Darn ads, get off my lawn!
March 24, 2011 7:39 AM   Subscribe

I absolutely hate ads. No, really. What are some free, great, ad-free yet awesome apps?

I'm primarily looking for serious apps that can enhance my productivity, though I'm open to anything, really.

I'm ok with apps that provide a reduced functionality (think Evernote or Dropbox), but they must definitely be ad-free and free.

Some examples of what I already use:
- Google Reader (an absolute must-have, though its foibles sometimes piss me off!)
- 3G Watchdog
- Evernote
- Dropbox
- K-9 Mail (an absolute life-saver if you ask me)
- FBreader
- EverPaper (Instapaper client)
- Quick Settings

FWIW, I'm running a stock HTC Desire on Android 2.2 Froyo.

P.S. I'm aware that not having an active internet connection disables ad display, but I'd rather not have any ads at all
posted by titantoppler to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The eBook apps? Kindle, B&N Nook, Aldiko. The last one supports ePub and PDF, so not only would they be for entertainment, they can be productivity enhancing.

GTasks for syncing up with the Google Tasks thing in Google Calendar.

S3Anywhere for access to your S3 account.
posted by chengjih at 7:57 AM on March 24, 2011

Root your phone and install the app adfree.
it blocks in app ads and internet ads.
I use es file explorer and have it ftp to my server.
Wireless teather is awesome if you have wifi equipment you want to share on you phones data connection.
posted by handbanana at 8:04 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Google Listen for podcasts. Seriously, I never listened to podcasts until I got Google Listen, and now I listen to them in the car all the time.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:06 AM on March 24, 2011

Doggcatcher is the best podcast player for Android. It doesn't dirty up your Google Reader stream like Listen does. No ads.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:10 AM on March 24, 2011

Doggcatcher and Listen? Yech. Beyondpod is the best podcast app.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:20 AM on March 24, 2011

Root your phone and install the app adfree.

Some of the custom ROMs you can install here after rooting have ad-blocking built in. rooting instuctions are near the top.
posted by K.P. at 8:59 AM on March 24, 2011

[Side question: anyone know an easy way to find out which apps, out of those you've already installed, were free and which were paid? I'd probably have more answers, but for the most part I don't remember which apps I paid for and which were free. The best I can figure out is looking them up one by one in the Android market on a web browser—using the Market app doesn't help, because it lists them simply as "Installed" without indicating whether I paid for them or not.]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:18 AM on March 24, 2011

Answering side question: Google finally created a web interface for the Android Market. It's at http://market.android.com. Just log in with your Google account and go to My Market Account at the top-right. You can see all of your installed apps and their original price or lack thereof.

This is especially cool because you can investigate apps on the web and then select 'install.' The app is automatically installed on your phone as if you were using the Market on your phone.

posted by Tehhund at 9:39 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Tehhund. After checking that, it turns out I don't have as many additional recommendations as I thought I would (more paid apps than I thought, some are highly specialized, some just duplicate functionality the OP already has, some I don't think are that good). In fact, the only other recommendation I have is GasBuddy.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:56 AM on March 24, 2011

I have a similar aversion to ads in my apps. Here are a few things that I've found useful, and which have minimal or no advertising:
  • Barcode Scanner — Scans 1D and 2D barcodes.
  • Bubble level — 2D bubble level.
  • Clockr — Nice widget to display the time on a home screen.
  • ColorDict — Nice dictionary that can hook into Wikipedia.
  • ColorNote — Decent note-taking app.
  • ConnectBot — SSH / Telnet client.
  • Compass — Compass and GPS.
  • DaysUntil Widget — Nice widget to show how many days until / since an event.
  • FileMan — Simple, ad-free file manager.
  • Glass Widgets — Nice calendar / clock / news widgets.
  • Google Chrome to Phone — Easily send phone numbers, maps, web pages, etc. to your phone from your desktop web browser.
  • Google Listen — Decent podcast player.
  • Google Reader — Nice Google Reader client.
  • Google Translate — Nice interface to Google Translate, with insanely awesome “conversation” mode. Has voice recognition for multiple languages.
  • Grocery iQ* — Quick and easy grocery list app. Tied to the Grocery iQ online service, but the app works wonderfully without it.
  • Launcher Pro — Fast, every so slightly nicer homescreen app. Can take a fair bit of customization to make sane and useful.
  • My Tracks — Record your path when walking / biking / driving.
  • Parcels — Track shipments. Very nice clone of Junecloud's Delivery Status app for iOS and dashboard widget for Mac OS X.
  • RPNcalculator — Simple RPN calculator, easy to use for basic arithmetic.
  • Shortyz — Great crossword puzzle app.
  • Shuffle — Nice GTD-style task manager. Optionally syncs with GTDify.
  • StopWatch & Timer — Basic stopwatch and timer.
  • TeslaLED — Nice app and widget for using your camera's flash LED as a flashlight.
  • Wifi Analyzer* — Ridiculously good WiFi utility. Lets you easily see what other access points are in the area, what channels they're broadcasting on, what encryption they're using, and how strong the signal is.
* Not completely ad-free, but they're easy to avoid, non-invasive, or can be disabled.

It's also worth noting that if you click the “Install” button at the links above, on your home computer, the app will magically install on your phone. It's much, much easier than using the actual Market app.
posted by SemiSophos at 3:37 PM on March 24, 2011

Also, please consider non-free apps, as developers have to get paid somehow. And you never know, you may be supporting a fellow mefite with your purchase.
posted by hatsix at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2011

App 2 SD free makes it easy to identify apps you can move to the SD card.
AndSMB is great for connecting to samba servers on your network
overlook fing is great for viewing devices on your network and their open services
posted by notashroom at 4:05 PM on April 11, 2011

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