Android Apps

Android Jelly Bean Apps
January 17, 2014

I finally had a chance to play with the android phone a bit more. I decided to write a list of a few apps that are really nice. Currently my phone uses the android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, so this is what I'm using on this phone. I started with android 2.3 on my very first tablet and although there have been many updates, the apps (programs) that you download to use on your phone/tablet seem to be stuck in the 90's with ads still being added to them. I know that ads have their place, but I hate them in pop ups like when they started in the 90's and worst in any program that I want to use or work on. This is just not the place for them. Another thing that I look at carefully is what access the app wants on the phone. I just don't install apps that want access to everything when it should not need to. One example is the camera, many apps don't need to be able to take pictures whenever they want without my knowledge. Another thing I have found is that many of the apps don't work well without a network connection. This doesn't work for me. I don't currently have phone access yet and don't want apps to just access that randomly. So I also look for apps that can work offline only because then you can actually use them anywhere even if there is no signal. For example, I wanted a simple exercise app but the few I tried didn't work well because the map was not accessible so it wasn't plotting the route correctly. The speed was also very wrong.  So with this in mind here are the few apps that are working well so far. This is in no particular order, just things that I found useful and some may have a bit more access than others, but I try to keep this to a minimum.

I forgot to mention that these are all apps from the android market and only approved apps. Although they are approved many still have the ads built in, so you have to check any others yourself. If I install an app and find ads, I just uninstall it. I have other apps that came with the phone and work fine, one or two don't actually work. In any case, these are the few I found useful and I have a few others I didn't mention but I'm just testing those to see which I like/work best.

One thing I should note about the android market is that you can only make comments if you have a g+ account. My account got deleted way back when I started testing it. So I won't bother making one again and it would be nice if anyone could make comments for any apps so that they can be rated/improved from the feedback they would get. As of now, I just don't bother trying as I can't do anything there.

I'll be updating this page as I find and use more apps. That will take time but for now at least I have some basic apps that can be used without too much hassle. Anything that is crossed off I no longer use.

Adobe Reader - Seems to work fine without the bloatware so I'm adding it here. It also finds all the pdf files even if they are in different folders which is really nice.

Aldiko - It's just a book reader that I used on my old android and can be used to read pdf files, so I just kept it here as well.

Autum Wallpaper by Chiral Code - This is just a live wall paper that I don't use, but it's really nice.

AVG Antivirus - I'm not sure how well this works but it seems to be getting a little better and not taking over things.

Binary Calculations by Carls J - I think it's french but you can still use it. It's simple enough with no special rights.

Calendar One Simple Calendar by Josty - Just a nice clean and simple calendar. You can also add tasks to it. I just like to have a whole calendar I can view that is not the google calendar. I don't like to work off my phone much, but this app also works offline. Unfortunately I can't find it on the google apps anymore.

Calorie Counter by krabet - It's just a nice simple app and I like the icons, so I left it. I guess it can also be used if you like calorie counting. I deleted this app, I just had no use for it. No longer use this.

Cederroth First Aid by CodeStream - No special rights needed. I think it's from Europe but first aid applies pretty much anywhere, just don't call the number on the app. This is a graphical app that shows you how to do first aid on infants, kids and grownups. I can't remember everything so I just like having these for reference.

Clocks Around the World by Dr. Klukas -  I just wanted to have more calendars with time around the world and this one seems to work. It's not the prettiest but seems to work fine. It shows the day time clocks in white and night time clocks in black which is pretty cool.

Connect Four Multiplayer by mm2play - Just a simple game for those long layovers. It's simple and works offline.

Convertbee - A really nice looking app for all your conversion needs. It's a very nicely designed app and very functional. I tested the currency converter and it only uses "bank" numbers which means it doesn't update them. So don't use this app conversions.

CPU-Z by cpuid - Just a small hardware app. This will read your hardware information and tell you what it is. It's useful and not bloated like those other testing apps.

Currency Converter by Aabasoft android development division - This one seems to update to current exchange rates and it's also a nice simple app. I'm not sure how good these are but maybe it will be useful someday.

Dictionary - WordWeb by WordWeb Software - It's just a very nice clean and simple to use dictionary, also works offline. When you first open it you get a window with the name then the actual dictionary. I don't think you need that first window, but it is what it is.

