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Tips Top 10 Additional Useful Apps for the Nexus 5 (rooting not required)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Wrend, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Wrend

    Wrend Well-Known Member
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    Hi, guys.

    Thought I'd share some apps with you all that I find to be particularly useful to use on my Nexus 5.

    Feel free to comment on my list, ask questions, make suggestions, or provide your own top 10 apps list. I only ask that you try and keep your app suggestions within the scope of this thread. That is, that they're general purpose or utility type apps (not games), and that they do not require rooting your Nexus 5 to use (though providing additional functionality on rooted devices is fine). A brief description about your suggested apps and why you like them in particular would also be useful.

    So, to get things rolling, here's my top 10 additional useful apps list for use on the Nexus 5.

    Number 10:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware by Malwarebytes https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.malwarebytes.antimalware

    OK, if you don't go looking for trouble, you're not likely to find it using Android, and some could reasonably argue that an anti-malware app isn't needed. For a lot of people, I'd say that's likely the case, at least for the time being. However, in my professional opinion (bias?), it's better to be safe than sorry. This anti-malware app offers a nice shield feature that scans apps you download and install, and it can perform scheduled and/or manually initiated scans for malware on your device. This brand is a well known and fairly effective secondary anti-malware program for Windows computers as well; however, the free Android version actually offers more general functionality than the free one for Windows. And of course, for a little added peace of mind, the price is right. Remember, this app is just for additional protection, not an excuse to be carefree, nor to go looking for trouble.

    Number 9:

    Speedtest by Ookla https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.zwanoo.android.speedtest

    How fast is your internet connection really? Well, it might be technically impossible to know exactly at any given time, but with this app, at least you'll have a fairly accurate estimate. And yes, 4 bars LTE at one time/location doesn't mean you'll get the same speed as 4 bars LTE at another.

    Number 8:

    3DMark by Futuremark Oy https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.futuremark.dmandroid.application

    Another brand staple for the PC gamer/enthusiast comes to Android. Run this benchmark over time to get an estimate of how your device performs in different scenarios and how well it's holding up. Showing off a little doesn't hurt too much either. On our Nexus 5s, you'll want to run the unlimited version of the benchmark. The other benchmarks won't push the Nexus 5 hard enough to get an accurate estimate of its performance potential.

    And kudos to this app for calling out certain manufacturers of certain devices caught red handed throttling up their performance parameters for specific benchmarks for the purpose of appearing better than their equivalent competitors.

    Number 7:

    Hacker's Keyboard
    by Klaus Weidner https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pocketworkstation.pckeyboard

    Don't let the name dissuade you (we're hackers, not crackers). It's a nice, very full, functional, and highly customizable keyboard that I like to occasionally use instead of the stock one. Fortunately, switching back and forth as desired is quick and easy to do while having both keyboard options enabled.

    Number 6:

    BatteryGuru by Xiam Technologies Limited, a Qualcomm company https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xiam.snapdragon.app

    Specifically designed to work with our Snapdragon processors, this app does a fairly good job of helping to save battery life for when it's needed, and preventing it from being wasted when it isn't. That being said, the feature of it that I find most useful is that it gives the user the ability to micromanage (to an extent) when which apps try and sync up on-line. Some communication related apps I want live notifications from, but there are also many that I only occasionally use and don't need live notifications from, so keeping them from syncing until I launch them seems like a practical way to save a little extra juice. There are also other useful features of this app, such as optionally switching to Wi-Fi data when you get home, and similar, though I personally don't bother with much of these.

    Number 5:

    Terminal Emulator by Jack Palevich https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jackpal.androidterm

    This app gives you a nice Linux like Android terminal to use (some commands/functions require root). You can also tweak the background and text colors to your liking. For an "incomplete" but useful list of commands, check here (fair warning - this is an "external" link beyond Google Play Store apps, unlike the other links I've provided in this thread so far): https://github.com/jackpal/Android-Terminal-Emulator/wiki/Android-Shell-Command-Reference

    Number 4:

    Goggles by Google Inc. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.unveil

    Yes, Google Goggles - not just something you might expect someone trying to sound like a baby to say.

    This is basically a camera app that can take pictures by itself when you're running the app and it finds something of interest, or when you tell it to. It then scans those pictures for identifiable or informative content. Not only is this a fun, almost gimmicky type of app to play around with, it can also actually be pretty useful. It can read bar codes, identify famous landmarks, translate text from other languages, and more.

