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Android Central app picks

If you're anything like we are here at Android Central, you love suggestions about must-have apps. Nothing brightens our day more than finding that new essential app that makes you wonder what life was like before it. Here are some of our favorites from the past week for your downloading pleasure.

Chris Parsons- Quickpic

Quickpic

QuickpicLet's face it, the gallery application on Android is really not the best. Depending on which device you're using, you may have issues with images not loading right away, being scattered to different areas on your storage and overall wonkiness. A lot of folks are always asking for an alternative to the built in gallery ad today, I'll share what I prefer. Quickpic - it's a fast-loading, better-working gallery replacement that has all the features of the built in application, and then some. You can hide images, exclude folders from scanning and with the scanning service that runs in the background, you're never stuck waiting for your gallery to update so that you may view that awesome shot of the crazy cat lady next door that you took. Hit up the Android Market and grab it, you'll love it if the built in gallery is an issue for you. Best of all, it's free. [Market Link]

Joshua Muñoz- Tuner-gStrings

Android Central

Tuner-gStringFor musicians, being in tune is where it's at. A good portable, dedicated tuner can cost as much as $60 or more from a music store, or you can spend ~$1.47 in the Market and get one that's just good or better. gStrings comes with a pretty full feature set, from sounding a pitch, auto-finding your pitch, or tuning only a pitch you choose. You can also optimize the pitch range it's looking for in the settings menu (violin, viola, guitar, ukulele, etc.) which is really what helps make it so deadly accurate. There's also a free version for those a little strapped on cash, but for anyone who plans on making sweet, sweet music sometime, this is one app I wouldn't go without. [Market Link]

Anndrew Vacca - SchedNYC

SchedNYC

Fellow New Yorkers, rejoice! No more wondering how long you’ll have to wait for an uptown A train at rush hour. SchedNYC provides you with full schedules of all 26 NYC subway lines, along with the Staten Island Ferry and the Staten Island Railroad. SimSchedNYCply click on the line you’re riding and the app will show you the train’s full daily schedule. The app also provides a station list and further breaks down the schedule based on the station you choose. The interface is clean and toggling between train lines is a breeze.
The best part about SchedNYC is that it does not require a data connection, allowing you to study the schedules on the fly while underground. The schedules are not real-time and do not account for significant delays, so there’s always the possibility of a train arriving a few minutes off. But if you need a general overview of when and where to catch a train, SchedNYC does the job. (And for free!) [Market Link]

Menno - SemiSilent

SemiSilent

One of the greatest things about smartphones is that they connect you to everything.  One of the worst things about smartphones is that they connect you to everything.  Fortunately, you can  set your phone to silent and "unplug" for a while.  ButSemiSilent what if you're waiting for an important phone call? That's where an app like SemiSilent can come in handy.  It allows you to whitelist contacts, so that your phone will ring when they call you, even if your phone is set to silent.  If you're going into the movies or somewhere you don't want any phone calls, you can toggle the whitelist on and off right from the main screen.  It's a simple application, but it does what I want it to.  Best of all?  It's free. [Market Link]

 
There are 24 comments

kylosma says:

Gotta agree with you on Qucikpic, it's a wonderful application.

crxssi says:

Unfortunately, Quickpic is just as BROKEN as the stock Gallery apps!

I don't WANT to see every damn sub directory at the same time. Isn't there ANY photo viewing app that understands what directories and sub-directories are and treats them as such???? I really need one!

Other than that major flaw, Quickpic does look interesting. Perhaps I will contact the author to find out if he is willing to fix it....

Bla1ze says:

You can exclude folders and directories with Quickpic.

crxssi says:

Excluding directories manually, one by one, is not what I want.

It doesn't have an option to separate sub-directories properly. I have hundreds of nested sub-directories of photos and I don't want to have every sub directory appear on the main screen.

For example- I would like to see a main screen with just the top level directories (and photos there if there are any) like this:

Camera (linked)
Cars
Cats
Family
House
Trips
Videos (linked)

If I want to see my cats, I click on it and get:

Boots
Grady
Imma
Kandy
Other
Sam

If I want to see pictures of Imma, I click on it and get:

Fun
Kitten
2008
2009
2010
2011

I did contact the author, and he does want to add the feature, but said he has to wait until he has some time. I am crossing my fingers. I wish Google would add this, but I don't know where to suggest it.

