My Favorite Android Apps

I’ve used this site to publish lists of all sorts of favorite things: TV shows, albums, radio stations, Firefox extensions… Yet it occurred to me the other day that, despite having an Android phone for almost two years now, I  haven’t done a “Best Android Apps” post yet. So let’s fix that!

Below are some of my most favoritest Android apps. I’ve tried to keep the list as general as possible: I have several sports apps I love, but not everyone loves sports, so I’ve left them off the list. All apps listed below are free, although many have “Pro” or “Ad-Free” flavors, too. Some require root access, but these will be noted as such. All links are to the app’s page on Google Play.

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Shush! – This app silences the ringer on your phone for a given amount of time. But the best part is that there’s no “app”. You just use the volume buttons on the side of your phone to silence the ringer, and a window pops up asking when you’d like the ringer to come back on. There’s also an option to choose the volume level when the ringer comes back:


I use this app every single day: I charge my phone on my nightstand, but don’t want the various notification sounds to wake up me or the missus. So I set it silence the phone until 08:30 or so the next morning. I say “or so” because there’s no way to have Shush! resume the ringer at a specific time. As you can see from the screen cap above, there’s an awkward rotary menu, and it selects time in 15 minute chunks. So if I use Shush! at 23:07, my only options will be to restore the ringer at 08:07, 08:17, 08:37, or 08:47. I kind of wish Shush! also had a whitelist feature, where calls from people I choose could override the settings. I know such apps exist, and I’ve used them before, but I keep coming back to Shush! ‘cos it’s simple and it “just works”!

Alarm Clock Xtreme Free – If there’s one thing Google Play has tons of, it’s alarm clock apps. I should know: I’ve tried a hundred of them. And Alarm Clock Xtreme is my alarm of choice. You can use the app as a traditional alarm clock (choose the time, set the mp3 you want as the alarm), but the reason I like it is that it has math CAPTCHAs. Yes, you have to solve math problems to turn this alarm clock off. And, because of that, I’ve almost never overslept with this. You can choose how many math problems you want, and how complex you want them to be (“11 + 4” or “227 / 6”?). It also has a “graduwake” feature, where the alarm starts softly but gets louder as it goes on. There’s even an option to have “decreasing snooze duration” (i.e. the first time you hit snooze, you get 10 minutes; the second time you get 8 minutes). Despite so many options, the app is simple, and most importantly, the app is reliable. I’ve tried other alarm clocks in the past, and believe it or not, many had problems waking the phone from deep sleep. Like Shush!, Alarm Clock Xtreme “just works”!

Continue reading “My Favorite Android Apps”


SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Well, I went 11-5 last week, and am 126-65 for the season. I guess I shoulda listened to my daddy about the Steelers, huh? I got a stern “talking to” from him about it, and will pick the Steelers the rest of the way! So anyway, enjoy my picks for week 14!


Denver at Oakland: Y’all, Oakland is just terrible, while The Forehead and that sexy Demaryius Thomas are on FIRE! Pick the Broncos to win this game, and win it big!

St. Louis at Buffalo: Yawn. My daddy has a soft spot for Chan Gailey because he once coached for Georgia Tech. So I’ll take the Bills to win at home, although I don’t really care either way. And neither will millions of football fans!

Dallas at Cincinnati: Hoo boy! Now here’s a game! Head doofus Tony Romo heads to the City of Weird Chili to take on the Bungles. My daddy would love for Romo and his Band of Handsome Mens – Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and especially Miles Austin – to come in and get a win. The return of that hawt fox DeMarco Murray will certainly help them out, too. As much as I’d like the Cowboys to win for my daddy, I think the Bengals will take the win here.

Kansas City at Cleveland: Oh Gawd! This game is even worse than the Rams\Bills game. I shouldn’t be too hard on the Chiefs after the Javon Belcher tragedy. But while they played an inspired game over the better-than-everyone-thinks Panthers, I’m not sure that the inspiration will carry over to this week. Take the Browns to win at home here. Gosh, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to say that… and I lick my own butt!

Tennessee at Indianapolis: Yawn. Take the Colts. I guess. Watching the cute lil’ Andrew Luck is better than watching paint dry… isn’t it?

Chicago at Minnesota: heh. People from MinnahSODA talk funny. “MinnahSODA”. hehehehe. Won’t matter for them, though. The Bears will come in and beat some Viking ass on Sunday!

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 14”

Removing Apps from Google Play

In keeping with this site’s long tradition of being the LAST SITE ON THE INTERNET to bring you important news, enjoy this Android-related article!

If you have an Android device, you probably already know that every app you download is saved in your account at the Google Play store. There are several “official” reasons why this is, the most obvious being that if you upgrade to a newer phone (or your current phone is lost or stolen and replaced), you can simply log in to your Play account and download your apps all over again. It’s also helpful to have a single Play account with all your apps if you have more than one Android device.

Removing apps from your phone is easy: just go to Settings > Applications, find the app you want to uninstall and click on it, then click the “Uninstall” button. But removing apps from your Google Play account used to be impossible. Cynics say that Google did this so that it could inflate the numbers of downloaded apps for PR purposes. Google said it was just trying to help users keep track of their apps.

For most people, the whole thing was a giant pain in the ass. Many went on downloading sprees when they first got their device(s) and now their accounts are clogged with dozens of apps they no longer use. Some apps are only good for a certain time, like the London 2012 Olympics app or the Euro 2012 soccer tournament app. Maybe a user thought they had malware once, and they downloaded several antivirus apps to try and fix it.

The point is, most Google Play accounts are littered with apps users no longer want or need. They’re not really “hurting” anything by remaining in Play accounts, but some of us despise clutter. Why won’t Google give us some way to delete apps we’re absolutely, positively sure we don’t want any more?

Well now they have. Open Google Play on your device and scroll left to the “All” category. You’ll see all the apps in your Google Play account. You may press on any app not currently installed on your device to install it if you wish. But you’ll also see the international “No” sign by any apps not currently installed on any of your devices:

Google Play

Just click the “No” sign and then click OK to acknowledge that you wish to permanently remove the app from your Google Play account. Wait a few minutes for the Play app to sync with the store, and the app will be gone forever! According to some things I’ve read at other sites, users of newer Android versions (ICS? Jellybean?) can long-press on the “No” symbol to select multiple apps for deletion at once; however this doesn’t seem to work on my Gingerbread phone. Regardless, I’m overjoyed to FINALLY get rid of all those useless apps I never, ever use!