Replace Your Stock Android Apps with These
The folks at Gizmodo have created a list of apps to replace the stock ones on your Android Device. Click here for the full article, which includes suggestions for camera, music, and calculator apps.
The stock Android browser has definitely come a long way from its original version—now sporting multi-touch zooming, faster webpage rendering, and overall smoother experience, but the interface can still feel a bit clunky.
Dolphin HD delivers a desktop-like browsing experience without running into the barriers of a mobile device. You’ll get everything from quick tabbed browsing and downloadable themes to add-ons and gestures. And yes, just like the stock browser, Dolphin HD does support Flash (on compatible devices).
Much like Dolphin HD, Opera Mobile focuses on bringing features to mobile browsing. If you’re already a devout Opera user, Opera Mobile should be a no brainer. It will let you sync your browsing history, bookmarks, and passwords between your mobile and desktop browser using Opera Link. And if browsing speed is what you’re after,Opera Mini handles all data and rendering on its own servers before pushing the compressed data to your device.
It’s no surprise that one of the most popular desktop browsers has a mobile version as well. Firefox for Android is almost like a combination of Dolphin and Opera Mobile. Like Dolphin, it has a long list of useful add-ons, and borrowing from Opera, it allows for syncing with your desktop browser. Its tabbed browsing isn’t quite as fluent as Dolphin HD, but it makes up for it by being quite fast when rendering web pages.
Android’s default Messaging app is capable of all your typical texting needs, but it offers very little else. Things like group messaging are impossible, and even MMS messages are quite limited. Fortunately, there are two feature-rich messaging apps in the market that bridge the gap. Just be sure to turn off your notifications in the original Messaging app to avoid duplicated notifications.
Handcent SMS is by far the most popular messaging app on the Android platform. It has theme options to customize its look, group messaging, optional spellchecker, enhanced MMS support, and plenty more. It also offers several messaging services for sending text messages without a texting plan and sharing high-resolution images.
In its heyday, ChompSMS was neck-and-neck with Handcent, but it has since fallen behind. Still, many people use it as their preferred messaging app because of its useful widget and popup features, as well as its integration with TextFreak, a free texting solution available on Android, iOS, and Blackberry.
When it comes to email apps on Android, Gmail is virtually unrivaled, easily best-in-class for search, organization, composition, and message handling. The problem is that it only works for your Gmail account. For everything else, there’s the clumsy Email app; however, it is possible to configure your Gmail account to send and receive email from other accounts.
Setting this up is simple. All you have to do is go into your Gmail settings (on a non-mobile browser), and under Accounts and Imports, you’ll see “Send mail as.” Just click the “Send mail from another address” button and follow the prompts. If you know your mail server’s SMTP info you can route messages through your own mail servers. Otherwise Gmail can send the messages itself, with an appended reply-to address. Be sure to forward the mail from your other account to your Gmail or use the “Add POP3 email account” button to add your alternate account.
Not all E-mail accounts are compatible with the above Gmail method. For those cases, the best alternative is K-9 Mail. No, it’s not email for dogs; K-9 Mail is arguably the best alternate email app on the Android Marketplace. While it can’t match the power of Gmail, it still offers many useful features, such as attachment management, syncing mail to your SD card (great for saving battery and people with multiple devices), POP3 and IMAP support, popup notifications, and multiple accounts to name a few.
What stock apps have you replaced? What are you using for browsing?