Today is Thanksgiving day in the United States, a holiday normally geared towards celebrating and appreciating all that we have been granted in this life. But given our passion for mobile technology, we decided to focus on that and share with you the apps we are most thankful for.
Since this is a very personal choice, I didn’t want this roundup to be limited to the regular culprits of Evernote, Kindle, Dropbox, and the likes — of course we are thankful for these services and the amount of effort that goes into making them available on Android! Instead, I asked our writers to share the little gems they have found, local or niche apps, that normally wouldn’t make it into a full review on Android.Appstorm, but that have made a difference to their everyday life.
Robert currently lives and studies in Timişoara, Romania. This is not his hometown, and getting around can be tricky. That’s why he uses the Public Transport – Timisoara app. Now, at least he knows he can count on when the buses, trams or trolleys arrive and be sure to make it on time for his work and school schedules.
Guardian Eyewitness is a great app for tablets that displays a daily photo from the Guardian newspaper. Every picture is high quality and shows a powerful image taken by the best photographers in the world. There is also a tip at the bottom of the photo for improving your camera skills. Sam’s favorite feature is that he can set the picture as a wallpaper, which he does all the time.
Fanfiction doesn’t appeal to many, but, to a group of people, including Samuel, fanfiction is an exciting and interesting concept. Fanfiction Reader brings together millions of stories into one helpful database, accompanied by a wealth of other features. And for the fanfiction writer, it provides a lot of ideas to check and definitely helps to get their creative juices flowing.
Joe goes to Disney a few times per year [which I envy him for, a lot - Ed note] and he uses the official app to get full maps, schedules, and wait times. It works fantastically well and he finds it incredibly useful on his visits.
Joe traveled a lot this year and TripIt helped him stay organized through it all. It allowed him to easily reference reservations, confirmation numbers and more. Plus he set it to monitor his email so it will automatically add trips for him whenever he gets a confirmation for buying tickets.
PNC’s Virtual Wallet has a lot of Mint-like features and gives Joe access to all his bank information. Even better than that, he can deposit checks by taking a photo of them. This has saved him a few trips to the bank!
Ashish is our resident customizer in the team, so it’s pretty understandable that he picked a widget. Widgetsoid — which he has already showed you how to use — is by far the most powerful, customizable and stable power control widget he has found on Android. The ability to customize it so only the icons float on his desktop is nice for minimalistic setups, and the notification panel widget works flawlessly, saving him tons of time messing with settings for minor tasks like switching WiFi on, adjusting the media volume, toggling screen rotation and flipping on the torch in the dark. All of that also comes at his favorite unbeatable price of free.
We have never reviewed SafeWallet here before, but it’s one of the most awesome services ever. It’s a personal data application that stores your information safely and with encryption, syncs over Dropbox, and offers Mac, Windows, and many counterparts for other platforms. I use it daily to save and access all of my online logins, credit cards, car insurance, WiFi passwords, and much, much more. The simplicity of the Dropbox sync, the relatively cheaper price of the desktop counterpart and the fact that you’re not trusting your data to an easily hacked company, puts this above 1Password, LastPass and many other alternatives for me.
I am a big fan of any application that makes my life easier and saves me time, so automation has been very high on my list of app categories to look for. I have tried using Tasker before, but it seemed so unnecessarily complicated that I felt I was wasting my time trying to gain time. Then I recently stumbled on AutomateIt Pro, which offers all the scheduling and rules that I needed, in a more modern and simpler to understand UI. Now my phone toggles WiFi, Data, Bluetooth, brightness and more depending on whether I’m at home, work, with friends or driving. It even turns on automatic rotation only when I open the Gallery, and turns it off when I exit it.