Team Gizmo Ninja’s “Must Have” Android Apps!

| October 5, 2010 | Reply

Keeping up with our Android App Round Robins we are bringing you an overview of some of the must have Android Apps from the eyes of the Gizmo Ninja Team.  Our goal is to keep you up to date with some of the best Android Apps available that we absolutely love and use on a daily basis.  Drop us a comment with your must have Android Apps below.  Enjoy guys!

Predator Clock Widget:  Chris Bogart

This is a truly awesome widget that displays the time in what looks to mirror the Predators arm shield explosive from the hit movie.  The Widget has a couple of options which will change character display colors from red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue and purple simply by pressing the 2nd digit.  You can also choose to view the Arabic numbers by clicking the 3rd digit.  This is a great FREE app for the true predator fan looking for something other than a theme and wallpaper or to simply compliment them.  If you press the 4th digit you will get an animated countdown which is almost identical to the original movie ending followed by a huge explosion causing the widget to disappear from you screen for a couple of seconds before reappearing.  This is my favorite feature and why this is a must have for me because it is super simple, and still very addicting to play around with.

Get it Here free

ABD Wireless : Blair West

I have tons of apps on my rooted Motorola Droid X, most are time wasting games, social networking or media related.  As a rooted Android user though, I am constantly on the lookout for applications that help me hack, tweak, and theme my phone easier.  A few weeks ago a friend of mine on Xda-developers pointed out a great new app called AdbWireless, and I am here to tell you that this is a must have for Android owners with rooted devices!  The premise of the application is simple, and the requirements pretty standard.  In order to use the AdbWireless App you must have; Rooted Android device, and be able to wireless tether to you PC (I use free wireless tether app).  The premise of this device is simple, it allows you to connect your Android Device to your PC, and run ADB* wirelessly.  So if you have a theme or an apk that you want to push to your phone, you can simply tether your phone to your PC, turn in AdbWireless App and push to your device without having a USB cord attached.

Now I know that this App isn’t for everyone, it is meant for the Advanced User.  But if you are anything like myself or Wayne and are constantly hacking and modding your phone, and find yourself somewhere without a USB cable (usually girlfriends house) and want to push the latest and greatest theme to your phone, this is for you!

Google explains Adb:  Android Debug Bridge

Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile tool lets you manage the state of an emulator instance or Android-powered device. It is a client-server program that includes three components:A client, which runs on your development machine. You can invoke a client from a shell by issuing an adb command. Other Android tools such as the ADT plugin and DDMS also create adb clients.A server, which runs as a background process on your development machine.  The server manages communication between the client and the adb daemon running on an emulator or device.  A daemon, which runs as a background process on each emulator or device instance.

Get it Here free

aCar:  Jeff Christ

aCar is a very versatile auto service tracking application. Upon open, you are presented with several icons and a few different windows. At top, there is a vehicle selection bar followed by the icon panel and below are the latest facts about the selected vehicle. It’s a very professional application to see and use, it’s like your own web page for your vehicles. The only thing I may like to see is color coding per vehicle and associated service records or alerts.  After entering a new vehicle, you can add service reminders for all serviceable components as well as customize and create new reminders to fit your specific vehicle component needs. There are several standard service reminders and intervals but for some, there may be special instructions or components we need to add. aCar makes it easy.  Now all you need to do is enter your fuel fill-up details per vehicle, which includes mileage for service tracking, and you are off and running. Be sure to enter any and all details, tire pressure, washer fluid, car wash, and aCar will track it for you.  This is a very intuitive application, in that if you are diligent about entering service and fuel costs, it will chart and compare mileage, fuel costs, service costs and daily cost of vehicle. This is a Pro feature that comes after a donation.  aCar allows import and export of CSV data, a Pro feature, for easy input of existing data or export to manage or print from your PC. There is also a backup and restore option with an auto backup utility for which you can set the frequency.

Get it Here free

MixZing:  Jason Thompson

I have to admit from being a long time and heavy blackberry user I really didn’t know what to expect from Android. Honestly I never even thought I would ever even switch over. One of the things that I felt needed a lot of work on my blackberry was the music player it was just so boring to me. So one of the main things I was looking forward to was getting my hands on my android device and seeing what the music player had to offer.  Hmm so after messing around with my My Touch Slide for a little bit and playing my music I again found myself with a somewhat boring music player. Ahh I didn’t know what to do with myself I’m a huge music guru and just wanted a device with a decent music player with good features.  One of the great things about Android is the abundance of applications that can be downloaded to your device. On my rapid search I found many different music player applications that all had great features and ran great. I had tried many different apps but found myself coming back to an application called MIXZING.  At first glance it may just look like a normal application but the internals of the application is what makes it amazing in my opinion. The interface is very clean and smooth looking and offers a nice amount of features. You can access the equalizer while the music is playing which is a pretty sweet feature. On the top left if you tap the little “i” it will pull down info about the artist also a cool feature.  The application also has 3 different widgets which is nice to have the ability to choose from a variety of widgets and not just have to settle on one. Cool thing about the widgets is it will show the album art of the song that is playing so it spices up your screen which is really nice.


