Non-game Android Apps Recommendations Catch-All

Oooh, these are fun;

Nova Launcher is fantastic
Swiftkey seems to have focused a bit and brought the RAM requirements way down (finally).
Dropbox (long live Carousel, sharing fotos was never easier)
Falcon Pro for Twitter; I've never found anything as good as the original TweetDeck, this is what comes closest in my opinion.
Got me some ES File Explorer Pro; mostly to support the developer, the free version is great as well
highest of fives for recommending gReader; I'ved loved it forever while everyone else has moved on to feedly.
I really wanted to like Boxer for email, but CloudMagic really blows every other Android client out of the water when it comes to full Exchange integration. CloudMagic feels overall faster, more solid, the interfase is more responsive.
Haven't used Dashlane, but I'm quite happy with LastPass

I love VLC for my PC, but I don't really know if my love extends to Android. I feel like all video players are the same.

Additionally, I recommend IMAGE(https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.battlelancer.seriesguide)if you're a cord cutter. It works best when signed in to trakt.
Evernote for note taking.
Fing for messing around with the wireless network at home.
Teamviewer's personal licence lets me access my PC remotely for free.
Medisafe cause I'm hitting 40 and popping more pill than pac man at his point
Metal to use instead of facebook because the facebook app is downright the devil
Pushbullet is great if you have multiple devices
Tapatalk if you visit other forums besides our piece of heaven, aka gwj.com.

I usually recommend Plex as a movie stream solution, but you need to setup your own server.
Lately, I've been giving Kodi a try and it's also pretty good. It's stand alone, which avoids Plex's client-server model entirely. You still need to procure your own content, but creative minds will know how to manage.

For those tinfoil hatters, there's NoRoot Firewall.

For those of you with a nVidia card but have no interest in purchasing a Shield tablet or setupbox, can try Moonlight. There's also a Windows and Linux version on Github. Moonlight is also on Amazon's app store and the Amazon Fire TV has more than enough horse power to stream at 1080p at 30 or even 60fps (ymmv depending on network elements).

And this wouldn't be the Non-game Android App recommendation thread if we didn't give some love to the absolutely best podcast app out there: Pocket Casts.

Hobbes2099 wrote:

Dropbox (long live Carousel, sharing fotos was never easier)

Carousel is actually shutting down today.

Going back to my earlier request for a shared shopping list app, I tried setting up Out of Milk today. I shared a list with my wife, and she's trying to view it on the website. The list shows up, and she can download it as a file, but in the web view, the list is empty. Anyone have any ideas on that? Not a great first experience, and I may wind up trying a different app because of it.

Edit - Never mind, I think I figured it out. Apparently you need to add someone as a friend from both sides to actually view the list, and it doesn't really tell you that.

wanderingtaoist wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

Dropbox (long live Carousel, sharing fotos was never easier)

Carousel is actually shutting down today.

Yeah, that's what I meant; I hate startups that buy smaller startups and then kill the smaller startup because the original startup didn't know how to stay focused.

stoopit dropbox...

Nova Launcher: thirded or fourthed. And I paid full price. I used Apex for the longest time, but recently even on my Pixel C and Nexus 5X there's an unforgivable amount of stuttering and lag. With Nova Launcher, that doesn't happen.

Todoist: I just started using this. Free functionality is limited, but I dig it enough to pay. I have it synced to my Google Calendar, but I'm not sure how to make Google Calendar update so that it reflects completed tasks in a more real-time fashion. Instead, it seems to just permanently list all my Todoist tasks for each day.

Solid Explorer: I prefer Solid Explorer to ES. The layout and design is cleaner but it has plenty of functionality. I used ES for years, but the increasingly kitchen-sink approach to adding features I'll never use turned me off on it. It is a paid app, though, I'm not sure what the free functionality is like.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

ComicRack+Google Drive: I love that Comixology has DRM-free comics now. Comixology's offline functionality seems non-existent, but I save my DRM-free comics to Google Drive, and then download them to my tablet so I can read them with ComicRack.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Astonishing Comic Reader is very well-done, and even has a browser extension and Google Drive functionality... but it has the absurd flaw of not being able to open "large" comics. Maybe if the author fixes that one day, but based on reviews/forum comments, it doesn't seem high on the list.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Is Swiftkey free now? There's so many versions I'm getting confused. I purchased the phone and tablet versions before they merged, and now I honestly can't tell the difference between their offerings. I agree with one of the above comments that it seems less laggy and less of a memory hog now.

Is Pushbullet worth the Premium upgrade? For a $40 a year subscription, they don't seem to have added much in the way of features, especially since they had to nerf the free version to make it more compelling.

Dashlane seems intriguing, but I've been with Lastpass for so long and it's so cheap at $12/year, I haven't felt compelled to switch. Also, Linux.

