27 December 2009

My Android Apps - Year in Review

I've had my G1 for just over 1 year now (13 Dec 08) and have seen the Android Market develop from an all free service into what it is now at over 20,000 applications. I thought I would put together a little review of all the apps I currently have on my phone along with a few that I've uninstalled. Finally, I tossed in a few that I haven't had a chance to use but that look promising.

Let me know if you have any others that are perhaps better choices that the ones I'm using now. Or maybe there's a killer app out there that I'm missing. Let me know.


Communication
PdaNet free edition - June Fabrics Technology
Status - Installed


This is essentially my internet connection at home right now. The newest 2.15 version is a big improvement over its predecessors. Although, it still is a bit buggy on my phone and has crashed a few times both on the phone and on the PC. I hope this one will just improve over time and become more stable with another release or two.


Skype Lite Beta - Skype
Status - Uninstalled


This is the biggest disappointment out of any app I've tried yet. Quite surprising from a large company like Skype. The program never stays logged in, doesn't offer true Skype use as you would expect. (It’s not free as it uses up your local minutes to make calls)

I've ended up buying a dedicated Skype mobile phone with 3 and that is working very well.


Google Voice - Google Inc.
Status - Uninstalled


I managed to install this on my phone when I was in the States back in August. I tried it out whilst there and it seemed to work quite well. I suspect if I were over there I would be using it and have it still installed.


Phonalyzr - Martin Drashkov
Status - Uninstalled


I remember this being one of the first apps I installed back in December last year. It provides some interesting data into your phone usage and provides it in a graphically appealing way. Don't remember if there was an export option but that would be an ideal option.


Finance
Finance - Google Inc.
Status - Uninstalled


A fantastic app that allows you to track your portfolio from your Google finance page. I've only uninstalled this as I never used it much but if it were something I needed it would surely be installed.


Health
CardioTrainer - WorkSmart Labs Inc.
Status - Installed


This is by far one of the best apps I've downloaded. They have really developed this over the year and added a lot of useful features. It's just over 3mb so it can be a bit heavy on the resources but it's a fantastic app that lets you track your movement during sports and also whilst in vehicles.


GoalHappy - Paul Bibby
Status - Installed


Great little program that lets you set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. It's quite new to the market only coming out the other week. I'll be looking forward to future developments and hopefully see it develop a bit more. It still needs to support landscape display and could use with a bit of graphic design to really make it stand out. Hopefully the developer will have some more time to develop this one.


Multimedia

imeem Mobile - imeem, inc
Status - Uninstalled


This is the first music app that I started using. It won't allow you to choose the exact track you want to listen to but streams music similar to the track or artist you first chose. I've since not reinstalled it but probably would if I needed some free streaming music.


Spotify - Spotify
Status - Uninstalled


If I wasn't a cheap skate I would be using this premium application. I use it all the time on my desktop but after finding out it needs a monthly subscription I uninstalled it. I've went many a year without paying for music and I think the trend will continue to live on.


News & Weather

TV-Guide UK (free) - Jersey Productions
Status - Installed


A well rounded app here for the basic stations you'll find on freeview. It has a reminder feature where you can set a timed alarm before your favourite shows come on. For the future, perhaps integration with a full featured website would be nice to allow for easier mass scheduling of reminders.


BBC News - Jim Blackler
Status - Installed


If you want to see the BBC news feed then this is the app for you. It allows viewing of all the news feeds that you would see on the website but in a faster way.


Productivity / Tools

AnySoftKeyboard - Menny Even Danan
Status - Installed


A couple weeks ago I decided to swap out all the keys on my laptop and configure them into a Dvorak keyboard. This app allowed me to add a softkeyboard onto my G1 as well so that I could keep the practice up. I still haven't mastered it yet, but I can see the massive potential of a Dvoark keyboard over a typical QWERTY one. I just wish I had started learning on a Dvorak from the beginning.


Any Cut - Jeff Hamilton
Status - Installed


Great program that's been on my phone since the beginning as well. It provides you with the ability to create shortcuts to directly dial or sms a person for example.


Download Crutch - ouroborus.org
Status - Installed


Vital app to allow you to download any file from the web on the android. By default you'll find that almost everything doesn't download properly, but this app does the trick!


G-Mon - C. Knuetter
Status - Uninstalled


A pretty powerful WarDriving app that constantly scans available networks and places them in into a csv or kml file for processing. It is able to display all access points including all those with the same SSID.

I've had it hang and not process a large kml file before and had to force close the app. I would continue to use this though despite the problem if I needed such a thing.


IcViewer for PDF,Word,PS - Derie Li
Status - Installed


This app will upload a file attachment and create a readable format for your G1. I've had some issues this this app with it hanging and then crashing from time to time. The file will need to just be re-opened and then it's viewable. Any better options out there?


mAnalytics - mugitek
Status - Installed


A very thin integration with your Google Analytics account. It will give you the basic stats of any of the accounts you have linked to your login. Hopefully further development will open up more stats that you can view in this app.