    Number 3:

    Light Flow
    by Reactle https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rageconsulting.android.lightflow

    Most of you likely know the notification LED on the Nexus 5 isn't just white, but that it's capable of being any color. It can be pretty handy setting up custom color coded LED notifications based on which app they come from, if your battery is getting low, and more.

    Number 2:

    Remote Desktop by Xtralogic, Inc. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xtralogic.android.rdpclient

    Log on to your Windows PCs over the internet on your Nexus 5, set up custom screen resolutions in the orientations you choose, turn on or off various Windows theme elements, relay audio, optionally use the touch screen of your Nexus 5 as you would a touch pad on a laptop instead of trying to see and click (tap) on what's covered up by your fingers or thumbs (a feature I find particularly useful), open a popup keyboard to enter in text, and even move files and folders back and forth between your computer and your Nexus 5 from within Windows by having your Nexus 5's storage show up as a drive. Other than accessing my files, I also like using this app to keep tabs on my servers.

    Number 1:

    Solid Explorer by Krzysztof Glodowski https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.solidexplorer

    A very nice, functional, and aesthetically pleasing (I like the dark theme) file/storage manager/explorer for your Nexus 5. Easily manage and sort files on your Nexus 5, or even between your Nexus 5 and your cloud storage accounts using the two side by side folder windows view in landscape orientation (in portrait orientation, drag the screen left or right to change between these windows). You can choose which folders and/or storage accounts you want this app to open when you start it (I have it open my main storage folder on my Nexus 5 on the left side, and my Google Drive storage on the right), and optionally have it remember in which folders you left off at the last time you used it too. Select multiple files and folders by tapping their thumbnails or icons and choose what you want to do with them in the available menus, drag and drop items (which you can set up to work as copying and pasting, moving, or to ask you every time), and tap on the text area of the file or folder to open it, or long press on this area to pull up additional options, such as choosing which app you want a file to open up in.
     

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  2. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert
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    Thanks for the well thought out post.

    It shows what a personal bit of kit your phone is that everyone will have their favourite choices. For instance, from my point of view only Light Flow from your list would be considered essential. My essentials for instance are more media, sport and social centred:

    Netflix
    TuneIn Radio
    TV Catchup
    BT Sport
    Sky Go
    Movie Player/MX Player Pro (and of course DVD Catalyst 4 to rip my DVDs onto my phone/tablet)
    Live Score Addicts
    ECB Cricket
    Twitter
    Google+
    Facebook (I suppose...)
     
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  3. akmsr

    akmsr Android Enthusiast
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    totally off topic. referring to martin's app ECB cricket
    [/on rant]
    shame on ECB cricket in addition to BCCI and CA for holding the game hostage! 'the big three' poof! england's thrashing by australia, india's thrashing by by new zealand are :D. the icing on the cake will be australia's thrashing by south africa in the coming weeks :thrasher:
    [/off rant]
     
  4. JBentleyR

    JBentleyR Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks Wrend. Some useful apps that I shall certainly look at.
     
  5. charliecc

    charliecc Android Enthusiast
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    Good post OP. Always good to hear what peiple view as essentials, always 1 or 2 you haven't heard of.

    I'd recommend Glympse. Not often talked about, and certainly not essential, but it can be extremely useful.

    The bonus is that you can send to a friend without worrying if they have it installed as it'll just open in their browser.

    "Glympse is the easiest way to safely share your location with someone in real time. No sign-up needed and no new social network to manage. Recipients receive a link allowing them to view your ETA and location in real-time for the length of time you choose.When the timer on your Glympse expires, your location is no longer visible. Best of all, recipients do not need any special software to view a Glympse. Send a Glympse via SMS, email, Facebook or Twitter, and recipients can view it using any web-enabled device. You can also send a Glympse to your Evernote account to save that journey."
     
  6. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood
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    One of my favorite new apps:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cunninglogic.dynamicpin

    I usually don't use lockscreen security, but this was too cool to pass up :D

     
    zipred likes this.
  7. tsaunders

    tsaunders Android Enthusiast
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    I like to use Speedof.me for speed test.
     
  8. Wrend

    Wrend Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the positive feedback, guys, and the additional recommendations.

    It does seem like people use their Nexus 5s (and Android devices in general) for a variety of different things.

    There have been a fair amount of game and social media/networking app recommendation lists I've come across, but fewer dealing with utility type apps, so for my list in particular, I concentrated more on just those.
     
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