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      My Favorite Android Apps

      Tuesday, August 17, 2010

      Wow.  It's been a pretty busy summer.  If I wasn't traveling, I was helping Susan move here or taking classes for law school.  With that, the only "theological updating" I've been able to do has been confined to about 140 characters.  So to ease my way back into the world of blogging and Youtube video making, I thought I'd just share with you some of my favorite apps on the Android platform that have helped make my life easier this summer.  Hopefully this will be beneficial to someone.  The best way to find all these apps is to go into the Android Market and type the titles in.

      1.  FlightTrack
      This app has made my life so much easier when it comes to airline travel.  You mail a site called "Trip-It" your airline itinerary, then FlightTrack keeps up with all your flights, gates, arrival times, etc. in real time.  What this means is you don't have to fumble for sheets of paper or search the board for gate changes ever again.  As soon as I land somewhere on a connecting flight, I can bring up on my phone the next gate and see if it changed from takeoff before I even leave the airplane itself.  It's saved me a lot of time (especially in Atlanta where I have like 45 min sometimes to make it from one side of that zoo to the other).  It runs about $5.00 in the store and $5.00 for the premium service.

      2.  Drudge Easy
      If you read the Drudge Report often, this app is for you.  It's light and just gives you the articles without much else.  It's free.

      3.  Awesome Drop
      This app is like a usb cable for transferring files without a usb cable.  You go to a url they give you, type in the code in your phone, then drag the files that you want to transfer to your phone from your desktop to the browser.  It's pretty quick considering that it's done on 3g.  I've done this before where I start to transfer files and leave the house while the files are still transferring.  I can take the phone with me and still transfer files!  Since this is web based, you can do this from any computer you want without installing anything to the computer itself.  Pretty convenient.  It's free, too.

      4.  PDANet
      This is an app that allows your computer to get wireless internet anywhere you have cell phone service.  It basically makes your phone a wireless router.  The speeds are pretty good, too.  When I got it, it went for about $18, but it may be back to around $25 now.  Maybe a little much for an app, but the benefit outweighs the expense, in my opinion.  It's a one-time fee, too, with free upgrades.

      5.  USA Today
      This app pretty much eliminated my need to ever purchase the newspaper.  It has all the articles that I'm interested in and is updated pretty regularly.  It's a freebie, too.

      6.  Movies
      This app is basically a showtime lister with Rotten Tomatoes ratings built in.  It helps when you're out with your gal and decide you want to see a movie but aren't near a computer.  It's free.

      7.  Kindle
      Although I prefer to read my books on the real Kindle, this little app comes in very handy when you're at the doctor, at the post office, or... say... in line to ride the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.  It even syncs with your real Kindle so you don't lose your place if you read ahead.  It will update your bookmark accordingly.  It's a great app, and it's free.

      8.  TweetDeck
      This is one app I was hesitant to put up because it's still in beta, but even the beta version is very well done and does almost all I need it to.  This keeps up with your Facebook and Twitter updates.  It also keeps up with everyone else's, too.  The only way to get this one, though, is to register for the beta testing on Tweetdeck.com.  It's worth it, though.  It's free.

      9.  Google Voice
      If you haven't tried Google Voice yet, go ahead and take the plunge.  It's a great service given by Google that allows for free visual voicemail (you don't have to listen to every message to get to the one you want to hear; they're all listed there, and you can select which one you want).  It also allows for free texting by giving you a number that's dedicated to you.  From this number, someone has the ability to call it and ring multiple lines including your cell, home, office, etc. at once.  That way they're sure not to miss you (which may be a turn off for some :) ).  International rates are next to nothing on this, as well.  It's $0.02 a minute to call France. Yeah. Cheap.  It's a free app, too, but you have to join the service which is free as well.

      10.  Google Listen
      This is a great app that keeps up with all your podcasts.  It also lists them in Google Reader automatically so you can listen to them straight from your browser on your desktop.  It's a freebie!

      11.  GMail Unread Count
      This is more of a widget than an app, but it is pretty much essential in my book.  It's a widget that tells you how many unread emails you have in GMail.  It fits on your homescreen quite nicely.  There are several, but I recommend the one by Alexander Bloom.  It works the best from all the ones I've tried.  It's free.

      Well, that's it for now.  There are a few others that I may include later in an update, but if you have these, I think your Android life will get that much better.  Take care everyone, and thanks for your patience.



      Sir Brass said...

      Are you using the DX, Dinc, or the original Droid?

      I've got the X and find it absolutely awesome. My fav apps are nowhere near the same, but many of them serve the same kind of functions, though since I don't fly that often any more I don't have a need for flight tracker.

      But I've got a good bluetooth file transfer app, though. Excellent piece of equipment. I do like the idea of transfering files over 3g, though. I'll have to give that app a look-see.


      Lane Chaplin said...

      @SirBrass: I'm using the Droid 1 2.2.

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