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back to article Five... friendly, free Android apps

Each too simple to warrant a full App of the Week write-up, these five dinky free programs caught my eye over during the past 12 months and have since taken up permanent residence on my Desire HD. App Cache Cleaner RH Numbers Does exactly what the title suggests and takes a broom to all the guff stored by your apps in their …

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Anonymous Coward

permissions..

Given the recent situation with CIQ I'm surprised you didn't pick up on the fact that the first app wants access to sensitive log files... Maybe you could ask the developer why he thinks its OK to snoop in that way

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Pirate

Probably for debugging

If it is being used legitimately then it is probably being used for debugging purposes to send error logs. However, they could, as other developers have done, have a separate log upload app in the case of problems and leave the log permission out of their main app.

I agree with you, I wouldn't install any of their apps with that permission, combined with internet access.

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Skip HTC Locations

Thanks for bringing that one to my attention. Amazing!

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Unhappy

Unfortunately....

This app does precisely nothing on the Wildfire.

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Is there an app. to remove facebook bloatware?

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, install a different ROM such as CyanogenMod7

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Uninstall

Uninstall removes bloatware. Clearing cache means preinstalled apps don't use any of the available storage (they are kept in the protected area which is not user-accessible).

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You'll need to root your device.

After i rooted my Arc, I removed lot's of operator installed apps (including Facebook ,Tweeter.....).

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netcounter

Make sure you switch to slow wifi scan or wave goodbye to your battery. Someday I'll compile myself a build without wifi support.

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WTF?

RE: netcounter

"Someday I'll compile myself a build without wifi support."

Er or why not just turn it off via a widget button/Settings...?

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...because Netcounter's slow WiFi scan option isn't in system settings and AFAIK Netcounter won't stop scanning just because WiFi's disabled anyway.

To avoid any more confusion: Netcounter defaults to scanning the WiFi stats every 30sec becaise the driver stats get wiped by WiFi restarts and god knows what else so that's the only way to get accurate stats. Slow scan does it once an hour and your battery will love you for choosing it. It's not as if anyone needs accurate WiFi results. Or any WiFi count.

The cell data drivers don't need the same hack.

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Flame

Phew! That sounds like a lot of faff....apps to manage your apps? Should users really have to worry about caches and cpu utilization and all that? Wasn't this the whole problem with Windows Mobile? Shouldn't Android "just work"?

Looking at these app suggestions just makes me want to never go within 10' of an Android phone. Seriously. This is supposed to be a modern, consumer-oriented OS?

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FAIL

hmm..

what are you critising?

that try paraphrasing your posible problems

"Phew! That sounds like a lot of faff...."

>and you work in IT???...faff is sometimes half the fun...maybe you work in marketing(shilsRUS maybe)

"apps to manage your apps?"

>or...apps that give you more option, to run the apps how YOU like it.

Should users really have to worry about caches and cpu utilization and all that? Wasn't this the whole problem with Windows Mobile?

>No, unless they want to of course and working in IT..I WANT to.

Shouldn't Android "just work"?

>Yep, it does.

Looking at these app suggestions just makes me want to never go within 10' of an Android phone.

Because.....? as you seem to not have been very clear WHY, maybe its the technical side you see on a technical site is overwelming your marketing brain?

Seriously. This is supposed to be a modern, consumer-oriented OS?

....that also has added flexibitiy.

i'll let the droidtards point out why (or if) these app dont exist on other platforms.

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Externally written

Android allows you to install apps which are not a part of the Android OS. Not all of these apps are written by the Android team and not all of them handle memory, storage and networking in a way which suits every phone owner. This is the same for lesser phone OSs too, so I'd expect them to have the ability to install similar support apps. If they don't allow this then they cannot be called modern consumer-oriented OSs.

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Flame

">and you work in IT???...faff is sometimes half the fun...maybe you work in marketing(shilsRUS maybe)"

The point of IT systems is to eliminate faff, not create it. Perhaps you work for a Government Contractor.

">or...apps that give you more option, to run the apps how YOU like it."

Personally I like my apps to just run without me having to think about how to manage them.

">No, unless they want to of course and working in IT..I WANT to."

If you want to worry about caches and cpu utilization then that's up to you, but the vast majority of phone users do not.

"Because.....? as you seem to not have been very clear WHY, maybe its the technical side you see on a technical site is overwelming your marketing brain?"

