July 18, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Every week, Androinica.com attempts to highlight the best Android Apps. Using tips from the #androidapps tag on Twitter and recommendations from our own eagle-eyed staff, we highlight recent additions to the market and apps we feel readers will enjoy. If you’d like to recommend an app for inclusion, mention @androinica or use the #androidapps tag.
This week’s theme is shortcuts and soup-ups. All of the apps below are designed to cut down on the time it takes to perform tasks or enhance Android’s default functions. Either way, they both give you more time to play with your beloved device.
Tell all of your Froyo-wielding friends that there’s at least one feature from their version of Android that you can get, too – Google Chrome to Phone. If you’re browsing the web and want to continue reading an article or send directions to the phone, LinkPush is a great app to have. All it takes is licking the Chrome extension button and then opening the LinkPush app. Read more about this app
Ghostify (€1.39 full, Free Lite)
Android users typically have many apps on their phone. Some of which they use every day, others that are only opened once in a blue moon when the time comes to put them to work. For the space-conscious or clutter-free-obsessed, there’s Ghostify. Ghostify is an Android application that can uninstall an app but keep a link available when you want to rapidly install it once again. Users can create an APK back-up of apps, save a link to quickly bring up the Market listing, or access a Live Folder showing all of the “ghosts,” which are apps that are temporarily removed and quickly restored on-demand. The Lite version limits users to only 10 ghosts, but upgrade to full version to have unlimited use.
Rockplayer ($9.99, Free with Ads)
Rockplayer has its faults, but the fact that it supports DivX and several other codecs makes it a must-have for anyone sick of converting videos to work properly on Android. The interface is a little clunky with ads unless you upgrade to the pro version, but it’s worth the $9.99 if your phone isn’t equipped to play DivX videos. Be sure to test the free version to make sure it is able to handle your videos because some files fail to play back smoothly. NOTE: There are multiple versions of this app. Search the Market for “Rockplayer” and find the version compatible with your phone.
Play with SwiftKey for a few hours and you’ll discover something very interesting. The auto-correction isn’t as good as you may have experienced with other keyboards, but you can bet there’s a good chance it’s the best at text prediction that you’ve seen. SwiftKey is a keyboard alternative that attempts to guess what someone plans to say, and then adds it when pressing the space bar. If you type in “Anyone,” SwiftKey will assume your next word is “who,” so tapping space will automatically enter “Anyone who.” It continually offers clues to speed up the text-entry process, making SwiftKey an appropriately-named app.
SwitchPro Widget ($0.99)
The Power Control widget built into Android is great, but some people like to take things a little further. SwitchPro is a widget that makes it easy to toggle settings on the homescreen, and adds several options for doing so. Users can choose how many buttons appear (and in what order), skin it to look better with your wallpaper/theme, and add several quick settings not available by default. It’s a great app for quickly changing the following settings: Wi-Fi, Data, Bluetooth, GPS, Auto-sync, Airplane Mode, Brightness, Battery Indicator, Vibration/Silent, Auto-Rotate, Screen Always On, Reload SD card, Unlock Pattern, Reboot (root only), Flashlight, 3G-2G, Speaker Mode, Auto-screen Lock, 4G Toggle.
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