Drill Bit Charts  by Don Stegall - Sometimes I find myself looking for a tap or drill and I was always looking for those cards they give you at stores with all the different sizes. This app has all that in both metric/imperial. It's a really nice simple app with just the information you need. The only downside to this app is that it only gives you the metric equivalent for the taps and not what you should use to make that metric hole. So a bit useless with the metric taps since I do use that. Check out the FSWizard lite speed feed calc for a nice metric tap list.

Drugs Dictionary Parmaterra by Shapka - This is a drug dictionary as the name says. Basically you can search for any medication information in this app. Can't remember what a particular medication you have is for, look it up and find out with this up. Very useful, but always make sure to verify any information just to be sure. I just installed this app and it looks like it works offline too and doesn't have ads either. I can no longer find this one.

Electronics Calculator by AppDevGenie- A really nice reference calculator. If they just take out the first splash screen then it would be just right. Other than than, it's also a nice simple app and also works offline. The option has been added where you no longer get the splash screen and although I don't even use it, it's a really nice app that I keep it installed anyway.

Electronics Toolkit by James Rockliff - Another electronics reference app without ads or special rights requirements. The resistor bands seem a bit limited on this one. The calc above I think has up to five bands, this one only four. I just checked, the first calc has up to six bands. I do prefer how that other one is layed out too.

English Dictionary - Offline by Livio- This dictionary is also pretty neat as it has sound so you can hear the words or have it read everything that you searched for. No ads and also works offline.

ES File Explorer - Although my android came with a file manager app, this one seems to have quite a bit of options, so I added this as well. This app has a lot of nice built-in features, but unfortunately it also wants access to a lot of your phone which I am not a fan of. Other than that, it works well.

Evernote - I don't use this but it looks like it is a nice app. I just had it on the old tablet so I added it here. I have since uninstalled this app. It needs too many rights.

Fing by Overlook - Network Tools by Overlook - This is a very nice simple network tool. No special rights or ads needed.

Flipboard - This is a simple newsreader which works fine. No ads either so it works fine. I didn't bother looking for others, but I'm sure there are many others. I also took this one off my phone. It has too many rights requirements too but works fine. It was an okay reader but took too long. Now I use Roboto news reader instead which is a much much better reader for both online and offline reading.
I no longer use this reader. Use Max reader instead which is much better and faster and offline. The link below.

Fraction Calculator by dua3 - If you need a fraction calculator this one is free and seems to do what you need. I noticed other apps charging for this feature so I found this one. No ads and seems to work just fine.

FSWizard Lite Speed Feed Calc. by Zero_Divide - This is a machining calculator with a weird name but it also includes a nice metric tap chart. Of course it also has inch taps as well as other calculations that you can do.

Gas Guru by LCC -  Need to find a gas station and the lowest prices, this is the app for that.

GPS Test by Chartcross Limited - A nice app to view gps satellites. Unfortunately I can see up to 10 but none in use so I'm not sure what's going on with my phone. It also seems to take a while for my phone to detect the sats when I'm trying to use it with the exercise app. It looks like my phone doesn't work too well when it comes to the gps.

Hobby Machinist Calculator - by My Hobby - I was just looking around at these and thought I try this one. I haven't used it but no special rights needed and no ads so I'm leaving it. No metric calculations if I remember correctly though.

IP Network Calculator by OrbitingPluto - It's a nice and simple IP calc, but no IPv6 on this one yet. Oh, no special rights needed either or ads.

IPv4 and IPv6 Converter by LRussian - It seems to work.

Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute by Wellness + Prevention, Inc. - Just a nice simple exercise app with no special rights needed or ads to deal with either.

Kinsoft Office + PDF Free by Kingsoft Office Software Corporation Limited - I just wanted something I could use to write if I ever needed it on the phone. I usually just do all my work on the computer but it's nice to have something in case you need something while away or just use it to read documents as well. This one looks fine. I have yet to use but it opens fine with no ads. The downside of this app is that it requires too much access to the phone.

Learn Japanese Phrasebook by codegent - I wanted to check out Japanese and this is one of the two that seem okay. No special access rights required, but either this one of the other one or both have ads. I haven't used them much yet.

