An idea was thrown out the the world on Google+ (Koushik Dutta) for a root only android app store. A place for apps related to rooting your phone, or other mods, along with all the stuff that Google and Amazon have banned from their app stores.
I think it is a great idea. I would love to see this happen and would love to contribute however I can. Check out the post (at the below links) and give your own feedback.
An overnight update has added the Music category to Android market for some users. The version number still remains the same at 3.3.11, though the new option is there.
To use the music feature you also have to download the new Google Music app from Android Market. This should give Android devices a little bit of an edge over the iPhone with all it’s new features that iTunes lack.
Before I get started with my little rant I wanted to say that I am not bashing Android in any way, just a little frustrated with a little aspect of it, and am seeking a solution. I give a huge amount of credit to the developers! But, if anyone has any suggestions for me, please feel free to comment or send me an email at email@example.com (or via twitter: @oldandroidsite).
If you are an email “power user” like I am you probably have a bunch of email addresses on your Android phone. One problem that I have seen on my Android device is that the Market app gets confused about which account to attach your apps to when you download them. For example I have my main email address that I use for everything and then an email address that I use for my website plus and email for my Android apps. I also even have a SPAM email address that I use for signing up for stuff that I don’t want to get email from. The problem lies when I check that email than go into market to download an app. It seems to attach the download to that email address instead of my primary email account. So what I decided to do to combat this is to reload my secondary emails and see what happens. To do this I went into the Settings – Accounts & Sync menu and selected one of my secondary emails. Then just press “Remove Account” twice (once on the initial screen, than again on the popup) and the account is gone. For this experiment I made a quick list of the apps that were attached to this secondary account, just incase they all went away, but fortunately they are all still there.
The next step of the experiment was to verify if the apps were still attached to me in Market. Apparently they aren’t. They are still installed, but kind of in the dark when it comes to the Market app. If I am to do a search for an app that I know needed an update, once I find it does still show that the update is needed, but only then does it attach to the primary email account. This seems like a lot of effort just to fix an annoyance with the phone. The hardest part of the whole process is that I now have around 50 apps on my phone that aren’t going to update because they aren’t attached to the Market. Another solution that I see is that the (Root Only) app Titanium Backup has an option that will “Attach Market” if you long press on an app if gives that option. The downside to this is that the feature is only available through the donation version of the app, which I highly recommend, but can totally understand that not everyone is willing to part with the handful of dollars for an app like that, especially if it is just because of this annoyance. The last attempt that I am trying is the download an app called Zemna Applist Backup which is an application that takes all of your apps and creates a document with all of the Android market links. This seems to work, but you still have to know which ones aren’t already associated with your primary account. PLUS, once you click on the “orphaned” apps they just show up as installed and the only way to reassign them is to uninstall and reinstall them, which could take hours with 50+ apps.
Google is at it again adding a few nice features to the Market App. My favorite is the option to change the default setting for auto updates so that all your apps will auto update, plus the ability to only autoupdate on Wifi.
This is news for all the people out there that either have a Blackberry and love it, or are stuck with a Blackberry for work email. It looks like RIM has decided to include a “app player” in it’s upcoming versions of their Blackberry OS.
This is great news considering more and more developers are jumping to Android making the Market have hundreds of thousands of apps available, as opposed to the minimal number Blackberry has.
If you have a Blackberry Playbook there is a leaked version of the “App Player” of it floating around that you can load onto your current Playbook. Our friends at n4bb.com have more information on the leak.
From their site:
Wow, here is a serious surprise for PlayBook owners. Apparently, this was easily found through a changelog in a Desktop Manager update. We’ve been sent a beta build of the Android App Player for the PlayBook. It is a huge file, lags a bit, has no visible back button (you have to swipe left on the bottom bezel), but we’re told nonetheless it works. The app itself is controlled through a series of swipe gestures. This beta version is fairly old, so don’t hold it against them. You of course have to side-load the .bar file to install. Google search for DDPB installer to side-load easily.
Alright folks. It appears that Google has been at it again and released another update for Android Market.
A few features that are noteworthy are that you can use Googles new + feature to rate apps and games, and it now has the capability to set a pin number to be able to purchase an app (anyone with kids with appreciate this!)
It appears as though the world has started to shake all around us. First there was a 5.3 magnitude in Colorado, then today the east coast got a shake up with a 5.9 with the epicenter in Virginia. Where I am is sort of in between the 2, and I didn’t feel a thing here… (It may help that as a robot I can hover over the ground, though…) So in honor of these natural disasters I present you with a cool earthquake app (and a few bonuses below).
