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Review: ZDBox for Android

Previously, I had a lot of different tools to do what ZDBox does all at once; I’d use 3G Watchdog to keep an eye on bandwidth, Battery Indicator for battery percentage in my notifications bar, Advanced Task Killer if the situation arose, etc etc. While these apps are all great, it’s sometimes good to consolidate, especially if the quality of the replacing app is high enough that it doesn’t bring any problems when it comes to functionality.  

ZDBox is a toolbox that combines many different apps’ purposes into one easy-to use package. Within, one can find a battery meter, task killer, app manager (with batch move-to-SD and uninstall capabilities), 3G traffic monitor, Do Not Disturb timer (for silencing/airplane-moding your phone at certain times) and an App Lock. This last one was a bit interesting, as it sets up a barrier to access an app with a PIN number, but on a per-case basis. Want someone to be able to pick up your phone to play Angry Birds, but not browse your texts? App Lock is the thing to ensure your privacy.

These apps actually work quite well, and I got the feeling that some real effort was put into making sure that they all meshed together into one product. The interface is slick and easy-to-use while not being overly cutesy or complicated. This wins it some major points. However, it’s the ability to make all this information available quickly that really makes this app stand out.

Upon installation, ZDBox adds a notification bar icon while gives you a summary of most of its information when you drag your tray down. This is great, and can be customized to a certain extent: disabling services in the settings menu bumps up the next-running service to the top icon. However, there doesn’t seem to be a way to remove the icon at all; this can be a bit of a deal-breaker for those of us who like to keep their notification trays clean. [Update: you can turn off the notification icon via settings; I’m not sure how I missed this. Thanks, commenters!] I mean, it bugs me enough that I have to plug my phone into my computer in order to take screenshots with my Atrix; those “Connected with USB” icons stick out like a sore thumb.

ZDBox gets a big thumbs up from me because it consolidates a lot of other apps without losing functionality and does it stylishly. Definitely worth the free download from the market.

Matt Demers is Droid Life’s app guy, and so happy that he finally has a phone with a bit of oomph to it. Playing games without fearing my phone will explode is a good upgrade. Follow him on Twitter, his personal site or e-mail him.

  • http://thecouponarchive.com/ Tim

    Thanks, That was great!

  • http://google-redirect-virus-removal.org/ Mike

    Wow, it’s free. I didnt know that. Thanks for the share.

  • http://sims-3-cheats.net/ Kayla

    I love your tips. Thank you very much for the review.

  • http://howtorepairdrywalls.com/ Timothy L

    I love this app. I’m just using it on my iphone and now looking for some tutorials.

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  • Tergiversator_Maximus

    This program is great. It found a bunch of apps I didn’t realize could be moved to SD, which is pretty much a necessity for an OG Droid user like myself. It’s so much easier than going through my entire app list to find apps I can move. I also love the Do Not Disturb mode and the battery information. This is a great all-in-one app.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone have problems with this app on the leaked droid x gingerbread rom? It made my phone super unresponsive and even rebooting did not work. Once I uninstalled it the phone was fast again. Could also be a reboot manager I bought.

    • Usmc1488

      I had the same exact issue. Complete garbage on Gingerbread. I had to perform a complete re-instal of Gingerbread. Even after I uninstaled the Aplication my phone was unresponsive. If you have a Droid X running the leaked Gingerbread do not use this ap.

  • http://www.mydigitalwhiteboard.wordpress.com anim

    Installed it, love it. thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dexx-Brown/1747305983 Dexx Brown

    People it’s a task killer with other features for God sakes. If you don’t like them, don’t use them but talking shit and bitching about like little girls is not going to make anyone use them less. I use this app as of two days ago and its actually not bad. So quit whining on the comment board and take your negative comments elsewhere. YOU HAVE BEEN SERVED LMAO!!!

    • napes22

      I was ready to click “Like” for your comment until you added “LMAO!!!”

  • Tim242

    Set a shortcut. Task killers are bad…you should NEVER use them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

      Dude, You Can Stop Spamming Now.

      • Tim242

        Dude, I am not spamming. That’s Disqus f**king up my comments. Mind your own
        business, k? Thanks.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

          Somebody Is Bitchy Today…Go Get Laid Dude.

          • Tim242

            My boyfriend is sleeping. I’ll see about that when he wakes up. : )

          • Shindo107

            i see what you did there.

      • Tim242

        Dude, I am not spamming. That’s Disqus f**king up my comments. Mind your own
        business, k? Thanks.

  • Tim242

    Set a shortcut to menu>settings>applications. You can force stop there. Task killers are bad…you should NEVER use them.

  • Tim242

    Task killers are bad…you should NEVER use them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

    This Is Good Stuff Here I Love It Everything I Need All In One App. Good Work Matt, Thank You.

  • Anonymous

    Tried it but kept freezing my gingerbread droid x. Had to factory reset since I couldn’t do anything.

  • Themartinthunder

    Great suggestion Matt!