Learning Japanese by sagetsang - The other Japanese app with minimal rights requirements.

Lookout Ad Network Detector by Lookout Labs - It's just what the name says, checks out your apps for adware. Well something like that.

Lookout Security Antivirus by Lookout Mobile Security - I used this on my old tablet. It's an antivirus/malware for android. New features allow you to erase the phone and do a few other remote things if it ever gets lost/stolen. I haven't tried that yet, but you just need to make an account. I'm not sure if it will just work if you ever need that or not, but there you go. Even if android doesn't really need one, it doesn't hurt. Google apps also seems allow you to do similar features but I haven't looked into it yet. I like this app but after checking the rights it really wants a lot of rights to your phone. You can also check out the other anti virus apps which I'll be doing.

MAP Calculator - by Cisco IPv6 Project - Just another IP calc I thought I try out.

MapFactor: GPS Navigation - I just tested this and it works fine offline. So you don't need a network connection to use it. It also uses open maps I think it was and no adds. Overall it looks like a nice app. I did tried others but they don't work offline. Google maps requires a connection so I don't use it even though I have it installed. Because of this I also can't use google voice so as long as this one works, I'm fine. Unfortunately the map won't even find my house. It just finds the streets, so beware that it may not work as well as your car gps. I'll keep my regular gps since this isn't quite working that well. I was a bit wrong on this, it works okay but the app won't update unless you are connected to a network unfortunately even if you have active sats showing up. I also found the app to be cumbersome to use so I just use my car gps still.

MathsApp Scientific Calculator by 4073Labs - Just a nice clean calculator

Mathematics by daboApps - It's just a math app. I don't use it but thought it may come in handy if you're taking a class since it looked interesting and doesn't have ads and seems to work offline.

Maverick: GPS Navigation

Mechanical Engineering Toolbox by Selcuk Hosoglu - Just a reference app.

Milling Speed Feed Calculator by Capacity Web Solutions Pvt Ltd. - A reference app for milling.

Mobi calculator/Real Calc  by IP - Just a simple calculator. There are many but this didn't require much in terms of access and don't display ads. So far the simplest one I could find. It it by no means a simple calc.

Moon 3D by watabou - I like to check out the moon phases so this app is just for that.

Multi Calculator by LemonClip

Multiplication Table by MrZzumer - Want to drill your kids with this, this app will do that. Instead of games use these type of apps as a game. No ads, just what you need.

My Cars (Fuel logger++) by Davag - I started using this app and so far it looks to be working unlike others I have tried in order to keep track of fuel and service.

MyFirstAid  by For Your Web - I figure I check out these apps and maybe I can learn a thing or two just in case. Or maybe just for a good read on an airplane or long bus ride. Either way I can't believe how hard it is to find these apps without all the crapware as this is something anyone can use and would very helpful for anyone to know. This is just a reference app. The only thing I don't like about this is the font being use to make it look like handwriting on the menus. The information is regular font like what you are reading.

MX Player by J2 Interactive - I found out that although this phone could play almost any file supposedly, It would not do it out of the box. I download this app along with the other MX Player Codec (ARMv7) and now I can play avi files. I've been trying different players out, some work for a while and then stop working, so I still haven't found anything I'm really happy with.

NetCalc by Robledo Pazotto - Just another Net calc I thought I try out.

Network Calculator by Michael Kochiashvili - One other network calculator to try out.

Network IP/Subnet Calculator by MobiADM - And another network calculator.

Networking Cables by Lightning - A nice simple reference app to keep with you for those senior moments.

OCR instantly Free by TheSimplest.Net - Just testing this.

Ohm's Law by ilogic innovations, LLC. Just what the title says. It's nice to have all these reference apps at the touch of your finger.

OSI model & TCP/IP model by lightning - Another small reference app.

PDF Viewer by Joseph Paul Cohen - A simple pdf viewer.

Pixlr Express photo editing by Autodesk Inc. - I needed a way to make the pictures smaller as I found out it was just taking forever to upload a picture through the phone service. This is a nice program that looks like it can do this but it's also clean and nice. At the moment I still don't have one that gives me the option to make the image smaller after I choose to upload which is what I would like instead of having to go and edit a picture first, then upload it.

