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Decided to start a weekly Diary on the best Android apps I use.

Doing it for a number of reasons. At the top of the list I am a tech geek. Spend also my entire life on a computer or other device (I know that is kind of sad). I am that guy that when looking for an app will download like ten different programs and play with them all until I find the one that best serves my needs.

I realize most folks either don't have the time and/or patience for this. So I am here to help :).

I also want people to get the most from their tablets and phones. I can't tell you now many people I know that are not nerds like me use this or that device. Think they are happy with it. Then I point out how they can do this or that and you see this look on their face like I've changed their lives in some small, meaningful way.

So there is some of that here as well. Follow me below the fold for Edition I of this weekly Diary.

Note: I run a Google Nexus 7 and a Samsung Galaxy Note II. I got nothing against iOS, but what I own runs Android apps so what we will focus on.

Dots Connect (Free)


As an avid gamer that has a PS3, PS2, N64, and Sega Dreamcast all running as we speak, I am about to make a bold claim. This is about the most fun game I have played in the last year.

The game only takes a minute to play. The goal is to connect dots (either horizontally or vertically) of the same color from an ever-filling grid to get the highest score possible. Now I like puzzle games, but my gosh I was blown away. I downloaded it one lazy Saturday weeks ago, and next thing I know it is five hours later and my hand actually hurt from playing it non-stop.

Without the "cheats" you can use I dare you to try and get more then 150 points. I double dog dare you.

It is just a flat out wonderful game. Something that you can play just for a few minutes to relax and also simple enough you can play with other adults or a very young child.

Be pre-warned you will waste a lot of time with Dots Connect.

gReader Pro (Free w/ a $2.99 Upgrade)


When I learned Google Reader was going to get shit canned Monday of this week I freaked out, cause well I use RSS feeds more than just about anything else to gather and collect information. gReader isn't a Google product, but it interacts with Google Reader to pull your feeds into it. I wasn't sure if it would work after Monday, but at the last minute they announced it would integrate with your feeds, if you pulled them into Feedly, and my life was saved from a RSS point-of-view.

Feedly is a wonderful reader with an amazing interface (like a magazine), but it doesn't help me with almost 200 feeds. gReader, well if you are a power user is the best things around.

Wunderlist (Free & Paid Version)


This is a to-do list program. I am a to-do list freak. I often joke there is never a time where a legal pad and a mechanical pencil is more than a few feet from me, cause I make to-do lists of to-do lists (no I am NOT joking). I've really wanted to move away from paper, but alas never found a program I liked that much.

I've literally tried dozens and dozens of them.

But I always have two problems. (1) The app is so bare bones it doesn't do all I want. (2) It tries hard to be something I don't need, like a project management system.

Well IMHO Wunderlist solves this. It does just enough to be exactly what I want. A to-do list program with a few added features. The best is that for a task you can have sub-tasks.

It is also a web-based program at its core, so you can view and add stuff via a browser. So I have my to-do lists on my desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet.

Oh and if you are a married person, you can share lists with another person.

Trello (Free)

This is a very hard app to explain. The summary of it on the Google Play Store says:

Whether you're planning a surprise birthday party for your best friend, writing an epic screenplay, tracking million-dollar sales leads, or just making a list of stuff to get done this weekend, Trello makes sure you're organized and on top of it all.

Like a whiteboard with super powers, Trello is simple to use and infinitely flexible. You'll know exactly what needs to get done, who's going to do it, and what's coming up next. And, everything you do is synced and saved instantly to

Here is a screen cap of when you first start using the app to explain how to use said app.


Basically it is a dumbed down project management system that lets you create a "board" for a project and then almost like visual note cards within it.

It is one of those apps that to be honest, you just need to play with to get it. But if you want something like a project management system that doesn't take hours and hours to put said project, this might be what you are looking for.


I could go on for hours with other apps, but I only want to present a few each week, so I don't overwhelm people and this series can go on longer than one week :). Enjoy and let me know what you think and what apps you are using.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Highly Rec All The Apps Listed (5+ / 0-)

    or I wouldn't have written about them, but if you only try one give Wunderlist a try. It is truly a "special" little program. Plus, and I didn't mention this above, it has a very pleasing to the eyes interface, which in fact matters a lot to me when picking an app to work with.

  •  OK, I have a Galaxy s2. What do you recommend (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, EverGrateful, oortdust

    for optimizing battery use?

    And do you use cheats on dots connect and where can I find them?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:28:35 PM PDT

    •  I Can't Help On Point One (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EverGrateful, oortdust

      I work out of my house and don't travel much, so I have my docking stations I use 24/7. IMHO with both their battery power sucks. Terrible actually.

      Not really used the "cheats." You can pay for them, but you also get them by total points awarded. At the top right of the screen there is a gear icon. Click on that and there is an option for "Power Ups." That is where you find them, and there are 4-5 different options.

      You can freeze the one minute clock. Clear the board. Lots of stuff.

  •  so, um, are you going to talk about hardware too? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, EverGrateful, oortdust

    My SO recently dropped a Nexus 7 (the 16G version), which, of course, destroyed the screen.

