Friday, February 11, 2011

Android Apps - Geek Love

I've decided to also talk techy stuff. I am by no means an expert but I do have a deep love for technology. So today I'll talk about the Android Apps I use.  I'm just a girl who dabbles in geek.

Since September I've owned a Samsung Vibrant from the Galaxy S series. I adore my phone. I am a little sad that it's not 4G and doesn't have the video chat capabilities, but I don't care THAT much.

I have several friends who recently got Android phones and I wanted to share what apps I, personally use and love.  Most are free but it should say in the description if it's a paid application.  I included links.  When you click on the app link it takes you to the Market online.  When you sign in your Google account you can press the "install" button on the website and it will install right to your phone.  So easy.  So here we go.

Abduction / Abduction - World Attack- This is a fun game where you bounce these little cows (or other animals) on little bits of floating land.  The goal is to go up, up, up to a spaceship waiting in the sky.  If you miss and fall out of the screen's view you die.  There is also a kid's mode where they never can die.  It's definitely a fun game. Abduction is the free version and Abduction - World Attack is the free version.  ^^^Now there is Abduction 2 available in the demo version and the full, paid version.^^^

Droid Comic Viewer (ACV) - This little gem is a comic book viewer.  There are many ways to get free comics out there (like here or here) and you can subscribe to many through places like Marvel's website and DC's website as well.  I, personally, love how you can change the settings.  Far too often I'd leave my finger on the screen and it would do some sort of action (I forget which one, it's been a long time since I've changed it) and I changed it to do, well, nothing.  Anyway.. Yes, fabulous app and totally free.

Aldiko / Aldiko Pro - I have tried a couple other book reading apps and I adore this one.  My phone came with the Kindle app but it only reads Kindle books.  I have quite a few epub files and Aldiko reads them beautifully.  I also like the dimmer function that a lot of other readers don't seem to have.  The reader is free however, because I found myself using it so much I bought the pro version.  I really prefer to support the great programmers out there when I can.

Andoku - I like this free Soduku game better than some others that I've tried.  My one problem is that when I type a number in it looks like the numbers that were already there when I started the round.  Can be confusing when I'm trying to suss out where my mistakes are.

Angry Birds - Does anyone NOT know about Angry Birds?  My husband joked recently about being at a barber shop and overheard two men talking.  He had to smirk when one man asked the other, "So you just have to hit the pigs, right?"  It's an addictive game and it's totally free.  Extra bonus, they update it from time to time to add more levels.  In fact, just the other night they added more!

Angry Birds Seasons - Same as above.  Highly addictive.  In this version they focus on holiday themed levels.  When I first downloaded it there were Halloween levels and a Christmas advent calendar. We're still trying to open the package at the end but there is one level that is being a pain to get three stars on.  The other night I was doing updates and they added Valentine's Day levels!!!

Antivirus Free - AVG - Can't complain.  Does it's own thing, it's free, and it's keeping you virus free.  Win.

Audio Books - As long as you don't mind hearing the whole "This is a Librivox recording..." message frequently this is a fabulous way to hear the classics for free.  I am an audio book addict so this is an awesome program.

Bubble Buster - This is an aim and shoot game.  It's a recent game I've been playing.  Fun and good for killing time. There is also an editor available so you can make your own levels.

Bump  - This handy app is a fantastic way to share media and apps with friends.  After the set up you just have you and your friend start Bump and then you tap your phones together.  Accept the file and voila!  Unfortunately, I don't use it often.  If the husband was a geek who had an Android phone too, I could see using it all the time (especially for pics and vids of the boy).

Carrr Matey - This app with the funny name is a cool program that uses GPS technology to identify where you park your car.  Let's say you go to the mall.  You're one of those people who lose their car in the lot.  So when you park you run Carrr Matey and you "drop anchor".  When you're done CM will guide you back using either a compass or walking directions.  There is even a timer you can use if you're using metered parking. Plus, dude, it's pirate themed.  Full of win.

Contapps - I love this app.  I have used it to replace my contact list.

