Android Software I Use

On 2011/01/01, in Android, by Greg Woods

Having lost my old Samsung Galaxy (the original i7500 on Android 1.6), I decided to keep a log of software I install. It turns out the market only remembers stuff you purchase, not everything you had installed. This list may provide a shortcut to others who need to use their Android handset in a semi-useful manner.

Phone: Orange San Francisco aka ZTE Blade

Custom ROM

Step1 – Install ClockworkMod recovery

Why? To remove Orange branding and give a more default Android experience.
ClockworkMod Recovery adds a new ROM management utility to the boot up options when you boot with VolDown + Power
Once installed, Vol-/+ to navigate, home to select
Allows install of new ROMs from a packaged up zip file on the SD card.
Note: You need to know if your device is OLED or LCD screen (newer ones are LCD), and ensure the ROM is compatible. Phone Build Numbers ending ‘08’ are LCD

I used:
r7_update_de-orangeated_lite_blade_signed.zip(also ‘roots’ the phone)
Followed by
r7_update_de-orangeated_fat_addon_blade_signed.zip
see modaco for instructions on installing clockwordmodrecovery, and then downloading the roms.

Modaco homepage for ZTE Blade / San Francisco
http://android.modaco.com/category/453/zte-blade-blade-modaco-com/

Essential (for me)

Blade WiFi Fix – auto disables then enables wifi to fix a bug in the phone
Auto Wifi Enabler – Only turns on Wifi when in a certain (coarse) geographic area. I can leave WiFi on all the time now.
Calendar Pad – utterly essential – shows text in your calendar instead of meaningless coloured lines
Astrid – useful task manager if you use Google Tasks (which is slowly becoming useful)
Catch Notes – because I use the web version
BeamReader PDF Viewer (Purchased) – the best PDF viewer, though I’ve not checked out Adobe’s offering in a while
Twidroyd – because you need a dose of Twitter
Dropbox – because you can!
Advanced Task Killer – occasionally useful
Flash 10.1 – for a dose of TekPub – doesn’t work on the Blade for some reason :( http://www.addictivetips.com/mobile/how-to-install-flash-10-1-on-android-2-1-eclair-devices/

Navigation

Maverick Pro (Purchased) – Great for recording tracklogs, and supports loads of maps, including Open Piste Map. UPDATE: some features, like saving track logs as GPX files appears unavailable for phones without a 5way D-Pad or trackball :(
Maps (-) – great for pre-caching vector map data before you go on holiday and incur a huge data bill
RMaps – like google maps, but with more source map data options. Functionality probably overlaps with Maverick now I’ve bought that.
Street View on Google Maps – not tried yet, but why wouldn’t you install it!
My Maps Editor by Google – unsure of it’s usefulness at the moment
Google Sky Map – because it’s just awesome to show off with!

Security, Backup

Lost Phone – if not this, then PLEASE install something that allows you to remotely lock, turn on GPS tracking, or make the phone sound an alarm. SMS controlled.
SMS Backup + – because WHEN you lose your phone, it’s nice to have your SMSs backed up automatically to gmail.
Titanium Backup – trying it out. Saving to SD at the moment, which is useful when ROM swapping. Premum version supports Dropbox, which is more useful for a stolen phone.

Utilities

Barcode Scanner – essential for QR codes – this one works really well
Show and Switch 2G – Useful in marginal 3G signal areas, or to save battery. This one switches from the notifications bar, with additional icon to show network type
Switch Network Type – as above, but no additional icon

Novelty & Untested

Instant Heart Rate – interesting use of the camera!
Picasa Tool Pro – untested
Pkt Auctions Ebay – easier than using the web site

Games

Angry Birds – just to keep up with Jones’ (iPhone users!)

 

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