Having tried smart phones with small internal memory from both Samsung and HTC; the two leading Android brand of 2011, I have gained quite an experience with trying, testing, and reviewing Android applications for various kind of purposes.
After factory resetting my devices so many times, either when I got stuck, or when the leftover ‘ghost contents’ from incomplete uninstalls have taken over the device, losing unbacked-up data over and over again, eventually in this early 2012 I’m able to came up with a list of best of the best Android apps for Android devices with small internal memories. Here they are in no particular order:
TouchPal swipe keyboard
Intuitive input method for Android devices, using swiping movement across letters. While it doesn’t possess the most accurate word prediction, and error anticipation, it does however having a very small footprint, is movable to SD card, and it’s free!
by Vadim Milyukov ( Market )
Tasks organizer with ability to synchronize tasks with your Google Task entries. It’s lightweight, and already includes widget as well. While widget looks quite bare, functionality-wise it’s good, and it doesn’t create duplicated entries as the better-looking Taskos often does.
Mind Map Memo
by Takahicorp ( Market )
Mind mapping application with decent functionality and quite easy to operate. Does not have bells and whistles like other Mind Mapping application does, however it’s really small, and saves in Free Mind (mm) format which makes it highly interchangeable with other Mind Mapping application. By default it also auto-saves your maps as well upon user switched to another apps, and upon exiting.
by LuckyDroid ( Market )
While it’s quite bulky, there’s no good enough contenders that matches the templating ability Memento has. It can synchronize your database as well to your Google Docs account making backing up is easy.
by przemelek ( Market )
Smallest, usable client for Blogger account blogs; both on blogger.com and independent servers. Applies bare text-based editor and text-based tagging, it’s adequate for a light blogging activity, and already supports image inclusion as well. Beside of direct server saves, it’s also capable to saves draft into device’s SD card. Works both for blogger.com and independent blogspot installed blogs, and can handle multiple blogs.
WordPress for Android
by Automattic, Inc. ( Market )
There’s not much choice for WordPress based blog apps, and this open-source WordPress client looks wonderful and does the job allright. Except for the fact that without saving to SD card ability, and autosaves, users are prone to loose their content upon apps error; which happens quite often during crucial moment of saving changes. Tips: always do the good old “select all” and “copy” of your content (into the clipboard, ready to be pasted) before publishing contents to the server. This way you’ll have a backup ready to be pasted over.
Note Pad (Notes)
by Freewarelovers.com ( Market )
It’s mind puzzling when a phone does not include a native notes application with the system it shipped in. But when it does, this is where “Notes” comes handy; easy to use and very small in size (20 Kb), ready for your daily note-taking needs.
Add Watermark Free
by Android Villa ( Market )
Tag your photos with watermark in simple steps. It stores watermark content, position, and style, hence making multiple watermarking easy to do. The free version limits the size of export dimension, however it’s good enough for daily Internet use, i.e. blogging, facebook sharing, and foursquare photo shoots.
by WhatsApp Inc. ( Market )
The cross-platform messenger installable on Android, iPhone, and Blackberry, which is suitable to communicate with friends or co-workers using different smart phone flavours. It’s size is ridiculously big though, but Android APK could help take care of this issue (read below).
by imo.im ( Market )
At the time of testing, it is the only text-messenger app runs on Android that is capable to sign you up under different Yahoo! Messenger profiles: a feature that Yahoo’s own application failed to support. It also supports a wide choices of messenger platform, e.g.: Facebook Chat, Google Chat, and even Skype.
Record My Call
by Nathaniel KH ( Market )
Automatically records your phone conversation, either those you initiates or those you receives. Clear sound quality, with options of different file formats for recording. Very usable if you are often in a situation which limits your note-taking ability, where you can just replay the record later on to take notes of important points. Or if you are expecting situations where phone conversation record would be a useful piece of evidence.
Friend Caster for Facebook
by One Louder Apps ( Market )
The lighter option to official Facebook app (which recently grown to about 6 MB app size). Has interesting popup notification feature that updates you upon replies to your posts received, new status update from friends, new content posted, etc.
by Foursquare ( Market )
If you are into check-ins and inform your tribe about your whereabouts, or leaving traces and reviews of places you have visited.
by Foodspotting ( Market )
A photo-sharing app focuses on sharing individual food instead of a whole restaurant, because sometimes a good restaurant doesn’t mean that everything on their menu are good as well. Useful to scout for what are the good eats in the neighbourhood, as well as promoting food you think excels.
by EM Dev ( Market )
It’s small in size, it renders image really well, it’s fast, it remembers the last page you viewed, and it supports bookmarking, among other features. Move over Adobe Reader.
by Rocket-in-Bottle ( Market )
A feed-reader with ability to connect to your Google Reader account. Size is quite economic, and its User Experience is good as well.
by Google Inc. ( Website )
It’s not an Android app, but it helps Android devices with small internal storage to manage its precious real-estate, mostly by enabling the move-to-SD feature (using ADB) even for those apps that doesn’t support it natively, like WhatsApp messenger (50% moved), Memento database, etc.
