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"Better than default" android apps
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20792 posts
Ok ladies, as per your input and my googling I got myself an s3, much to my chagrin the default keyboard is rubbish. Someone on here mentioned replacement ones.

So, rather than revive that thread, let's have yet another thread about our favourite android apps that replace and / or make better, the default apps.

So recommend me a new keyboard, preferably one that works like my HTC keyboard does where you hold letters and you get symbols, like an oldass commodore 64 keyboard had multiple use keys. Preferably freebie too. Maybe I'll try the HTC one I have, though I'm pretty sure it's an HTC specific keyboard).

My better than standard apps:
Handcent SMS. Customizable out the wazoo so you don't have to look at the ugly default message client.
RealCalc. Scientific calculator from hell. It also has unit conversions in it for speed, mass, distance, time, etc. Handy dandy.

Favourite "can't live without" apps:
Stopwatch & timer. Good for setting countdowns you use regularly like timing lunch breaks or cooking an egg, whatever.
Ulysse Speedometer. Excellent speedo app, not as fussy about locking on while moving like some other speedo apps that require you to be completely stopped in order to lock on to a satellite.
Wifi Analyzer. Name says it all
ES File Explorer File Manager. Awesome file manager, does FTP and LAN browsing too.

EDIT!:OMG! So it turns out someone's continued on the work of keeping the HTC_IME mod going. YAY! Stop looking, I've got my favourite keyboard back: XDA thread. Not quite as pretty (you can create customized themes for the HTC one) but it's a start.
03:11pm 14/10/12 Permalink
system
Internet
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03:11pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Ha
Brisbane, Queensland
319 posts
swiftkey3 rules.
03:19pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Beezwax
Brisbane, Queensland
78 posts
this is what ive got, whoop.

Alarm Clock (also timer): Alarm Clock Xtreme
Alarm Clock #2: Sleep as Android (wakes you during light sleep cycle).
Keyboard: Swiftkey 3
Lazy Keyboard: Swype beta
Camera: LINE camera
Exercise: Endomondo
Music: Winamp Pro
Clock: Digital Clock Widget (Maize)
Internet: Maxthon Browser
03:44pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20793 posts
(wakes you during light sleep cycle).

No good for me then, I can fall asleep at work while people out back are using angle grinders & hammering s***. I don't sleep lightly, ever.

edit:
Get a digital clock widget that looks like the one on the iPhone unlock screen!
lol, sif you would.

I use this clock: 3d sens flip on my tablet.
03:48pm 14/10/12 Permalink
mental
Brisbane, Queensland
3535 posts
I use anysoft keyboard. If only from habit as on my last device it supported the physical keyboard it had without problem.
03:54pm 14/10/12 Permalink
HeardY
Gaelic newb
Sydney, New South Wales
20890 posts
swiftkey is all sorts of awesome
04:11pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20001 posts
Yeah, I've got swiftkey, and I like it, but I'm still not sure why its raved about so much and what makes it so much better than the default android keyboard. I like that the comma is on its own button, but thats about the only advantage I've found tbh over the default android one. Maybe I'm just using it wrong or something.
04:27pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Agamemnon
Brisbane, Queensland
1097 posts
swype!
05:30pm 14/10/12 Permalink
sparrow
Brisbane, Queensland
1704 posts
Another vote for swype here, normal keyboards suck after using it!
07:03pm 14/10/12 Permalink
no you hang up
Brisbane, Queensland
2294 posts
swiftkey +1. sometimes fun just repeat pressing the . and seeing what it thinks im thinking.
business calender free is handy as a widget also.
for music, spotify and spotimote ftw.

i'll grab Ulysse Speedometer on your recommendation :)
07:28pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20794 posts
Yeah, I've got swiftkey, and I like it, but I'm still not sure why its raved about so much and what makes it so much better than the default android keyboard. I like that the comma is on its own button, but thats about the only advantage I've found tbh over the default android one. Maybe I'm just using it wrong or something.

swiftkey actually closely resembles my HTC's default keyboard so it's kind of won my vote.

My modded HTC keyboard DOES work, but it's fixed in size and sized for a tiny desire sized screen so while it functions, it's not really usable. I might see if I can modify it to fit a bigger screen.

