My Life with Android

For several years I have been happily using Android devices. I greatly value the innovative and open nature of the operating system and have found using it as my main operating system to be very rewarding. I’ve used Android on my netbook, a tablet and phones and have been impressed with its evolution into the most versatile operating system on the market. Today it has even pushed aside Ubuntu to be the only operating system I use daily.

The number of applications available for Android can be overwhelming. Here is my list of some of the applications I find valuable enough to keep with me all day as compliments to the great Google applications that come with Android.

Working and Customizing

  • ES File Explorer – Android doesn’t have a browser for local storage or network shares, but this application makes both accessible.
  • Instant Heart Rate – I’m a lifelogger, and this app makes it very easy to track my heart rate. It uses a device’s  camera to measure heart rate quite accurately.
  • Light Flow – Light Flow is an application that allows users to create custom LED notifications. I use it to tell at a glance what kinds of messages and alerts I have received.
  • Llama – I use Llama to automatically change my volume settings depending on my location. When I am at work my phone is always silent.
  • QR Droid – I am a big fan of QR codes and this app is the one I use to capture the data that they contain.
  • Smart Tools – There are many traditional tools that a phone can easily replace. In this app I have tools for measurement, metal detection, lighting and measuring sound levels.
  • SMS Backup + – I like to archive any conversations I have, and this app allows me to keep my text messages archived alongside my email.

Listening

  • 8tracks – This is the official app for a great service for streaming curated music playlists.
  • Last.fm – I’ve been using Last.fm for years to track the music I listen to and to discover new artists. The app scrobbles music and allows for music streaming in some countries.
  • Listen – I go through many podcasts each week and Listen is my podcatcher of choice.

Reading

Playing

  • Androidminion – Dominion is one of my favourite card games and this application is a feature-complete version of the game and its expansions.
  • Cut the Rope – This is a simple, challenging puzzle game.
  • Dice Bag – I play a few tabletop RPGs each month, and Dice Bag is how I roll for my most complicated characters.
  • Elder Sign: Omens – Elder Sign: Omens is a great implementation of the board game based on the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Frozen Bubble – I first played Frozen Bubble when I began to use Linux and it’s a nostalgic favourite of mine.
  • GYRO – GYRO is an intuitive and challenging arcade-style game built for a touch interface.
  • OpenTyrian – When I was a kid, one of my favourite computer games was Tyrian, a space shooter. The game’s source code and content was released later as open source and this port is a result of a community effort to bring the game to a wide range of operating systems.

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