My Most-Used Apps
These are Android apps which I find to be the most useful. For other useful apps, see my
Other Useful Apps
App developers sometimes add or change or remove features, so there might be some differences between my descriptions (below) and the current versions of some apps.
aCalendar - Android Calendar
by Tapir Apps UG (haftungsbeschrnkt) (free) - After trying numerous calendar apps, this one is my favorite. The interface is easy to use, so I can get in, do what I need to do, and get on with my life. It syncs up with Google Calendar in the cloud, so my events are backed up and available on any computer.
To switch between Month view, Week view, and Day view, simply swipe left or right. For example, if you're in the Month view and you want to see the Week view for a particular week, then put your finger on any day in that week and swipe to the left. If you're in the Week view and you want to see the Day view for a specific day, then put your finger on that day and swipe to the left. Swiping to the left from the Month view always brings up the Week view, and swiping to the left from the Week view always brings up the Day view, and swiping to the left from the Day view always brings up the Month view, which is simple and intuitive. Swiping to the right will bring up the views in the reverse order, which is simple and intuitive.
In the Month view and the Week view, double-tap a specific day to bring up the Day view for that day.
In the Week view and the Day view, a mini calendar (showing the full month) is displayed at the bottom right corner of the screen, which is handy. The currently-displayed week or day is highlighted on the mini calendar. Double-tap the mini calendar to jump to the Month view, or long-press the mini calendar to jump to today's date in the current view. If today's date is already displayed, then long-pressing the mini calendar pops up a window which allows you to jump to any date.
To change the dates, swipe up or down. This works in every view (Month, Week, and Day), which is intuitive. Do a two-finger swipe to move up or down 12 months in the Month view, or 4 weeks in the Week view, or 7 days in the Day view.
To add a new event, long-press the appropriate day or time. The "New Event" window will pop up, allowing you to select the starting time, then the event editor window will open up. This works in every view (Month, Week, and Day), which is intuitive.
To see the details for an existing event, tap the event. The description and details (date, time, reminder, etc.) will pop up in a window. The first icon in this window allows you to edit the event. The second icon creates a QR code for the event. The third icon creates a copy of the event and pops up the event editor. The fourth icon allows you to delete the event. If there are multiple events for that day then swipe left or right to see each event. If you tap the event title or the event location or the event description, the text that you tapped will be copied to the Clipboard. These things work in every view (Month, Week, and Day), which is intuitive.
In every view (Month, Week, and Day), at the top of the screen towards the right there are three icons. The first icon pops up the event editor for the most recent date that you tapped. The second icon jumps to today's date. The third icon brings up the Options menu.
You can automatically add birthdays for people who are in your Contacts list, and there are two ways to do it. One way is to select Birthdays under the Options menu, then tap the "plus sign inside a circle" icon to select a contact. The "curved arrow" icon will cancel out of the Birthdays screen. Another way to add a birthday for one of your contacts is to bring up the Day view for the appropriate date of birth, then tap the zodiac symbol in the gray area above the mini calendar.
I have the Agenda View widget on one of my home screens so I can easily and quickly see what's coming up on my calendar.
by Amazon Mobile LLC (free) - This is the app for Amazon.com, which has more features than Amazon.com in your phone's web browser. It lets you filter by department as you type in the search bar, and then you can sort or filter the search results. In addition to text searching, it allows you to search by scanning barcodes (tap the "barcode" icon in the search bar). I use this for scanning barcodes at a store to check the Amazon reviews for products before I buy them.
AudioGuru | Audio Manager
by Jupiter Apps (free) - After trying numerous volume control apps, this one is my favorite. There are four profiles which can be configured, allowing you to quickly change the volumes. The current profile name is displayed at the top left corner of the screen. There's no "Save" button, so when you set the volumes they're saved automatically. For the Ringer and Alerts volumes, tap the "vibrating phone" icon at the far right to enable/disable the phone's vibrator. Depending on your Android version, you might not be able to set the Ringer and Alerts volumes independently (in your phone's Settings menu, tap "Sounds" and look for an option which allows you to change these two volumes independently). Tap the "speaker" button at the bottom left corner of the screen to set the volumes for Normal mode, Vibrate mode, and Silent mode. Tap the "profile" button at the bottom right corner of the screen to set the volumes for the different profiles (you can't add or remove profiles, but you can rename them). The Auto profile turns on the scheduling feature, and you can't change the name of the Auto profile. To configure the Auto profile (for changing the volumes automatically based on the time), tap the "clock" icon at the top right corner of the screen, then tap "Day types" (in the paid version you can have separate schedules for each day of the week), then tap "Work days" (this can be renamed on the next screen). At the bottom of the screen, each profile has its own color. Long-press the name of a profile to rename it. To activate the profiles at specific times, tap a profile name at the bottom of the screen and then tap the times when that profile should be active (in 15-minute increments). To scroll the list, drag up/down in the black areas on the far left or right (if you drag the colored area then you might place the wrong color in the time slot that you touched). Other task scheduler apps or volume scheduler apps that I've tried tend to drain the battery, but the volume scheduler in AudioGuru doesn't seem to affect my battery at all. I have the Profiles widget on one of my home screens so I can easily and quickly change between my Work, Home, and Silent profiles.
