Android Essentials

I’ve finally gotten my AT&T Captivate (AKA Samsung SGH-I897) Android phone to a place I like it, installing apps and tweaking controls. Here’s what I’ve got:

A 3,300 mah battery from Seidio. It makes the phone twice as thick but now I can use the phone knowing the battery won’t die at 10pm (when I might really need it!). Gives about 36 hrs on a charge instead of the embarrassing stock battery 12 hrs. $75 and well worth it.

Gmail – I switched from Outlook 2003 on my main computer. Now my email on my phone exactly matches my desktop. Deleting/archiving an email on my phone deletes it on my desktop. Very efficient! And I’m growing to like tags instead of folders.

HiQ MP3 – a good audio recorder

Screen Filter – lets me lower my screen brightness way lower than the phone would normally allow me. Previously, using it with the house lights off or in the car at night was dangerously blindingly bright.

mNote – coupled to SimpleNote and ResophNotes on my PC makes for a much better note-taking setup than the Google. It didn’t always sync correctly.

Shortcuts to my Wiki Todo page – for longer term Todo items

RealCalc – way better calculator than the built in one

Google Voice – online voicemail

Screebl Lite – keeps the phone awake whenever I’m holding it Meh. It makes for an easier interface to just set the timeout to 2 minutes and turn the phone off manually when I’m not using it.

SwiFTP – A wifi FTP server for my phone! Now I don’t EVER need to plug my phone into my computer. And I can copy files (music, pictures, etc) using the familiar Filezilla!

NoLED – alerts me when I miss a call etc, because the phone lacks a message light

Others: Yelp, Chase online banking (especially depositing checks with the camera), OKCupid, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, Smart Ruler Lite, Pandora, Advanced Task Killer Free to reduce battery drain, Battery Graph to track battery drain, Iridium Flare, Google Sky, Tricorder, Tank Hero.


  1. lee says:

    Update: I’m still very happy with my backpack battery from Seidio. I tried using the stock battery with my phone for 2 days. While the stock battery makes the phone completely sexy and slim, the phone went dead after 12 hours of moderate internet and phone use over the course of the day. I’m going back to the backpack!

  2. Bathes in milk says:

    Just got the new Sidekick…will check out the apps, Thanks Lee. I am a Sidekick fan from waaay back, but the new one is too coooool and some is just about slickness or silliness.
    -They added features for ten year old girls: four different physical buttons to make smiley-style faces?! Really? Put the comma in the wrong place on the keyboard-which is still qwerty (yay)
    -Instead of tapping the green button to answer the phone you must hold it down and slide it-
    -Black background/diagonal text is harder to read
    I will check out the apps. My battery life seems slightly better than yours-newer version?

    Some days I would pay to be part of the User Experience panel that tests designs…

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