Album art downloads. (Love this feature)

Video bookmarks allow you to start from where you left off

Clean interface that only shows shuffle, repeat and track progress when you want to see it.

Recommendations take the concept of Apple’s Genius one step further

Lock-screen widget (expires in 3 days on free version)

ID3 Tag Editor

Free and paid versions, a license unlocks full use of the lock-screen widget and tag editor, as well as removing ads

Upcoming features including licensed lyrics and MusicID

Get it Here free

Status Notes:  Wayne D

Have you ever needed to remember something but didn’t want to open up an application on your Android device just to put in something real quick. I have the best solution that comes in a tiny package called “StatusNotes” by Finer Mobile. I am a person who forgets his own name time to time and this application has made me look like my memory is improving. Now all I do is rely on making sure my phone keeps that memory where I can see it. Now with me, I am very picky on applications and they must have a native feel to them throughout. I want to have an application that I don’t have to do more than a few button presses to achieve something I want done easier and much more quickly. I also want an application that has a smooth minimal design that feels like it is part of the operating system in all aspects. I know it seems like a lot to ask for but StatusNotes gives me what I want in all fields.

After you download the app you can access it by dragging your notification bar down to be presented with a way you can add a status note. Click add status note and it will pop up a small dialog box over everything to configure your new note to yourself. You can assign a picture to the note that will always stay up top in your notification bar. I thought I would hate this feature until I found out why it was needed. It just sits there and taunts you to remove it, but I could only remove it once I did the item which is pure genius. Once you pick through a variety of icons you can now add a title and a small detail note about the item. This will be displayed once you pull down the notification bar and show the shade. The shade will show each of your items with the detailed message about the item you created. After you completed the task you noted you can simply click on it while you have it showing in your shade to remove or even update it with a new status. Once you remove the note it will ask if you want to save it for a future note to one’s self. All notes can be accessed with other extra setting by hitting the menu key on your device while the dialog box is open.

You can grab this application for free anytime through the market, the only catch with the free one is that you can only set one status note at a time. I would suggest you scrape up the small amount of $1.99 USD so you can have the ability to add more notes and also at the same time pay the developer for his great work.

Get it Here free

Launch X Pro:  John Piper

Launch X Pro is IMHO a very nice utility/launcher that simplifies my life.  They have updated it a bunch since it first came out giving it more options especially when it comes to the UI.  You are given the ability to have up to 7 screens consisting of 3-7 icons per screen.  That’s access to as many as 49 icons/functions on your home screen.  With some of the newer features you have the ability to control the transparency of the background and the buttons.  I find this especially nice to keep a clean looking home screen as you can see in the pics.  Navigation between screens is fairly fast only giving a bit of lag when the app has sat idle for a while, but snaps back pretty quick.  The widget itself allows you to include any app, contact or shortcut to it making up the potential 49 spots.  You can make up several different widgets and load all of them to the home screen (one for apps and another for contacts).  It also has the ability to backup/restore the widgets you created.  This is particularly helpful if you flash ROM’s every other day like I seem to be.  The one negative/want I have for the widget is to allow it to load other widgets as part of the makeup.  This would be great for the gmail widget when you have multiple accounts to monitor.

Wrapping it up I give this app a 4 out of 5 stars for usefulness and control of the UI.  It would get the full 5 if the widgets could be added to its makeup.

Get it Here free

360 Live:  Josh Kelly

360 Live is an Xbox Live friends list application. You simply type in your Xbox Live credentials, and it pulls up your entire friends list, showing who’s online, what they’re playing / doing, their gamer score, and display picture. You can navigate your way to each persons profile, showing their avatar, and a gamercard showing their recently played games and motto, as well as an area to view their played games, and full profile. If you put your device into landscape, it loads a unique cover flow-ish list of online gamer cards. This application also includes an unread message notification, as well as a refresh rate for your friends list.  To be blunt, this is one of two well known Xbox Live applications, the other being 1337pwn.  The features that really push 360 Live over the top are the fact that it loads your ENTIRE friends list, not just gamer tags you input like 1337pwns, the cover flow is amazing, comparing achievements is a phenomenal and unexpected feature, and the entire UI is just incredibly well made. Microsoft themselves might as well have developed this, because 360 Live is about as close as you can get to Xbox Lives friends list without actually turning on your Xbox. Everything is great, from the messaging to the profiles. Hat’s off to the developer for finally making an Xbox Live application worthy of living up to the actual consoles interface.

Get it Here for $1.99

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Category: Android Reviews, Must Have Apps

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During the day I work in graphic design and also do photography. By night I try to play with programming and code of all different types. I love the opportunity to write for the site and hope to see it grow as time goes on.