Blue Letter Bible
by Blue Letter Bible (free) - The best Android Bible software that I've found, with Bible study tools and personalized Bible study features.
Brave Browser: Fast AdBlocker
by Brave Software (free) - After trying numerous browser apps, this one is my favorite. It's a fast web browser with a built-in adblocker, and here's a review of it (the author asked if I would add this link, so I assume that the review also covers the Android version):
Brave Browser Review 2020: The Future of Secure and Private Web Browsing?
ClevCalc - Calculator
by Cleveni Inc. (free) - After trying numerous calculator apps, this one is my favorite, with useful functions such as a unit converter, tip calculator, and so on. I like that it has parentheses, and a history which shows your previous calculations, and you can insert any previous calculation into the current calculation (or copy it to the clipboard).
F-Stop Media Gallery
by Seelye Engineering (free) - A nice Gallery app for photos and videos, with lots of features.
Gboard - the Google Keyboard
by Google LLC (free) - I prefer to type by sliding my finger, and this keyboard does a good job of figuring out the words I want. What makes it stand out from other keyboards is that it has arrow keys for moving the cursor (or for selecting text), and you can move the cursor by sliding left or right on the space bar, and you can delete several words at once by sliding to the left from the backspace key.
by Google Inc. (free) - A word processor (similar to Microsoft Word). The documents are stored in the cloud, so they can be viewed and edited in any web browser, and they can be shared so that multiple people can edit the same document.
INKredible - Handwriting Note
by WriteOn (free) - After trying numerous handwriting apps, this is my favorite. It's essentially a word processor for hand-written notes, and it contains far more features than any other handwriting app that I've found.
In addition to various pen styles and sizes and colors, and various eraser options, and a highlighter, there are also numerous paper options such as graph paper and calligraphy paper and music staffs and so on. Pages can be organized into notebooks and can be shared with other people.
Handwritten text can be selected with the selection tool, then it can be dragged to a different location on the page (such as for organizing a to-do list). Selected text can also be deleted, copied, rotated, and changed to a different color or size.
Pictures can be imported, and there are a number of built-in shapes that can be added to the page.
The toolbar is displayed vertically down the left side of the screen, and it can auto-hide itself. To go to the next or previous page, drag up or down on the right side of the screen.
by Google Inc. (free) - This is the Google Maps app.
by catfantom (free) - After trying numerous kitchen timer apps, this one is my favorite. Tap the "New Timer" button, then optionally enter a title for the timer, then enter the hours, minutes, and/or seconds (using the "+" and "-" buttons or the number buttons), then select an alarm sound, then tap the "Create" button. Create and save as many timers as you desire (e.g. for different dishes). To start a timer, tap its "play" button (a green rectangle). To edit a timer, tap its "pencil" button. To copy a timer, tap the button next to its "pencil" button. To delete a timer, tap its "trashcan" button. To temporarily add or subtract minutes for a timer, tap its "minutes" display and select the number of minutes to add or subtract. To permanently add or subtract minutes for a timer, tap its "pencil" button. The display can be sorted by timer title, or by remaining time, etc., which is handy. I like being able to use multiple timers while cooking, and it's nice having the timers with me wherever I am in the house so I know the status of whatever I'm cooking.
Out of Milk Shopping List
by Capigami, Inc. (free) - I never thought I would like using a "shopping list" app, but this is the best of all the ones I've tried, and it turns out to be quite handy. In my hand-written shopping lists, the items are in a random order, and some of the items are squeezed in here and there so that they're near another similar item. With this app, I've grouped the items into categories based on where the items are located in the store (e.g. Cold Stuff, Snack Items, Produce, Meat, etc.). It took a little time to transfer my grocery list to the app, but now the items are stored in the app so I don't need to write them down anymore. In the app I've got all of my items in a Pantry List. To create my grocery list I simply tap the checkbox next to each item that I need, then tap the "Add" button at the bottom of the screen. Each item automatically appears in the category where I had originally placed it (e.g. Produce). At the store, my shopping list is easy to read (no more chicken-scratches on a piece of paper), and in each aisle I know exactly what to get in that aisle. When I put an item into my physical shopping cart, I simply tap the item's checkbox to cross out the item, which moves it to the "in your cart" category at the bottom of the screen. This make it easy to see what items I still need to get. When I'm finished shopping, I tap the "Delete all" button under the "In your cart" category to remove everything from my shopping list.
by Pandora (free) - After trying every streaming music app I can find, this one is my favorite because it provides numerous stations that I like (e.g. British Invasion, 60s 70s and 80s Hits, Indie Rock, Today's Alternative, Shoegaze, etc.).