What's the difference between the swiftkey free and paid versions? Does the free version expire?
07:29pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Morax
Brisbane, Queensland
2305 posts
Swype ++

If you know your way around a regular qwerty keyboard, Swype is by FAR the fastest and easiest keyboard around.
07:41pm 14/10/12 Permalink
scooby
Brisbane, Queensland
4512 posts
does swiftkey allow swype?

im using Touchpal - which is brilliant for those who like both swype and regular

and doesnt have a tiny.spacebar.which.makes.you.type.like.a.retard
or a f*****g stupid LAUNGUAGE SWITCH that switches to bulgarian all the time
07:53pm 14/10/12 Permalink
redhat
Sydney, New South Wales
832 posts
Swype for phone and swiftkey for tablet pwns for the split dual thumb typing

Chrome is approximately 50 times better than the android browser in case you already don't have it.

The only other app I can recommend with the condition that you read ABC news is Google Currents. The ABC site looks awful on mobile and i use the currents app almost purely for reading ABC news (sometimes I read some Tim O'riely poasts).
07:58pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20795 posts
Swype is that thing where you just move your fingers over the keys without actually letting off the screen right? My tablet supports that, not really a big fan of it.

Swiftkey3 is good enough for now.
08:34pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Seven
Wollongong, New South Wales
1513 posts
Swype beta, Sleep as Android, Business Calendar are all great apps I use daily.

I do a lot of tutoring, so Real Calc and Stopwatch & Timer are also great for me.

I use Pulse as my newsreading app, it's my go-to for news...
08:40pm 14/10/12 Permalink
DK
Brisbane, Queensland
760 posts
smart keyboard pro
edmondo for running/cycling
dolphin browser
moboplayer for video
nova launcher

i think my home screen looks slick

http://imageshack.us/a/img594/6341/20121014161326.png
09:12pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Auz_Guy
Brisbane, Queensland
435 posts
Got an S3 and up until the last update I could change the apps in the quick launch bar (at the bottom of the home screen). Can't do it anymore. Can anyone recommend a launcher?
09:36pm 14/10/12 Permalink
mental
Brisbane, Queensland
3536 posts
I don't have an s3 but I think I saw on crowdsupport someone said you press the left button then edit and you can do it from there. Maybe.
10:11pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20796 posts
Nah you can't move then anymore. Someone on some random android forum recommended Apex Launcher Free. I've only JUST found out about this myself, haven't installed yet because the default apps down there don't bug me all that much. I'm too busy d***ing about with apk files at the moment.

edit: Just installed it, kind of makes the home screen behave a bit more like my desire. win there I suppose.
10:24pm 14/10/12 Permalink
csirac
Brisbane, Queensland
2747 posts
in the recent sales i bought nova launcher for 25 cents.

at the cost of 25 cents i got an extra row of icons! and other cool features. money well spent

and i say this in every android thread but Poweramp is seriously too good to pass up if you listen to music lots.
10:29pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Fixah
Brisbane, Queensland
7127 posts
On my HTC One X i'm using:

Apex Launcher (customizations galore)
Swiftkey keyboard
Handcent SMS
Maxathon browser
Poweramp for audio
MX Player for video
Astro file manager (now with the updated UI)
myUsage for Call & Data tracking
Astrid + Evernote for task management and note taking
Fancy widgets for Clock and Weather skins
exdialier for customized dialer & contact screens


Also i just found out if you have ICS 4.0 you could take a screen shot of your phone simply by holding volume down + power button at the same time. It will save the image in your gallery.

http://imageshack.us/a/img40/8080/screenshot2012101421542.jpg
10:31pm 14/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20797 posts
I swear, if I see one more starry blurred picture posted to facebook because someone's just discovered preset photo effects, I'm going to scream.
Also i just found out if you have ICS 4.0 you could take a screen shot of your phone simply by holding volume down + power button at the same time.
actually it's power + home on mine
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm190/pointyfork/QGL/Screenshot_2012-10-14-23-50-18.png
12:38am 15/10/12 Permalink
Auz_Guy
Brisbane, Queensland
436 posts
Installed Apex just now and it won't let me add widgets to the home screen without my phone being rooted. And I'm too scared to do that. Don't know how to do that and I wouldn't know what to do with the phone after it is rooted.
Also Whoop, s3 screen snapshot should be as easy as wiping your hand across the entire face of the phone.
12:55am 15/10/12 Permalink
Auz_Guy
Brisbane, Queensland
436 posts
Installed Apex just now and it won't let me add widgets to the home screen without my phone being rooted. And I'm too scared to do that. Don't know how to do that and I wouldn't know what to do with the phone after it is rooted.
Also Whoop, s3 screen snapshot should be as easy as wiping your hand across the entire face of the phone.
12:55am 15/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20798 posts
what kind of widgets? It didn't ask me for any root access, nor have I rooted my phone yet (no branded/bundled apps I want to be rid of).
01:02am 15/10/12 Permalink
Auz_Guy
Brisbane, Queensland
438 posts
After apex install my homescreen was cleared. So I tried to put in my usual clock widget and access was denied. Tried all widgets to no avail. Maybe too tired waiting for for this spaceman to jump. Try again tmr .