Flikie Wallpapers/ Flikie Wallpapers HD - This app gives you a large selections of high quality wallpapers to choose from.

First Aid - This is a great resource in times of emergency, providing you can use your brain enough to remember how to use your phone in a crisis.  But in reality it can be very handy in a crisis when you can't think enough to remember what to do.  Luckily, I haven't had to use it but I have poked around and it has a lot of good information for many different scenarios.

Google Books - It's a fabulous app that works as an ebook reader and syncs up with your Google Books account you use on your desk/laptop.  Google Books (at least the desktop version) can even help you find books at your local library.

Google Maps/Navigation - I do believe when you install Google Maps that it automatically installs Navigation.  I think it's funny that anyone would pay for either T-Mobile's or Verizon's navigation programs when Google has it's own and uses your data plan to do it.  I love how you can find the address by voice, by typing or by contact list.  When you hit contact list it pulls up all the contacts with addresses listed. It works fabulously and rarely puts me off track (not fool proof, of course).  I love that when you get to your destination it shows the street view so you know you're at the right place.

Google Reader - I used to use Bloglines until I discovered Google Reader.  It's a fabulous feed reader.  Keep updated on all your favorite blogs.  Again, the joy of the world of Google is that it's all synced to what I use on my desktop.

Google Shopper - Scan items, either the front of the item or the barcode, and find out where to buy them.  Super cool!

Handcent - I use Handcent as a replacement for the Vibrant's native messaging program.  I like how much you can personalize the look of it.

Hide It Pro (Audio Manager) - So, uh, yeah.  This app is good if you're worried about if someone starts nosing around on your phone and finds a photo, audio file, video or app that you would rather them not find.  It hides itself as "Audio Manager" and actually works as a functional audio manager.  But when you open the app you just put your finger on the logo and hold it.  Then a password field pops up and once you enter it you can access those files/apps.  Now, if you have a very smart friend/child/nosey person they can fish around in the files and find your stash.  But it's not necessarily easy and can be time consuming, making sure it is easier to catch them.

iLightr Free - Cute "lighter".  I liked this one better than the Bic app.  You can change the lighter cases although I would love to see the new cases they've been promising for a long time now.

imo - I use this app both on my phone and on my desktop.  On your phone it is an app that lets you use all your messaging/chatting mediums all in one program.  You can use the following accounts on it: MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM/ICQ, Google Talk, My Space Chat, Skype, Facebook and Jabber.  I do believe that if you have one of the awesome 4G phones that has video capabilities you can video chat from imo as well.  Imo remembers your information so once you log into one you can log into all of your accounts. ^^On your computer imo is a browser based messenger program using all the mediums previously mentioned and definitely does video chat.  Browser based, meaning there's nothing to install on your desk/laptop^^

Mint.com Personal Finance - This app is tied to your Mint.com account and can even show a bank account and debt balance in a widget on your desktop.

Moon Phase / Moon Phase Pro - This app shows the different moon phases.  I went pro, again to show tribute to the programmer and also because pro has more features including, but not limited to a live wallpaper that works even on the ancient G1 (which I used to own).  I also love the little widget and the way it notifies you of new moons and full moons.

Movies - Look up movies, fiddle with your Netflix Queue, watch trailers.  This app does it all.  Now if I could only watch Netflix movies on it it would be perfect.... not that I'm bitter :|

My Tracks - This cool app tracks your movement whether walking, biking or in a car.  It can give you MPH/KPH and distance.  You can save and share your recorded treks.

Our Groceries - Honestly, I don't use it.  I prefer my list on the fridge.  But my cousin recommended it and if you want your grocery list on your phone this is awesome.  It's extra awesome if other people in your house use it too.  One person can add groceries to the list and it will show up on the other person's phone.  Also, they can update it on the computer while you're at the store.  Pretty cool app.

Pandora -  I think everyone has heard of this one too.  With very little ads you can pick music you like and Pandora will choose similar artists for you to try out.  My only problem is when it goes off on a tangent.  Sometimes it plays very annoying music or gets a little repetitious.

