Android Apps Review

>> Saturday, November 07, 2009

T-Mobile G1 Google AndroidImage by netzkobold via Flickr

Here's a quick run-down Android applications I've tried and mostly use right now. After the name of each app, I've rated each one from 1-5, described what each does, and usually given an opinion of the app.

1 = Nice, but I could uninstall
2 = I've used it a couple of times
3 = I quite like it, but it might not be truly USEFUL
4 = Great value in this!
5 = Install it now.

Updates as of Jan 2010 are in bold

  • ACV (4) (now 3; I haven't used it as much and it's often slow due to size of comic images) Android Comics Viewer, for reading CBR/CBZ files. If you know what these files are, install this program.
  • PrinterShare (1) Print from your Android phone, from anywhere. Nice, but haven't really used it.
  • TouchPal (5) Alternative keyboard. Awesome. (sadly unavailable AFAIK)
  • Books WordPlayer (3) Browse & install free books. Nice, but to install your own files from SD must install some other file browser.
  • Qik (5) Stream and record video LIVE to the internet. A must. (I still love this)
  • ASTRO File Manager (5) The best file manager - also includes a task killer and more.
  • Barcode Scanner (5) reads barcodes, including QR codes
  • King Ring Reward Cards (2) is supposed to be able to replace all the plastic reward cards from coffee shops, etc. Haven't gotten it to work so much. (Now used more just to read the number back to the clerk; it just doesn't scan!)
  • (4) Stream channels of music, like Pandora
  • Foursquare (3) (Now 4 with potential for 5) Social location-based game and recommendation system. It's cool.
  • NewsRob (5) Auto-syncs with Google Reader. Does not do Starred items well.
  • Greed (Lite) (4) Reads Google Reader feeds - no auto-sync, but does Starred items.
  • Voice Recorder (4) Record voice notes and share them.
  • Meebo IM (2) Hooks into all the major chat networks, including Facebook chat (I won't uninstall this, since it's nice to have)
  • Babbler (5) $ Facebook app. The official FB app (free) might be good enough now, but I'd already bought this. It's cheap and awesome. (This is still awesome, but I haven't checked the official FB app in a while...)
  • Twidroid (5) Twitter app. Awesome. There's a $ version that has more features, but... I don't notice anything missing from the free version. (I have since bought the full version for multiple Twitter account handling)
  • Locale (5) Changes settings on your phone based on time and GPS location. (Sometimes I think that this causes slowdown on the phone, sometimes I don't think that. still loving it, though.)
  • Locale Shortcut Plugin - allows Locale to launch apps as a result of time/location change (I use this to auto-launch the Weather app in the morning! hehe)
  • Contact Owner (5) Shows your contact info on the lock screen. (crucial)
  • OI Safe (4) (now 3; I prefer KeePass and DropBox on a PC to this) A password safe with encryption. Free, but doesn't sync to any desktop version. (Those cost $30.)
  • Pixelpipe Post & Upload (2) (I have to try this again since I got an email saying auto-uploading has been added...)Easy-share of files (audio, video, text, etc.) I like iTook better.
  • iTookThisOnMyPhone (5) AUTO-uploads photos (or videos, if you like) that you take to a location you specify. (not sure if it's my phone, but ever since upgrading to Android 1.6, it doesn't work as well)
  • The Weather Channel (5) Weather. Duh. Really hard to decide between this & WeatherBug.
  • Robotic Guitarist (3) Lots of fun. Try it, if you like or play guitar (still on my phone - still a fun diversion)
  • Google Voice (5) If you have a Google Voice account, install this.
  • Google Listen (5) Podcast app. Free and great.
  • DoggCatcher (5) $ Good, but uninstalled; Google Listen became better
  • Retro Clock Widget (4) I use this instead of the default desktop clock widget mostly because touching the widget brings your right to the alarm settings page. (I will probably never uninstall this)
  • ShopSavvy (4) Instantly search for better prices for any product with a barcode. Great for comparison-shopping in a brick-n-mortar store.
  • OpenTable (2) Make dinner reservations with your phone. Nice, I've used it.
  • CadreBible LE (5) The Bible, best one I've found for Android.
  • DailyStrip (3) Comics reader, shows mostly mainstream comics (has THE MOST comics now)
  • Katawa! (3) Comics reader, shows mostly alternatives.
  • KeepScreen (3) Lock your screen ON when certain apps are running.
  • White Noise Lite (5) Soothing Sound generator (with an auto-shutoff timer)
  • Buddy Runner (5) Records your jogging/running via GPS. I like the results of this better than Google Tracks
  • Google MyTracks (5) Records your GPS activities; jogging, running, cycling, skating, whatever. If you compare with Buddy Runner, you'll see it's missing some really convenient features plus front-end niceties. (BuddyRunner IS still better, but I still have both)
  • Places Directory (or Sherpa or Aloqa) (5) I like Places Directory and Aloqa the best, but they're all similar. Shows what's near you, separated in categories.
  • Astrid Task/Todo List (5) syncs with RememberTheMilk (which then can plug into your Gmail page!) and is a GREAT task manager. (Yeah, still loving this, esp. since embedding RememberTheMilk into my Gmail page)
  • My Maps Editor (Google Maps) (5) Views and edits your saved Google Maps
  • auduaReader (5) Book reader. Really simple interface but if you have your own book files in TXT (and perhaps epub) format, this is the best reader for it.
  • Mobile Defense (5) Remote tracking and control of your phone, if you lose it.
  • FlashCup (5) Just a flashlight. SOoooo nice. (Now 4; see Color Flashlight)
  • Color Flashlight (5) Better than FlashCup
  • Rings Extended (4) Lets you use any audio file as a ringtone/alarm/etc.

  • Friction Mobile (4) action puzzler. won't give it up.
  • WordUp (4) like Boggle
  • Abduction! (4) Awesome. Cow bouncing, uses accelerometer.
  • Touch! 4Kids (4) This is for toddler-age kids, keeps 'em busy for about 10 minutes.
  • Zebra Paint (4) For 5-8 year olds, easy coloring book app.
  • SpecTrek Light (?) A GPS/ augmented reality game. Haven't tried it yet. (Tried it, and it's fun, but would be MUCH better if I bought the full version, I can tell.)

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