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Fave Apps for the LG Optimus V Part 1

Well, had my new phone, the LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile, for about a month now, and I’m loving it. After having some issues with downloading new apps a few weeks back, I bit the bullet and went back to factory settings again to see if that would fix the problem. Nope. Turns out apparently something was clashing with some file on my SD card (I’d already swapped out the included 2GB card with the 4GB card that I had in my old phone but never really used, to give me some additional elbow room for the apps). Once I reformatted the SD card, everthing worked fine.

But then I had to go back and reinstall everything from scratch. I’d backed them up to the SD card, and then backed the SD card to my PC, but since I didn’t know which program/file on the card was causing the download issue, couldn’t just copy everything back over willy-nilly.

What’s good is that allowed me to make a list of all the “must have” apps that I put back on my phone.

So MY recommendations for what to get for one’s Android phone are:

Barcode Scanner: Haven’t used it much for comparison shopping, but the QR code reader is a must have in my book. Installed that first, to allow me to reacquire via the QR code on the Amazon site the

Amazon App Store. They have most of the same things that the Android Market does, but I’m really liking their Free App of the Day offering, so getting a lot of use out of that. Don’t always INSTALL everything they offer, but do order just about everything and if it’s something I don’t need right now, I just don’t install it yet. That way I still get it gratis, vs having to pay for it later on.

And along with the App Store, I also installed Amazon’s Cloud MP3 Player app. I LOVE that. Upload all my music to Amazon’s 5GB free cloud drive, then can access the same tunes on my phone without actually having to download them and take up precious phone space. Pretty slick.

Thick Buttons is another reinstall PDQ app. I’m having a HECK of time with typing tweets, or texts, or emails, with the preinstalled Android keyboard. Then discovered the ThickButtons keyboard, which depending on the word you’re typing, enlarges the size of the buttons that you’re using, so that the expected upcoming letters are easier to hit. Still type like I’m drunk while using it, but not nearly as badly as with the default keyboard. So yeah, loving that one.

After trying several different programs, Tweetcaster Free by Handmark has become my Twitter app of choice. I like the notification in the status bar when new tweets come in, I like that it can handle multiple Twitter accounts, AND much like Brizzly on my PC, has a “mute” type of feature, to hide tweets by anyone who happens to be temporarily overly chatty without UNfollowing them. Tweetcaster calls is “zipping”, and actually hides their tweets in the timeline behind an actual zipper graphic. Pretty handy. I’d almost be inclined to actually pay for the ad-free version, except that in their FAQ’s they mention a change between the free version vs the paid version that I don’t care for, the fact that it apparently just indicates that you have new tweets, but doesn’t tell you how many, which the free version does. Still looking into that.

Silent Boot is another must-have app to re-install ASAP. All it does, and it does it well, is turn off the irritating “Virgin Mobile!” audio announcement when you first turn on your phone. My old non-smart phone did that with a menu option, but apparently they’ve done away with that choice on the Optimus V. And for people who don’t tend to turn off their phones much, maybe the VM announcement isn’t any big deal, but I switch mine off pretty frequently so end up turning it back ON just as frequently, so hear it WAY too often. With Silent Boot, it’s gone. Yay! (word of warning, one reviewer said that it bricked their Samsung VM phone, so this may need¬† to come with a warning, use at your own risk. Hasn’t hurt my phone at all though and I’m enjoying the peace and quiet when I turn my phone back on. :)

Stay tuned for my list of less imperative, but still must have apps in my book. IE the ones that are more fun than necessary, or ones that just make phone life a little easier with them installed. :)

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Fave Apps for the LG Optimus V Part 1

by Karen Cusimano time to read: 3 min
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