Thursday, December 24, 2009


There are a few applications for the Android phone that I consider to be essential in order to have the functionality that I expect from a smart phone (from the perspective of an ex-iPhone user), and there are a bunch of apps that really add to the utility and experience.
First, the essentials:
  1. Bible. This app is free, and has every version of the Bible that you could want. It requires a network connection, but it's pretty zippy. For my off-line Bible needs, I also have a copy of the free OliveTree Bible app, and have purchased several Bible translations for it.
  2. Notes. This simple app lets me write stuff down. Not exciting, but I gotta have it.
  3. SMS Popup. By default, the Droid barely lets you know that you got a text message. Installing this app lets me configure the device to wake up the screen and display the contents of a text message when it comes in. It's super configurable, down to the color of the LED and how fast it blinks! You can also set it up to do different things depending on who texts you.
  4. Touch Timer. I gotta be able to set a timer for baking my flour-less chocolate cake, or roasting coffee. This is the app that let's me time stuff.
  5. SplashID Password Manager. When you have a couple-hundred different passwords like I do, it's essential to have a secure place to store them. I can't say enough good things about this app, and the people at SplashData. I had the iPhone version of this application, and the desktop companion. They gave me the desktop version for Android, and helped me easily migrate all my passwords from one version to the other, then wirelessly sync all my passwords to my new Droid!LinkLink
Ok, so those get me able to do mundane stuff, what about the things that really take it to the next level? Most of these aren't available for the iPhone, and they're the stuff that makes people say "wow."
  1. Ringdroid. Making your own ringtones from any part of any song on your device is something that would have been so nice to have on the iPhone, but Apple can't make money off of that. On Android, it's free and easy!
  2. WikiMobile. A handy application to easily access the source of truthiness on the internet - Wikipedia.
  3. Google Voice. Get my voicemails automatically transcribed and sent to me by text message?!? Really?!? Oh yes, and so much more. Ring multiple phones at once; send some callers direct to voicemail. . .
  4. Droid48. Every geek needs to have an RPN calculator. Apparently, this developer also has a C64 emmulator, but even I'm not THAT geeky.
  5. ShopSavvy. Use the camera on the phone to scan a product bar code, and then automatically look up prices at on-line stores and local stores.
  6. Easy Envelope Budget. Synchronized virtual envelopes to keep our spending in check. If you know me, then you know that I'm geeky about budgeting and think it's really really important for a lot of reasons. This app makes it super easy to keep track of.
  7. Scoreboard. Another app from our friends at Google, this one lets you specify your favorite sports teams and aut0matically receive updates when they score. Being a Lions fan though, I don't expect to get many notifications from this one.
  8. Google Goggles. Last, but not least, this cool new app lets you take a picture of something, and it will do a Google search on it. Curious about a painting? Take a picture, and find out who the artist was. It's pretty amazing.
So those are the apps that I have on my Android phone. There are thousands more out there, and more coming every day. I'm trying to limit myself to ones that I'll actually use so that I don't fill up the phone with junk.

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