Non-game Android Apps Recommendations Catch-All

Does anyone use any calendars besides the default? The default one only shows the next meeting/appointment. I'd like something more configurable (text size, number of events, etc.) as I'd like to use the same space for the widget but show more stuff on it.

How about music players? The default one isn't great but it has a nice widget to control playback. I am using doubletwist but it does not seem to have a widget. Anyone know of a decent music player with a playback widget?

What tools are out there for making custom ring tones/notifications sounds? I would really like to have the Star Wars communicator noise for my incoming text message notification (I listen to, too many Star Wars audio books). This would be for a Droid X if it matters.

EvilHomer3k wrote:
Does anyone use any calendars besides the default?

I too would like to know what calendar options are out there.

I've used ringdroid a couple times and it seems to work pretty well.

Zimly is hands down my favorite player. The developers are very responsive and quick to answer questions, which is a nice plus.

I'm going to copy/paste a short summary I did of a bunch of players. It's nothing in-depth, but I gave a casual once over to most of the players I found in the market. Although I did forget Wikitunes. I don't mention it, but Zimly has a widget, and it works pretty well.

Meridian has a widget, but it's as ugly as the player itself.

The 3 (cubed) player is really neat conceptually, but I don't find it particularly useful for browsing through my collection and finding a specific song or album I want to listen to.

Astro has a lot of features including playlists, scrobbling, podcast subscriptions, voice commands, lyrics, and even an equalizer (a rarity among the Android crowd), but cover art isn't displayed very prominently and the music browser is crap. It also requests permission to all sorts of your personal information including read/write access to your contacts, which is kind of shady.

MixZing is right behind Astro in the features department. It automatically creates playlists based on what you're listening to and rating, and it has scrobbling and Facebook integration. The main menu/browser/now playing interface is well laid out and attractive, and you can shuffle all from the very first menu. You can download album art, use gestures to flip through tracks, and it supports scrobbling. You can create playlists, search for currently playing songs using Wikipedia, Google, Youtube, or Amazon, or set songs as your ringtone. About the only thing it can't do is repeat a single track, which is a pretty simple feature I've noticed most players ignore. Still, like Astro it requests all kinds of access to your phone data, probably due to the social network integration, but that's still something to consider. The free version had ads, but you can upgrade to get rid of them.

Museek focuses on scanning your collection so it can provide recommendations. Unfortunately, that takes a bit of time to do the initial scan for large collections, and your tags need to be in tip-top shape. You can browse your collection by social tags from the Museek database, and there are interesting play modes like "smart" shuffle and "play similar music". It has two cool visualization modes for browsing your collection in the form of a 2D or 3D map. Much like with the Cubed player though, it's prettier than it is practical. It can scrobble your music, but again, this play leaves out the "repeat track" option. I guess most users don't have my obsession with occasionally listening to a song until I'm sick of it.

Doubletwist is the most polished player I've used, but its feature set is pretty basic. Still, what it does, it does well. It supports podcasts, music, and video, and the interface is clean if a bit sparse. It actually can repeat a single track, but the only real reason to use Doubletwist is because it can sync your music via the Doubletwist desktop client on Mac or PC. The desktop client itself is a poor man's iTunes, 1st or 2nd generation, and much like the Android player the interface focuses on a basic feature set and simplicity. It also has support to use a song as your ringtone.

Mortplayer is my favorite player for just music. It sorts your music by the directory structure as opposed to the tag information. The interface is attractive and you can select from a handful of color schemes. There are 9(!) play modes you can set, not including (5!) shuffle modes, including my personal favorite, repeat track. The only weird interface choice is that the buttons that bring up the list of the play modes can only do so via a popup menus instead of just cycling through them by tapping the repeat or shuffle over and over. Maybe that's for the best, but it'd be nice to have the option of turning it off since the rest of the interface is pretty streamlined. It has support for gestures to skip tracks or change folders, and I really like how the player integrates with your taskbar, scrolling the now playing information. Great basic music player.

Meridian is a lightweight but feature rich player, whose greatest flaw is that it's f*cking hideous. The main menu icons are some ugly puke yellow/green color, and you do not have the option of changing it. It supports gestures, ratings, lyrics, playlists, tag editing, and a host of adjustments to the menu, none of which involve getting rid of the ugly colors. There are two button styles for the player, but the "Bright Circle" option makes the player look like it's powered by glossy chiclets. You can hide album art in list mode, hide the file browser, scrobble your tracks, resume video playback, and even resume your music after a phone call. A fantastic media player if you don't mind it being a bit of an eyesore.

