Last month, we covered 5 applications your Google Android phone should have come with which listed applications providing the basic functionality every phone should have. If you’ve been using your Android phone for a while, you probably have a lot more than just 5 applications. In this post, I will tell you about two applications which are essential for maintaining the long list of applications you already have installed on your phone.
First up is aTrackDog. Simply put, this is an application manager for your phone. However, what sets this application apart is that it lets you keep all your applications (including itself) up to date with the newest version in a much easier fashion. This eliminates the need for you to check for updates in each application or wait for a delayed notification by the Market application about an update.
Upon launch, it builds up an alphabetical list of all the installed applications on your phone with their version numbers. It can also display the size of the application, but this needs to be manually enabled in the settings.
Once the list is built, you may click the Version Tracking button followed by the Start Tracking button which will then check each application for any available updates. The progress is shown both as a progress meter bar as well as the name and number of application being currently checked. The process is fairly quick as long as you are on a 3G or Wifi connection.
Keep them updated
Once this process is over, a list of all the applications is displayed and the ones with updates are shown on the top. These show current version of the application and the latest version available. Tapping on an application opens up a menu which displays four options: Install from market, Open this application, Uninstall this application, Don’t track Version anymore.
Sometimes a 5th option may appear at level 0 which reads Install from Developer website. In most cases, this is a beta version available from the developers website which you can directly download and install.
All in all, aTrackDog serves to be a fully featured application manager which is a must have on your phone.
Astro is mainly a file manager application. It lets you view and move files of any kind on both your main memory and SD Card. But, it comes with a module which is of special interest to us. Hitting the Menu button brings up a menu of options; one of which is Application Manager. This module lets you backup applications installed on your phone as well as restore previously backed up versions.
Backup and Restore
Upon tapping the application manager, a list of installed applications is compiled and displayed. From the list, you may select a number of applications to be backed up or hit the checkbox at the top of the screen to select all applications.
All you need to do after that is tap the backup button and the selected applications are backed up to SD Card at \sdcard\backups\apps\
The other tab which reads Backed Up Apps shows a list of applications previously backed up to SD. Some applications are displayed in Green while the rest in White. The ones in Green are ones which are currently installed on the phone and the ones in white are the ones that aren’t.
This may be because you have uninstalled the application after a backup or not restored it from the backup yet. This helps in distinguishing them. Long pressing the application brings up a window which lists the Name, Label, Version, File size and Description of the backed up application. You may install the application from here, or if it is already installed, it lets you uninstall it too.
The application is especially useful when you find yourself running short of space on your main memory and want to uninstall some applications temporarily to test them out. It is also useful when you are looking to format your phone for a clean start and do not want to scan through the market to restore your earlier installed applications.
These two applications are among the few I’ve had for the longest time. aTrackDog is especially useful and I find myself checking for updates almost everyday and most days I do end up finding newer versions.
Let us know if you prefer any other application maintenance apps on your Android Phone.
(By) Bhavishya tries to be an early adopter, but being a non-earning, full-time student has its constraints. When he’s not on the computer (like that ever happens), he tries to practice a bit of Digital Photography. His personal technology blog can be found at Kanjhan and photoblog at The Funk Eye.