Helium: A nice backup app for people who want to backup app data (not just the apks) and don't have root. Getting it to work with Android N was several hours of trial and error, but once you get past the initial activation it's easy peasy.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Google Authenticator: a must-have now for my work, so I went ahead and authenticatored everything I can authenticator. I wish there was a secure/easy way to sync it between my phone and tablet though. You can use Titanium backup, but I don't want to root my phone since I need it for work, and my tablet doesn't have a reliable root yet.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Google Play Music: I buy the occasional album that isn't available, but overall the selection and features are great. Especially once you sync all your CDs/MP3s. Samsung Level Overs+Play Music=happy workday.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Simplenote+Google Keep: I use Simplenote for, well, simple notes. Google Keep for checklists (shopping and whatnot). And Todoist for my to-do lists. I could probably just use Google Keep, but the other two do their singular functions so well...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Feedly+Press: I switched to Feedly awhile back for my RSS needs, but Press has a much better layout and interface. Also, it has Readability integration so you can double-tap to have the whole article loaded instead of constantly needing to open a Chrome custom tab like in Feedly. Press is a paid app, however. It also hasn't been updated in a couple years, but as long as it keeps working... I have an IFTTT setup so when I save a Feedly article, it automatically downloads in Instapaper, but it's nice to be able to view a full-article in Press without needing to open another app, especially if I don't necessarily even want to save the article.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

IFTTT: Speaking of IFTTT. I also have IFTTT DO. I got a Lifx smartbulb a few months ago and programmed it to brighten and darken with the sunrise and sunset using IFTTT. Plus some other random things like flashing blue when it's about to rain.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Google Photos: Holy crap this got real good, real fast. And the automated slideshows, albums, and flashbacks are fun, too.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Protonmail: Encrypted email for the rest of us! Thinking about switching more and more of my "real" email over to this, like password resets and whatnot.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Timely: great looking clock/alarm/stopwatch/screensaver/etc. It also lets you sync your alarms to all your devices, and most importantly let's you dismiss the alarm on *any* of them. In other words, you dismiss the alarm on your phone, and your tablet stops beeping as well. The slowly starting/rising tones are much less jarring to wake up to as well.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Stitcher+NPR One+TuneIn: NPR One is great during my workday, but not quite the same as streaming your local NPR station via TuneIn (it repeats itself a lot, especially on weekends). I don't listen to many podcasts, to I just started using Stitcher.

SeriesGuide: I'll sometimes drop out and stop watching TV and completely forget where I left off in series. SeriesGuide is pretty helpful for knowing what I've already watched, and when new seasons start.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Set Orientation: Considering how few Android apps are tablet optimized, the built-in auto-rotation could be better. I hate having to flip portrait just to login to Mint or something. Set Orientation works wonders.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

ccoates wrote:

Set Orientation: Considering how few Android apps are tablet optimized, the built-in auto-rotation could be better. I hate having to flip portrait just to login to Mint or something. Set Orientation works wonders.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

I stay or portrait nearly 95% of the time on my phone, so I don't mind too much to switch manually (false, it bothers me terribly).

Quite the opposite with the Sony's Z4 tablet; because of the keyboard addon, I'm 99% of the time in landscape.

I use Rotation Lock Adaptive.
I like that it presents a rotation icon every time it detects a movement of the internal gyroscope; switching between landscape and portrait is one click away.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Awesome Icons lets you use icon packs with launchers that don't support custom icons, eg Google Now Launcher. Free, doesn't require root, doesn't have any unreasonable permissions, can uninstall/disable this app and your icon packs after you get your home screen customized to your liking.

Which GPS app do you guys /girls use when offline? I used NavFree (now called Navmii) in the past, but for some reason it keeps crashing after downloading the Benelux map. It's for my parents' in law wifi only tablet.

dejanzie wrote:

Which GPS app do you guys /girls use when offline? I used NavFree (now called Navmii) in the past, but for some reason it keeps crashing after downloading the Benelux map. It's for my parents' in law wifi only tablet.

I haven't used it on Wifi only, but Google Maps allows offline map storage. I have my local area set up for offline.

There's a new RSS reader called Quote:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

I still prefer Press (for now). But Press hasn't been updated for 2 years, and it stalls or crashes every now and then. Quote gives every indication of being regularly updated with vital (but not kitchen sink level) features.

ccoates wrote:

There's a new RSS reader called Quote:

Thanks for the suggestion. I love Press, but agree that it could use some freshening... gReader isn't doing it for me, but it functions...

I'll give it a go!

Well, recommending a good podcast app may have gotten a bit more complicated:

Google Play Music's podcast section will offer contextual recommendations for podcasts based on your activities or your interests, just like it does with music. It will also recommend playlists featuring key podcasts based on specific topics, like "Learning Something New" which will feature episodes from shows including Stuff You Should Know and How To Do Everything, and "Getting Lost in a Story" with Radiolab and Reply All.

If you want to try Google Play Music for podcasts, here's the direct link. I'm pretty happy with Pocketcasts, so I'll likely just keep using it, but if anyone else tries podcasts with Google Play Music, post it here - I'm curious!

As neat as that sounds, I dunno if I can give up Doggcatcher. That said they seem to be doing a push to get this moving. Mine and many other podcasts became available today after being pending for a while.

ilduce620 wrote:

If you want to try Google Play Music for podcasts, here's the direct link. I'm pretty happy with Pocketcasts, so I'll likely just keep using it, but if anyone else tries podcasts with Google Play Music, post it here - I'm curious!

