I’ve had an Android device for over three years. I started with Android 1.5 on an Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Now I’m using an HTC Incredible 2. Here’s a list of the software I use regularly as of March 2013. Maybe you’ll find something you like, or maybe you know of something better. If you do, let me know!
F-Droid. Look for app updates, and new apps to install. Everything in F-Droid is free and open source. Not tons of ad-supported junkware.
Play Store. Check for app updates.
K-9. Email app that supports email from multiple accounts, has lots of fancy features that GMail app doesn’t.
Firefox Beta. My favorite Android web browser.
Google+ . Only social media site I’m using at the moment, besides Twitter. I think Google+ is a nice experience on Firefox for Android beta, but when I load Google+ on Firefox it always pesters me to use the app. Ugh.
Mustard. Twitter app. I’m @dhrasmus and @pdxwifimap . Twitter is irritating to use on Android: the explosion of link shorteners means whenever you click a link in Mustard it will take forever to load in a web browser. I like the Zwitscher app for Twitter as well, and if it were in F-Droid maybe I’d use it instead, or also.
Piwik Mobile. Web analytics app. I use this to see how many people are looking at my websites.
Quickdroid. App launcher. Keeps a handy list of the last apps I used, and allows me to search for anything on the device (installed apps, contacts, media, etc) by name.
TuneIn. For listening to streaming audio. Ad supported, yuck, and they tried getting me to listen to a sports match (yuck) before I turned off “push updates,” but otherwise happy with it. I wish there were an open source alternative.
AntennaPod. For listening to podcasts.
Camera, Gallery. Built-in. I use them often enough. Kerry taught me her trick of using photos to record information, rather than take business cards or pieces of paper or write it down.
AntennaPod, K-9, Mustard, and Quickdroid are available on F-Droid. Get the F-Droid app from http://fdroid.org/ and use it to install everything else.
The Android apps listed above parallel what I use regularly on Ubuntu desktop systems:
Update Manager (ok, I use “apt-get”) for software updates.
Kupfer. App launcher.
Firefox does the same thing as standalone Android apps do: eg Google+ , Mustard, Piwik. Firefox Mobile improves over time and will make those apps less necessary.
Notable differences between the two types of systems:
1) Phones are not enjoyable to type with. Anything that requires typing more than a sentence or two will be put off until I’m on something with a real keyboard
2) As time goes by, more software is created that makes Android systems a more viable replacement for a desktop. VLC (beta) for Android recently came out. It’s buggy, but it filled a big gap.
3) Despite the increasing capabilities of the Android platform, I still trust my desktop/netbook machines (Xubuntu and Ubuntu) much more. They are larger, and therefore less likely to disappear or get dropped into a watery grave or damaged. Netbooks for some reason are not very popular, which offers some peace of mind against the threat of theft. My Android device came pre-loaded with tons of junk software, courtesy of Verizon. It’s fishy that there’s no way to remove it, and I don’t trust Verizon or their pre-loaded apps. Who knows what kind of personal data they collect from everybody with one of their phones. It’s probably better not to know.