This year I got my first smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt. Within a couple of weeks I was in love with the phone, but still had no real idea how to use it more fully.

Enter apps. I’m still somewhat hesitant to download a bunch of them but there are a few that I have downloaded and stuck with that I like a lot, for different reasons. I thought I’d share mine here and then see if y’all come up with some I should try. These are Android apps, so if you don’t have an Android you might not be able to use all of these, though I think some of them are universal.

1. TweetCaster. This is what I use to access Twitter on the smartphone, and I have to admit that I love it. I first tried using TweetDeck, which I have on my computer, but it just didn’t work the same. However, Tweetcaster allows for some of the same type of customization that TweetDeck does on the computer, and I loved it so much that it became my first apps purchase for the pro version.

2. Evernote. This was recommended by a local friend of mine and was one of the first apps I downloaded. It allows me to keep track of information by typing it into a program on my computer or on the smartphone and having things sync between them. On the computer I use it to keep lists such as groceries and medications, and on the phone I use it to save links I come across while on Twitter that I can view later in a larger space on the computer. It has many other uses as well.

3. SPD – it stands for Super Private Conversation. I downloaded this one because I kept getting repeat messages and sales calls from people I didn’t know. This allows you to block someone the first time and you never have to deal with them again. With new legislation that’s being passed we’re all going to be getting more sales calls, so I see this coming in handy as time goes by.

4. Shortyz. Hey, we all get to have some fun, right? In this case it’s a crossword puzzle app that downloads digital crosswords from some of the top periodicals in the country like the NY Times and USA Today, as well as a host of others. You get to program which ones you want and whether you want it to automatically download them or wait for you to ask.

5. Comic Strips. Y’all know I’m a big kid at heart. I also don’t subscribe to a daily newspaper anymore and rarely buy the Sunday paper. The only thing I cared about anyway was the comics pages. This app allows you to select from a lot of different comic strips and it downloads them automatically every day. You can view them when you’re ready, as it retains, at least as far as I’ve seen, up to 3 or 4 months worth of each.

That’s all I have. I have tried some others but all have fallen somewhat short, including, of all things, the Firefox app. But I expect I’ll keep trying some of the free ones as time goes by.
 

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