FWIW, even with the direct link I don't get the updated version. Must be a slow rollout. Same for Play Games, too.

ccoates wrote:

There's a new RSS reader called Quote:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

I still prefer Press (for now). But Press hasn't been updated for 2 years, and it stalls or crashes every now and then. Quote gives every indication of being regularly updated with vital (but not kitchen sink level) features.

I'm enjoying Quote for the most part, but for some reason, when I "unstar" an article from my tablet, the update is registered on Feedly's servers (as evidenced by looking at the web-based version of Feedly and seeing those articles disappear), but those article still show up as "starred" on my phone. I have to go in and manually "unstar" those, for some reason. Regular articles aren't affected and they come and go as they should, no matter which device I look at.

Thoughts, ccoates?

ilduce620 wrote:

I'm enjoying Quote for the most part, but for some reason, when I "unstar" an article from my tablet, the update is registered on Feedly's servers (as evidenced by looking at the web-based version of Feedly and seeing those articles disappear), but those article still show up as "starred" on my phone. I have to go in and manually "unstar" those, for some reason. Regular articles aren't affected and they come and go as they should, no matter which device I look at.

Thoughts, ccoates?

Looks like a bug to me! I didn't notice at first because I have an IFTTT to save all my starred articles to Instapaper. Which means I tend to delete them when I'm done from Instapaper, and don't bother unstarring them.

Time to dredge this thread back up!

I had a Moto X (2014) and loved the Moto Assist feature, but the main thing I liked about it was that it would automatically silence my phone based on my schedule in Google Calendar. It worked great and was perfect for my day as a college professor (where I want my phone to make a noise when I'm not in class).

As it was time to retire the Moto X, I got a shiny new Google Pixel and I can't seem to find an app that serves that same purpose. I've looked for various iterations of "Moto Assist Clone" and haven't been able to come up with a nice alternative. One that I have found is called Agent, but it has a $3.99 one-time purchase attached to it.

Any suggestions? I'm not opposed to dropping $4 on an app, but I was wondering if there are other alternatives that may work better? Agent was updated on November 20th, so I think it's still relatively current...

Thanks!

Trigger is free, I think geofencing is paid version only but time based triggers are in the base version. I use it to set silence mode and Wi-Fi toggling based on my location and Bluetooth connection for instance.

ARISE!

Just announce, this new app will take a video and turn it into a graphic novel panel
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...

Such as this video I took at Medievil Times

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/C8hyfOZ.png)

Wow! Totally trying that out as soon as my son is awake.

omni wrote:

Wow! Totally trying that out as soon as my son is awake.

It gives you a brazillion different variations too. Very cool.

Apologies if there is a good discussion about this earlier in the thread, but given the age of the thread, I suspect any advice from a year or more ago may no longer be relevant anyway...

What do you all use for email on Android? Right now I'm using Gmail for my personal email, and Outlook for my Exchange-based work email. I'd be interested to know if there are better options out there, particularly for getting notifications about emails from specific users. On iOS I was set up so that I got notifications if I got an email from my boss, my boss's boss, my wife, or my mom, with no other email notifications. At least so far with my Android email apps, I'm just seeing notifications for all emails in Gmail, and notification in Outlook for all in my "focused" inbox (basically emails that are to me rather than to a distribution list). Both of these apps are working well enough for me, but I'd be interested to hear any recommendations for better options.

I switched to Inbox and I love it. The ability to snooze emails until later has made my dealings with emails SO MUCH BETTER.

mrlogical wrote:

Apologies if there is a good discussion about this earlier in the thread, but given the age of the thread, I suspect any advice from a year or more ago may no longer be relevant anyway...

What do you all use for email on Android? Right now I'm using Gmail for my personal email, and Outlook for my Exchange-based work email. I'd be interested to know if there are better options out there, particularly for getting notifications about emails from specific users. On iOS I was set up so that I got notifications if I got an email from my boss, my boss's boss, my wife, or my mom, with no other email notifications. At least so far with my Android email apps, I'm just seeing notifications for all emails in Gmail, and notification in Outlook for all in my "focused" inbox (basically emails that are to me rather than to a distribution list). Both of these apps are working well enough for me, but I'd be interested to hear any recommendations for better options.

I use Touchdown HD for work email. its much better than the android outlook app. It supports email/calendar/tasks/notes/contacts syncing with a Microsoft exchange server. I require a complete division of work communication/scheduling from my personal email/contacts etc and this app allows me to do so. There is not much that I can do on my windows outlook exchange application that I can not accomplish with touch down HD on my phone. I believe it cost about $20 and it's worth every penny.

Thanks, Bosk. Is that this Touchdown HD? It seems like it's been discontinued? Or is there another version out there that I'm not finding?

I use BlueMail, but I only EVER put my personal email on my phone. Work email can go f- itself on my personal phone.

My point is I have no idea if it'll do what you want, but it's popular and customizable. Not sure if there's enough customization for what you want though.

It took me about a year, but after testing most Exchange Android apps, I name best and above all:

Aquamail.

It has just about every configurable feature you might think of.
I have two Exchange accounts and the battery is perfect.