5 Android “ToolKit” Apps
The article on Android apps to avoid led me to cover more useful android apks, the apps listed here are worth getting to know and these will lead to some more advanced articles about building DNS cache devices, bypassing crappy ISP router limitations, making VPN available on part of you network etc, etc.
Android Apps You NEED!
These apps I use to monitor and diagnose problems on my home network and also for clients who maybe having problems or who need a bespoke set-up to get things working.
Available free from app stores, I love this app, simple and effective. You can see all the WiFi signals in an area and you can go for a wander round and see where signal black holes are etc.
This helps you diagnose issues. with WiFi being problematic, especially when someone insists they have “100mb cable! – explaining WiFi is something very different and this shows it in a nice graphical interfaces too.
Its especially useful option is the channel layout screen, instantly see all those “default” routers all round you, hogging the same 3 channels.(as in the scan above – 1, 6, 11 all defaults – I'm on 4) You can switch your WiFi channel and dramatically improve your speeds. Especially helpful for Firesticks!
This is the daddy of network analysis on a phone or tablet, I LOVE this app! It will scan your network and tell you every device connected, what its IP and MAC address is, but also what services each device is running. Ok, I could get really geeky right now about how to check this and that and diagnose all sorts of issues. However, most people dont run web servers at home, nor mysql librarys (and you should for Kodi if you have a big collection), only a few will grasp the benefits of DNS cache servers etc. I sense advanced topics coming later!
Simply put, I can see every device and their IP address, so simple for doing things like hooking in Apps2fire or ADB Fire etc, always posts about this on the forums. Explaining how to get your IP address can be tricky and that it changes on boot because you are probably using DHCP …oops geeky fest again! Anyway, it gets your IP address of all devices, as you may want to go fixed on your stream boxes etc.
ES File Explorer
No android device should be without this application, it makes many things so much easier even for noobs, just catch my article on using it on a Firestick, but you can use this on any android device to move pictures, applications, music, etc, It auto detects itself on other devices – very nice touch!
I cant begin to cover what this app can do, like FTP, SMB shares, network searching, just too much to cover and a must have android app.
You should all be familiar with this cloud storage behemoth now surely? I wont dwell on it too much, but its a really versatile way of moving around zips and backups etc. Install it on your devices to quickly copy a build form one to the other – or even when you're out at a mates, you can pull down a build and jump it across via ES File Explorer. Simple, easy to use, get it if you haven't already!
Its great for remote support, give it to family and friends, so you can upload updates, new zips, builds etc.
This is another many will have heard of, but if you haven’t, its a must have for Kodi. Let me explain a few things, it has a Keyboard function that autosenses when you click a text entry box in Kodi, dedicated buttons to move between sections, Movies to TV, Home etc
When a film or show is playing, you get a secondary screen to control the playback, pause etc. You can even browse the add ons direct on your phone, call up a stream and voila, no need to even look at the tv – just do it all on your phone or tablet.
This can have many boxes or devices setup too, so wherever your phone is, thats your Kodi remote too!
Its free to use, however you can unlock some extra features for £2.59, such as playback on your phone or tab, additional plugins to control your tv etc and local playback.
Heres a link to their tutorial Yatse
Hope you find these useful, as I use these almost daily and have done for some time, its no the usual collection of non working, pointless self promoting “top 5”, but five add ons, that make my life easier, hope you find them as useful too.
PS: If you have any great apps to share, please comment and share it with me.