Handy Android Apps

Short list of handy Android Apps I use (almost) everyday. Put together for the nice people at www.dorsetdigital.co.uk @dorsetdigital  a local pubmeet/social group in Dorset for anybody interested in creative, web, digital and technologyl.

airdroid AirDroid is a free and fast app that helps you manage your Android from a desk web browser.
I always have this running in a separate browser window when I’m at my desk. It’s a quick and easy way to respond to text messages and convenient for adding/downloading music and pictures to my phone.

AirDroid on Google Play


andftp FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP client that can open (local/remote), rename, delete, update permissions (chmod), run custom commands and more. SSH RSA/DSA keys support.

Handy FTP App on your phone — what more do you want?

AndFTP on Google Play


andsmb SMB (Samba/CIFS) client for Android devices. Allows connecting to shared folders hosted on Windows or Samba servers over Wifi/3G/4G.
Handy for testing shared folders or checking if things are secure! I use it with Fing (below).

AndSMB on Google Play


appmoster AppMonster is an application manager for Android smartphones and tablets.
Great for backing up all your Apps to the SD Card. Can be setup to auto-backup. Handy if you update an App only to find it now crap or broken — you can just restore the previous version from the backup!

AppMonster on Google Play


authenticator Enable 2-step verification to protect your account from hijacking!

Use this with LaspPass (below) and a host of other online services. Also works great with WordPress sites via the Google Authenticator Plugin.

Authenticator on Google Play


businesscal Business Calendar is a complete calendar application that is synchronising with your Google calendars!
The default calendar is ok, but this is probably the best app that works the way I expect a calendar to work! The free version does everything I need and syncs several calendars with Google.

Business Calendar on Google Play


calltrack CallTrack logs your phone activity to your Google Calendar. Logs (incoming, outgoing, and missed).
This is such a great app, saves all my calls and syncs via Google to my desktop. Allowing me to track/bill call times with clients. Once setup it quietly runs in the background — recommend this for anybody using their phone for business calls.

CallTrack on Google Play


dns-lookup DNS Lookup tool with support for all major DNS record types and WHOIS lookups. Supported types are A, AAAA, AXFR, CNAME, NS, MX, PTR, SOA, SRV, TXT and WHOIS.

Umm, it looks up DNS stuff — quick, simple and does what it says on the tin :-)

DNS Lookup on Google Play


fing Fing is the ultimate toolkit for network management: network discovery, service scan (TCP port scan), ping, traceroute, DNS lookup, Wake on LAN, TCP connection tester, MAC address and vendor gathering, customizable host names and icons, connectivity detection, geolocation. Integrated launch of third-party Apps for SSH, Telnet, FTP, FTPS, SFTP, SCP, HTTP, HTTPS, SAMBA.

This is great for testing/exploring networks. Use this almost every day while helping clients with their internal (wifi/lan) networks. Really useful App. Also desktop and Raspberry Pi versions!

Fing on Google Play | Fing Website


gtasks GTasks is a simple and efficient task management app with both local and Google account mode.

Use this simple app everyday to manage my Google todo list(s).

GTasks on Google Play


lastpass Mobile version of LastPass password manager. Fast, easy and simple; securely syncs your passwords across all your browsers and devices.
Simple app for access my LastPass account — you need a premium account ($12 a year!) to use this on your phone/tablet.

LastPass on Google Play


overlookwhiz Keep an eye on your webservers (or any other TCP-enabled server) right from your phone home screen.
Great way to keep an eye on your servers/sites — I have a screen full of widgets monitoring my own servers and client sites. Can customise the refresh rate and failover checking server. Made by the same people as Fing (above).

Overlook Whiz on Google Play


smsbackup Automatically backup SMS, MMS and call log entries using a separate label in Gmail / Google Calendar. It is also possible to restore SMS and call log entries back to the phone. Another no-brainer app that backs up my SMS texts to a Google calendar.
It can also backup call logs, but I prefer CallTrack (above). Has a nice restore feature, handy if upgrading your phone. There are lots of other similar apps, but been using it ever since I got my first Android phone — the old faithful G1 :-)

SMS Backup on Google Play


wifianalyzer Turns your android phone into a Wi-Fi analyzer!!
Shows the Wi-Fi channels around you. Helps you to find a less crowded channel for your wireless router.
Another handy app that I use almost every day. Simple to use and great for demonstrating to clients why their WiFi is crap!

WiFi Analyzer on Google Play

Eggs!

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I remember making these when I was a kid, wrap the eggs in onion skins (different colour onions make the patterns), tie with thread and boil… This is the closest I’m gonna get to saying happy easter!

PowerBook Duo 280c

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I’ve inherited a working PowerBook Duo 280c… Not sure what I’m gonna do with it, suspect it will end up in the loft with everything else… If only I hand more space, I could start a museum!

Anymore

“It’s so nice
to wake up in the morning
and not have to tell someone you love them
when you don’t love them
anymore”
— Richard Brautigan

Alfred App Themes

Alfred AppAlfred App is a great application for quickly finding and launching things on your Mac. It’s similar to LaunchBar, Quicksilver and Google’s Quick Search Box (plus many more similar apps).

What I love about Alfred is that is quick, very quick in fact, and simply to use. I don’t really need all the extras that Lunchbar or Quicksilver offers, although they are handy — I just want to be able to quickly find stuff on Mac, launch Applications and lookup contacts — job done!

Alfred is free, but there is a paid add-on called Powerpack, and since version 0.8.1, Powerpack users could create their own colour themes. Now with version 0.8.2, you can export/import themes meaning you can now share them with friends.

tangerine theme

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How to Backup VisualHub

I recently archived and reformatted my Mac so I could do a clean install of Snow Leopard, as a result I wanted to reinstall some of the apps I used to use, one of which was VisualHub, a video conversion tool that unfortunately is no longer developed — yes I know there are plenty of other apps out there, but VisualHub works perfectly with my current setup/workflow.

After copying the app and finding my serial, I discovered it needed to download a conversion engine before it could work, but for some reason it couldn’t or wouldn’t download it, so after a search on Google I discovered I could just copy the engine from my archived Mac — although the website with the instruction eventually worked, I had to use Google’s cached file to start with.

I’m a little concerned the site might be broken or worse the information might disappear altogether so I though I would republish the instruction, which may be of use to other users?
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Update and a quick plug!

It’s scary how long ago I last updated this website.

As you will probably notice I have changed the design again! I am now using TwentyTen which will hopefully be one of the new default themes to be included with WordPress 3.0 when it is released.

I’m really updating to say I have just launched a news and information website for people using broadband the Isle of Purbeck. For some time now there has been fluctuating speeds and several Major Service Outages (MSO’s) which BT have been reluctant to acknowledge until after they had fixed them (not very professional!).

So, if you do live in the Isle of Purbeck and have experienced some weirdness with your broadband connection, please visit Purbeck Broadband and share your frustration with us.

Random Update

In an effort to move the rather amusing, yet annoying picture of bang-cock down the page a bit I have decided to write a little something and nothing…

Well, that was it… something and nothing…

Perhaps I should write a new list and review of my must have OS X (Leopard) apps?