last edited by Auz_Guy at 01:25:15 15/Oct/12
01:22am 15/10/12 Permalink
Auz_Guy
Brisbane, Queensland
439 posts
After apex install my homescreen was cleared. So I tried to put in my usual click widget and access was denied. Tried all widgets to no avail. Maybe too tired waiting for for this spaceman to jump. Try again tmr .
01:25am 15/10/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6580 posts
Anybody who doesn't use swype is a communist. :/
01:28am 15/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20799 posts
Get back to Galifrey.

Auz_Guy: yeah it clears them because it's a new home screen, your old one is still there underneath (mine was anyway) if you want it back. I don't know what this click widget is but I've added my clock widget and the flashlight widget with no trouble at all.
01:44am 15/10/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6581 posts
Gallifrey was nerfed for being OP.

(one might say that Gallifrey fallllls'ed)
02:33am 15/10/12 Permalink
Nathan
Brisbane, Queensland
4093 posts
With custom launchers if you have ICS, you have to add widgets by holding down your thumb and selecting 'add widget' off the popup menu (which was the only way in gingerbread). It doesn't work from the app drawer unless you have root.

That restriction has been fixed in jelly bean, fortunately
01:16pm 15/10/12 Permalink
Auz_Guy
Brisbane, Queensland
440 posts
Click = clock.
Just reinstalled Apex and can now add 'clock’ widget etc. Thx for the tip Nathan.

Just noticed that you can actually have up to 12 apps in the quick launcher.

last edited by Auz_Guy at 13:28:33 15/Oct/12
01:24pm 15/10/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
13765 posts
Anybody who doesn't use swype is a communist. :/

Communist signing in to add another vote for Dolphin Browser.
01:34pm 15/10/12 Permalink
Ozzy
Gold Coast, Queensland
216 posts
I just got a Galaxy tab 2 10.1

Any good suggestions for apps for the Android tab?
02:18pm 15/10/12 Permalink
glynd
Melbourne, Victoria
818 posts
Currently using an MIUI rom but my usual go to apps on a fresh install (which is pretty often :P)

Nova Launcher (w/ Prime)
Swiftkey
Beautiful Widgets
QuickPic
Astro File Manager

If you're feeling a bit bored with your screen, go to mycolorscreen.com ... some pretty cool setups there.
02:51pm 15/10/12 Permalink
Nathan
Brisbane, Queensland
4094 posts
My favourite app if you're into customizing your setup is Widget Locker ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.widgetlocker ), AU$2.99 . It gives you a blank lockscreen that you can then fill with whichever of your widgets you like.
03:27pm 15/10/12 Permalink
greazy
Brisbane, Queensland
5567 posts
No good for me then, I can fall asleep at work while people out back are using angle grinders & hammering s***. I don't sleep lightly, ever.
Yes you do, you're not some sort of hulkman who has no light sleep. During this time (REM I think), you are dreaming and it's when the program wakes you up. REM happens at the end of your sleep cycle which might be why you can sleep through jackhammers.
04:01pm 15/10/12 Permalink
Ivonin
Brisbane, Queensland
1119 posts
Fixah, you're alive!
04:25pm 15/10/12 Permalink
Mass
Brisbane, Queensland
1271 posts
I'm running RR JB ROM on my SGS3.