My favorite basic, all around media player is Zimly. It's got an attractive, clean, and basic interface, and the warning message when you delete something within the player is "If you do this, [item] will be cast into the fiery pits of Mount Doom... destroyed and never to rise again." It has gesture support, taskbar integration, your normal trinity of play modes: shuffle, repeat, and repeat track, and basic support for creating playlists. It doesn't natively scrobble, but it supports it via Scrobble Droid or Simple Scrobbler. It has a button to exit/quit the program, which I almost never see in Android apps.

As much as I like Zimly and Mortplayer, if Meridian adds options to skin the player or if it gets a makeover in future revisions, I'd probably switch to that because it has such a great feature set. Then again, if Doubletwist keeps a slow but steady development cycle, it'll be one to watch out for (and if they want to charge in the future, they'll have to offer something more than it currently provides.)

Thanks, unntrlaffinity. I will check those out (starting with Zimly).

Che

EvilHomer3k wrote:
Does anyone use any calendars besides the default? The default one only shows the next meeting/appointment. I'd like something more configurable (text size, number of events, etc.) as I'd like to use the same space for the widget but show more stuff on it.

Pure Calendar widget (agenda) is pretty customizable. It can pull from different calendar and task apps and has a lot of options. It was worth the price for me.

IMAGE(http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=135x135&chl=market://details?id=org.koxx.pure_calendar)

Pure Calendar Widget is awesome. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks GC.

Rockplayer is out in the market. Seems to work pretty well.

However, I just discovered that the Samsung Moment have native XviD support, so I'm not sure why I've been fiddling around with Rockplayer.

http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/rockplayer/by_matching

Just make sure you're grabbing the right version for your processor.

I just ordered a Nexus one. It is going to be my intro to Android so i'm tagging this thread to follow it.

My favorite basic, all around media player is Zimly. It's got an attractive, clean, and basic interface, and the warning message when you delete something within the player is "If you do this, [item] will be cast into the fiery pits of Mount Doom... destroyed and never to rise again." It has gesture support, taskbar integration, your normal trinity of play modes: shuffle, repeat, and repeat track, and basic support for creating playlists. It doesn't natively scrobble, but it supports it via Scrobble Droid or Simple Scrobbler. It has a button to exit/quit the program, which I almost never see in Android apps.
Okay so I like Zimly well enough but I seem to be having problems getting the album art to show up. I can look at the mp3 files via SSH and they do have the album art properly embedded in the id3 tags, but Zimly seems to be ignoring them. Grr! Also the gesture support makes no sense, all a swipe does is seek inside the track. How does that make sense? Most players I've seen it's swipe left/right to skip tracks and tap to pause. Very odd.

If you have a rooted phone, LEDs Hack to turn off LEDs. Useful at night.

IMAGE(http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=150x150&chl=market://search%3Fq%3Dpname:net.geekherd.softbuttonshack)

Also, I installed JuiceDefender (and bought UltimateJuice again, I think) this morning before work and it's pretty sweet. Not sure if it's worth it yet, but definitely worth looking into if you want to hoard your battery life and don't need people being able to contact you every second of the day via email or IM (and you could probably configure to allow that, I'll play with it more tonight).

EDIT2: If you're on Swype, swipe from the Swype key to the SYM key and you get some nice options.

EDIT2: If you're on Swype, swipe from the Swype key to the SYM key and you get some nice options.

-_o

Is that a smiley for the Enterprise?

PyromanFO wrote:
Okay so I like Zimly well enough but I seem to be having problems getting the album art to show up. I can look at the mp3 files via SSH and they do have the album art properly embedded in the id3 tags, but Zimly seems to be ignoring them. Grr! Also the gesture support makes no sense, all a swipe does is seek inside the track. How does that make sense? Most players I've seen it's swipe left/right to skip tracks and tap to pause. Very odd.

The dev is extremely responsive. If you post a suggestion explaining what you want, it's very likely he'll consider it in future releases. That's another reason I like Zimly. He got scrobbling support in there pretty quickly. Maybe phrase it as putting in the option to skip or seek for gestures.

My album art is working, so I'm not sure what's going on with that.

General Crespin wrote:

Also, I installed JuiceDefender (and bought UltimateJuice again, I think) this morning before work and it's pretty sweet. Not sure if it's worth it yet, but definitely worth looking into if you want to hoard your battery life and don't need people being able to contact you every second of the day via email or IM (and you could probably configure to allow that, I'll play with it more tonight).

I've been using JuiceDefender for quite some time now and highly recommend it - the battery life on my Milestone went from about 12 hrs to 20+, which works great for me since I have 2 batteries for the phone. Like GC mentioned, the caveat is that you won't be reachable 24x7 via email/IM.

