What should you install on your new Android phone?
These days the Android Market is flooded with apps. As a new user you can become pretty overwhelmed with the amount of apps and possibilities. Here is a quick list of essential apps.
Note: Some apps can only be used if your phone is rooted! Rooting your phone is not without warning. A good explanation about rooting your phone can be found here. Apps that need root acces are marked here as [root needed]
All the apps that are mentioned here, can be found on the Android Market. If you can't find them by name, find them with the classname provided (Title - classname)
GPS Status & Toolbox - com.eclipsim.gpsstatus2
This app will give you the possibility to manually download GPS XTRA data. Why is this usefull? The data, that is normally used to get a fix, is downloaded and stored on the phone. The nice thing about this is that it will give you a boost in getting a location, for a few days (xtra data is only valid for a few days).
Fasterfix [root needed] - com.Double.FasterFix
GPS data is downloaded from a timeserver (as GPS relies on timing). Normally the time servers are set to servers in the USA. For some countries, like the Netherlands, there are other servers available which should theoretically provide the data faster than the standard time servers. With FasterFix you can choose the timeserver yourself. This requires root.
Twicca - jp.r246.twicca
When you are into Twitter, you can use this app. It is complete, it looks nice and has a lot of plugins available on the Market. The native app looks kind of boring, Twicca provides you an interface which gives you more tweets in one page.
ES File Explorer - com.estrongs.android.pop
When it comes to managing files on your SD-Card, ES File Explorer is one of the best explorers around. When you have root, you can manage the files on the filesystem (Warning: that can seriously mess up your phone if you don't know what you are doing).
SetCPU [root needed] - com.mhuang.overclocking
For all the tweakers who have rooted their phone, this app will give you the opportunity to manage your CPU and make it run faster or slower, based on conditions. With the right setting you can give it a boost or make sure your battery lasts longer. On the market this app is not free, for all users of XDA-Developers this app can be found on the forums.
3G Watchdog - net.rgruet.android.g3watchdog
When you do not have an unlimited data plan, this app will make sure you do not use too much data. It has the ability to warn you when you reach a certain level of data usage. The widgets are pretty informative.
Miren Browser - cn.miren.browser
The native browser in Android is fast, but lacks functionality. Miren Browser is a Chinese browser (translated into English, ofcourse) with a lot of useful additions to the browser. When you want to read your pages in bed and auto rotation is on, you can lock Miren Browser to stay in portrait mode.
Quick Settings - com.bwx.bequick
Want to enable wifi? Quickly adjust your volume settings? In Android this can all be done from the Settings menu, but it isn't as quick as Quick Settings. A status icon stays in your taskbar and will give you access to those functions you want to use.
Display Brightness - rubberbigpepper.DisplayBrightness
When it comes to brightness, Android kind of sucks. The autobrightness function does not seem to work properly. This app will display a small semi-transparent bar on your screen and stays there. That way you can always adjust your brigtness, without opening any menu.