Positive News Reader by Droidlabor - Just another simple reading I'm testing while looking for a simple one that doesn't require unneeded access to the phone or displays a bunch of ads. No longer use this, use roboto newsreader instead.

Price Check by Amazon by Amazon Mobile LLC - Nice app that seems to work just fine, but it does require a lot of access rights on your phone unfortunately.

Print Hammermill by Aftograf LLC - I have been going through the whole list of printing apps. Unfortunately even the ones for my brother printer suck like there's no tomorrow if you can even get any to work. One of the most basic functions that you make on any computer has apparently not transferred to the mobile side. I finally found this app from Hammermill. It's a really nice app and found my printer without any fuss so it should work for pretty much any printer. I do like their paper too, so I knew this might work and it does that, and also has a very nice clean look to it. It's totally free with no external ads whatsoever. They do show you their paper when you print but it's static on the same page letting you know your printing. So I'll keep buying their paper whenever I find it on sale. There is one down side to their app, they want access to most of your stuff, which I really can't figure out why but it looks like you can print from pretty much anything so this may be the reason. Other than that it just works. I don't have anything special on my phone, but I really don't like apps having access to everything in it. That just opens the door for crapware. Either way this app is very professional looking and easy to use. I even forgot to mention that even the test print only printed a small icon on the top right of the page to save ink! Now that's a small detail but someone really did a nice job with it. I have worked on many printers over the years and this is the first time I have seen this on anything. For pdf printing you will be asked to download a few more files, so make sure you have plenty of space for these extras as other apps ask for space too depending on what they are. Most don't but a few here and there do.

Primeros Auxilios by worlwide apps - Another first aid app in spanish.

Privacy Flashlight by Snoopwall - So far this is a nice basic flashlight, and works with just the LED or the screen which is really nice and doesn't require any special rights either. At least not when I installed it. So far this is the only one I need now.

Programmer's Calculator Plus by SIGmobile - A simple no ads programmer's calculator.

Push Ups by Rittr Labs - A very simple no special access rights or ads app that works great. I have started using it and I like it. Of course you do this at your own risk. You know your limits. I no longer use this as it doesn't adjust if you stop for a while and I ended up hurting myself a bit trying to keep up. So just do what works for you. There are many others out there but I haven't tried too many yet, I just do my own sets now.

Qubism by Jonathon Quinn - Just a cube sketching app. I wanted something for simple cad drawing and stumbled on this. It's simple with no ads, so I left it.

Quick Math Calculators Pack by Andrew L. - Now I found this nice app that includes a bunch of many other programs in one. It's a really well made and laid out program. The only downside is that it does have ads, but since they don't work offline, I kept it. Other than the ads, I think you will find this app really useful. For exampl it has a built in tip calculator and currency calculator just to give you an idea. Either way I really like this app. I have uninstalled it due to the ads.

RemoteCast by ben lc - My friend likes to use chromecast and this is similar I think. I haven't used it but it works with that.

Roboto News Reader by Naresh Idiga - This is a very nice newsreader because it's clean and small. You can add what sites you want to read, then it downloads the article so that you can later read it offline. I really like this and it's also very quick with no ads whatsoever. Any app that can be used offline since I use a prepaid phone is a good app in my book. So far this is the reader I like to use as it's quick and easy to use and works offline so I can read my articles even when I get stuck in an airplane.
This is now called Max reader.

ScanToText (OCR) by Andretor - I'm still checking this out. I haven't used it much so I can't say how it is.

Scrambled Net by Moonblink - It's just a simple game. Like a puzzle and doesn't have any ads or requires any special rights. A very nice simple game.

Shazam - This app requires a lot more access rights, but I have found this app works pretty well. It's used to identify music playing. No ads either.

Sit Ups by Rittr Labs - This is similar to the push ups app by the same company. I haven't used this one yet, but works just like the push ups app. I tested this out and followed the instructions and my lower back was hurting. But I only did it for a bit. Either way I don't use this either. Check others out there if you really want one.

SketchBook Mobile Express by Autodesk Inc. - It's a very nice sketching app. It lets you sketch with your fingers on the screen and it looks like a very polished app.