It’s also able to capture the screen shot of your Android screen while it runs (using DDMS); a very useful feature strangely missing from Android OS’s basic features. You need a computer to runs it though.
FYI, newer Samsung Android device has a built-in capability to capture screenshot. Galaxy Mini running its native 2.2 (Froyo) for example, uses back button and home button: press and hold the back button, then click on home button to activate the feature.
ES File Explorer
by Estrongs Inc. ( Market )
File explorer — so many flavours, so many choices. ES File Explorer excels in its easy to use operation, relatively small app size, and its versatility in handling multiple file types. It also support FTP and server connection, able to peek into Android internal storage as well, and is able to share files via Bluetooth; a feature strangely missing from the more popular Astro File Manager.
by DoMobile ( Market )
An all in one app to manage your Android system, with various tools to accomplish a day to day maintenance, i.e.: monitoring storage space, running apps, cleaning caches, backing-up apps, installing APKs, as well as providing quick access widget to most used settings.
by Sam Lu ( Market )
Saves battery with managing various aspects of Android system related to power management, including the most juice-demanding function: data connection. It’s capable to auto-deactivate Internet connection after lapsed time, or entering stand-by, and reactivate it once it’s resume active state. It can also enable data connection at interval for occasional synchronization. Its free version supports a single configurable setting, while its paid version supports more settings. Among its most interesting feature is the battery level icon which not only shown the battery level in visual fraction, but in percentage left as well; it should be Android default.
by H9kDroid ( Market )
Divides your single slot of icon into four (at least); usable to increase the space of your home screen, by four-folds at least. While visually it looks doubting to be able to precisely taps an icon a quarter its normal size, surprisingly you can. On HTC, Multicon also has a quick access (works like widget) to switch between the phone’s ringtone modes: normal, silent, vibrate.
AVG Antivirus Free
by AVG Mobilation ( Market )
AVG already has a good reputation protecting PCs from viruses, hence presumably it does the same good job in protecting Android devices. Size is quite big but since it’s crucial then it is a priority. One thing that is also great from this antivirus app is that it doesn’t have a stay-on system bar icon and only shows itself when it does something; quite unobtrusive, and saves you the precious space on system bar.
by Dazbradburry ( Market )
A very simple widget to restart you Internet connection: it turns-off your device’s radio (Internet, WiFi, Bluetooth), clearing its status then restarting it again. A function you can replicate yourself manually by entering the Airplane mode, then deactivate it; or press the *#*#info#*#* on the phone-call mode, turn off the radio then turn it up again, but only with a single click. Useful to reset your Internet connection, if it often suffers from void connection (looks like it’s connected but no data went through).
by PT ( Market )
An application that monitors data transfer speed on currently active connection (i.e.: Internet or WiFi). It installs an icon to the system bar with two arrows indicating activity of upload and download data stream, and upon system panel drop-down it shows the value of data transfer. Usable to check how fast the data exchange actually occurs.
Catty Usage Widget
by Catty.com ( Market )
A simple widget showing the level of CPU, RAM, Internal, and External storage usage in (almost) real-time.
A built-in Android system feature to enter “Testing” mode and sets various options, accessible by pressing the keys on phone-call mode. It’s main use however is analytical: to determine if you are getting the maximum type of connection to the Internet, since it shows the type of network you’re currently connected to (HSDPA, EVDO, 3G, GPRS). It shows neighbouring cells available as well (from other cellular provider), though it presents themselves in a coded ID instead of human-readable names. Press *#*#4636#*#* if you are unfamiliar with phone keypad-based text input.
by Rerware, LLC. ( Market )
This is the highest recommended system backup for unrooted Android devices. However it is not free. It’s trial period is useful though to perform quick backups along crucial system changes: providing good safe points to restore your system to. Alternatively you can activate the “Back up my settings” from “Privacy” option, to have Google stores your application’s preferences on Internet.
by Haz n’ Yas ( Market )
Islamic praying time with configurable features, digital compass, and nice looking widget; all within a very reasonable app size. It doesn’t have native Adzan (call to prayer) sound by default (hence the small size?), however it can use available MP3 file available on your Android device.
Its down side is that by default it uses Arabic language and Arabic alphabets for its GUI, including the system warning, which is quite intimidating for those who don’t read Arabic natively — like from Indonesia, which happens to have the largest Moslem population in the world, and uses western alphabet by standard. Thankfully it has icons with conventional images, like gear for setting, and from there if you are persistence enough then you will find the option way below the screen with text “Changing display language”; the only English language texts within all the Arabic texts.
The main criteria applied for selection are size and functionality. While they don’t all necessary have the best UX on the market, mostly have decent UI with above average UX. Besides with all the headache implied by having your device’s internal storage runs out of space, app size is certainly ranks high on creating a pleasurable Android UX in the long run.
Have a favourite Android apps yourself? (byms)