(I suggest you trust me, start your favorite Barcode App and scan away at these)
This selection might change in the next couple of months, as new and better apps become available in the Android Market, system updates become available, etc. All of these are free, so after the word “Best” there should be a big fat “Free”. Enjoy!
Best Workout App: CardioTrainer
This is your best bud for everything from running, cycling (at the gym or on the track), weight lifting and yoga. It records your time or you can manually input your workout and share it on Facebook. Keeps track of your calories burned, and while running, tracks your route via GPS, tells you your current time and miles/km traversed over the music your’re playing, which keeps you motivated. You can set your plan, and compare your results with people around the world. I’ve been using it for two months now, and i’ve actually improved my running. From 15 minutes I used to do at the track, I’m now doing 25mins/2.5 miles three times a week (if I’m not too busy with work)
Best Messaging Substitute: Handcent SMS
This fully customizable messaging app comes with three themes for your conversation windows, embeds pictures, and includes popups, from which you can reply, insert a quick message, or speech-to-text while driving (only in English, unfortunately. You can add a background picture, and access all the contact’s options directly from the main screen while clicking on a contact pic (call, message, email, navigation, etc)
Best Viral/Meme Feed Reader: BuzzFeed
Only for those with a lot of time on their hands and a dark sense of humor. Feeds off BuzzFeed.com
Best Movies App: Movies by Flixster
Get reviews from RottenTomatoes BEEEFOOREEE you head out and waste all your money on, say, Eclipse. Watch trailers, see your friends reviews (via Facebook) and get Showtimes. IMDB launched their app recenntly, I daresay a bit late.
Best Your-Music App: MixZing Media Player
I personally like music on my phone and hate the built-in app for music, as it doesn’t let you add album art, unless it’s something you downloaded off AmazonMP3 (seriously…) It has several Widget sizes and the full paid version (which I’m seriously considering) has a full LockScreen Widget you can try out on your first couple of hours. If you’re into Stations, I suggest also downloading Pandora Radio.
Best Artsy-Fartsy Photo App: FXCamera
Includes “Toy Camera” mode, which is sort of a Helga type camera, Polaroid, FishEye. Pics come out pretty cool, gives them a vintage look. Unleash the hipster in you.
Best Geek News App: Engadget
For Techies, everything from the world of smartphones, computers and controversial hardware. Includes audio/video podcasts. Oh, and sexy-smooth transitions.
Best eBook App: Aldiko Kindle for Android
The truth is Aldiko is a very good and efficient app, but with a poor library and store. It’s good for downloading free classics, but you can’t just search for anything specific. That’s where Amazon’s huge selection of books (600,000+) comes in. Buying books is super easy if you have your payment options set-up at the Amazon site. And it will sync to all your devices with Kindle (Mac, PC, Ipod Touch, iPhone, REAL Kindle). It doesn’t have the brightness shortcut Aldiko does while reading, but I guess you can live with that. It has a boomark function and highlighter, and you can change your page from white, sepia and black, depending on your room lighting/eye comfort.
For everything else: I turn to AndroidTapp, and basically search and read the reviews. Which is where I took all the pics from (there goes your due credit) I’ll be posting a Game Review soon (Free of course)
I’ve still to find a good Tumblr app. Dear Tumblr, please make a Tumblr App, like you did with iPhone. It really isn’t that difficult.
First things first, go to the Android Market on your phone and download Barcode Scanner. It scans barcodes from books and other products at the supermarket or other stores so you can check if there’s a better price on the Internet. It’l do a Google Search and compare prices. Trust me I almost bought a $20 book at Border’s, found it on Amazon at $11. You can also scan Qr codes (Those weird square barcodes with a lot of black smaller squares). A lot of apps have their own Qr code, so if you’re interested in any of them you can scan them right from here.
Try scanning this one for example.
For Twitter: Seesmic for Android
At least for me it’s the best ad-free, don’t-pay-a-penny app for Android. It looks clean, it does the job, it has all the functions of the twitter page, plus you can choose how to RT your posts (to appear on your friends’ timelines, “via-” or
“-said” etc). Plus, it supports multiple accounts, which is a feature you can only get in “plus” versions of most Twitter Apps.
For Facebook: Bloo
This is the only native Facebook app so far that has caught my attention (native meaning it’s not web-based) Do everything you normally do on facebook except for facebook chat, friend requests and the inbox looks a little weird, but that’s Facebook’s fault. Oh, and it’s free. You can download Facebook for Android and compare.
For eBooks: Aldiko
This free eBook reader (which reminds me a lot of the iPad App and all the controversy it created) links you to thousands of free classic. The ePub format lets you download on your own on PC and then import the book to your device.
UPADATE: Yeah, so WordPress crashed while publishing this, so after 6 more apps reviewed by yours truly, I lost everything after this one. HUGE round of applause.
The transition from my Sprint Blackberry Curve 8330 to the HTC Hero has been absolutely painless. I recently powered my old Blackberry and it just felt like this old fat brick, and I immediately had a flashback of my very first Game Boy.
