Android apps I use, plus a few battery tips

Overall, I’m very happy with the experience using my HTC Droid Incredible. I’ve had it for about ten days.

After a couple of days with it, I root my phone with unrevoked3. (Ambitious, huh? I guess Wil Wheaton recently did the same with his HTC Droid Incredible. Wheaton!!!)

Side note: Why did I want to root my phone? To uninstall apps pre-installed by Verizon Wireless that I wouldn’t use. (Crapware.)

The following is a list of Android apps I’ve installed and used so far:

  • Android System Info
  • Barcode Scanner – When checking prices at the Cal Poly Pomona bookstore, this saved me $162.57 (Breakdown: $62.11 immediately + $100.46 Buy Back, which I’ll do at the end of the quarter.)
  • Chrome to Phone – Opens links from Google Chrome on my desktop to my phone.
  • Clockr – A simple clock widget that displays text, not numbers.
  • Dropbox – Along with Epistle (see the next item), this lets me save photos to any Dropbox folder, keeping my phone storage clear.
  • Epistle – Synchronizes text files to/from a specified folder in your Dropbox account.
  • Gmote – Control playback of videos and music, browse your file system, or use phone as a keyboard or mouse.
  • K-9 Mail – Robust email client, better than the built-in app. I use IMAP with my email server. (See update below)
  • – View your balances and budget. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support adding cash transactions.
  • Pandora [Radio] – I haven’t tried Slacker Radio yet.
  • [Google] Reader – The formatting looks good. I prefer this over visiting the website on my phone.
  • [Google] Shopper
  • Silent Boot – Silences the “Droid” start up sound when powering your phone on. Stay discreet if you’re in a quiet room and need to restart your phone.
  • Silent Sleep – Specify when your phone should be silent.
  • Swype (Beta) – If you’re sick of tapping an OSK, you’ll love this app. I was comfortable using it after a couple days. I can write fairly quickly.
  • Titanium Backup
  • TLDR – Saves articles for later reading directly to your Instapaper account.
  • TweetDeck – More powerful than the official Twitter app.
  • Uninstaller
  • Google Voice – I heart this.
  • WordPress – In case I want to draft/publish a blog post from my phone, this works very well.

After I root my phone, I uninstalled the following pre-installed apps:

  • City ID
  • Footprints
  • Skype – I might reinstall this if I needed. At the moment, I wouldn’t want to use it while I’m out and about.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Battery life and task killers

From what I’ve read so far, it’s only bad to have rampant apps installed if they constantly use your CPU in the background. The Android memory system is pretty solid.

On Friday, I used my phone pretty heavily between classes. (TweetDeck, texting several friends with Google Voice, and Pandora.) It was unplugged between 7:00 AM and 1:45 PM. When I got home, my battery was down to 25%.

I might have to try the bumb charge method outlined in this HTC forum thread, plus remove the calendar widget. I technically don’t need it.

Actually, I should try one thing before trying another. That way, I know which factor was relevant. For now, the calendar widget is gone.

Otherwise, I’ll upgrade to the Seidio Innocell 3500 mAh Extended Life Battery shortly.

Note to self: With Auto-sync disabled and Background data enabled (Settings > Accounts & Sync), I still got notified of a text message through Google Voice.

Update 2011-01-09 22:10 — TweetDeck also updates with Auto-sync disabled. What apps are dependent on Auto-sync? (I’ll search for the answer eventually if nobody leaves a comment. Hehe.)

Update 2011-01-10

  • 06:15 — After charging all night, powered off phone, unplugged, then replugged the power cable. The orange light appeared, meaning the battery resumed charging.
  • 06:45 — Green light from battery charging.
  • 09:10 — Listening to Pandora Radio, checking TweetDeck, downloaded a few PDF files, and chatted with a couple friends through Google Voice (27 messages). My phone was on vibrate the whole time.
  • 10:50 — Battery level at 40%
  • 11:25 — While eating lunch and reading, my battery level went down to 28%. I checked my K-9 Mail settings and disabled background sync. (Settings > Global > Network)
  • 11:29 — Stopping the K-9 Mail service. Battery level at 27%
  • 11:42 — In class; battery level at 26 %
  • 12:50 — Battery level at 26%

For now, I’ve (sadly) uninstalled K-9 Mail and will resume using the built-in Mail app. I’ll resume my testing and publish a new post at the end of the week (so I don’t keep adding “clutter” to this).

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

Talk to me, Goose

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s