Papaya *games* - There are many different Papaya games. Presently I'm just playing Papaya Fish and Papaya Pet.  If you want to add me as a friend feel free.  My user name is Johanna1476  There are 4 pages of Papaya games.  I'm sure I'll try more as I get bored with other ones.

PDANet - This app tethers your phone to your laptop and then you can use your data plan to connect to the internet.  This is very handy if you need to upload files or do something else that your Android phone can't do. I have this but have yet to use it as I'm currently laptop free (not of my choosing).  I do, however, have a friend who has successfully tethered her laptop to her Droid with it.

Ringdroid - Cool app where you can make ringtones and alarms with your mp3 or wma files.

Screen Filter - I have sensitive eyes.  Bright lights hurt them a lot.  So when I'm being a goon and staying up late playing with my phone Screen Filter allows me to not disturb my husband's sleep and it gives my eyes a break.  With the icon on the desktop you can tap it and it will go directly to your selected brightness setting.  Definitely a necessity for me.

Sliceit - a fun game where you discect shapes with the goal of making equal sized pieces.

Smooth Calendar - I'm sure there's a free way to do this now but this is a paid app (not more than $2 if I remember right) that gives me a calendar widget on my phone.  My G1 came with a calendar widget but the Vibrant only has some weird one that is ginormous on my screen.  This one isn't super entertaining but def. serves it's purpose.

SoundHound - This is what I replaced Shazam with.  Shazam is charging now so I've been using SoundHound.  It can identify songs by singing or playing a song.  An extra cool thing about this program is it will give you album details, lyrics, links to tours (if there are any, obviously).

Super Ruler - I downloaded this one when I needed a ruler when knitting.  Obviously you can only do like 3" at a time, but it's still pretty cool :)

Trap! - I remember playing a version of this on our old Amiga computer and then later on Neo Pets.  You draw a line up or down on a screen with bouncing balls.  If the ball hits the line before it's finished you lose a guy.  Lose all your guys, you're dead.

TV.com - There are many clips and some full episodes of different shows.  Most of the shows are not new ones.  I do watch current episodes of the Late Late Show with Craig Killborn.  But there are old episodes of The Love Boat, Family Ties, the original Star Trek and many others.

Vignette - This is one I paid for.  I think, if I remember correctly, it was my most expensive app.  It gives you all sorts of effects, much like Hipstamatic (although I would like Android to come out with a version of Hipstamatic).  I have taken some truly beautiful photos using this app that make me look like I know what I'm doing.  I don't.

WeatherBug (Elite) - I used the free version for a long time but wanted a widget.  There were no other good widgets at the time so I got this.  I like it but I also have been told other people have great widgets that were free.  ^^Apparently there is a free widget you can get for it now.  I r smrt.^^

Where's My Droid - Ever lost your phone in the house?  Ever lost your phone in the house when the ringer was off?  Then this app is for you!  You set up a specific word (like "find phone") and then you can text yourself from the computer or have someone else text you and like magic it rings, regardless of whether or not your ringer is off.  ^^Hey, there's a donation version.  Donate your $1 and it helps the programmer pay for ramen to live off of while he/she programs.^^

WordFeud FREE -  This Scrabble like game is very fun.  Play against your friends!  It even lets you create multiple games with the same person.  You can also create random  boards where the squares like Double Word and Triple Letter are in weird places, sometimes in clusters (one friend got a word for more than 500 points!).  I rarely win but I love it anyway.  There is a paid version that is ad free but I have yet to buy it.  I know I talk about helping pay the programmer but the awful, constant pop-up ads make me NOT want to buy it.  Like they're bullying me.  Eh, I still might soon enough.^^I'm trying to up my edge in this came so I'm going to try THIS app I just found^^

Yelp - Yelp is a fantastic app that detects where you are and can find things like ATMs, restaurants, gas stations and whatever else you may be looking for all in relation to where you are.  You can also read reviews that users left and rate and review places yourself. (the link also has a video!)

There ya go.  I've used other apps, and probably liked them.  For whatever reason I got bored with them and decided to uninstall.

Stay tuned and I'll go over some of my favorite Live Wallpapers.

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