Yes – this is a screen capture of Google Chrome running a webscene on a Nexus 7 (2012 version), it’s not hacked or modded in anyway. It stutters on anything more than small models. You’d be better on the newer generation of tablets and mobile devices, dare I say it you would be better to use a Windows tablet?
It may not have escaped people’s notice that I am an Android phone user. I like its ‘geek’ appeal and by that I mean that I can customize it and add applications that I want and not have to connect it to a computer (I really don’t like iTunes that much).
It’s email integration (especially gmail) works really well, which means I don’t have to do as much typing any more or any silly syncing with my PC.
With my latest phone I have settled on a small number of applications (integrated or otherwise) that I use on regular basis (i.e. at least a couple of times a month). I know the first three in this list aren’t really applications but they are there because, well, they’re pretty much essential.
Internet – That little world icon entices me to use it way too much…. watching TV and don’t know who that actor is IMDB (yes I know there is an app but the web means I can look at wiki, imdb and other sources!). Yes there alterantives Opera and Firefox.. but I honestly don’t need them.
Gmail (and Contacts I guess) – My personal account is accessed via this but the ease in which I can check email here and on a PC mean I’m hooked in. Combine that with contacts synchronisation, I never want a simple phone again and am willing to overlook battery life for it.
Mail – Work email is kept separate, no composing of email just early notifcation of things I might need to once at work are displayed here. This works very well with my work email host.
- KeePassDroid – A surprise one near the top for some I bet, but if you like me have a multitude of passwords and secret information this application is a godsend. Use it with the desktop version (portable or otherwise) and you only ever need to remember one password….
- Hootsuite – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook? This integrates very well into my ‘social media life’ and well, just works. I use the web version as well so this means I can maintain continuity!
- Barcode Scanner – A relative new one to my list but have you ever been in a record store (unlikely nowadays) and thought you could get it cheaper on the web? Well you can confirm this right away. I went Christmas shopping with this application in an HMV store and came out with nothing (just a reminder to go online and purchase them from Amazon (or another online store ahem)!).
- Adobe Flash – Its on the list because it means I can watch BBC video but honestly I don’t really use my phone for video viewing that much….
- SpeedTest – Wondering how fast that wifi network you’ve connected to is? Well this very simple app can tell you and email you an csv file too!
- LogMeIn – If you’re the ‘resident tech geek’ in your family or circle of friends then LogMeIn may well be one of your weapons. But what if you’ve not brought your laptop with you and need to help fix something on a family members PC?
- Sky+ – I don’t like Rupert Murdock, but lets face it Sky+ is incredibly easy to use at home. This little application lets you view programme listings and set your Sky+ box to record. Make sure you give it at least 30 minutes notice though!
- CoPilot Live – SatNav’s are great just use some common sense when following their directions! None are perfect but CoPilot is reasonably priced and has caused me few problems personally.
- Amazon Kindle – Working in conjunction with my Kindle 3G I can pick up where I left off and keep reading. Excellent for when I don’t want to take another gadget with me.
- Documents To Go – Word, Excel, editor and viewer as well as a PDF viewer. Excellent for when I am accessing my work email on the go.
- Google Earth – Not really a work thing but great for looking up places whilst on the sofa, oh and for impressing people.
- Wifi Analyzer – for working out those network issues (if like me you provide IT support to family as well!)
- Google Goggles – A bit of fun but has great potential.
- Google Sky Map – Ever wondered what that twinkling object in the sky was? With this you won’t need to wonder…
- TuneIn Radio – A fantastic little app for listening to most radio stations you can think of (I use it for BBC as well as Virgin999 in Toronto, Canada)
Only two games do I actually play with any regularity if I want real gaming I’ll use my PC thanks…
- Jewels –Addictive fun and easy to put down when you’ve got more important things to do.
- Robo Defence – A bit more of a challenge and but great and simple game play
So that’s all for now I hope you find it a useful starting point for choosing applications to install on your Android phone. If you have any questions or further suggestions just add a comment down below…
Google’s satnav killer – now released for the UK
In November 2009, it was the launch that satnav manufacturers were dreading; Google Maps Navigation, which effectively turned any mobile phone into a GPS navigation tool but with the familiar features and ease of use of Google Maps. And it’s also free.
You can read the story by following this link http://bit.ly/aIx3fC
For those with Android phones (1.6 and above) if you have the most recently updated Maps version you should be able to get directions from A to B and there will be an option to ‘Navigate’, click on this and away you go….
I’m not really sold on the idea that this is a satnav killer, sure it’s good and free (and worries people like Garmin and TomTom). However, it does however require you to have a good internet connection. That is great when you are in the more populated areas, but you trying using google maps in a GPRS only area! Or better yet somewhere with patchy mobile coverage i.e. the countryside.
Perhaps I should quote Google as well when I first click on Navigate:
Google Maps Navigation is in beta. Use caution.
Do not manipulate this application while driving. Traffic data is not real-time, and directions may be wrong dangerous, prohibited or involve ferries.
Keep your eyes on the road!
So why Google would I use it? It looks like this software for my phone may get me injured, arrested or on a ferry!
Don’t get me wrong I love Google Maps especially on my phone (I’ve used it when I need a location of a shop in town), but for navigation whilst driving an application like CoPilot Live is much better. For starters I don’t need an internet connection to find my way! Incidently
For more information on Google Maps and it’s navigation features goto http://www.google.com/mobile/navigation/