Slide Notes by MDJ Software - It's just a small note taking app. I am now just using my phones built-in todo list which works just fine.

Smart Converter by Geoeng Systems - Another reference app.

Spanish Dictionary - Offline by Livio - As the name says, it's just a spanish dictionary.

Spanish-English offline Dictionary by DIC-o - Just a spanish to english or vice versa dictionary. It works very well, just type the word and search. Tap the icon on the right of the search to change to spanish or english.

Snapseed - This is a photo editing app. It looks really nice and seems to have many tools. I don't use it, but I like that it was simple and didn't require much in terms of access to the phone.

St John Ambulance First Aid - Another first aid app from Europe I think this was, but same basic priciples. I really like the voice activation on this app. For example if you open the cpr options and go into any of them, once you start it automatically tells you what to do and so you don't have to read. I was surprised by it and thought it was the best thing you could get on something like this. The only thing I think is bad is the very first window when you open the app. It's just the name and icon which takes a few seconds to go away and you can't exit so you have to wait until it's gone to proceed. Ironic since it's meant for say emergencies to make you wait before you can use it. Other than that they did a nice job with the app. Well at least it works for your basic stuff.

Street View on Google Maps - Just the google street view maps. You need network access so this may use your phone minutes. Pretty useless offline so I can't use it as I'm not always connected to the internet when I'm out and about with a pre-paid phone.

Subnet Calculator by Janis Kirsteins - Just another subnet calculator I'm trying out.

Subnet6 by Simple Bit - Another subnet calculator.

Teamviewer for Remote Control - This apps is just a no brainer. It works well if you ever need it. This app is used for remote access. This is mainly used for tech support which I tend to do every now and then. It's not something you want to do from your phone though.

Tip Me (Tip Calculator) by nilknarf - Just a tip calculator as this is used here in the united states. This one seems to work well. The interface is pretty subtle too so that's nice and just works.

Tip Split - Tip Calculator by SweetLemon - Just another simple but usuable tip calculator. I like to try a few different ones. The very first one I checked I noticed was not adding things correctly so be careful and check these apps before actually having to use them. This one is also nice and simple with no ads or any special rights requirements.

Tracday - This is an exercise log app. It's simple and works offline with just your gps. No network required. for offline. It also has many exercise options. No ads either. The only downside if you want to call it that, as of this writing everything was in kilometers and there is no way to change that. I contacted them through their website about this, so I'm hoping they will change this for those in the US. Either way I just googled the conversions to find out the actual conversion numbers or just use the convertbee above. So at least I learned to covert in my head a bit more. Either way I like to see both measurements on anything that requires measurements of any kind. I think that should be standard now to make things easier. Either way, this is the app I'll be using instead for my exercise outings. The app is still being developed and I noticed my phone takes a bit to pick up the satellites so things have been slow with this, at least for me. The company said they will be adding the miles and I also send them a bit more feedback as I do like the simplicity of the app. It also needs a way to lock the app to the exercise once it's set so you don't accidentally turn it off which I guess I did once before. Unfortunately there hasn't been much update on this, so I no longer use this either.

@Voice Aloud Reader - I found this pretty nice app that basically reads any pdf to me. I have been trying to find something like this for a while. Now I can listen to my tech notes or books while in my car or while I am exercising. The only down side is the ads, but since I turn my network access off and not use that, it works just fine and I don't see any ads. I need the same thing for my computer so that I can do the same thing with it while I work on other things. Yes it has a weird name but works just fine.

Walk Band: Piano, Guitar, Revontulet Studio - This is a nice little app for music if you want to learn to play an instrument. It's a well designed app, but it does have more phone access requirements than I would like. Just because I want to play their music doesn't mean they need access to my phone. I also don't have any musical talent, I just like listening to their included music.

Yellow Pages by - You always need a directory for local businesses. Unfortunately this won't work without a network, but if you have wifi access it should still work.

Youtube by Google Inc. I like that it automatically flips the video when I turn the phone sideways. Unfortunately the only problem I have with this is that I can't copy the URL. I have to use message as if I was sending a text to someone, then copy the URL from there which is a pain as it's hard to highlight things on the phone. And this is the only choice I have on my phone, anything else just goes to some other app. So this needs to be addressed, but other than that it works fine.

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