    I'm tempted to order him a 32 to replace it, but he's not ready yet. He still uses a Nexus phone (the original!) although it's on its 2nd screen (dropped it in a creek in February 2011).

    My flip-phone RAZR is ... sigh... wearing down. I think I want an HTC One to replace it, since apparently these are no longer made as new hardware and the NOS supply is ... gone.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:30:46 PM PDT

    •  I Could Talk Hardware A Little (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EverGrateful, BlackSheep1

      but since I don't actually "test" and/or use those products, I am not sure I am totally comfortable saying buy this or that.

      I was very "slow" moving to my Nexus & and Samsung. I mean I am on a computer 24/7, why get things that keep me tethered to my computer even more.

      So until last year I didn't have a tablet, why have one when you have a $3,000 "gaming" quality laptop. And my phone, well it just make phone calls.

      I spend countless hours looking at phones and tablets and I think I bought the best of the best.

      But my gosh, there are a lot of other "great" options out there.

      I went mainly with what I bought cause the Nexus hardware is made by the same third party firm that makes the stuff for the Samsung phone. They both use the exact same OS (operating system -- Jellybean).

      So they are a mirror image of each other. If I pick up my phone it has the EXACT same interface and apps as my tablet. That mean a TON for me.

    •  Oh Just A Few Other Points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EverGrateful, BlackSheep1

      I have the 16G version as well and I see NO reason to get the 32. I am about 110% sure I got a ton more apps and data on mine then your SO will and I have no memory problems.

      The only thing I would have done different is get the Nexus 10 (wasn't out when I got the 7). The Samsung Galaxy Note II has a pretty large screen and I find myself using it almost more than the Nexus 7. With a larger screen, mostly for gaming, that wouldn't be the case.

      IMHO you might only need the phone and not the tablet at this point. Does that make sense?

      •  My son the Android geek says... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, EverGrateful, BlackSheep1

        (1) He loves HTC products. Got the new HTC One as soon as it was available. Likes it very much.

        (2) HTC will soon release a new phone with a bigger screen, and he wishes he'd waited for that.

        When he got the HTC One, he gave me his old Samsung Galaxy Note. I like it because it has a big, bright screen, so I don't need my reading glasses. Yes, rapidly descending into old fogeyhood.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:02:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If I were to pick up a tablet with a radio (0+ / 0-)

        I might get rid of my phone when it does finally die.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 04:20:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good topic for a diary series. NT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EverGrateful, oortdust

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:05:11 PM PDT

  •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

    I'll be keeping an eye out for this series.

    I do EVERYTHING with my Android phone.

    Always interested in app/hw related stuff.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:17:25 PM PDT

  •  What's the app (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That allows you to take a photo of the Product squiggly on a package and the app tells you who owns the company?  

  •  App Recommendation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EverGrateful, oortdust

    Someone mentioned SwiftKey on Twitter a couple of months ago so I loaded it to my Samsung. I absolutely love it. Here's the description from their website:

    SwiftKey for Android replaces your device’s on-screen keyboard to help you type in an easier, faster and less frustrating way.

    The app is packed full of features to help you type, from the award-winning prediction engine that learns how you write to predict your next word, to SwiftKey Flow, which lets you write whole phrases without lifting a finger.

    It's to the point where I will type a text using a phrase I've used  over and over, and I will only need to click a few letters because its auto predictor learns your patterns the more you use it.

    Netroots Nation June 20 - 23, 2013, San Jose, CA. Register Now!

    by BCO gal on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:50:29 PM PDT

  •  So glad to hear you say you chose the best (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because I felt I had but it's nice to hear it from an expert. I'm thrilled you're doing this. I shall have to follow you so I don't miss a thing.

    Find I don't use the Nexus 7 nearly enough now that I've got the Note, and I'm wondering if I should have waited. Ah well, the tablet still earns its keep.

    PrintHand is the app I recommend the most. Allows you to print wirelessly from your devices but please be forewarned, you can only print a test page with the free version. Many people have been disappointed because they didn't understand that when they downloaded it. It's expensive, $12.95, but works like a charm and tech-struggling ol' me didn't have a single problem getting it to work. To me that was worth the price of admission.

    A few freebees I use all the time are mmapps mobile's Mirror and also their Magnifier.

    My other favorite that I would recommend with caution is Puffin Browser. It's the most amazing mobile browser I've found. It even has an onscreen mouse & trackpad. The reason I recommend with caution is, I originally got it because it delivers Flash content but I was advised here on Kos that Flash is very, very insecure (I hadn't known that). Puffin's website says that all traffic between the Puffin app and server is encrypted so it may be OK to view Flash but I haven't since learning of Flash's security issues. Still have to do more research on whether the encryption helps protect from Flash evilness.

    Divide And Conquer only works if we allow ourselves to be divided--let's not

    by EverGrateful on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:55:14 PM PDT

  •  Dots Connect is addictive! (0+ / 0-)

    Hotlisted.  Thanks web; I'm looking forward to future recommendations.

    Dwell on the beauty of life. ~ Marcus Aurelius

    by Joy of Fishes on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:59:53 AM PDT

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