The only thing I can honestly say I miss about the BB is of course, having a real keyboard (I have clumsy fingers, and I even though I’m getting used to the touchscreen I still have a long way to go.) The other would be the ability to uninstall any application I want. Sprint gives you a smartphone with Sprint TV, some Nascar and NFL crap, Footprints (useless in PR) HTC Peep (for Twitter) and since I updated from “Cupcake” to “Eclair”, Twitter for Android. I use Seesmic for Android, so it seems ridiculous for me to have three twitter clients on my phone.
After the release of “Eclair”, the new Android OS, I had to jump in on the action also. I was scared because it wasn’t a huge release, so I didn’t know if it was official. Backing up my contacts was a breeze, since they’re synced with Google. After the update my contacts were there waiting for me. Unfortunately, my apps weren’t and the Market has no History of your downloads after updating. But I soon recognized what I needed, since the apps I had were so important. Downloading is way easier on an Android. By the time it takes to open and load BB App World, you can finish downloading two apps simultaneously.
I am very happy with the switch I must say. Next: Very Necessary and Cool Apps
I think the only perk of working and being out of school so far has been being able to request vacation time. I chose this week and a week in August, but will not be traveling. I always thought of vacations as a time to get away, but it seems that can only be achieved by the wealthy few, or by those who know how to save enough for a trip. Last year by this time, I was buying my tickets to NYC and I was so excited for my information session at the NYU Gallatin School. Fast forward a couple of months, and zoom in on me, with a borrowed laptop sitting at Starbucks writing my admissions essay a day before the deadline, then cut to me opening the rejection letter the day after my birthday.
And cut to today, and me reminiscing.
I can’t lie, I’m happy. I have a wonderful partner (4 months together on June 5) who loves absolutely everything about me, who trusts me, who shares the same interests as me and sees the world with my same eyes. I have a JOB, which is a privilege, considering the 17+% of unemployed in PR. I have a roof over my head even though I sometimes can’t buy groceries after paying the rent.
But things could be better. In my Utopian world I have a full-time job, I don’t have a roommate (I live with my partner in a humble one-bedroom apartment with small balcony) and today I’d be arriving at NYC or SanFran, or San Diego, calling my friends and telling them to meet me at 8pm after I check-in at the hotel.
But I’m stuck here for this week, and it’s raining and it just sucks. I look at the mosaic I’m making and I just get so frustrated that I don’t work on it (it’s been sitting there at 15% for three weeks). I try picking up a book and then start thinking of all the books I need to read and haven’t and drop the book again. I try writing but my fear of being passé makes me rip the page off. I used to have photography but I don’t know how to save for a camera due to my lack of making budget-friendly purchases. Working out has been my only outlet to drive my attention away from all these things and from the fact that I’m too scared to start looking for graduate schools again.
I hope this week brings me the peace I need to make decisions, to not be afraid of writing and making art. I have a wonderful partner and amazing friends that believe 100% in me, I just need to join them.
Discovered it through Pandora Radio, while listening to Phoenix Radio. Loving it so far. Oh yeah, I know I have not been updating, I’ve been on a personal journey of finding myself….through not doing anything at all and basically working out, working at the mall and spending almost all my time with the boyfriend. But updates on everything will surely come, soooooooooooooooooon.
After much planning, researching and overcoming cold-feet I have finally changed from my old Blackberry Curve 8330 from Sprint to the shiny and Touchscreen Android powered HTC Hero. (See also: “13 days and counting” ) After a day or so of hands-on battery-draining testing each and every corner of the phone, I must say I’m getting used to it. Sure there’s no touchscreen like the iPhone/iPod’s (and now iPad’s) but this Android’s screen is pretty intuitive. I’m loving how I get feedback when I type (a small vibration is felt after typing a character, can be disabled at any time), how much faster I can look for apps in the Android Market, install them and run them. Blackberry App World would take forever just to load.
I’m really excited to see how this device can make my life easier. I’ve already downloaded a barcode scanner that helped me decide not to buy an overpriced book at Border’s even after a Rewards Coupon I had, emails load much more faster than on the Blackberry and the browser is a whole other experience. I even have an eReader very similar to that of iPad’s actually, and may start reading books again, since I’m gonna be having my phone with me at all times.
One thing I will miss though: BBM. Blackberry Messenger was the fastest and easiest way I had to get in touch with my boyfriend and my closest friends, it had groups support, you could add friends scanning a barcode, etc.
But since the Barcode Scanner can scan a normal barcode and QR code and link you directly to Google for a product search, isn’t it about time a developer came up with something similar for Android users?
I will have my list of the quintessential list of Android Apps and several others as the months go by…. as soon as I figure out how to take my own screenshots and I finish testing EVERYTHING.
I know I haven’t updated the blog in a while. In the meantime, here’s this week’s postsecret pics.
Take a bus all the way down to Mayaguez and then Cabo Rojo, stay at a Guest House, come back the following evening and leave the cellphone at home. Budget: Only 40 bucks.