I am using android phone since 2012 and like many of you smart phone has replaced many things from day to day life, for example Wrist watch, Alarm clock, Calendar, diary , calculator, torch and so on.
I like to try new apps that help in getting daily work done or apps that help me keep organized.
Of course I am not planning to include typical daily apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, Zomato, Truecaller and so on. Rather some not so known apps that will help make life easier.
1] English Dictionary – Offline
This is my top recommendation as this is very handy for everyone. It gives English to English meanings. The primary advantage of this dictionary is that it is completely offline and requires no internet connection once installed on your phone.
There are some handy features like bookmarks (Touch the Star on the right side of word) , in menu there is bookmarks options to see all of your bookmarked words.
2] Barcode Scanner
Bar code scanner is useful to Scan bar codes on products as well as QR Code containing URLs, contact info, etc.
Apart from that it allows you to share contacts or application with other phones, I have not tested this functionality as ShareIt does it very well.
When you open this it shows a box and a vertical line. (see left most image.) Focus phone so that app scan the image (code) completely.
An attempt to scan “Wikipedia_mobile_en.svg” example QR code from the QR Code page is seen in right side image.
The next in my list is KeepassDroid. this app is like a safety vault on your phone. You can store information like passwords, bank account numbers, IDs etc protected by a single password. KeePassDroid allows you to create groups so for example you can arrange different information like bank , email etc into its own category.
4] Circle Alarm
In old Nokia feature phones (eg. 5230) there was a nice feature to snooze the alarm when you flip the phone , as I moved to Android phone I sort of missed this feature in stock alarm clocks available. While searching for alternative I found Circle Alarm. This app has this feature “Flip to Snooze”.
But even apart from that there some nice features which I found very intuitive and useful.
- It shows a notification of next alarm in the notification center.
- You can give names to each alarm you set so you know what it is for.
- Fade in volume for the alarm
- Auto silence after specific time.
- Tells you at what time the next alarm will be when you snooze.
- And finally a very nice interface
So you must have got by now why this has become one of my favorite app 🙂
5] Call Assistant
This is a special app and you will need this in those special times. Yes, this is special , imagine you are in a boring meeting and you just want to come out, Call Assistant can help you.. Set a fake call from some person of your choice at say in 5 minutes or a specific clock time to make a fake call for you. you can simply walk out for taking that call.
The app actually enters the call details in your call history so be careful. Previous versions even use to create fake SMS but recent version does not do that due to changes in Android itself.
Go to settings and identify correct screen that it should show for your phone when the call is made. You can have both incoming and out going calls
SMS Alarm is primarily a phone finding app but you can use it for more than that.
SMSAlarm triggers a full volume alarm when a SMS with specific text is received and this works even if the phone is silent.
So imagine your phone is misplaced somewhere at home or office and especially it is silent. what you need to do is send a SMS to your phone with the predefined text, as soon as SMS is received the phone will turn of silence mode turn on volume up and will start ringing. is not that useful?
You can also set it so you don’t miss some important messages.
7] Google Keep
Google Keep is a note taking app. There are many app for this purpose and each of them offer some or other features. For Example ColorNote , Evernote and so on. One of the reason I prefer Google Keep is once I am logged in google account in my PC browser, I can simply go to Keep.google.com and access all notes.
Keep allows to add notes as text or list, or a camera picture. You can add labels (like Gmail ) to your notes to make it organized. The other way to organize is to use the predefined note colors.
I suggest to use the same google account that you use for your phone to add notes and that way you can have all notes in sync.
8] Land unit converter
Note : This is adware not complete Free.
This is like many unit conversion apps but focused only on to Land units So useful when you are in the process of buying / selling land or flat or those who are in civil / land trading.
It allows you to quickly convert between Vigha , Guntha, Sq M, Sq Yard, Acre and Sq Feet.
9] Smart App Protector
This app is useful to keep some of your apps (say Whatsapp or FaceBook or SMS) password protected. Useful when you think your phone might get into someone’s hands and you don’t want them to open specific apps , cool right?
- You can lock using either password or pattern.
- For uninstalling also you need to provide password.
