Android software

Overview

I'm working on updating this list, it was getting too long, and I want to organize by function.

I recently was able to root my Note 3 with the KitKat update. Whew. Never again will I do a firmware update without knowing I can root again. The few extra features in Android operating system updates is, in my opinion, far outweighed by the importance to limit capabilities of the apps you use, and the performance lost by apps running you don't want or need.

For example, why does an app like the flashlight need to have access to contacts, location, etc.

I have AT&T, and there is a whole bunch of apps they have loaded you cannot stop or remove, and they are either junk or stuff that is duplicated, like a map app, or a wifi app, etc.

So having a rooted phone in this day and age is imperative to me, therefore there is a section on rooted apps.

Rooting tips and apps

What is rooting and why?

First, I will only mention that rooting is basically getting "root access" to the linux operating system of the phone. Normally you are running as a user that does not have all privileges. This allows the manufacturer and/or the carrier to "force" apps on you that you cannot uninstall or stop running. This also means that the access to information of these apps likewise cannot be controlled. Apps can automatically run, using cpu cycles, ram and your battery. Also, these apps can be sending your personal information of too anyone they want.

Warning

If you can root a phone, and how to root, and the dangers of "bricking" your phone are things you should understand and research on your own. If you want to do this, I highly recommend researching it thoroughly and understanding the process, or get a friend to help you. Any more on this is way beyond the scope of this page, and you have been warned, do it wrong and you can "brick" your device.

Why I root

OK, so I root for 3 reasons:

  1. to stop applications from running I don't want
  2. to control those applications I do want
  3. to add functionality not normally allowed
  4. to stop data mining, and

Basic root software tools/apps

Titanium Backup - BUY this! It makes backups of your system. If you don't understand why to do backups of your device, stop reading now, and take a walk on the freeway, seriously. The other thing it does, which to me is the main usage (since there are lots of backup programs) is the ability to not only uninstall, but "freeze" an application. So you can "debloat" your phone safely, you can freeze an app, and if it was really needed, just unfreeze it. Uninstalling a "factory" app can be dangerous. Buy the "pro" version.

SuperSU - replaces the stock SU (Super User) utility, allows selective granting of root access to apps, forever, or for a limited time. Another must have. Notice that the latest version is not always on Google Play.

Root Checker Basic - use to make sure root access is enabled

Xposed framework - this app makes a framework for tons of root-enabeld apps, once you browse the Xposed-based apps, you will see why

Nandroid Manager - makes and restores nandroid backups, and handles recovery.

Root permission control

For most users, the reason to root is to take out stuff you don't want running (as above, Titanium Backup), and the next reason is to control the permissions of the apps you want to leave, especially some system stuff.

The best permission control app I have found is Xprivacy. You can block things easily, and you can easily select the granularity of control all the way down to the specific system call in the code. You can also always block access, or have Xprivacy query you when the program tries to use access. You will be very surprised when you run a flashlight app and it asks for access to your phone list! When starting it, be sure to go through the tutorial, there are a couple of ways to restrict/control apps.

App ops (icon is a gear)
Permission Manager (icon is 3 blue vertical sliders)

I found some other tools, like Permission Manager (icon is like a red globe with a diagonal banner that says "GRANTED"). This product also analyzes apps for "dangerous" permissions. This app crashed every time I went to "manage".

Power saving / Performance

These kind of go hand in hand. Many programs continue to run after you stop using them, often communicating with the mother ship, or looking for updates, etc. This costs CPU cycles, performance and battery life.

By using a hibernation type program and freezing unwanted programs, you will noticably increase battery life and performance.

I've been using Greenify for quite some time, it works ok on non-rooted phones, but has complete control to "hibernate" programs after a pre-set time, or other things.

Other great root apps

quick reboot (circle with lighting bolt in center

simple reboot

wakelock detector - helps you find apps that are waking the phone

 

need to go through these: (all xposed modules)

ActivityForceNewTask - creates a new task when "jumping" from a page to youtube, for example, so the back button will take you back to the app you left, not the launcher

Blacklist..  - blacklists callers and sms

BootManager - stop bootup apps

complete action plus - ???

ds battery saver - have to investigate, greenify might be better

PretectedApps - add password to an app

smooth progress bars - visual change to progress bars, cute..

tinted transluscent status bar - what it says... kind of cool

wanam kit - lets you tweak a number of visual elements, colors, etc.

 

 

 

My list of (non-root) softwares I like (and dislike!)

There are also tips in usage,

Be sure to scroll down past this text list to see a list of what is in my phone today.

bold : I have tried/used it

$ means not free

RED - junk (or worse)

GREEN - I am using

 

Note: this list is was developed for Jelly Bean and KitKat so some of these may be old.

