those duplicate contacts, and start adding as much info of your contacts in your Google account. Also, start syncing your calendar, bookmarks and search history with your Android device and Google account; you will redefine the limits of productivity.

Cons: You will be sharing your deepest secrets with Google. Though Google’s policy of “Don’t be evil” may be true, if you don’t trust it, get a Google account just to sync your android device online and don’t share any personal information.

Now to cut to the chase. Here is the lit of the top five essential apps.

Appbrain Application Market

The default Android Market app is painful. Finding the right app and installing it is possible only using the device’s market interface. Enter Appbrain, an app built on the Android Market interface but providing a slew of advantages. For instance, you can sync your Appbrain account using your Google account at and the website will register your device, and display the list of apps currently installed. The best part? You can search for applications, read reviews and ratings and install/uninstall applications with your browser. All you need is to sync the application on your device with your Appbrain account and it will download, install and also update future releases of the app without any hassle.

Cons: In a few cases, apps which have been selected for installation using the website are not available on the device and the app displays an error similar to the page not found error and cancels installation.

Advanced Task Killer

It is very easy to get hooked on to the apps, get carried away, and end up installing too many apps. With Android supporting multi tasking, it is easy to lose track of currently running apps which can end up becoming a major stain on your device’s resources, drain your battery and take up a huge amount of space on your internal and external memory. The solution? Advanced Task Killer. This nifty application displays a neat list of currently running apps, including itself, and lets you kill (shut down) the apps easily and instantly.

Cons: It is not advisable to kill apps unnecessarily, since some default apps which are required to run by the operating system will restart immediately and use even more resources. Use this app judiciously and you will get the maximum benefit from it.

Fast Uninstaller

By now, you must have figured out what this app does. Yes, it uninstalls other apps, and keeps your device clutter free and your app addictiveness in check. The advantage over the standard uninstaller is that this lets you uninstall multiple apps and saves you the guilt after a session of downloading frenzy.

Cons: This will not let you uninstall apps which come on the device by default. Certain adware included.

Quick System Info PRO

This is one of the best app available in the market and for good reason. It gives you a snapshot of your device including the amount of CPU, ROM and Battery Usage. It even breaks down the information by providing the usage history of each app and gives you an option to kill all running services. You can also change the wi-fi, gps, internet and brightness settings, giving you total control over your device.

Cons: It is easy to get bogged by the information which is provided by this app. Our suggestion is to stick to the basics and take your time in understanding this app.

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