This is my site for links to Genuine Free Stuff as well as some useful advice. I use most of these programs regularly. It's good gear. It's all worth having.

** April 2014. Major revamp and update for relevance happening, especially now that support for Windows XP has ended, and now that we all are addicted to our Android phones. A lot of old stuff is going.

This post in particular started this whole website...

I have been building and using computers since about the Ice Age, from DOS 3 through to Windows 7.
I have been mucking about with mobile phones for quite some time, using Symbian S60 and then Android.

Press F8 at boot to start in safe mode - Windows XP and 7
To see the details of you computer, download, install and run 'Speccy' - shows Operating System, Firewall, Anti-virus and hardware.
If you think you have a virus, start here 'Free Online Virus Scan'. Try any or all, and be patient.

April 4, 2014

My best free Android apps for HTC, Samsung and Sony phones - August 2015

Here's my little list of good, free Android apps that I use.
I have tried and tested all of these.
I have tried similar apps as comparisons. I just happen to like these ones the best. 
More than anything, this is my own backup list. I'm big on BACKING THINGS UP.
(You too can create a blog like this in about 4 easy steps, for no other reason than to back up your links, photos, documents, whatever you want.)

Please note, you will NOT find any Facebook stuff here. No games either.

Here we go then. Links straight to the Android market. Blue text is not links, just highlight.

3G Watchdog, to monitor my data use.
I have now found I don't need this with latest versions of Android as there is a built in data usage monitor in Phone Settings

Adobe Reader if it isn't there already.

AdSense. I have a few blogs and a few videos on YouTube which host Google Ads. I make a tiny amount of money from this. I use the AdSense app to keep track of my AdSense account.

App Freeze - to freeze unwanted apps on my root access phone. * Only useful if you have rooted your phone and have super user access. Say goodbye to Google Play Services draining 60% of battery. If you want to 'root' your phone, try the Kingo Root website. It's easy but will VOID your warranty on your phone. Read more on my post "How do I root my phone" and scroll down to the bit about Kingo Root.

ASTRO File Manager to organise my files, plus a few other things.

AU Weather, only relevant if you live in Australia, like me. There's a free and paid version.

Battery Widget - this is the best one I've found because I like its touch-to-launch menu.

BBC News for my daily news fix.

Bahasa Indonesia dictionary - good for anyone planning a trip to Bali.

CDE. Computer Desktop Encyclopedia. A handy reference guide.

Contact Widget. Perfect for my needs. Simple and small and works well.

CNET news. Very good source of tech news, reviews, etc.

ClockSync to check on my time.

ColorNote for my shopping list widget.

Colors to change my background to a simple plane color. A clever app.


Contact Sync Fix
"This tool will help to fix some (not all) of the causes of "Sync is currently experiencing problems. It will be back shortly." message from Google contacts sync. If this app does not work for you - it's because there are multiple causes for this error message."

I have always had "Sync is currently experiencing problems." on my phones. This handy little app is a very quick fix to an old problem.
Make sure you look for a phone notification to 'delete faults' if there are more than a few faults.

Convert Pad for all unit conversions. Free and paid versions.

Device Info. A geeky app to show me all about my phone.

Digital Clock Widget. Perfect for me. Small and simple and to the point.

Dropbox - an essential app. I use this for my live camera upload to the cloud. I also have their app installed on my computer at home to receive those live photos from cloud/camera. I back up my tax files, resume and a few other documents to Dropbox.

DuckDuckGo web browser. Search anonymously.

Easy Uninstaller to uninstall all these apps you are going to try.
I pay for the Pro version.

ES File Explorer, also for sorting files and other things. I use both Astro and ES.

Evernote, which I daily to keep track of lots of things. An essential app.

Exchange rates.

ezPDF Reader

File Browser Widget - very useful for quick access to my PDF books.


Ghostery web browser. The Ghostery Privacy Browser increases your browsing privacy, protection, and speed. I can block all cookies on a site by default.

Gmail app. I can't remember if it was on the phone or I downloaded it.

Godville - OK, well maybe one game, sort of. All you do is watch your stupid hero do stupid things, and smite him with lightning now and then. Bwahahaha.

Gold Price Live, with some interesting little diatribes and historical graphs.

Google Drive (was Google Docs). I keep my resume and a few other bits and pieces handy here.
It's also a good place to store scans of passport docs and travel plans when I go overseas.
I also stash scans of receipts and warranties and precious family photos.

Google Finance.

Google + only really to access my backed up photos. Pardon me but I do avoid social media sites.

Google Keyboard. This does not always come installed, and it is still my favorite. I love the swipe ability.