Rocket Music Player
by JRT Studio Music Apps (free) - After trying numerous music player apps, this one is my favorite.
by polyGeek (free) - Tells you the best "Peetimes" while you're watching movies, so you'll know when you can go to the bathroom without missing anything important. For each movie, it tells you the time when each Peetime starts (e.g. 39 minutes into the movie when the main character says "yada yada yada"), and how long each Peetime lasts (e.g. 4 minutes), and it gives you a synopsis of what you'll miss. It has a timer which will give you a one or two minute warning (configurable in the settings) when each Peetime is coming up. It also gives you a synopsis of the first 3 minutes of the movie in case you're running late, and it lets you know if there are any extra scenes during the end credits.
by Shazam Entertainment Limited (free) - Provides information about the music that it hears, such as the song name and artist and album and lyrics and so on. This is referred to as "tagging" a song. I didn't expect to be using this app so often, but when I hear Christmas music at the mall or a song on the radio or a song on TV, etc., I frequently use Shazam to find out what song it is.
SmartNews: Breaking News Headlines
by SmartNews, Inc. (free) - After trying numerous news apps, this one is my favorite.
Turn Off Screen (Lock Screen)
by redmanit (free) - I have a widget for this app on my home screen, and I can easily turn off the screen by tapping the widget icon. This is much more convenient with one hand than using the power button.
Volume in Notification
by Jimmy Hu (free) - Puts three volume control buttons (Mute, Down, Up) into your phone's notifications area, making it easy to adjust the media volume. The volume level (e.g. 30%) is also displayed in the notification, and an icon is displayed in the status bar which indicates whether or not the media volume is muted. This is a useful app because a phone's volume buttons are usually context-sensitive, which means that pressing the Volume Up or Volume Down button will change the ringer volume (not the media volume) if no media is currently playing on the phone. In contrast, the volume buttons in the notifications area will always adjust the media volume, no matter which app is currently active.
by Weather Underground (free) - A nice weather app, which shows the same information that most weather apps have. Some weather apps get their data from AccuWeather, and other apps get their data from the National Weather service, and so on. This is why different weather apps don't agree on the current temperature, because they're getting their data from different places. The Weather Underground app uses data from a huge network of Personal Weather Stations (in addition to the data used by the National Weather Service). This allows the app to display the local temperature from a Personal Weather Station which is near your location rather than the temperature from an airport or weather balloon. Therefore, this app might be more accurate than other apps.
September 10, 2020 - Added INKredible. Added a link to a review of Brave Browser. Deleted Write because it doesn't work properly in the latest version of Android.
March 10, 2019 - Added Brave Browser, Blue Letter Bible, ClevCalc, Gboard, Turn Off Screen, Rocket Music Player, SmartNews. Added a link to "IS HANDWRITING DEAD? HARDLY. WE NEED IT MORE THAN EVER." Deleted these apps because I don't use them anymore: Link Bubble, Caller Notes, Clean Master, Clipper - Clipboard Manager, CM Browser, CM Security Antivirus AppLock, Collateral, Dictionary.com, Drippler, Gravity Screen, Musixmatch - Lyrics & Music, Netflix, Pocket, Snap Swipe Drawer, Swype Keyboard, Truecaller, TUFFS Notification Shortcuts, What's for Dinner? Recipes, Wikipedia.
February 09, 2016 - Added Caller Notes, F-Stop, Facebook, Maps, Netflix, Pandora, RunPee, Snap, Truecaller, TUFFS, Volume in Notification, and Weather Underground.
January 14, 2015 - Added Clean Master, Clipper, CM Browser, CM Security, Collateral, Dictionary.com, Google Docs, Google Handwriting Input, Gravity Screen, Link Bubble, MultiTimer, Musixmatch, Out of Milk Shopping List, Pocket, Wikipedia, and Write.
June 29, 2014 - Added Amazon Shopping, Drippler, ai.type Keyboard, and MyScript Stylus.
August 08, 2013 - Added the Fleksy, Google, and Minuum keyboards, and What's for Dinner.
May 17, 2013 - Added aCalendar and AudioGuru.
March 23, 2013 - Added the Flow and Kii keyboards.
December 05, 2012 - New page.