Name:Earthquakes in USA Description: Visualize the location and magnitude of earthquakes happening across the USA, Canada, and Mexico with this informative geology app. Define points of interest and watch readings and data flow onto your phone as quakes happen nearby. Sort quakes by magnitude and date to access quick statistics about seismic activity in North America. Share your findings with others by either copying quake data to the clipboard and pasting it somewhere, or using integrated social networks like Facebook and Google Buzz. -Visualize the location and magnitude of earthquakes happening across the USA, Canada, and Mexico with this informative geology app -Define points of interest and watch readings and data flow onto your phone as quakes happen nearby -Share your findings with others via social networking (Facebook, Google Buzz, and others)
Name:End of TIme? Description: On Dec. 21, 2012, Maya’s “Long Count” calendar marks the end of a 5,126-year era. Some people think this marks the end of time. The Bible says, in so many words, that nobody knows when the end will come. Is this the last day? Get this app and keep track of the Days, Hours, Minutes and Seconds that are left.
Name:Bible from YouVersion.com Description: #1 Android Bible app. The Bible from YouVersion.com – 100% FREE. Get the #1 rated and ranked Bible App for FREE. We want to make it easy for you to read and share God’s Word. 50+ free translations and dozens of reading plans to help you read the Bible and track your progress.
So you have an Android phone that you want to be able to make your own, or you may feel a little restricted by Google’s Android Market. What other options are out there? I do a lot of talking and linking to things in Android Market, but I also talk and link a lot about the Amazon Appstore. The Amazon Appstore (among others – see below) is an alternate place to download apps for Android and along with the below list gives you the freedom to get your apps from anywhere.
I will cover a handful of app stores below. Feel free to check them out and comment about your experiences.
Name: SlideME App Store
Description: SlideME is a great alternative to the Google Android Market, and is the site that has made recent (geek gamer) news because of the user yongzh getting booted out of Google’s market and pulling all of his apps and moving over to SlideME and releasing them for free. He is the author of the (insert-classic-system-here)OID games like, NESOID, SNESOID, GameBoid. Just for those apps alone you should go check out the SlideME appstore.
Description: AndSpot takes a unique approach to the idea of an app store. One that all you power users out there will love. They have a monthly service that gives you UNLIMITED Android app downloads for a low low monthly rate of $8 per month. It is in Beta so you have to sign up for it and wait to get an invite.
Description: Aproov is a web based app “store” that specializes is only Free apps. This is great if you are someone that spends a lot of time looking through the regular market’s free section and struggle with it because it is not designed for just free apps, where this app store is designed just for that.
Description: OnlyAndroid is an app store that has an option that is similar to the Amazon Appstore. It offers a “deal of the day” on an android app or service. Although it is not a free app, but it also does include services, for example the deal for today (7/29/11) is a 15 month subscription to the SmrtGuard service which gives you data backup and a lost phone finder service for 50% off. It is definitely a site to keep tabs on because they might offer a great deal on that certain app you have been eyeing.
Description: Amazon Appstore is the alternative appstore that I am obviously a huge fan of mainly because of the feature they offer every day that gives you a FREE app that you can just download. No strings attached. They have a great selection of apps and almost all of the apps have a sale price that is cheaper than the “normal” Android Market.
For the final (for now) portion of the “Why Root” series I will discuss some other apps that are only available on a device that is rooted. Well they may be listed on here as “only available”, keep in mind that they may be install-able on a non-rooted phone but they probably won’t work, or do anything at all.
Description: Superuser is the main app that allows you to grant Superuser rights on your phone. Any of the apps on this page, or any app that requires root will need your permission to use the seperuser ability. This app allows you to save that permission and remember it for the next time you use the app. It is preloaded on a majority of the roms and root packages out there, but just incase it isn’t you can get it for free on the Android Market. The barcode and links on this page link directly to the Market page, so they will work on your computer or phone. From the Developer: Grant and manage Superuser rights for your phone. This app requires that you already have root, or a custom recovery image to work. Note: App and binary will have different versions. The app is updated more often than the binary is. Install fixed for CM6 Stable If install fails, check http://bit.ly/su2xx for a solution
Description: This is the first app I install after a reset or flashing a new rom. It allows you to backup your apps, mass move your apps to the memory card, and much much more. From Developer: EXTREMELY powerful tool. Backup ALL apps, Market links, remove bloatware & MORE! ☆Over 2 million users, 23+ languages! ☆Needs ROOT, Android 1.5-3.1+ ☆PRO Key is available on Market! ☆Voted #1 TOP ROOT APP on Twitter. ☆Problem? See matrixrewriter.com/wiki ☆Internet used for Dropbox/Changelog ☆AVOID “unofficial” TB versions: they cause infamous “package signature” errors! ☆ ☆ ☆ The ONLY tool that can backup, restore, freeze (with Pro) your apps + data + Market links! Fully supports protected and system apps! 0-click Batch/scheduled backups! Can move apps (or app data) to/from SD card! The PRO version adds 0-click batch restores, Dropbox sync, conversion between user system apps, Dalvik cleaner & MORE!
Description: Rom Manager was previously covered on this site, but is required on any list of root apps. It gives you the easiest way to download and flash a custom rom onto your phone, plus be able to make a backup of your current setup, and restore it too. This is the 2nd app that I install (after Titanium Backup). From the Developer: Must have app for any root user. Make backups, flash ROMs, and own your device. *June 15, 2011* I am aware of the recently introduced force close bug, and would like to apologize. I have updated a fixed version, 188.8.131.52. Please let me know if that works! ROM Manager is THE MUST HAVE APP for any Android root user. (Over 1.3 million downloads and counting!) * Flash your recovery to the latest and greatest ClockworkMod recovery. * Manage your ROMs via a handy UI. * Organize and perform backups and restores from within Android! * Install ROMs from your SD card. * Install your favorite ROMs over the air!