Because any OS that requires a heap of tools to manage it is, IMHO, borked. Now I'm sure you yourself are an immensely technical person, so well done, round of applause. Although I am actually a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institution of Engineering Technology, I actually prefer technology that reduces my workload rather than increasing it. Is that wrong?

"i'll let the droidtards point out why (or if) these app dont exist on other platforms."

How about....because nobody wants or needs them?

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"I'd expect [other OSs] to have the ability to install similar support apps. If they don't allow this then they cannot be called modern consumer-oriented OSs."

So your definition of "consumer-oriented" is pretty skewed, I'd say. I think you meant to say "techy-oriented".

A "consumer-oriented" device shouldn't even need "support apps" in the first place.

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IR

>Because any OS that requires a heap of tools to manage it is, IMHO, borked.

It's a good job that they aren't required then. Next to no one has all of those apps, and everyone else seems to get by without them. Most of those functions are accessible to me without having to install an app, they are just buried in the settings menu (at least in froyo and gb).

You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that they are needed to have Android running well. They aren't.

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Jim

Android doesn't need a heap of tools to manage it. It just works, and it allows itself to be managed so that it works exactly as you want. I wish all OSs did that!

Your view of "consumer-oriented" is skewed. What you define is "developer-oriented" in that the developers have all the control and the consumer has none (other than to buy a better phone). With android the consumer is allowed to control the app; elsewhere the app controls the consumer.

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Boffin

Well, there's your problem.

You're confusing "options" with "requirements".

None of these apps are required to use an Android device (which is why they are not included in the OS.) They're just available for those users who might want to use them.

Do you not agree that a "consumer-oriented" device should allow the consumer to choose how they use it? How, exactly, is it a bad thing to allow those consumers to choose to dig into these things if they so wish, as long as you are not requiring all consumers to do so?

As far as "just working" is concerned, that's just an outright lie. I've never seen a device that "just works", and I've worked extensively with devices from the manufacturer most notable for that particular attribute. There's always a support site, document, application, or person that you will need to refer to at some point -- and that's a good thing. After all, would you use a car extensively without ever taking it to a mechanic (even if the mechanic is yourself)?

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Anonymous Coward

Android app of the week?

Or should this be called 5 apps to make HTC Sense bearable?

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Pint

Hehe you got it. At least for HTC phones with Android on, anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jim Coleman Agreed

You shouldn't need this apps really.

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In what way?

Shouldn't be allowed control over how apps work?

Shouldn't be allowed flexibility?

Shouldn't be allowed to have access to such low-level functionality?

Should be preinstalled? (some of the functionality is in the base OS already)

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FAIL

errr.. you don't

just as you don't need any of the suggested apps of the week. I don't ave any of those,and won't be installing any of them. Some people will. It's called choice, something some phones don't offer.

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Exactly. They are filler to smooth over cracks that shouldn't be there in the first place.

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Shouldn't need to control how apps work?

Shouldn't need to add flexibility?

Shouldn't need to have access to such low-level functionality?

Should need to be preinstalled?

There, fixed it for you. No charge.

.

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Boffin

@ the AC Fanboy

The truth is that you DON'T need any of these Apps, but Android is open enough to allow you to install them if you want to.

Take your head out of your iArse.

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Facepalm

"The truth is that you DON'T need any of these Apps"

LOL. Of course. Android app developers love spending their time creating apps nobody needs.

Come on, be realistic. The need was there, the apps were created.

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@ Jim Coleman

YOU DON'T NEED to control how apps work.

YOU DON'T NEED to add flexibility if you don't want it.

YOU DON'T NEED to have access to such low-level functionality.

YOU DON'T NEED to install any of these apps. Android works fine without them.

There, fixed it for you. Also no charge.

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Facepalm

@ Jim Coleman again

"Come on, be realistic. The need was there, the apps were created."

Do you need any of the 400,000 fart apps currently on offer in iTunes?

Or do you just make do with listening to the sound of your own voice instead?

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Windows

Apologies to Jim Coleman

I had him pegged as a disciple of Jobs, hence my iTunes reference. But looking at some of his previous posts it is apparent that Jim is a WP7 user.

Correction, Jim is *the* WP7 user.

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@Jim

Don't need to control how apps work, but can if you want.

Allowed to add flexibility, but not forced to.

Permitted to have access to such low-level functionality and not required to know how to use it, yet still have a phone which is better than the competition.

