Mamma's Little Helpers: My 10 Can't-Live-Without Android Apps
I would be completely lost without my phone. I have had an Android phone since November 2008... Pretty much a month after it came out. I had a G1 for about 18 months before I upgraded to a MyTouch Slide in June (gotta have that physical keyboard!), so I have had a good amount of time to play around with different types of apps. A lot of times, I will download 3 or 4 apps for the same purpose, try them all out, and then uninstall the apps that I didn't end up using. These apps have earned their place in my life and in my heart... They may not be the best looking, or least buggy, or most feature-y, but I use most of these every day. So, in the order I think of them, here ya go!
Cardio Trainer. Love this app. I go for walks during my breaks at work, and this app—together with GPS—tracks my speed, path, and estimates calories burned. Recently, they added "calorie badges" that show the number of calories you burned in the last 7 days—it's really motivating to try to keep it up! Also, I had a problem last week with my saved tracks, and they got back to me the next business day and told me how to fix it! I am actually seriously considering buying the paid version of the app ($10, yeeks!) to get the interval training and better calorie-burning estimates.
Calorie Counter. Yes, yes, I've already gone on about this in the Weight Loss Helpers post... But it's such a fantastic app! I can scan barcodes off packages, and they even have Western Family brands in there! It's not as fast as I like, but since I chose not to update past v 1.12 (they took away WW points in 1.13) I won't see any improvements... So I deal with it. This app links with a fatsecret.com account, and in my research fatsecret had the best database of foods out there, and an awesomely easy interface. Love it!
HeartRate. This was essential in helped me get into my walking groove. Yeah, I know how fast I'm walking, but does that count as medium intensity or high intensity (for calculating WW activity points)? HeartRate is simple in that you can just tap the heart each time you feel your pulse, and after a few seconds it tells you what your heart rate is. Unfortunately, I think sportstrackerlive took it out of the market, because I can't find it... but it looks like Heart Rate Monitor (by Peter Dolan, not FuzzyMonkey) does about the same thing... It just doesn't record the results or anything. If you really want this one, email me and I'll try to figure out how to get the apk to you.
OI Shopping List. I tried a bunch of different list-making apps before I settled on this one. The UI is clean and intuitive, and I use the thing for everything! (I love lists so much... I think it's an addiction) Currently I have lists for shopping, questions for the pediatrician, things to look up online, preparing for teaching my Sunday School class, blog post ideas, a guest list for Monkey's birthday party (whoops, that was 3 weeks ago, I guess I should get rid of that one...), and things I need for my cake class. See? Addictive!
Banking App. I'm not pulling out any specific bank app, because I'm sure that most of them are pretty similar. I adore online banking, and I adore being able to easily online bank from my phone. Check my checking account balance from the parking lot, and then pay my utility and insurance bills as I'm wandering around Target? Yes please!
Handcent. Looooove this SMS replacer. The interface is more customizable than the built in "Messaging" program, but here's where it wins for me: the popup. It's stinkin awesome! When I get a text message, instead of having to pull down the notification bar, click on the received message, wait for Messaging to load... It pops up with a box where I can read the whole message, and then reply to it right there! I love it...
DoubleTwist. This app really only has one thing fantastic about it... The desktop interface! You install the DoubleTwist program on your computer, and it will convert your iTunes playlists into ones that are usable by their mobile player. The mobile player itself is average, but hey, iTunes integration!
BatteryDiff. Technically a widget, but I look at it at least a couple times a day. It's just a little 1x1 widget that tells you the percentage of battery left, and a guesstimate of how long you have left. Also, if you have it plugged in, it will tell you how long until the battery is fully charged. If you click, it will tell you the percentage of battery over a certain amount of time... I've never sat down to see if it's right or not, so apparently I don't care too much.
Google Reader Client. OK. This one isn't fantastic. I wouldn't even rate it 5 stars... But it adds functionality that I wouldn't have otherwise, and I haven't found a Google Reader app that's better. It has a widget that I added, and it lists the number of unread posts by folder that I have them in—and it keeps relatively current, too. The only problems I have with it is that the browser interface can be pretty slow, and sometimes it displays images too small for me to read. Other than that (and for text-only feeds) it's a nifty little tool!
Facebook for Android. I really debated including this one on the list. It's gotten a lot better in the last several months (since Mark Zuckerberg got an Android phone—I heard) but it's still not 100% of what I want it to be... It's great for posting pictures and statuses (FANTASTIC for posting pictures, actually) and OK for reading the live feed, but links to other sites don't always work, the comment count isn't always current, and notifications aren't always current. It still has a ways to go, but it's the best one I've found and I am somewhat (read: very) addicted to Facebook.
Do you have any apps that you couldn't live without? Let me know in the comments!