Friday Top Ten – 03/06/11
It isn’t always the easiest of tasks to decide what sort of apps you want to install on your Android phone. Is it reliable? Can you trust the reviews on the market? Or are there no reviews? I hope that my list of my favourite apps will help you to make the decisions you find difficult.
For those of you who like to read comic books, manga, etc, this is one of the greatest apps ever. A sturdy and reliable comic book viewer, with more settings and personalization than you can shake a stick at. It also handles a plethora of file formats making it an absolute must for the traveling comic fan.
Not the most innovative on the market, but at the same time very useful. Do you want to know all of the cinemas close to you, and what is on? Well, fret no more, the Flixster app is here! It will not only tell you where your nearest cinema is and what is on, but it gives you access to reviews, trailers and much more to help you make the all important decision what to see.
Spark 360 (PAID)
Ilove being able to see who is online and what they are playing, even when I am not near my Xbox. This app allows you to check on you friends, gamer score, send messages and lots of other little things. Once of the few apps I would consider paying money for. As an added bonus there is a nice little widget that displays your last played games and a picture of your avatar.
Admittedly, this is a little biased as I haven’t mentioned a Playstation app. Mainly due to my lack of PS3, but also because the counterpart for Spark 360 is no where near as good. This may be down to the restricted API access that Sony have by comparison.
If you are like me, you have a million and one things you want to watch, do, write, listen and so on. If this sounds familiar, then Springpad could be the organizational tool you are looking for. A visual list system allowing you to bundle things into collections of tasks; like movies to watch, albums to listen to, washing to do etc. You can even use your Google account to sign up for it, meaning there isn’t yet another set of login details for you to remember. There is even a counterpart website so you can make adjustments on either your handset or PC and marvel as they synchronize all of your important stuff to do.
Amazon App Store (Download and side load)
I have already sang the praises of the Amazon App Store this week, but I feel it warrants another mention. If you want access to a whole host of other applications you don’t normally get on the Android Market Place, then this is the app for you. With a paid application being given away for free every day, it makes sense to pick this up soonish. Although not officially available in the UK yet, you can follow my tutorial on how to get it up and running.
If ever the occasion arises that you need to find a file, copy a file, unzip a compressed file and other file related things, Astro is what you need. A fully functioning file manager, picture viewer and more.
Game Dev Story (PAID)
To be honest, this is not the best game available on the Android market. It’s control scheme doesn’t use the hardware to its fullest and there are more original titles around. However, the one thing this game has provided me is hours of entertainment. It is stupidly easy to hooked into playing this game; you can literally watch the intended minutes turn into hours. Great fun for a mobile game and it reminds me a lot of the classic Bullfrog style games that I used to have so much fun with.
Using RSS feeds is a great way to stay up to date with all of the news you care about as soon as it is posted, but wouldn’t you like to make the experience a little more like reading a paper or magazine? Pulse is a fully functioning RSS reader that lays out all of your content in to strips for each feed, and you can even sort them into different pages for different types of news. I would normally say for RSS readers are better off being kept simple, but Pulse provides more than just a novel experience.
TV Guide (FREE)
Back in the days before the digital switch over, when I got TV reception, I used to use this app all the time. Nothing fancy, just a mobile TV guide. The great part is that you filter out the channels that you don’t get – in my case all of them – so
that you aren’t disappointed when you see something is on that you can’t watch. Another notable feature is the movies tab, where it amalgamates all of the movies that are on for the day into one big list.
I use this more than I would ever really want to admit. Ever time I am watching a movie or TV show there is always “that actor”, that you remember, but can’t quite place. Essentially a shortcut to the website, but set out in a way that makes it more user friendly on a mobile phone.
The media experience is truly behind the curve on Android; especially when compared to the likes of WP7 and iOS. Fear not, Doubletwist is here to help you make your music/video experience more pleasant. You can download the software from the website and install it to your PC, allowing you to sync your music collection to your phone, or set up podcasts. The paid version of the app allows you to do all of your synchronizing without wires. Very handy indeed, but it all depends if you are willing to pay the £4 to upgrade to the full version. I am still using the free version at the moment.
I was going to have links to the web-based Android Market for each of the applications, but I seem to be getting lots of internal server errors…sigh. Anyway, you can blame Google for that and not me. Do you know any other good Android apps that you think deserve a shout out? Why not pop them in the comments and let other people know about it. Chances are I have missed a few, and I love it when I hear of new apps!