Description: Drocap fills a big gap that Android hasn’t officially incorporated, Screenshots. It gives you the ability to take a picture of your screen, which is great for sharing what is on your screen with the web, or through a picture message. As you use it you will find a million uses for it. From Developer: Screen Capture Utility. WARNING: You need root permission for use drocap2. Tap start button and shake the device or wait for timer to capture screen image. You can also make a capture trigger from Notification bar. This works well with “superuser whitelist” environment.
Description: As the only paid app on this list (unless you consider pro or upgraded versions) this is a must have app for anyone with root. there are tons of tutorials that tell you how to use this app to remove apps that are preinstalled, like all the bloatware… From Developer: Root Explorer is the ultimate file manager for root users. Access the whole of android’s file system (including the elusive data folder!). Features include SQLite database viewer, Text Editor, create and extract zip or tar/gzip files, extract rar archives, multi-select, execute scripts, search, remount, permissions, bookmarks, send files (via email, bluetooth etc), image thumbnails, APK binary XML viewer, change file owner and group.
Typing on an all touch keyboard can be a chore to learn, especially if you have a phone that is all touch. Every manufacturer has their own keyboard they use so it can even be confusing if you upgrade phones. Most phones also have the stock android keyboard installed, so if you decide to try that you can easily switch to it and try it out. But how?
To switch keyboards all you have to do is go into an app that has a spot to type, for example I will use the “Messaging” app. Simply press and hold on the area where you would be typing and look for a popup that says “input method”. When you choose that it will give you a list of installed keyboards.
So what if it doesn’t show any keyboard installed? First double check in your settings menu under “language and keyboard” and see what is listed there. If there isn’t a check mark next to an option, it won’t show up in the “input method” list.
So now you are probably asking yourself, “Where can I try out more keyboards?”. And the answer to that lies in the rest of this post. Here are a few keyboard apps to try out and see what you think. (Plus a bonus Amazon Appstore free keyboard of the day for 7/21/11.)
Name: SwiftKey X
Description: SwiftKey X is a next-generation AI keyboard, now with unrivaled prediction and personalization.
SwiftKey X for smartphones builds on TouchType’s SwiftKey keyboard to offer cloud personalization, a new prediction engine, and a host of new UI improvements.
Using artificial intelligence breakthroughs, the SwiftKey X keyboard accurately predicts your most likely next word based on what you’ve already written. It can also scan your sent messages, and learn as you use it to make predictions even more accurately over time. The more you get to know your SwiftKey keyboard, the more it will get to know you.
Description: If your phone isn’t updated to gingerbread yet you can get the keyboard from 2.3 and load it right on your phone. Features: 1. Multitouch keyboard 2. User dictionary, built-in dictionary 3. Auto correction 4. Redesigned and optimized keyboard layout and style 5. Speech to text 6. Split main keyboard app and dictionaries.
Description: Better keyboard is the best and the most popular keyboard on the android market Supports many languages: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Deutsch, English, Espanol, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Hebrew, Italiano, Korean, Netherlands, Norwegian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Swedish
Description: Take command of your Android device’s touchpad keypad with a Perfect and smart Keyboard for android. You can customize the look of the keyboard with eight different themes and add additional functionality to your device. Perfect Keyboard lets you use custom dictionaries, control background and text colors, and adjust the keyboard’s vibration density. In short, Perfect Keyboard allows you to setup your Android phone or tablet’s touchpad keyboard so that it works best for you. Note: Perfect Keyboard works only on Android 2.2 and up
Description: -Swype v3 introduces two major new features: Tap Correction and Horizontal Word Choice List -Our Tap Correction engine utilizes many of the concepts that make swyping so accurate. Seamlessly go from typing to swyping and back without missing a beat! -The Horizontal Word Choice List replaces our popup word choice window, giving users an experience more in-line with evolving Android standards. It also makes dictionary control and word selection faster and easier. -Swype v3 is available for devices with HVGA, WVGA, FWVGA, QVGA, WQVGA, WSVGA, qHD screen sizes -Introducing a special Honeycomb-only WXGA version for Android tablets, with features like “moveable keyboard” that you won’t find anywhere else! -To see which languages are supported on your device, check the language and resolution table -Improved licensing: Swype will no longer be disabled after a reboot on some devices; added support for devices that don’t have a cellular radio (wifi-only tablets); no more license failures for CDMA devices in airplane mode. -Simplified registration by allowing users to authenticate their email address directly through the installer -Too many other improvements to list! Download Swype v3 NOW to explore everything the next generation of Swype has to offer! -Limited End User Support – mostly via our forum -If your phone came pre-installed with Swype -DO NOT download this beta (it won’t work)