By Joe Levi | April 17, 2013 7:30 AM
Pocketnow Insider is a series that we started a little while back to give you, our readers, a peak behind the scenes and show you what goes on behind the camera and on the other side of the keyboard.
One of the questions that I’ve been asked by many of you is “what do you have on your phone?” I’d love to give credit to each of you who have asked, but the list would be longer than the article! Suffice it to say that you know who you are, and I’m thankful for the suggestion — and a bit humbled by your request to know what I’ve got on my phone… and maybe a little creeped out.
Before we get too deep into the topic of software, let’s talk hardware. My daily driver consists of a stock Nexus 4 running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. To that I tether a stock Nexus 7, also running the latest iteration of the OS and a generic Bluetooth keyboard. (I’m not too happy with what I have now, so if you’ve got a recommendation for a compact, yet full-sized keyboard, please let me know in the comments!)
On my wrist is a Pebble smart watch with an upgraded watch band (which was Michael Fisher’s recommendation). I also carry a Square credit card reader around with me where ever I go, as well as a wired headset. I received my Google Nexus 4 official headset yesterday and got to try it out in action today. (So far, not bad, though it’s tangle-resistance is its only redeeming quality that I’ve discovered to-date.)
What I’m still missing from my mobile arsenal is a portable battery to help keep me running on long stints away from a desk (Ingress, anyone?). I’d prefer something that can be charged via a Qi wireless charger, and charge the phone via USB or an on-board Qi wireless charger (I know, that’s a lot to ask for). I’m also in need of a car dock — it’s got to have Qi built-in. If you’ve got suggestions or recommendations, hit the comments and let me know your thoughts.
After updating the built-in apps, the next app that I install is Lookout Mobile Security. This app not only includes built-in malware protection (that I don’t really think I need) and backup functionality (that I don’t use), but allows me to find my phone whenever I lose it. Ironically, I haven’t lost it since I installed Lookout. I guess it’s doing its job!
Social Networking & Entertainment
Next up are the obligatory social networking apps. Google+ comes first, followed by Facebook, and finally Plume Premium to take care of all my Twitter needs.
After that comes entertainment: Google Play Movies is the app I use to keep up-to-date with my latest TV shows (yay! New episodes of Psych!), Netflix gives me my fix for movies and older TV shows, and Google Play Books is where I do the majority of my reading, but I still have the Amazon Kindle app to read eBooks that aren’t available through the Play Store.
Pandora and Google Play Music are must-haves in my mind — I’m almost always listening to something to block out the ambient chaos that surrounds me. Pocket Casts is my podcatcher of choice — if you haven’t tried their new version, you’re missing out!
As far as games are concerned, I’ve only got a couple: Ingress (of course), an Angry Birds or Bad Piggies title (which varies week to week), and Plants vs. Zombies.
Productivity & Communications
For productivity apps I run Jump which allows me to remote in to my computers at work and the web server in Texas. It’s easier to use on my Nexus 7 than my Nexus 4, but I can log-in and get work done on either device from anywhere that I have an Internet connection. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me from having to go into work at some unspeakable hour of the night or cut a vacation short to put out some fire or deal with an “emergency”. (Some days I think that I should move to a tropical island and do all my work from a sandy beach — they probably wouldn’t even know I was gone as long as I logged in remotely.)
I’ve got an online banking app that lets me keep tabs on my accounts and deposit checks with my camera, and some apps for monitoring my Google Ads and website Analytics. Barcode Scanner and TagWriter are the next to be installed which enable me to read and write NFC tags and QR codes.
I use Google Voice for my unified voicemail, personalized phone number, and text-messaging client, so of course that app has to go on next. I use Google Talk and Gmail for the majority of my communications, but I install Skype for good measure.
When it comes to maps I use Google Maps and Latitude, Waze, and CoPilot Live. I also have GPS Test and Speedtest.net installed, just to have something handy when things seem wonkey.
On a more personal note, I’m a spiritual person, so I’ve got apps that include various religious texts, videos, and other tools that help me stay in touch with my faith. I’m a licensed amateur radio operator (you might know that better as Ham Radio) so I’ve got a couple apps that help me out with that hobby: Morse Decoder, Scanner Radio, and another app here or there to help log contacts all get installed right away.
As far as widgets are concerned, Beautiful Widgets is a necessity in my book. Other than that I don’t have any other widgets besides those that come with the apps that I’ve already mentioned.
On my main home screen I have a large time and weather Beautiful Widget, the stock Android calendar widget, and a few folders. On the page to the left I have the Google Now widget and a widget that shows my battery state. On the page to the right I have the Google “What’s this song?” widget and a link to Google Wallet. That’s it.
I may have a few other apps here and there, but nothing of particular note. I try and keep my devices fairly sparse as far as installed apps are concerned — this frees up more space for media (books, TV and podcast episodes, movies, YouTube Watch Later videos, and more books!).
That’s what I’ve got on my phone, now its your turn! What do you have on yours, and why? Let me know in the comments!