Interesting thread. To root, or not to root, is the question. New Droid should be activated tomorrow. Just waiting around on newegg and/or verizon to flip the switch from old phone to new phone.

Interesting thread. To root, or not to root, is the question. New Droid should be activated tomorrow. Just waiting around on newegg and/or verizon to flip the switch from old phone to new phone.

I had a droid and was just fine with the stock rom. 2.2 should (?) be out real soon for it as well.

avggeek wrote:
I've been using JuiceDefender for quite some time now and highly recommend it - the battery life on my Milestone went from about 12 hrs to 20+, which works great for me since I have 2 batteries for the phone. Like GC mentioned, the caveat is that you won't be reachable 24x7 via email/IM.

I believe it was on your recommendation I originally bought it.

I set the peak option so that data/wifi is always on while I'm at work, as we use Google Talk internally, and that works well enough, even if it substantially reduces savings.

General Crespin wrote:
avggeek wrote:
I've been using JuiceDefender for quite some time now and highly recommend it - the battery life on my Milestone went from about 12 hrs to 20+, which works great for me since I have 2 batteries for the phone. Like GC mentioned, the caveat is that you won't be reachable 24x7 via email/IM.

I believe it was on your recommendation I originally bought it.

I set the peak option so that data/wifi is always on while I'm at work, as we use Google Talk internally, and that works well enough, even if it substantially reduces savings.

I tried out JuiceDefender, but the interface is incredibly counter-intuitive. I'm using Setting Profiles instead, which adjusts certain settings based on triggers like battery life, charging, discharging, location, time/day, etc. Combined with Screebl to keep my screen timeout low, I have a profile that flips off wifi and reduces several settings when the battery drops below 60%, and I can get a full day of use with several hours of Shining Force II no problem.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
Curious, Watchdog doesn't seem to think Grass at least is that much of a burden..

Awesome. I just found this thread and was gonna mention my app(Watchdog), but it's here already. It's used instead of task killers, so you don't just blast innocent apps and break them.

Another one is the ADWLauncher. Its what ships w/ cyanogen 5.0.8. Makes the home screen feel snappy compared to stock or Helix.

I can't seem to find them but I remember people asking about other options for the virtual keyboard. I keep hitting the damn period on my X (haven't tried Swype yet I like typing).

AppBrain is awesome.

Let me know there were updates to stuff I had. And queuing up a bunch of things to download while using my PC to read stuff here and other reviews, much quicker than searching on the market on the phone. Great stuff.

I'm rather font of the Smart Keyboard Pro app. Try it out, and try out the skins it supports. Much better than the regular virtual keyboard on the Droid

Stele wrote:
AppBrain is awesome.

Let me know there were updates to stuff I had. And queuing up a bunch of things to download while using my PC to read stuff here and other reviews, much quicker than searching on the market on the phone. Great stuff. :cool:

Look up AppBrain in the Market and you'll find the Fast Web Installer. It lets you install apps to your phone from AppBrain. It only works with free apps but it actually installs them, not just queuing them like the AppBrain app does by itself.

trueheart78 wrote:
I'm rather font of the Smart Keyboard Pro app. Try it out, and try out the skins it supports. Much better than the regular virtual keyboard on the Droid

I haven't really had a chance to use it yet, but I'm not sure why I just paid $2 for a different skin of the stock keyboard (guess I should look at the picks closer next time).

You can get a refund if it's the first time you've bought it AND you're still within 24 hours of purchase. Just go to the Market page for the app and you'll see the "Uninstall & refund" button.

I've started using Tapatalk; it provides an interface to most forum software that allows you to easily read/reply to forums you subscribe to from your phone without having to use a web browser.

IMAGE(http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=100x100&chl=http://cyrket.com/qr/59344)

Unfortunately, the only forum I regularly use that doesn't support Tapatalk is this one. Anyone know if GWJ is compatible or not and, if so, if we can convince TPTB to enable it?

Tapatalk home

MonoCheli wrote:
I just ordered a Nexus one. It is going to be my intro to Android so i'm tagging this thread to follow it. :)

Eh? You must've gotten one of the last. Google's nixed the Nexus One.

NSMike wrote:
MonoCheli wrote:
I just ordered a Nexus one. It is going to be my intro to Android so i'm tagging this thread to follow it. :)

Eh? You must've gotten one of the last. Google's nixed the Nexus One.

They're still on sale here (Australia), and in much of Europe, too. Not direct from Google, though -- Vodafone's selling them.

General Crespin wrote:
You can get a refund if it's the first time you've bought it AND you're still within 24 hours of purchase. Just go to the Market page for the app and you'll see the "Uninstall & refund" button.

Really? I was not aware of that awesome feature.