Travel with an Android – a quick guide to some great apps for beginners

I’ve always feared that Android phones would all be hyped and overrated, mainly because it was said that the Android platform itself was seemingly fragmented because several versions of it were running on different phones, so the apps didn’t always run as well as they should. The phone itself was a bit immature compared to Symbian-powered, long Nokia phones with proven proven reliability and standard interface. But over the years, older platforms have disappeared as manufacturers have been caught.

I was a Nokia steadfast all the time but finally moved to an Android phone 3 weeks ago like a lot of fast growing Android fans. Thought I’d hang out with my faithful Nokia 5530 for a while but I guess the temptation to hug the little green robot was great. Customization is the name of the game in today’s technology. My Nokia has done a lot for me, and I rely on it a lot, especially when I travel. After unlocking it with a simple hack to give me full power access, I’ll load it with tons of apps or ‘apps’ that are commonly called. When I bought my ‘El Cheap’ Chinese-made, great Bang-for-the-Buck, Android 2.2 powered ZTE Blade, I was hoping that it would surpass my Nokia in terms of usability of a few thousand Android apps on ‘Android’. Market ‘. Okay, there are more apps on the iPhone, but hey I’ve never pulled in for iPhone camp for any reason, probably because I think I prefer to support the underprivileged! Now that the phone has been around for 3 weeks, I must admit that Android did not disappoint, and I am quite happy to learn to live up to its hype.

I want to keep the number of my apps to a minimum. I basically install apps that are useful for organizing my life or traveling. If you are an Android novice and feel overwhelmed by the huge Android market, here is a short list of some great Android apps (I’ve installed them all). , Quality app. The bad news is that some apps aren’t free and for better apps or enhanced features one often has to ‘root’ the phone, which means a simple ‘hack’ to give the phone full, ‘super-user’ capabilities. So you can install any app or other modified phone firmware with free access. Rooting can also void your phone’s warranty, so it may not be a good idea to root your phone out of the box before making sure your phone is hardware or software free. It’s best to run your phone a few weeks before rooting, just to be safe. It is unnecessary to go into details here because the Android app has thousands of pages, installing customized Android firmware and rooting on Google.

Utility:(Important for Android device memory and battery starvation)

  • Set CPU – change CPU clock rate and manage battery optimization using customizable profile
  • Advanced Task Killer Pro – AutoKill running background app
  • Easy Speedup – Kill running background apps with one click
  • Autorun Manager – prevents some apps from starting automatically
  • Autocillar Memory Optimizer – Kill apps when memory reaches preset level
  • Blade Buddy Pro – phone speed optimization tweak
  • Spare parts plus – more phone optimization options
  • App Installer – to list apps and install them
  • Power Control Plus – Additional functions and toggle buttons to enable / disable one-click flight mode, lock screen, bluetooth and more
  • Battery Widget – Percentage battery level indicator and display shortcut for control, Bluetooth etc.

File manager:

  • Astro File Manager – File Explorer
  • Route Explorer – Like Astro, with access to phone system files
  • Launcher – Stock Android improves the home screen and adds more functionality
  • Keyboard:
  • SlideIt – One of the first applications I installed Great keyboard, like the more familiar swipe I like SlideIT for its high speed and predictive accuracy.


  • PowerAmp – Absolutely a must-have for audiofiles, currently considered the best Android music player. Sound impressive with separate bus / treble control with 10-band equalizer
  • Player Pro (with optional DSP Equalizer Plugin) – PowerAmp Options
  • Rock Player – Supports the most popular video formats, including MKV and AV.

Document reader or editor:

  • Quickoffice Pro – For viewing and editing MS Office documents
  • RepliGo Reader – Bright for viewing and editing PDF files. Free!
  • Cool Reader – Ebook Reader supports most formats such as Fb2, ePub, pdb, etc.


  • Easy Money – Cost Manager
  • Checkmark ToDoList – Shopping, to-do and general list manager
  • CheckIt Off – Daily Tasks and Task Manager
  • Jartte – Calendar app
  • Launcher Pro’s built-in calendar – comes with a bright scrolling widget, can be integrated with Google Calendar

GPS and location:

  • GPS Essentials – Comes with a Nifty Compass for easy information on nearby satellites and other useful GPS devices
  • Google Maps – one of the best known. It is usually pre-loaded on Android
  • Android Drive – Easy navigation that may not be a competitor to Google Maps but can be used offline. Although country maps are not free.

Web Browser:

  • My all time favorite for Opera Mini’s speed and user-friendly interface
  • UC Browser – A good, well-built, functional browser


  • Handsent SMS – A much better SMS app than stock Android with features like allocating individual SMS tones in contacts, scheduling SMS and much more.
  • Go SMS – handset option
  • Short English Oxford Dictionary – A quick companion for English language enthusiasts and an easy companion for ebook reading.
  • XE Currency – A free mobile version of a great currency converter for travel
  • ConvertPad – Conversion utility covers many categories from length and weight to temperature, power and torque.

Many people download the app directly from the Android Market app built into the phone. I like to download the relevant ‘.apk’ file on my PC, transfer it to phone, just run the file and install. This way I can better research and review apps before installing. By no means the best top list. Functions may be the same across similar applications but different user-interfaces and personal preferences. I like simplicity and speed, but take what you want and need.

Easy enough to get Android hang off. I haven’t had to convert to Geek since I got my phone. The platform is constantly evolving and can only get better over time.

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