Must use apps:

Handcent SMS
Touchdown (email)
Chrome
ES File Explorer
2x Client (RDP)
Camera Zoom FX
Avast Mobile Security (with firewall for rooted devices)
APEX launcher
DICE Media Player
SwiftKey 3
Titanium Backup Pro
Call Master (needs root) - allows blocking of calls before they even ring etc
Market Enabler (needs root) - allows you to access region locked apps
Market Autoupdate Bulk Toggle - allows to turn on and off auto updates of all your apps at once
Battery Calibrator
Samba File Sharing
05:28pm 15/10/12 Permalink
HeardY
Gaelic newb
Sydney, New South Wales
20892 posts
For those that use Chrome on their phone (I can't believe I was using the default browser for this long!!!@!!@$) can you get m.foxsports.com.au to work?

This site is essential reading on the trip to work in the morning!
09:37pm 15/10/12 Permalink
mental
Brisbane, Queensland
3538 posts
Appears to work fine here, both mobile and desktop sites on chrome 18.0.1 on HTC one xl stock 4.0.4.
10:35pm 15/10/12 Permalink
HeardY
Gaelic newb
Sydney, New South Wales
20894 posts
Cool yeah its working for me now as well... Odd didn't want to work all morning
11:04pm 15/10/12 Permalink
WetWired
Brisbane, Queensland
6087 posts
swiftkey 3
Zipper7 (zips\rar files)
ES File Explorer
DICE Player
A Comic Viewer
12:03am 16/10/12 Permalink
Twisted
Brisbane, Queensland
11752 posts

Also i just found out if you have ICS 4.0 you could take a screen shot of your phone simply by holding volume down + power button at the same time. It will save the image in your gallery.
I think since Gingerbread you can do this?

For me, my replacement apps for the stock ones are.

Phone:
Swype
Camera Zoom
Opera
Kindle
Simple Calendar Widget
Bloomberg
DoubleTwist
Dropbox
Smart Tools

Tablet:
Swiftkey
Kindle
DoubleTwist
Dropbox
09:27am 16/10/12 Permalink
Twisted
Brisbane, Queensland
11757 posts

Looks like SwiftKey is adding the same functionality is the other swipe keyboards. Which is bad ass. Can probably say by to Swype now. SwiftKey will have the best of both worlds :p

http://www.swiftkey.net/introducing-swiftkey-flow

11:13am 26/10/12 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6159 posts
I find swiftkey needs a LOT more accuracy than swype does and is FAR less intuitive in the suggestions (and default) words. Every freaking word if i'm lazy i've had to change, whereas the same on swype usually works pretty intuitively.

Swype for me is almost only circles no sharp edges between letter to letter, often i don't even hit the letters at all. As long as i've roughly got enough letters it's clever enough to figure out what I want.

You can see even on that demo how precise she is with hitting the letter and her finger changes direction entirely sharply leaving the obvious trail that she wants that specific letter.

I don't like that.

I think the stupidest thing swype did was make it that it was such a closed process and hard to install. It either comes with your phone or you have to sign up for the beta and install it. That's basically cut out nearly every person.

One problem I've had with swype though, is if i've made a lot of mistakes, then it seems to lose accuracy and i pretty much find the only way to get it back is wiping the data.
11:27am 26/10/12 Permalink
Twisted
Brisbane, Queensland
11758 posts

The problem with Swype is ditching your F'ing dictionary between upgrades. Also doesn't seem to work well in lots of apps. Took ages before Swype was usable in Firefox mobile.
11:48am 26/10/12 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6162 posts
In lots? Fair enough, i've installed lots but not firefox. And i've not had trouble in any. I keep going back to it no matter what others i use :P
02:12pm 26/10/12 Permalink
bepatient
Melbourne, Victoria
1096 posts
DoubleTwist is an awesome music player. Plus it had a nice custom lock screen so I don't have to unlock to change tracks.
Plume is great for the Twitters
I also use Apex as my launcher.

Everything else is pretty stock for me
05:00pm 26/10/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6664 posts
On a related note, GTAIII is $0.99 on Android today. link (not compatible with my galaxy s though)

06:46am 27/10/12 Permalink
bepatient
Melbourne, Victoria
1099 posts
Awesome, thanks mate!
07:39am 27/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20820 posts
Avast Mobile Security (with firewall for rooted devices)
Is this a must even if you don't browse the net much or install random apps? The only thing I do on my phone is browse Ausgamers & Facebook.