Android security software notes:

Avast

Locate user phone
Call and sms filter
Track phone
Track data and wifi usage

Avg

Protection from text message threats
Remote wipe

Msecure password mgr

$10

Norton

Remote wipe
Scans sd

Mcafee

Lock apps
Track device
Filter unwanted calls or sms

Lookout

Free popular

Webroot

“find me” alarm

Kaspersky

$15
Device lock
Data wipe

Trustgo

Wrong password 3 times, it takes a picture and emails it

Seek droid

$5
Remote wipe
Track
alarm

Software, in alphabetical order:

  • 4shared - on the play store, allows access to the 4shared database of "cracked" apps.AccuWeather
  • AccuWeather - I have their weather machine
  • adobe acrobat reader, by Adobe - essential to read pdf files
  • alaska airlines
  • amazon - shopping
  • amazon kindle - built in android app
  • american airlines
  • ampere
  • amtrack
  • ancestry - from ancestry.com
  • apk extractor -  Meher Prasad
  • avast mobile security pro
  • avr remote - Denon 2016 avr remote receiver
  • Auto SMS - great auto responder for messages, has whitelist, blacklist, must have!
  • barcode scanner, by ZXing Team - works very well, uses camera to read barcodes
  • boat browser
  • calculator - built in app
  • calender - built in app
  • calendar storage - built in app
  • camcard, by Intsig - business card scanner, works ok
  • camera - built in app
  • camera 360 - nice panarama app
  • chrome browser
  • cit mobile
  • clock - built in
  • com.... number of internal apps for the o/s
  • compass (smart compass) 1.7.6 smart tools
  • compass - mswu - ver 0.4.4
  • compass & level, by lemonclip
  • contacts - built in app
  • converter - v1.2.2 by asif chowdhury - converts many units - nice - has ads
  • convertpad - v2.0.0 by sunny moon - very nice - has ads
  • CPU Master free, by anTuTu - sets cpu speed on rooted devices, stock max speed on HP touchpad was 1188
  • cpuz
  • dialer - built in app
  • Dialer1, by Yermek Zhumagulov - very nice dialer that follows screen orientation
  • directv
  • Dolphin Browser HD - best browser so far, better than Firefox for now, faq/blog here: http://blog.dolphin-browser.com/faq/dolphin-browser-hd/ Syncing bookmarks: There is Xmarks, but I had one heck of a time getting just the bookmarks I wanted. I use Bookmarks to SD to import and export. It also has a way to sync with your google account.. have not tried yet.
  • dolphin liscense - separate app that registers your browser
  • dropbox
  • ebay
  • email - built in app
  • Emergency Alerts - built in app
  • engine driver - works with JMRI - model trains remote control app
  • engineerscalc - thompsonlinear.com - trig, materials density, etc.
  • ES file explorer
  • ESPN
  • expedia
  • fcc test, by fccapps - does speed tests - works on wifi and on broadband cellular
  • fiat access app..
  • fidelity
  • file - built in app file browser
  • find my headset - plantronics
  • firefox - internet browser - I get the beta version, best html5 rendition, the android version is pretty much the same level as the pc one now. Still not as good as dolphin, and no flash plugin apparently.
  • flashlight - (tiny flashlight) nikolay ananiev 5.2.4 blue backgroud with flashlight pointing to left
  • fly delta (airline)
  • freecell hd - classic games - white background kin looking left
  • freecell - mobilityware blue background, king looking right
  • gallery - built in
  • google calendar sync
  • google contacts sync
  • google play books -
  • google play movies
  • google play music
  • google play store - to get apps etc
  • google search - preinstalled - easy search built into android
  • google+ - works on 2.3 and above, has visual chat
  • GPS status & toolbox, by eclipsim - nice way to see more details on your gps
  • GPS test - chartcross limited 1.2.9 nice
  • greenify - oasis feng
  • headset battery monitor - 1.0.2 - plantronics
  • history eraser - infolife - nice app that deletes history from the phone
  • imdb
  • inetwork test - https://android.downloadatoz.com/apps/com.xcr.android.inetwork,48157/download.html
  • ipcam viewer - looks like ptz camers
  • iperf - magicAndreoidApps.com
  • iperf ext - sudhir c vissa  -
  • irobot hime - for roomba vacuum
  • keyboard with Ctl key, by pline.co.jp  - nice keyboard
  • level - by ihandy
  • light flow lite - great app, lets you pick different colors for the status led to mean messages, email, charged, etc.
  • luminosity
  • (google) maps - preinstalled on thunderbolt - google maps with satellite
  • minesweeper - old school
  • mmi connect - connects to audi
  • mobile hotspot - preinstalled app
  • Music - built in
  • My Acurite - chaney instrument
  • my sensors, by kevin fodor - very cool app that shows you raw data output of sensors, 3 axix accelerometer, 3 axis magnetic, angle distance, light sensor, fun
  • Myradar
  • netflix
  • network info ii - alexandros schillings
  • network mapper - by coc - fast???
  • Nova launcher - very nice launcher -

    Much like many Google apps/services, Nova has a "labs" menu that makes available some useful tweaks which aren't quite ready for prime time (get it?).

