In this post, I finally want to develop a little cross-platform Ruby script that will fetch the newest versions of 100 or so recommended Android applications from FDroid and Google Play, then install them on the phone with adb.
Recommended Android applications
This is my list of Android applications that I recommend everyone to have and install on phones for customers. Of course everybody will need more apps for specialized purposes, but these ones should be relevant for every user. The APK column is applicable for copy&paste to feed the below bulk download and install script (in Firefox, use Ctrl + drag to mark cells of a column). Some links have been shortened in the text column, but the link target contains the full text and the link text is a forwarder URL.
Selection criteria for this list:
- only one selected best app for every purpose
- any functional open source alternative is preferred to a polished proprietary software
- decentralized open communication protocols (e-mail, XMPP, SIP) are preferred to commercial centralized applications (Skype, Facebook)
- communication apps should be privacy-enabled
- the app selection should enable self organization and group organization, esp. for grassroots movements like social change activists
Still missing are apps for:
- accessing microblogging services incl. Identi.ca and Twitter
- App for power saving while travelling: switch mobile network off (airplane mode) while the phone moves by car or train, as determined by GPS from speed and location. And only check every 30 min for missed calls.
- Find a powerful, high usability text editor for Android. Ideally with hierarchical mode that is compatible with Freemind's double-indent text exports.
- Find or develop an app that unifies all possible action on clipboard content, can be called from every app and stores clipboard history, and analyzes clipboard content and history to suggest relevant actions (like "send wire payment to").
|APK URL||Google Play||description
|Advanced Task Killer Free|
|APV PDF Viewer|
|https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote||Note taking and organizing system that syncs to desktop and web. Open source equivalent wanted!||proprietary|
|FAST App Search Tool|
|Google Play services|
|Google Play Store|
|OS Monitor no-gmaps|
|OSMTracker for Android|
|Point||Can be inaccurate. Better replacement needed.|
|Remote for VLC|
|Search based launcher|
|Super Ruler Free|
|Theme Chooser Themes|
|TitaniumBackup||Best backup application. Needs rooting.|
|Who Has My Stuff?|
|WiGLE Wifi Wardriving|
Process for unattended install
- Enable USB debugging on the Android phone. This is needed for adb to work. [instructions]
- Install Google Play. We install a minimized version of Google Apps here that contains just Google Play and required libraries. You can install everything else from Google Apps via the Google Play Store later. [TODO: Minimize this further by installing just the three essential apps, saving 70 more MiB].
- Download the minimized Google Apps package from "[APP][MINIMALISM] Google Play 3.10.10 | Market ONLY Gapps for GB/ICS/JB4.1/JB4.2".
- Push it to the phone's SD card:
adb push jb42-signed.zip /sdcard/jb42-signed.zip
- Reboot into your favorite recovery:
adb reboot recovery
- Install the ZIP file from the SD card with your recovery software.
- Install APKs. For every APK, simply call [see adb command line arguments]:
adb install filename.apk