- For some apps additionally you can set the screen to remain on.
- There is a built in fake lock, so when say one opens the locked app , it does not ask for password rather it shows screen showing that the app has crashed , but if you know this is lock thing, hold the OK button for a while and it will bring the password box up 🙂
10] Power Toggles
Power toggles is not really an app, it is a widget. A widget that allows to add toggles / shortcuts for many settings on your home screen.
There are over 40 toggles that can be added. Some very useful are like
GPS, Wi-Fi, Torch, Vibration, Mute, Screen Brightness, Battery percent indicator, Airplane mode and so on.
Power toggles allows you to add two different setting bars and also some settings can show in notification bars too.
You can also use skins for the widgets. Overall a very useful widget.
11] Easy Voice Recorder
Samsung phones usually come with a sound recorder, as I moved to Motorola I realized there is no stock application for recording audio notes.
There are many applications on google play, some paid some free, some have good interface some are not so great ones. I finally found Easy voice recorder to be the balance between features and quality, it does have a nice interface too. It is Ad-Supported one but for the features it provides it is very good app.
When you run the app it shows you big buttons one to record and one to stop recording. At the top there are 2 tabs. Recorder and Player. All recorded clips go to Player tab for you to playback.
The recorded audio files can have custom pre-fix or it can simply use then date time for file names.
while recording there is ability to pause. just touch the mike area on screen to pause and touch again to continue. if you really like this and you are into lot of audio note taking you can by pro there are many many features in pro.
12] Office Lens
Office lens is like a scanner in your pocket. You can use this app to take snaps of Black board , advertise etc. To quote scenarios from the apps own play page
- Capture and crop a picture of a whiteboard or blackboard and share your meeting notes with co-workers.
- Make digital copies of your printed documents, business cards, or posters and trim them precisely.
- Printed text will be automatically recognized (using OCR) so you can search for words in images and copy and edit them.
- Business Card mode can extract contact information and save it into your address book
13] Call Recorder
This app is for call recording. In old Nokia phones there was option to record calls but Android phones do not have this.
Note : Please see legal angle of recording calls without the caller knowing that you are recording.
There are many apps that claim that they record calls and most of the ones I tried fail to record the callers voice. There is some technical issue as pointed by some apps that make it difficult to record callers voice. Some apps tell you to put the phone to speaker mode so they can record the speaker and so the audio of caller.
But my search finally ended when I found this application, it does quite good quality recording. All recording are put into a list from where you can hear them.
The free version comes with a floating button on call screen when you call someone which you have to touch to start recording. The paid version has option to automatically record all calls. In my tests except for 1 out of 10 odd calls that I tried to record all got recorded perfectly.
14] Touchpal Keyboard
There are many keyboards available some are free, some paid , some made for Indian languages and so on.
For Marathi/Hindi Typing I prefer Google Indic Keyboard, it is very good and also guesses right words in regional language.
But when it comes to English typing I think Touchpal is best. It has better suggestions, good sentence completion suggestions.
15] Smart Compass
This is a simple compass application, your phone is expected to have magentometer for this to work properly which probably is there in many phones now a days. This app does not require internet connection to work
When you first open this app, it will ask you to do calibration. See left image. Once that is done you are ready to go. In my observation it is fairly quick and has good sensitivity.
Special Mention – Llama
Llama can take role of our traditional sound profiles that we used to have on button phones. So you create meeting, home or loud profiles and change them to change sound , vibration settings.
Llama does that same job but apart from that it has lot many features. It is sort of automation tool so for example when you reach office Llama can change the phone to meeting mode automatically. This is just one of the things it can do. The complete list of things you can achieve is far too much.
Thank you for reading this blog article. Please leave your comments by using the boxes below. Also if you have any questions or suggestions send that too.
Some of the future blogs I am planning are
- Automate your phone using Tasker
- Top Apps for Kids.
Disclaimer – All the above apps are tested by me as a regular user so these are my general observations about the way they work. Some features might not work on some phones or I might work differently. If you find something is not working then do let me know.
All apps are on play and are legitimate as far as I know but install any of these apps at your own risk, I will not be responsible for any loss arising out of usage of any of these apps.