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Android apps - Ed's journal
Android apps
So, several people now have turned to the dark side, and acquired Android phones.
A few have mentioned recommendations for good apps - I thought I'd start a list of the things I think you really should have, and a brief summary of what it is.
If you've other suggestions, then please post away.

Before I start though, I'd like to share with you all this article:
FAQ: Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Task Killer with Android

AppBrain - it's a an app browsing doodad that lets you pick stuff to install, and just sync it to the phone, rather than having to use the market on the phone.

Barcode Scanner - does exactly what it says on the tin. very handy, especially with:
App Referrer - lets you print a QR code (barcode) on your phone screen to share an app with someone else.

Astro - file manager, to move files around and stuff.

DropBox - file sharing, that lets you share between Android and your home PC easily. If you sign up with: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTY3OTQ5NjA5 you get some extra space.

Foursquare - lets you 'check in' to places you've been, and score points for doing so. Vaguely amusing

Google Googles - take photos of stuff and search for them. This is very cool.

Google Skymaps - lets you see star positions.

GPS status - fairly simple app to tell which GPS satellites are above the horizon, and how good a 'fix' you've got.

Handcent SMS - an upgrade to the 'normal' SMS client, which I quite like.

Juiceplotter - graphs your battery levels, along with what was active. Very handy for seeing when you're draining your battery, and how fast.
Juicedefender - same company, but does cute things like turns off data connections for 14 minutes out of 15, if your phone screen is off.

Batterylife - a widget, that shows you your battery level (and colour codes).

Google Navigation - exactly what it says on the tin. Point to point navigation, using google maps.

My Tracks - lets you plot a path of where you've been, and how fast you were moving - great if walking places.

OnAir - turns your phone into an FTP server whilst it's wi-fi connected, to allow you to transfer files back and forth, without having to mess with cables (I don't know about you, but my charger is separate from my PC, because my PC is off overnight)

Shazam - listens to music, tells you what it is.

Thinking Space - it's a 'mind map' program, that's a really handy way of taking notes in meetings.

Tricorder - lets you use the sensors on your phone.

Wifi Analyzer - turns on the wifi, and sees what's where, and how powerful it is.

Also on the list of interesting apps, is:
Torque - reads ODB II from a bluetooth reader.
ustream broadcaster - lets you stream video direct to the web (but does rather murder your battery life)
VLC remote - if you have VLC installed (and you should, beacuse it's good) this is a remote control)
And I also rather like Terratime - it's a 24 hour clock, that checks sunlight hours, and moonphases and stuff. But it's a paid app, so it doesn't make it onto the 'must have' list.
Wikitude and Layar are similarly quite handy - they're 'augmented reality' browsers, that basically project 'things' ontop of a camera view, such as wikipedia articles for things that are in your line of site. Quite cool, but ... not quite yet at a level where I think they're stunningly useful.

Edit: 2011-04-28
Would also include:
BBC iPlayer - iPlayer app. Sadly only works in range of wifi.
Chrome to Phone - does what it says on the tin, if you use chrome.
Google Earth
Instant heart rate - measures your heart rate using the camera. (really)
Our Groceries - collaborative shopping lists.
Weather bug - weather app.

On the games front, I'm finding:
Star Traders
Angry Birds
Air Control
Gun Bros
Memory Trainer

to be rather engaging.


4 comments or Leave a comment
From: shortcipher Date: August 5th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's an obligatory plug for my project: Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection (32 single-player puzzle games, free). :-)

I'd also recommend Locale. For the benefit of anyone who hasn't heard of it, it lets you set your phone to apply certain settings in certain situations. For example, you create a situation called "Work" with location and time ranges, and add actions to be taken when those match: set ringer to silent, turn on wi-fi, etc. There are a whole bunch of third-party plugins to add more conditions and actions (I have a couple). I'm also hearing good things about Tasker, which is apparently a cheaper, more flexible version of Locale, compatible with the same plugins, but I haven't got around to trying it yet. I wish more people would use one of these two, especially certain colleages of mine whose mobiles ring loudly in the office all the time.
cthulahoops From: cthulahoops Date: August 6th, 2010 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool, thanks.

Of things you haven't mentioned, I love the Flixster movies app for getting cinema times.

ConnectBot for SSH access is pretty essential.

I've been playing with Open Street Map apps, initially to get an offline map application for my holidays and later because the map data is so much better than Google Maps. All seem to have a poor interface though. OsmAnd is the best for online use, but I haven't managed to get offline working yet. MapDroyd has horribly low detail maps that never show the right zoom level, but it makes it incredibly easy to download maps for offline use. I'm still searching on this one.
jorune From: jorune Date: August 6th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stuff I have found fun or useful:
Unit Converter or Convert Droid - Everything you wanted to know about converting units of one thing to another
Rpg Dice/Droid Dice - Dice rollers
Net Counter - Tracks data usage
Shop Savvy/Snap Tell - Like Barcode Scanner but can bring up a series of prices in other stores. I have found that getting data in some shops can be hit or miss.
Earthquake - Google Maps mashup with Earthquake data.
Star Translate - API to Google Translate service
App Aware - find out what apps people are installing or removing
Alchemy - curious game where you compare elements, well thought icons/design
From: arsenijfilatov Date: September 19th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)

my 50 cents

must have android apps in my opinion are:
SMS Backup - back ups your SMS to Google acount, very useful for SMS freaks like me (description + apk)
Google Maps - hmmmm... Google Maps (description)
Advanced Launcher Lite - creates shortcuts to apps (description + apk)
Robo Defense - a brilliant game for Android! (description + apk)
iTriage - a medical symptoms finding app (description + apk)
Eurosport - do you like sports like I do!? (description)
4 comments or Leave a comment