MountUSB - BK Mobility
 Status - Installed


Quick one touch key that will connect your phone as a removable drive on your PC. Certainly a necessity that I constantly use without fail.


NewsRob - Mario Kamp
 Status - Installed


This app integrates into your Google Reader account and lets you read your feeds in a bit easier way than using the Google Reader mobile website. It's a bit basic but does the trick.


Voice Recorder - Mamoru Tokashiki
 Status - Installed


Install the widget to your home screen and you have the perfect little button to start recording at a touch of a button.


White Noise Lite - TMSOFT
Status - Installed


A nice little app that I use to listen to the sound of the beach at night. It has a few other not so pleasant sounds as well but does exactly what I want it to with the beach sound. It takes me back to the evenings spent sleeping on the beaches in the Greek Islands.


Shopping

OI Shopping List - OpenIntents
Status - Uninstalled


From what I recall this is a pretty thinly featured shopping list app that will help create your shopping list. I'm sure there are some other full featured apps out there.

I recall seeing some that already have built in items where you don't need to type much. Also, sharing of the list with other people so that you can tick off items on the same list. Ideally an app that has a website with a full set of features would be ideal rather than just a dedicated android app. What is the best shopping list app out there?


ShopSavvy - Big in Japan, Inc.
Status - Uninstalled


All the talk on the street is that this is one of the best apps out there to compare an item you see in the store. I've not had much use for this as all my shopping is done online anyways but suspect this can be a great tool for anyone doing a lot of shopping in stores to find a good deal.


Pkt Auctions eBay - Bonfire Media, Inc
Status - Installed


If you trade or buy on eBay this is a must have app. The most recent update now includes messages as well. The app is coded to work from the eBay API so there's a lot of features this one can present to you.


Social

Foursquare - Joe LaPenna
Status - Installed


This has got to be one of the most talked about new sites out there right now. Even though I don't live near one of the 100 or so supported cities, I'm adding locations to my town frequently but it registers as the biggest city supported next door to me, Bristol. I think I would get more use out of it if I were back in London but I can see the potential for this to soon be in nearly every city.


Swift App for Twitter - Sebastian Delmont
Status - Installed


I've started using this app just recently in the last month or so. I like the looks of this one and seem to prefer it over Twitdroid. A new release was just made that included some useful additions like conversation following and img.ly support. It doesn't allow viewing of any lists you may have created yet or the option for multiple accounts. I suspect future development will see some of these and other features included.


Facebook for Android - Facebook
Status - Installed


This recently had a complete facelift and reconstruction to it. Lots more built in functionality but there's still more to expect over the iPhone app that's out there. Let's hope to see some more leaps forward with this one.


Travel

London Underground - Visual IT Limited
Status - Installed


I use this just for the tube map it provides. My next one is for actual tube status and line closure information. This does also have a tube status feature built in, but it keeps it in a menu option which I find annoying when I just want to see a list of the statuses. It does have a great route finder built into it though so it's not all just about the map.


iTubeStatus - Julfikar Damani
Status - Installed


I use this for exactly what the app is named for, TubeStatus. Open it up and you're immediately presented with a list of all the tubes and great visual indicators letting you know which lines have delays or service bulletins. Just remember to fire this app up before you go underground as you're likely not to get reception down there.

UK National Rail Train Live - lochmagic
Status - Installed


If you travel in London on the trains then this is the best app I've found so far. It tracks all the trains coming and going at the stations. It even pulls up stations nearest you based on your location which makes it easy to find the stations without typing in a search query.


Others

Screen Crack - Laan Labs
Status - Uninstalled


Another one of the early apps I installed. I even managed to convince a few techie friends I really did crack the screen. Mind you, I don't recommend doing what I did and actually dropping it on the floor and picking it up with the program activated. It might have very well been a real cracked screen if I was unlucky.
I've used but uninstalled

OpenTable - OpenTable, Inc.
Status - Uninstalled


I used to use OpenTable all time when I lived in Chicago. If I was dining out more frequently and back in London I'm sure I would be using this app to find all the 1,000 point opportunities it has for restaurants.


Mobile GA - Actual Metrics
Status - Uninstalled


I tried using this app as it seemed far superior than mAnalytics but could never get it to even connect to my account. Fail


Never Installed
last.fm - Personal Radio - Last.fm Ltd.
Status - Never Installed


A very popular service, although it’s one that I've never used though. I wonder how it compared to the likes of Spotify, Pandora or imeem.


Mobile Defense - Mobile Defense
Status - Never Installed


This looks like a full fledged app to add an additional level of safety to your phone. It gives you a lot of options to safeguard your phones data in the event of loss.

I would really like to have the opportunity to install and test this app out. But currently it's only available in the United States.