Some of this functionality comes preinstalled.

There, educated you. No charge. Now you're a bit better informed you can stop trolling.

Android does everything you think it should, and more.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jim the MS FUDder

On your beloved, beautiful Windows (yes I mean desktop - but this is an analogy) I can and do run Process Explorer (provided by MS nowadays), Process Monitor, regedit, defrag of a kind, etc etc.

I don't need to, I just want to as it gives me a bit more control when required.

Does this make Windows less or more powerful for the user?

Does allowing and having these apps available make the blind bit of difference to a user that doesn't have or use them?

Now go back to work before Mr Ballmer sees you playing on the internet and gives you a slap.

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NetCounter

Can't believe you missed the opportunity:

"Nice one, Cyril!"

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Llama

make my life SO much easier.

setting it up is a bit finickitry but then its just set and go.

turns off wifi when im out.

turns on wifi when i go to my mates

go silent at work

goes TOTALLY silent at night(no vibrate)

all win

tells me when i battery is low and im at home.(my missus not liking the miew of my hungry phon though!)

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RE: Llama

Sounds nifty, thanks for the heads up.

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Llama +1

Yep, Llama is great. My only complaint was when the powers that be at Corporate forced my phone to auto-lock. I always had it locked, but I had Llama set up to turn off the lock when I was at home. Now the ActiveSync policy overrides it :(

Other than that, Llama lets you do some great customizations to how your phone acts depending on where you are and when it is.

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Llama +2

I discovered Llama when I was looking for a Profile Manager to replicate the profiles I had on my Nokia E61i. Turned out to be quite a successful discovery, at least for me. I use Llama for managing my Bluetooth and WiFi when I am at home and office. Works like a charm.

Of course, it struggles when I am in a different city and it is daytime. But it could just be that I am a lousy teacher.

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MJG

Netcounter?

I use 3G Watchdog, which doesn't count Wifi, only 3G (I don't care about Wifi usage), but seems to give a lot more information, and can set limits for your monthly cap, will give you warnings, etc. i.e. mine tells me I've used 72.2/500MB (14.4%) so far in my contract period, and estimates that I'll have used 88.27/500 (17.7%) by the 25th when my billing period is up. It's excellent.

Oh actually it does Wifi too, only just noticed that, how fancy, and no adverts either. Not used Netcounter, but the interface of that doesn't look as good :)

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+1 for 3G Watchdog

Slightly smaller at a touch over 1Mb too

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I see it now supports daily quota's (last time I looked only Netcounter did), essential for many PAYG users. Time to try it again.

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As a non smartphone user, I find it shocking that buyers must trawl the fleamarket for functionality that should be built in to any reasonable OS, eg. cache cleaning, bandwidth monitor, CPU usage, media scanning.

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Joke

Watch out, that's crazy talk that'll only end in someone accusing you of working for Microsoft.

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well...

damned if you do and damned if you dont. There is a "free" option for quite a lot of things, surely choice is better?

Prefer I.E. over another option?

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Get rid of HTC Sense

Is there an app that tells HTC sense 3.0 to pack it's bags and get stuffed? Just upgraded to 2.3.5 and now have 3g back (six months without, thankyou HTC) but now they have stuck on the rubbish sense 3.0 which ruins all my multiple backgrounds and makes a mockery of how I use the phone to some spinny rubbish.

But I did get a bouncing ball unlock screen. Wow that was worth the wait...

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Yes! An alternative Launcher from the market for the launcher aspect (eg. ADWLauncher / LauncherPro / GoLauncherEX). Or Jump in and flash yourself a custom ROM to get rid of HTC Sense completely (CM7 will do nicely or CM9 (ICS) in a few months). xda-developers.com is full of useful advice.

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Headmaster

Rescan Media

For those with custom ROMs like CM7, the "Dev Tools" app includes a "Media Scanner" feature that does the same thing.

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iPhone where is your God now?

That's cinches it. I'm definitely getting an Android phone. I've just be waiting for a killer cache clearer. Goodbye stoopid IOS, finally.

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FAIL

Oh please!

"Come on, be realistic. The need was there, the apps were created."

Apart from the HTC Locations "fix" app which is HTC Sense specific, there are pretty much direct analogues for all these apps on both iOS and WP7, so please keep the fanboi nonsense to a minimum!

Trolls begone!

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Anonymous Coward

iOS, nope. None of them.

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