    Within this hidden menu, you'll find things like the ability to increase the maximum grid size (from 7x7 to 16x16), toggles to add any size widget to the dock, force 180 degree orientation, UI Lock, and a couple of widget restore and resize options.

  • obdeleven - configure can bus in audi
  • Ocean HD - dualboot games really nice underwater background 3D
  • omron - bluetooth blood pressure meter
  • Open Signal Maps - shows direction and strength of cell towers
  • openvpn -
  • Pandora - great free radio station, customize your own station
  • performance test mobile - by passmark
  • phases of the moon - m2cvatalyst
  • Phone - build in phone app
  • Photo Editor -
  • pdf utility lite - Sharda Gohil - will let you split, merge, extract and insert images
  • ping by ilmobileapps.com - can ping list of addresses - has ads -  
  • ping by lipinic - another ping - can have lists - continuous
  • pingrange by srcguardian - will ping range of ip's - fast, returns mac addresses
  • ping & dns  2.9.6 - ulf dittmer
  • plenti - american express
  • PLT hub - plantronics
  • Prime video - amazon prime
  • qr barcode - Geeks.LAB bluish camera lens in middle of bar code
  • realCalc - Quartic Software
  • ruler - xalpha lab -  diagonal ruler icon
  • scanner radio - gordonedwards.net
  • settings - preinstalled - android operating system settings
  • setup - preinstalled - first time setup for phone, like language, etc
  • shazam - music 
  • skype -
  • sleepiq - sleepnumber b y select comfort
  • slingplayer - streaming video player for a slingbox at your home
  • solitaire collection-candy mobile
  • soundhound
  • southwest (airline)
  • speedtest.net, by ookla - one of the best speed tests, keeps a history, works wifi or wireless
  • spotify -
  • street view - google maps addin
  • Sudoku Pro - Malik A K Abualzait - the only game I play
  • SuperSU - codingcode
  • SwannCloud
  • Tango - video chat works on iPhone and Android, great, easy to set up
  • Tape-a-Talk, by Marcus Drosser - nice voice recorder that lets you email the voice recording
  • Tasks
  • Telnet, by clockworkmod - telnet program, if you don't know what it is, you don't need it
  • (Android) Terminal emulator, by Jack Palevich - terminal emulator, if you don't know what it is, you don't need it 
  • Text messaging - built in app
  • Tool box - maxcom - has pass and max leveler
  • traceroute - srcguardian
  • Uconnect - to fiat
  • Ultrachron lite - TheSpinningHead -stopwatch
  • united (airline
  • vConvertit, by verdebreuk
  • vCOrganizer pro - best Outlook sync tool I have found
  • Weather underground - my weather station
  • Weatherbug - nice app
  • wells fargo
  • What's my ip?, by Mr. Beat - simple app to show your ip address (big green IP on black background)
  • whats my ip - mgd - (icon is 2 old pc-at )
  • WiFi Analyzer by farproc - excellent graphical representation of all freqs in use with signal strength - has ads
  • wifi analyzer - by webprovider
  • wifi network anlyzer  - zoltan pallagi
  • WiFi Speed Test - by Zoltán Pallagi

download from play store
go here to get the server software https://bitbucket.org/pzolee/tcpserver/downloads
go here for documentation http://pzoleeblogen.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/wifi-speed-test-for-android-how-to/

  • Wordbrain
  • Xmarks for Dolphin browser - really kind of a pain, you get another folder in your pc browser, not easy to manage
  • yelp
  • Youtube - preinstalled app on thunderbolt - if you don't know what this is, you have been living under a rock
  • Youtube Search - ok, not great, but saves time, sits as a widget on your screen, if you youtube a lot, may be worthwhile, but you have ads all the time on the widget
  • YP Mobile - preinstalled - Yellow Pages mobile app to find businesses
  • Zmodo
  • Zoho crm
  • zsight
  • flashlight - super bright led flashlight - surpax inc - rotating bezel (don't know why alphabetically last)

 

 

Easter eggs

Nougat has "Android Neko", where you can put some food in a dish, and you get a notification when a cat eats it.

You then are building a collection of cats that look random, but there is indeed logic behind how soon a cat comes and what they eat:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/4tualq/what_i_know_about_cats_the_android_nougat_easter/

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