  • Eazy

    Hi guys i just wanted to share this awesome app. its called tv shows hd. for some reason they removed it from the market, but i just recently found it. the link is http://www.mobileboxs.info/android-apps … 9-android/ just click on the megashare mirror and close all popups. click on where it says free download and close popups. then just wait for the countdown and download the apk. install it by either putting it on your sd card or going directly on your phone and downloading it and installing it like any other apk. Enjoy!!!!

  • misphit917

    I used it wasn’t a big fan yes it consolidates allot of different features
    but the fact that the taskiller doesn’t auto kill with in the app was a no no for me.
    Yes its a good app but that’s it.

    • Tim242

      Task killers are bad…you should NEVER use them.

  • Jawshua

    Yeah I still prefer App Protector for locking down certain apps. It runs smooth and I’ve had it for a long time, never experiencing any problems.

  • Mr.Joe

    I’m just going to say what everyone is thinking.

    Matt Demers is my new favorite Droid Life writer!

  • Mr.Joe

    I’m just going to say what everyone is thinking.

    Matt Demers is my new favorite Droid Life writer!

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Uh.. thank you! I’ve been writing here for a year, though.

      • Mr.Joe

        Yeah, but we’ve been closely evaluating you your stuff. We have decided that you are our new favorite Droid Life writer.

  • dblj

    I like this but I have had problems with every app protector I have tried. After unlocking a protected app, they always “re-lock” prompting me to put in the password again. I’m starting to wonder if it is an issue with my rom. I’m running Chevy’s 5.2. I had Project Elite 5.0.2 with the honeycomb theme and loved it but it wouldn’t let me update certain apps, mainly facebook. It just said download unsuccessful.

  • dblj

    I like this but I have had problems with every app protector I have tried. After unlocking a protected app, they always “re-lock” prompting me to put in the password again. I’m starting to wonder if it is an issue with my rom. I’m running Chevy’s 5.2. I had Project Elite 5.0.2 with the honeycomb theme and loved it but it wouldn’t let me update certain apps, mainly facebook. It just said download unsuccessful.

    • Trivtherenegade

      You do understand that you couldn’t update Facebook because it is a themed app, right? The .apk may be signed, but it’s got a different checksum than the market version due to being inverted and themed. If you wanted to update facebook, you could have un-installed the themed version then downloaded the market version… but you would have lost your theme.

  • http://twitter.com/frice2003 Frank Rice

    This is a very nice app. Replaced three apps on my phone and made my consideration of buying an extended power control widget end as well. The only thing more I’d like it to do is to replace my flashlight and Nolock app.

    • Anonymous

      indeed. i actually paid for battery indicator before I realized i could just switch the battery icon in the ROM i’m using… the only thing i really want to replace right now is the no lock app and it wouldn’t hurt to replace droid light as well.

  • http://twitter.com/Payaso_113 Nightmares

    nice

  • http://twitter.com/hpizzy Hiral Patel

    Two Andys for ZDbox – Awesome app

  • http://twitter.com/VTCapsFan Andrew Merewitz

    you can turn the notification icon off…just hit settings

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      I stand corrected. Will fix article.

      • Greg

        you can turn the icon off, meanwhile what if you want the items to still show up in the notification dropdown…? I know I do

        • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

          Seems to be a catch-22 like that.

  • durtydroid

    smooth clean app. thanks for the article.

  • Budcar38

    Wow can’t believe you are promoting task killer. Tired of every noon with an android phone showing me how it makes their phone faster and improves the battery life. BS.

    • goblueboy

      indeed you are just killing tasks that just took your battery to start up and then they restart. sometimes when i have too much stuff going on it will run a little sluggish, then i task kill. that’s it

    • Anonymous

      A task killer running on automatic does suck, but they do have a use. They can be used to kill an app you can’t otherwise close easily (ie if an app is still running after hitting back or home you can kill it easier with a task killer then going to settings>applications>manage applications>running, force close.

    • Anonymous

      A task killer running on automatic does suck, but they do have a use. They can be used to kill an app you can’t otherwise close easily (ie if an app is still running after hitting back or home you can kill it easier with a task killer then going to settings>applications>manage applications>running, force close.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Notice how I specifically said “Advanced Task Killer if the situation arose.” Like if a app was being bitchy about closing, or I would need to do a “hard” close instead of relying on Android to do it for me. I use task killers like the Windows Task Manager; sometimes you just need it closed -now- with no bullshit.

      • Jawshua

        Yeah I definitely noticed that part of the article, but also instantly knew some bitchy person would complain about it right away.

      • http://www.agrstech.com Zephaniah

        ATK (Advanced Task Killer) is a must use on a regular basis for me. I still have my Droid 1 and I’ve been trough 5 of them. (Note, any refurb from VZ sucks, the one I have now has dust under half the screen and camera) My D1 (as much as I love it) is slow as Sh*t, crashes, reboots. An unstable build of 2.3.3 ran better on my rooted Droid 1 (the 4th I had replaced) then stable 2.2. Angry Birds lags like a mother and text messaging has become so janky that I just make calls now. I can’t even get it to pull email from my own server without locking up. I’ve wiped it clean and it still does all of the above. Alas, I’m stuck for three more months before I can get an early upgrade. Though I was dropped a hint from a VZ employee. Apparently if I go to MyVerizon, click my Droid, click upgrade (even if its not time to upgrade) and select a refurb Droid X for $99, it won’t extend my contract, I can still upgrade in August (early upgrade), and I won’t pay full price for the phone. Anyone know how that might work?

