The Samsung Galaxy Nexus
I LOVE my new phone! Now I understand what everyone means when they say “There’s an App for that”!
We picked up my new phone on Thursday and I spent the rest of the evening and much of Friday learning the basics and finding information about smart phones in general and specifics about the Nexus. Or as the Prince calls it the “Nuke-sus“.
Before I get into the apps, here’s some money saving advice. Don’t buy a phone cover or stylus for your phone from your local stores. They are WAY over priced! Go to Amazon and you’ll find the same things for about $5.00 or less. I bought a cover for my phone and instead of spending the $30+ at Target or Wal-Mart, I picked it up for $5.95. I also picked up a set of 6 colored stylus pens for less than $4.00.
There’s a lot out there. But I thought I’d share some of the sites that have been the most helpful and for the novice; some of the apps that are recommended must haves.
First the websites. There’s one in particular that I’d highly recommend for any Nexus user. And what made it better for me was..it comes from Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters fame.
- 25 Essential Tweaks to Perform on Your Android Phone
- Galaxy Nexus Forum – If you have a question, this is the place to ask or search for an answer. I found a ton of help for little questions to big ones!
- Android Central – Another decent smart phone forum. It’s for androids in general, so you may need to search for topics specific to your phone.
- Google Play – If you want an app, but you’re not sure what it’s called or which one to get, go to the Play store online and search for it. Do some research before you download it onto your phone or pay for something you don’t want.
- The Nexus Manual – The most important link you’ll need. The online manual for your phone.
There are a ton of other places out there about this phone. But many of those seem to keep referring to articles or posts on these two. So I stopped doing general Google searches and going to these two sites first.
As for the “Need To Have” apps. Unless specified, these are all FREE!
There were a few that I found to be must haves.
- Brightest Flashlight:
The most important App you need! A flash light. Seriously, it sounds funny but in addition to coming in real handy in an emergency, I’ve already used mine several times here in the house for little things, like plugging in the power cord in the power strip under my desk. It’s handy for Concerts too. But what made me want this first off the bat were the stories I remember hearing from people running down the stairs in the 1st Trade Center Tower on 9/11. You NEED this app!
Listen online AND on your phone to radio stations and online radio shows with TuneIn. I looked at this one and Pandora. Pandora goes out with your email address and searches for information about you. I really didn’t like that invasion of privacy and immediately killed the app. The other big name radio app that seems to be at the top of the review lists is TuneIn. Since that’s the one used by the radio station (TenacityRadio.com) which hosts the show I help to co-host (The Ænigma Project); that’s the one I went with.
There are a lot of weather widgets out there. But I have used Weatherbug on my desktop for years. I love this app on the phone. WeatherBug weather widgets display live, local weather conditions, forecasts, severe weather alerts and it can be specific to your location. So if you’re driving down the road, you can bring this app up, look at the radar and see what you’re driving into..or away from.
- Social Media:
Of course if you use social media, you’ll want the Twitter and Facebook apps. SirEvil resists some of the latest technology and if I want to message him while I’m out, my only option is AIM. So I’ve added that too.
There are two products that are recommended for creating your own ringtones. This one and one that runs on your pc. I tried the PC version program. I hated it! RingDroid is much easier to use and it’s right on your phone. You don’t have to worry about transferring files from your PC to your phone or back and forth if it doesn’t work right.After using this App let me say I LOVE IT! I hooked my phone to my laptop and transferred some ringtones I like to the phone. But they weren’t showing up as compatible for the Nexus. Start up Ringdroid and open the MP3, save it with a new name as a ringtone OR a Notification and tada you have your favorite ringtone on your new phone! (Thanks to the Folks on Galaxy Nexus for this tidbit!)
- Network Signal/Speed Booster:
Being out in the country I’m stuck between two towers. One mile down the road in either direction and I have a great signal. But here at home, nothing. I tried Network Speed Booster by Brethrendm and it did absolutely nothing! This one is by Mcstealth and it still isn’t a big difference, but it has been enough that I can actually receive and make a call from home.
I started making a long list of apps I love! Which started to turn this post into a novel. So I’ve separated these out into their own post, so I can keep adding to them over time. Sort of a running Android App Review.
I’ve added some tid-bits for how to use certain apps and features as well. I guess these are more for me to keep track of things, but maybe they’ll help someone else too. Especially other new smart phone users like me.