|Android capsule review show
||[Jun. 17th, 2010|10:18 pm]
I just wanted to go over the android apps that I have found useful lately.
I'm still a huge fan of Settings Profiles for managing my phone's behavior in different scenarios. I highly recommend it. It has more uses than it first appears to, but I plan to write more about that later.
Battery Detective is a cool little service that keeps track of how fast the battery discharges, when the signal is weak, and the phone's temperature. It has been very useful in tracking down what processes are taking up battery or keeping the phone awake just by making me aware of when the phone isn't behaving well. Oh, it also warns when the awake time is too large a percentage of the total uptime. That's probably the most useful, since some HTC service (flickr integration?) prevents the phone from ever sleeping which really eats the battery.
Now that I have things tweaked out, I can usually get a full day of normal use without getting below 30% battery, which is good. Of course, the more you do, the less time you get...
Listen from Google is a decent podcast program, the only major flaw is that it uses Google Reader to keep track of feeds, which sometimes means I mark items as "read" when I'm reading my feeds and then they don't appear as new things to listen to in Listen. I find that design decision a bit weird.
I'm still using Mileage for tracking my gas mileage. It's not great. I wish the options for entering data were a little more flexible... the program I had for Palm, pFuel, was better in that respect. But, it's functional. For the past 9 months or so, I have averaged 35.8mpg.
We're still using Our Groceries for a grocery list. It's simple and functional and the multi-phone synchronization is handy. It would be nice if it could track prices, though.
KeePassDroid keeps my life sane, since I need to keep track of about 50 different usernames and passwords. Without that, I wouldn't be able to use passwords with any real complexity or variation.
Astrid is pretty awesome for keeping a todo list, although I do hope they implement a couple of suggested changes for the widget. I need to have widgets that are tied to specific tags, not just all the tasks. I've begun using this to keep my life together. It's a little more efficient for me than trying to use email reminders to myself or using a full fledged calender entry to create a simple reminder.
I've been using Swift as a twitter client lately. It seems to have a weird bug about going back to the last-last place I was in the timeline. I assume that is due to an idiosyncrasy of the way I am using it. Also, the way that things have to be saved-then-shared is both counterintuitive and awkward since I usually just want to email one particular message to someone.
I'm still using Apps Organizer to do bulk organization of things. It performs much more smoothly on the Incredible, so it's not too bad.
I've been using fring a tiny bit when I need to contact someone on ICQ/AIM. It's not terrible, although it needs a couple of features, like groups, to be truly useful for me. It is not a replacement for GTalk for me right now.
I use the obvious stuff, like GTalk, GVoice, Gmail, Google Maps, and the default browser.
I'm still using MixZing for most of my music listening needs, since I like the way it creates suggestions. I also lean on Pandora a bit, although listening to music just doesn't play a big role in my life in general right now.
I have started using AudioManager Console because it has a handy widget that shows the state of all the different volume values: Alarm, Media, Alerts, Ringer, System, and Voice. This helps a lot with troubleshooting Settings Profiles rules.
I've also started using 3G Watchdog which has a widget that tracks data usage every month. This is more out of curiosity than anything else. I don't expect to hit the "unlimited" plan limit (supposedly 5GB), but it's nice to know how much I am using.
In a more esoteric vein, I use BGG Mobile because it makes it easy to record games played on BGG. I also sometimes use BoardGameGeek because it has some features that BGG Mobile lacks. I really wish either was improved, though. They both have plenty of room to grow but they don't seem to get much development love.
Speaking of which, I haven't had a lot of time lately to work on my app, but I did get around to rewriting the settings activity, which is good. It's not really additional features, though, just reworking what was already there to be easier to expand. I need to spend a bit more time and finish up some additional tasks. I have gotten feedback from about half a dozen users with suggestions and comments. The most heartwarming was the one who said that she was finally able to ditch her iPhone and get an android phone because of my app.
To date, I have 579 downloads of which 255 are "active". That's way more than I ever expected.
Oh, one last thing... or two. First of all, I'm currently using Swype since the beta was opened again recently. If you have an android phone you should go there now and check it out. I had also been using Shapewriter which is similar, but not quite as polished.