        PS Sorry for writing a freaking long comment.

        • napes22

          That’s why I scoured Craigslist and bought myself an off contract Droid X for $150. So worth it – my Droid is essentially a paperweight at this point.

          • http://www.agrstech.com Zephaniah

            I’ve been looking at craigslist and everyone wants $300-400 on average.

            ~Zephaniah Washington
            AGRS Tech News – Editor-in-chief
            Sent from my iPad.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Notice how I specifically said “Advanced Task Killer if the situation arose.” Like if a app was being bitchy about closing, or I would need to do a “hard” close instead of relying on Android to do it for me. I use task killers like the Windows Task Manager; sometimes you just need it closed -now- with no bullshit.

    • http://twitter.com/jbernard703 Jeff Bernard

      yes killing an poorly written app which gets stuck in a refresh loop conserves battery life. sorry you don’t understand that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      What is a “noon”?

      • Jawshua

        Some new made up net-nerd term?

    • http://www.agrstech.com Zephaniah

      You live with my Droid 1 for a day and see if you still feel that way about task killers.

  • Firesq38

    There seems to now be a option to turn off the icon….

    “However, there doesn’t seem to be a way to remove the icon at all; this can be a bit of a deal-breaker for those of us who like to keep their notification trays clean. I mean, it bugs me enough that I have to plug my phone into my computer in order to take screenshots with my Atrix; those “Connected with USB” icons stick out like a sore thumb.”

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      I stand corrected. Will fix article.

  • Guest

    I have an app that interfaces with my Home alarm. App Lock has now secured it.

  • Greg

    I agree about the Notification Icon thing. It’d be great if it matched, like a green, or black. But the fact that it’s blue makes it look tacky. So I have it set for the app lock icon because at least it’s grey..

  • Princesation

    I thought android doesn’t need a task killer ?

    • Anonymous

      Depends who you ask, but in theory Java’s garbage collection should perform the action of task manager on it’s own. Thus having an added “task killer” is redundant and therefore has the potential to actually slow things down.

      • http://perpetualn00b.tumblr.com quiklives

        There are always going to be times when something just gets stuck, and then it’s nice to be able to kill it. The problem with the way most people use task killers is that they want to micromanage what they don’t understand.

      • http://perpetualn00b.tumblr.com quiklives

        There are always going to be times when something just gets stuck, and then it’s nice to be able to kill it. The problem with the way most people use task killers is that they want to micromanage what they don’t understand.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I7J4Z55BLI6W3OMFGRZZFNVLQA John

      you dont, its useless. people dont seem to realize that though.

  • Anonymous

    H+ as in HSPA+, as in the fauxest of the faux 4G’s…why that’s certainly not a Verizon technology, get off my lawn!!

    haha, great app and great review!

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Canada: it’s a fun time.

    • Mr.Joe

      h8ers gonna h8 @ true 4G.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

        HSPA+ is definitely not true 4G.

        • Mr.Joe

          Tmobile and AT&T are calling HSPA+ 4G. I trust two nationwide carriers words.

          • Calculatorwatch

            Apperantly Verizon’s LTE isn’t even true 4G even though it’s way faster than HSPA+. And you shouldn’t trust people that only want you for your money.

          • Mr.Joe

            Isn’t that everyone?

          • Calculatorwatch

            Haha well then I hope you’re not married :) And anyways you can trust me, I’ve got nothing to gain besides the human race being just a little more knowledgeable.

          • Mr.Joe

            I’m glad there’s one person I can trust with my life.

          • Calculatorwatch

            Yeah good luck with that, lol. But you can trust me to kindly tell you when you’re being stupid just so that I can feel better about myself :P

          • KGB

            Mr. Joe try doing your research from an independent source that isn’t bais or trying to take your money. The truth is that there isn’t a mass market (consumer based) true 4G. I will provide you with a few links so that you might educate yourself and know the truth.

            http://gigaom.com/2010/11/04/what-is-4g/

            http://www.intomobile.com/2010/11/24/itu-certifies-lte-advanced-as-true-4g-technology/

            http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_688622.html

            These are just a few examples of what the US carriers call 4G. Happy reading. You should know what your talking about before you post, at least on this site.

          • Anonymous

            You should perfect your grammar before telling somebody else to do their research. You said ‘what your talking about’, when what you meant to say is ‘what you’re talking about’.

  • Anonymous

    I got especially for the app lock. My kids like to play the games, but every once in a while they go into stuff accidenty like email, and delete stuff for me.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip

  • Thatoneguy

    First!