Soma's Blog

December 13, 2011

Android Tablet App Guide

Filed under: Android,Tech — somanov @ 21:01

Ok I gave in to the hype and got myself a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 as an early christmas present. And I have to say its a nice piece of hardware. There are a lot of reviews out there so I am not going to bore anyone with another one. But I would like to share a list of my favourite apps


Media Consumption

This is my main reason for getting a tablet: Having a nice portable device for entertainment such as reading news, comics or browsing the web


An innovative and pretty news reading app in the same vein as “Flipboard” for the iPad (which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to get a tablet in the first place). It has a nice, compact UI and organizes your feeds in rows and columns. Until very recently it was the closest thing Android had to show as a Flipboard cone. That was until Google Currents came along…

Google Currents

A very nice Flipboard clone. Prettily organizes your news feeds and presents them “magazine style”. The only downside is that this thing is still in beta: it is currently pretty slow when updating/syncing and I have experienced an odd crash every once in a while. Oh, and it is only available for US users .. at least from the market. Shame on you google! Luckily a quick google search (how ironic) turns up a few links to download the .apk


The best PDF reader I have found. It offers a lot of features  (text highlighting, comments, even drawing)  which make this the perfect app for reading and annotating papers on a tablet. Highly recommended and definitely worth the few bucks. Get it from the market


Easily the best free manga reader out there. Can browse a lot of popular manga sites or download chapters for offline browsing. This app has been pulled from the market for some reason but is still available for download from the developer’s site


Free Instapaper client for Android. Whats not to like? Check it out at


Watch TED talks on your tablet. Highly recommended way to pass half an hour with something not completely braindead. Check it out


For your daily 4chan fix 🙂



Not sure if I will get some serious work done on a tablet (the thought of typing more than 4 words without a physical keyboard still makes me cringe). However there are some nice apps available

Thinking Space

Create mindmaps on the tablet. Pretty neat. And free.


Create, Edit and Share notes across multiple devices (and the web). Evernote is a nice tool and the Android client is free and well worth checking out.


View Google Docs. Editing is there as well but  it is a painful experience and best avoided. Linky



Some utilities I find helpful.

ES File Explorer

The best file explorer app I have found so far. Nice UI. Preview for many filetypes. Support for network shares(samba). Free and recommended.


Have you wondered how to get files on/off your tablet without a USB cable (and Windows)? Why not start an FTP Server on the tablet and use an FTP client from your desktop computer? SwiFTP is an FTP server app that is very easy to set up and use. Yep WIFI file transfers can be slow. But it still beats the crap out of looking for an USB cable (and rebooting).  Android Market


Dropbox client for the tablet. One way of syncing your local files with the cloud. Luckily it lets you choose which files to upload/download. Get it from the market



Okok thats my other main reason to get a tablet 🙂  There are a LOT of games out there and I only had time to check out a few.  While I love playing shooters  on PC or console I dont think this will ever be the killer genre for a tablet. There are already some really nice strategy and puzzle games out there and I would love to see a few original point-and-click adventures for tablets. The interface should be perfect for it, no?

Angry Birds

Ok everyone knows that one. Still it is good fun and a great way to kill time.


Physics based puzzles in the spirit of “Incredible Machine”. I did the first few levels last night and they I will definitely be coming back for more. Market Link

World of Goo

Innovative puzzle game which has been released for a lot of platforms. Pretty fun and well made. The full game is about 4.00$ but a lengthy demo is available in the market.

Geed Corp HD

Turn based strategy game in the spirit of Advanced Wars (Battle Isle, History Line for the old people among you;). Very good visuals, looks pretty polished and its free.

Great Little Wargame

Another turn based strategy game. Good visuals, cute comic style graphics.  Only tried the first few levels and it has been fun so far (not too challenging though). Available in the market for 2 bucks.


Turn based strategy multiplayer game. Have not tried this one yet but it offers singleplayer and multiplayer gameplay. Probably worth a look. But costs about 3.50$ in the market.

Space Squadron

Tried the demo yesterday and i LOVE the concept of this game. Think Wing Commander style space battles but turn-based. Unfortunately the UI is kind of clumsy and the game generally lacks polish. I played through the demo yesterday and I would definitely fork over 5 bucks  or more for the full game if the dev put some more work in polishing and balancing the game. (Market)


April 28, 2010

Regaining disk space on Android phones

Filed under: Android — somanov @ 22:56

Today after I installed Opera Mini on my G1 I ran pretty low on interal storage. I went to Settings->Application Settings->Manage Applications to remove some of the weightier apps from my phone. To my surprise I discovered that some Apps seemed to occupy a LOT more space than advertised in the Android Market (for example NewsRob used a whooping 12 MB instead of the 1.2 MB shown as install size in the Marketplace). Out of curiosity I uninstalled and re-installed the application. Afterwards it used the 1.2 MB that I expected it to take –> I gained about 10 MB of free space

The same thing seemed to be true for many of my other applications: they used a lot more space than the Android Market suggested they would. Uninstalling and re-installing the application fixed the problem and freed the excess space. Now I have the same applications installed as before, but about 25 MB more free internal storage.

I wonder how this can happen. I noticed that many of the “overweight” applications were installed for a long time and I think they have seen quite a few updates. So perhaps something could be wrong with the way Android (1.6) handles application updates? Maybe some old files dont get deleted when they should be? (No clue really, just guessing).

Anyway I thought this observation may prove useful for other G1 users struggling with disk space shortage.

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