I wish phones came pre-rooted, I know it's easy to root them but I wish they'd release a fully unlocked version, not just network unlocked.
08:42am 27/10/12 Permalink
Zak
Brisbane, Queensland
2909 posts
On a related note, GTAIII is $0.99 on Android today. link (not compatible with my galaxy s though)


Tried to get it this morning but couldn't. First it said it wasn't available in my location. Jumped on the PC, turned on unblockus and tried again. This time it is saying it is not available with any of my devices, but I know people have used it with their Nexus phones and tablets.

Any suggestions?
08:49am 27/10/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20822 posts
I had the unavailable on your device thing with an app, downloaded it to my other phone, saved the apk, manually installed it on my new phone, winner. See if you can get someone else to buy it for you (on your account) & save the apk to an sd card (or zip it & bluetooth it directly).

My experience was with a free app so I don't know if this will work with an app you pay for but I don't see why it wouldn't as long as you use your own account.
09:00am 27/10/12 Permalink
Zak
Brisbane, Queensland
2910 posts
All good - downloaded Market Unlocker, has done the trick.
03:28pm 27/10/12 Permalink
simul
Brisbane, Queensland
1411 posts
Smart Glass is out now too if you have an xbox. Also HD Widgets is decent if you have ICS/JB vanilla.
Also I like tweedle if you like a clean twitter experience.

Anyone know of the quickest app-killer?

Its just a shame its still an inferior user experience compared to iOS, and less innovative than WP8 :/. Maybe 5.0

last edited by simul at 09:40:12 28/Oct/12
09:39am 28/10/12 Permalink
Snakeman
Queensland
852 posts
Anyone know of the quickest app-killer?


I use advanced app killer. Its easy and simple.
10:14am 28/10/12 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
8032 posts
App killers are bad and you should feel bad.
12:15pm 28/10/12 Permalink
exo
Sydney, New South Wales
9037 posts
^^ Correct
12:26pm 28/10/12 Permalink
Fixah
Brisbane, Queensland
7132 posts
Smart Glass is out now too if you have an xbox
just tried it and s*** damn that app is awesome! no more using s***** xbox control to type and navigate around menus..
12:55pm 28/10/12 Permalink
simul
Brisbane, Queensland
1412 posts
I use advanced app killer. Its easy and simple.


Thanks!

App killers are bad and you should feel bad.


I Don't feel bad at all, its for when I'm writing/debugging apps and eclipse/logcat crashes.
07:38am 29/10/12 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
8035 posts
Ah right, well that's a bit different. :)
09:08am 29/10/12 Permalink
BOOST
Brisbane, Queensland
515 posts
On a related note, GTAIII is $0.99 on Android today. link (not compatible with my galaxy s though)


Says its not available in Australia for me
09:10am 29/10/12 Permalink
Zak
Brisbane, Queensland
2911 posts
BOOST - if your device is rooted, google the 'Market Unlocker' apk file. Install it, select Verizon as the provider, and away you go - can download region locked apps.
10:18am 29/10/12 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
8036 posts
Shows up for me on my Galaxy S II.
10:54am 29/10/12 Permalink
mental
Brisbane, Queensland
3588 posts
I've been playing with the 4.2 camera, has a little improvement quality wise, but I'm liking photosphere
07:38pm 04/11/12 Permalink
csirac
Brisbane, Queensland
2759 posts
did you get 4.2 OTA?
08:02pm 04/11/12 Permalink
mental
Brisbane, Queensland
3589 posts
No, its not finished yet!
Just flashed the camera/gallery app onto the 4.1 rom I'm using.
On the phone before and I missed the clip to explain what photosphere is:

08:15pm 04/11/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20857 posts
Photosphere looks pretty damn awesome, especially if they somehow incorporate it into google earth / google maps, allowing users to help fill in the blanks to get more "street views" of out of the way places the google cars haven't been yet, or can't get to (like a park).
09:07pm 04/11/12 Permalink
csirac
Brisbane, Queensland
2760 posts
i for one look forward to seeing widgets on my lock screen. wooo
09:55pm 04/11/12 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
8041 posts
Yeah, you can put the Photosphere camera on any phone running 4.0 or later. I've got it on my SGS II. Works pretty well.
10:36pm 04/11/12 Permalink
Seven
Wollongong, New South Wales
1514 posts
i for one look forward to seeing widgets on my lock screen. wooo

+1
07:16am 05/11/12 Permalink
BOOST
Brisbane, Queensland
517 posts
Says its not available in Australia for me


GTA 3 seems to be available in Aus now guys
01:53pm 05/11/12 Permalink
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