Google Translate.

Google Maps of course, if it isn't already there.
August 2015 update now has tap to go full screen and remove the Search and Around Here bars.

Google Sky Map. For fun, for interest.

Hacker's Keyboard, just for something different.

Here maps by Nokia - wondeful offline maps I can save to my SD card.

History Eraser

IMDb for checking out the movie news

Jorte Calendar. My one really essential app.I keep a 1x1 widget on my front page with today's roster, as well as a 4x4 widget on another page showing a fortnight. I can choose from a huge range of widgets, and it will sync to Google Calendar. Make sure you select Google Calendar from your main Google account as the calendar to show. Same in the native calendar app. ( Not PC Sync Calendar, for example.)

Knots Guide. A bit geeky, but interesting.

Latin Phrases, comes in useful occasionally

Marine Traffic -  a fascinating app that let's me look at the world's ships in real time.

Marine Compass. Another good, simple compass.

Moon 3D moon phases, it has a 1x1 widget plus a tap to show more in the app.

I pay for the add free/expanded version... MyBackUp Pro
I back up to my SD card, as well as to their online service.
** This can be very handy to move an app that is no longer available to a new phone.

My Home Button. Top marks for the bright person that wrote this app.
*** All of you who have an Android phone with a broken Home key, grab this app. It puts a Home key in the pull down notification panel. I now put this app on all my phones as it makes it very easy to back out off apps that require multiple taps of the Back button.

MySMS. Another essential app to sync SMS messages to the cloud, and hence to any phone, and to your PC too. A brilliant app. I pay a subscription for the Pro features. It's well worth it.

On this note, always have a link to Settings>Applications>Running Services on your desk top. A lot of games I have tried have remained running long after I shut them down, using battery and also possibly data. If you find that a game keeps running after you've exited it, my advice is to uninstall it.

NASA app, for pics of planets and such like. Great spot for wallpapers and ring tones - "Houston, we've had a problem".

No Wallpaper. A simple app to give you a truly black background. Also see Colors above.

Offline Dictionary.

Office Lens by Microsoft. A very clever camera app to capture documents. Combine with OneNote.

OneNote by Microsoft - my note taking, cloud sync, app of choice now. Evernote has become too hard to use.

Opera web browser. There's a few little things I like about it more than Chrome.

Paper Camera for some nifty special effects

PayPal. Handy to at least check the balance.

Picasa Mobile. All my photos are backed up on Google Drive (was Google Doc and Picasa). The Google + app also shows this stuff, but this app is a bit easier.

Pocket (formerly Read It Later). I use this if I take my phone overseas. If I'm at a free WiFi spot, I will download a few pages of Wikipedia to read later. I save many articles to Pocket for future reference.

QuickPic for my photo gallery. It's very good.

Quick Battery widget. This widget does the obvious and shows the battery level. A tap also enters the app to show Phone Info, Battery Info, Usage and WiFi info. I like this one.

Quick Settings. A must have for me. Probably my most used and most useful app.

qPDF Viewer

QuickDic offline dictionary. This is a nifty offline dictionary app.
I can select which languages I want and it has a nice simple interface.

RealCalc scientific calculator

Skitch. Mark up your photos. Good fun and useful too.

Satellite AR. Another app where you hold your phone up to the night sky to check out passing satellites. Yeah it's a bit geeky but kinda fun.

Star Chart. Hold your phone up to the sky at night.

SkyMap. Much the same as above.

Super Tool Box. Not sure if I really need this, but I play with it now and then.

TerraTime. OK it's not free, but it's well worth having if this sort of thing interest you.

Tricorder. Not from Android Market, but from here.
Lots of geeky fun.

UC Web Browser. I like to sample different web browsers.

Ulysse Gizmo for a bit of geeky fun. Compass, spirit level, magnetic fields etc. A bit like that Tricorder above.

Urban Dictionary. You have to keep up with this stuff.

XKCD viewer. My favorite comic.

YouTube, of course.

Shortcuts on desktop:
Settings>Applications>Running Services.

My Widgets (which show real time data changes, as opposed to shortcuts to apps).
This is for my info really.
Quick Battery. Jorte 1x1 and 4x4. Moon Phase 3D. 3G Watchdog. TerraTime.

No games. I find too many games stay running after I have finished playing, draining battery. Always keep a shortcut on your desktop to Settings>Applications>Running Services, and uninstall anything that stays running when you don't want it to. Did I say that before ?

Cheers. Si.
Links correct as at August 2015. 

Apps for root phones. You don't need these if your phone is not rooted.


Root Checker



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