Since the most popular post on this blog ever is the original “These Apps Own Bones on Android Phones“; I thought I’d do an update type post. I’ve had my phone for about a year now, and I’ve both added and gotten rid of some apps. Hopefully you’ll enjoy my recommendations and maybe add some of your own!
First, the casualties from the original post. I no longer use:
- Car Home was novel but there’s really no use for it as I only use my phone for 1 of 2 things in the car- music or GPS
- doubleTwist with AirSync has been totally replaced by the kickass Google Music (more on that later in the post)
There are quite a few very underused apps still hanging on too, such as HBO GO, that I just feel I need to have installed for whatever reason. The apps I’ve added in the past year include:
Battle.Net Mobile Authenticator and Star Wars: The Old Republic Mobile Security Key Both of these applications serve the same purpose, which is essentially to upgrade my logins to Battle.Net and TOR with two-factor protection. The apps are very straightforward, once you’ve entered your account info and synced your clock with the server, when you go to log in you will be prompted not only for a password, but for a key code that appears on your phone. This means that no one can use the account without having the phone, which is also locked, so it’s essentially 3-factor ID Both companies provide inexpensive dongles that serve the same purpose, but hey, the app is free!
CardioTrainer is a cool app that acts like a pedometer on steroids. With different settings for different types of exercise and GPS tracking, you can always get a great readout on your workout. The program also keeps a history of when and how much you’ve worked out, calculates calorie loss, and features integration with Twitter and Facebook so that you can post your workouts publicly and keep yourself honest. Not sure why I’d ever need to upgrade to the paid version, but I may sling these guys a few bux anyway, just because I love their app. I’m afraid to turn it on at Disneyland because I think the constant GPS pinging would eat the battery but I’ll give it a shot one of these days. I really want to know how many miles it is to walk around there all day!
Currents is on my phone because I am sort of evaluating it for job-related things, but I can’t figure it out. It’s a lot like an RSS feed reader but with a more graphical and easy to use layout- maybe it looks better on a tablet? Darn thing never updates in the background, and when I manually update the little progress wheel just spins and spins. Maybe I don’t need this after all!
Cut the Rope was I think supposed to be the next Angry Birds, but I don’t see it taking off the same way. You actually have to think quite a bit starting with the second tier of puzzles, which doesn’t always suit a quick 2 minute break too well. To be fair, I haven’t really given this one a fair shake at all; I mean, I liked the demo enough to buy it! I’ll have to take a more determined shot at it some time soon.
Yahoo! Fantasy Football 2011 and Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball 2011 are cool programs that let you run your entire fantasy enterprise from the palm of your hand. I just use them to check realtime stats while I’m in line for the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland
Foursquare is a fun app, though I was asked by a buddy “why do you do that? why do you check in?” The short answer is “for the deals”, the long answer is that I wanted a program to keep me honest about how much fast food I eat, so I got Foursquare and started checking in religiously. Nowadays, I use it to look for cheap lunch check-in deals, read recommendations for what to eat at restaurants I haven’t eaten in before, stalk my friends (seriously! it’s fun) and lifestream Disneyland trips to Facebook and Twitter. There’s something that’s just…fun about it, without needing to be productive or justified. Try it out! The people I know that give it a shot love it. Careful, though, if you opt in to mayorships people will be able to see details about your most checked into categories and individual places. Not a fan of that part; you won’t see me with any mayorships.
FruitNinja Free is ALMOST as fun as Angry Birds, with the added benefit that it’s probably even easier for your 4 year old to whoop your butt at it. I’ve also seen this one full size on big HDTV’s at Dave and Buster’s, but the handheld version is just a lot of fun.
GoToMeeting is on my phone because I know one day it’s going to save my ass. All the functionality of GoToMeeting, even if I’m in the middle of a traffic jam (as long as I have cell or wifi reception)? Um…yes, please!
Lapse It Pro is a badass application that shoots and renders time-lapse videos. Check out this one of my wife doing our Christmas tree this year! Fun, fun stuff. I’m going to do one of my hour+ commute, soon.
Minecraft PE is the pocket version of the full-sized Minecraft game. I have to be honest, I have not even opened this up- it was ten cents to buy it one day around the holidays and I could not pass it up. Maybe next surgery
Google Music is probably my favorite app of 2012. You upload all of your music to the cloud by pointing the Google Music Manager at either your iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries, and then not only is it available online from any browser (awesome for getting around “no, we can’t let you have iTunes at work” restrictions), but it’s all available via streaming wi-fi any time you’re connected. You can also mark as much or as little of the music as you want to be available offline, depending on how much memory capacity your phone has. If you’re like me, and have just about 8 gigs of music you carry around with you, getting Google Music means you can go on a pocket diet and chuck the iPod. The player is not as nice or feature rich as the iPod (no live-updating Smart Playlists, only thumbs up or thumbs down instead of a 1-5 star rating on songs, etc.) and if you are using it on a G2 as I am, you’d better have a good external amp to plug into because it’s just not that loud. Other than that, I think Google Music absolutely rocks (heh).
What else is good? Any apps you really like? Put ‘em here and I’ll shout out to you with a link. Thanks!