Friday, 31 May 2013

Four Must Have Apps for Budget Android Phones

Android mania
Source: MIKI Yoshihito of flickr under CC BY 2.0
It’s great to have all your important data aggregated in one place or, rather, in a device, isn’t it? Truly speaking, this has turned into a need with the turn of the decade, not just only for people who stay up to date with technology. And this need for consolidation is becoming stronger as we are more than ever connected to various online services for a better life.

Thank God! There’s an Android phone for every pocket, which is why people who are tight on budget go for either a low or mid-range Android phone. And users of almost all low cost and a few mid-range phones face an inevitable problem of low internal memory. This is the reason why you need apps that save you internal space as well as give you utility, and I have taken these two requirements as a premise in creating a list of important apps, which reflects my opinion.


1) Clean Master: A nifty application that cleans out unnecessary data from your phone much like CCleaner on PC. You can use this application to clean out browser history, cache files, unused folders, sensitive data like stored passwords in various applications, call logs, SMSs, etc. It also has an application manager where you can uninstall unnecessary applications that are hogging space. 

You can use the application to selectively kill background tasks to free up RAM. There’s a 1Tap Boost button that you can add to your home screen to initiate the task killing process and by doing so it will boost your phone’s performance.

The latest version of the application has a feature that automatically sends apps, which support SD storage, to the SD card; thus relieving you from doing it manually.

2) Opera Mini: The usability and functionality of the default browser on an Android phone are pretty much OK, but the thing that pisses me off is that it eats up my internal storage by storing cache and history data. And other than rooting, there’s no way to change the storage location, which is why you need Opera as much as I do.

Opera saves me from doing a repetitive task that involves wiping cache files after every browsing session. Other than saving internal space, it also consumes less data by compressing the size of a web page thus saving you money.

3) WhatsApp: Having a Smartphone means being tempted to use an instant messaging app because of the convenience. However I am yet to meet a person who doesn’t use instant messaging despite having a Smartphone.

If you still carry the Google Talk app, which comes as a bloatware in several budget phones, then you haven’t turned on the auto-update feature. And if you do turn it on, Google Play Store will replace it with Hangouts, a unified messenger than can do loads of stuff. Although the app is excellent, it also takes a heck of a space which is unacceptable when you have less space to spare.

WhatsApp is probably the most popular messaging app across, almost, all platforms. It could happen that most of your friends prefer WhatsApp over Hangouts for messaging, which is true in my case. The application takes less space compared to Hangouts, which has more functionality, but the required space is still substantial considering the fact that anything above 10Mb is considered heavy for a budget Android phone.

My advice is to uninstall the updates for Hangouts and use WhatsApp instead.

4) An alternative to the official Facebook app: Staying connected with social media ranks high in the list of purposes behind a purchase of a Smartphone among majority of users. Which is why you need a networking app that is fast and doesn’t take too much space, and you won’t get any of these with the official Facebook app.

The official Facebook app is too bulky for a budget phone and slow with less RAM, and it’s better to rely on a third party application. 

When looking for a third party app, what you need are safety, stability and usability. Cutting to the chase, I have names of two applications that I can say meet our two premise well, which I talked about earlier in this article.

Seesmic: This app is my favorite with which I can access both Facebook and Twitter. You won’t be missing anything basic with this app even though Facebook restricts data access by third parties. The app has a simplistic UI which is a plus point. This app is less intrusive because it doesn’t require any threatening permission, which is good news for people who suffer from privacy phobia.

Fast for Facebook:  As the name suggests, it’s fast and can get things done quickly. It consumes less RAM which why it should be fast on your phone. With this also, you can do all the basic tasks like updating your status, uploading pictures, getting access to your News Feed, reading your notifications, adding new friends, chatting, etc.

I hope that you have gained something valuable from this article. If you have any question regarding the topic or outside, please don’t hesitate to use the comment box.

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