"To each his own" And to me, this is my preferred picture app. I'd rather exclude the unused folders manually than waiting ~1 minute for the pictures to load every single time I want to see them on the stock Android gallery app! Also, I hate that 3D effect, seems so unnecessary.

The only thing I think is missing is Picasa support. I have a lot of wallpapers on the web albums...

crxssi says:

>"To each his own"

Indeed. Which is why I am looking for the feature as an option, not an "always".

BTW- the reason you have to wait ~1 minutes for pictures to load on the stock app is EXACTLY why it makes no sense to try and display dozens or hundreds of subdirectories all on the screen at the same time. So it sounds like you, too, would appreciate the feature I propose. ;)

menzoom says:

Do you really have six sub folders just for your cats? And six sub folders for each cat? That's a lot of pictures dedicated to cats. :-)

crxssi says:

>Do you really have six sub folders just for your cats?

Actually, I have more. But it is a small fraction of the total number of pictures I have- 18,842. Remember, the above is just an example. I have 288 directories and subdirectories. All properly organized and easy to find. I do not want to wade through 288 icons on the home screen. It is just stupid. Especially when I might have 10 directories named "2010"!

TJH132 says:

But do you really have such an elaboate file structure on your smartphone? I understand your logic on the desktop - I do something similar - but prefer just to use Picasa (and the wonderful JustPictures) as my mobile viewer.

Solution: use Astro to browse your pictures. It's a directory utility, which is what you really want.

crxssi says:

Sure- I like having all my pictures with me. I used scripts to scale down all the 7 to 14 Megapixel images to something phone/tablet reasonable (usually 1280 or 1600 wide). My 16GB card easily holds all my photos, a few dozen hours of video, and tons of space left over.

I do not want to store my pictures on some server that I don't have control over, is slow to load, and uses and requires a radio connection. Local is just fine with me.

You are right that I want something more like Astro- but Astro doesn't handle pictures "elegantly" like a real gallery app does.

froli13 says:

Tuner gString is the only tuner I use for my guitar! It really worth the small price!

Nirvana328 says:

interesting list, a little too eclectic for my needs, but the NYC subway schedule app looked cool. I know it might not always be possible, but can you guys try and do app pick posts with themes? Like, "this week is picture and video apps," or "this week we're bringing you FPS games."

I think it would make the posts more relevant so people who don't care about games can skip them for instance, or when going back to old posts to look for a specific app they are easier to dig through and more organized.

BDHN1 says:

They already do themed versions of this some weeks. Honestly, I think I prefer the eclecticism. I think it usually leads to stronger apps getting recommended, as a post about 5 of any one type of app typically leads to one or two being weaker recommendations, unless the topic is really broad like "games" or "live wallpapers".

Nirvana328 says:

Makes sense. Just was a little underwhelmed this week. Figured if the picks were themed, at least there would be some quality mixed in with 1 or 2 lesser quality apps. Eclectic is nice, but when its mixed with apps that are uninteresting, it's a pretty lethal combination.

Either way, thanks for the post AC, we appreciate the hard work!

scuttlefield says:

Quickpic looks really good, but unfortunately (or fortunately) I've got Gingerbread, which allows you to view your Picasa web albums from the Gallery and it doesn't appear that Quickpic accesses these. Maybe they'll have an update in the future that will do this.

daveku1 says:

check out JustPictures.. it links with both picasa and facebook accounts

o2bnclemson says:

I'm a BIG fan of JustPictures. Does everything I need it to do and it's free, too. I rarely keep any pics on my phone now because JP will tap into any online photo app, including FB, that I want.

technomom says:

One more vote for JustPictures. When I first got it, I loved it but inquired about the live wallpaper feature not having longer times between swapping pictures. The app author upped the times on my request the very next update. There are apps and then there are great apps with great developers. JustPictures is the latter.

crxssi says:

Yes, but does it understand how to treat sub-directories as sub-directories?

en28so says:

Thanks for all the good tips on apps!

Mobius360 says:

Another photo gallery to try is Fish Bowl. Loads really fast.

RkyMtnHigh says:

SemiSilent is a godsend.

srkmagnus says:

I've been using quickpic for some time now - far better than the stock gallery on lower end devices.