See the apps we're using on a daily basis
After skipping a week of our regular column to highlight some of the best apps of the year from each of the Android Central editors, we're back onto a regular schedule with Apps of the Week. In this weekly column we show off a single app from each of the writers here at AC, along with a quick explanation of why you can find it on our devices.
While they may not always be the most popular, best selling or flashiest apps, if they're installed on our phones and tablets then there's reason to talk about it. Read along with us after the break and see if we can recommend an app or two for you to install on your own device.
Jared DiPane - Calendar Status
Having quick and easy access to see what is coming up on my calendar is something that is very important to me. In the past I have used calendar widgets, but with my new set up I have only one home screen set up with Action Launcher, and I have it very basic. Doing this caused me a bit of pain as I had to manually open the calendar to check things out, but luckily I stumbled across Calendar Status.
When I first saw it I was curious as to what it was all about, but as I looked further it seemed to be just what I needed. Calendar Status gives me my upcoming appointments in my notification drawer, which is very quick and easy making the information able to be accessed with just a glance.
In the settings you are able to customize how many appointments you want to be seen, or how much information is shown as well. The set up is quite easy and there are a bunch of ways to make it show just what you want to see. The application is free and there is an ability to buy a pro license for only $0.99 which unlocks even more customization and additional options.
Download: Calendar Status (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Tropica
Tropica is a name plenty of aquarists will recognize. Regarded as the source for information about aquarium plants and planted freshwater aquariums (as well as growers of some highly-sought exotic species), their online resources are a wealth of information for both new and advanced aquarium hobbyists. Their Android app brings this information to you in their 90-day startup service guide.
The app will walk you through setting up your own high-tech, CO2 injected planted aquarium with proven methods and techniques. It goes day by day, helping you add what needs added, perform the correct maintenance you need for the health and well-being of your tank, and even sends you notifications as a reminder so you don't forget.
I've been raising boxes of water for about 35 years, but still find the app a great resource. If you're new to the hobby, this app is a great tool to try and get the most from your aquarium. Getting past the first 90 days is the tough part — why not take all the help you can get?
Download: Tropica (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Tweetings
In the ongoing saga of finding a Twitter app that fits my needs, my current app of choice is Tweetings. Right off the top, the biggest thing Tweetings has going for it is proper push notifications. Outside of the official Twitter app it's difficult to find another client that has push notifications, and Tweetings handles them well. You can also tweak practically every other function of the app in the settings as well.
The interface is unfortunately a bit of a mixed bag, bringing in lots of new design features from Jelly Bean, but leaving in a few legacy-looking graphics that look more at home in the Gingerbread days. But did I mention push notifications? That's really the story here.
At $2.99, Tweetings is a worthwhile buy if you're looking to try out another Twitter client with some decent design chops and real push notifications. Some will have to put up with the design quirks, but it's a worth while tradeoff.
Download: Tweetings ($2.99)
Anndrew Vacca - Snapdragon BatteryGuru
Qualcomm's Battery Guru, designed specifically for its Snapdragon processor, is one of the simplest ways you can squeeze the most of your smartphone's battery.
Intuitive and lightweight, Battery Guru works in the background to learn from your habits and usage patterns to create a custom battery profile. Simply launch the app and give it permission to run in the background; from there, it'll determine which of your device's apps and functions need to constantly run in the background and which ones can remain turned off until you need them.
After three days of learning, Battery Guru will take over and initiate its custom profile. You'll have veto power, though, as you'll be able to tweak each of your apps' individual settings: choose how often each app refreshes "Based on how you use it", "When it wants", and "Only when you open it." You'll want to set the apps you want refreshing the background to the most limited restrictions, while those that should remain inactive should be set to to the most restrictive.
There may be more in depth and technical battery-saving apps in the Play Store, and depending on your device you may see results that fail to live up to your expectations, but Battery Guru's simplicity is commendable -- I trust Qualcomm to know how to optimize its own processors more than I do third-party developers. For those who want a powerful, intuitive, and simple way to get the most of your smartphone's battery, Battery Guru is the choice to beat.
Download: Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Free)