November 22, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Looking for the best Android apps? Good luck finding them on your own. But if you do stumble across apps people will love, let the world know. Androinica.com encourages users to tweet great apps with the #androidapps tag on Twitter, and we plan to incorporate that into our weekly notifications of new, updated, or recommended apps. Get to downloading and keep telling us about those exciting #androidapps.
In the sixth edition of Android Apps Alert, we’re talking scheduling widgets, speaking tools, shopping companions, and a popular desktop Twitter client making the jump to Android. The video previews of these apps are below, along with text explanations and QR codes for those who want to focus on the words only.
Seesmic [0:00 - 1:24]
The last thing the world needs is another Android Twitter app; however, when you make one of the most popular desktop Twitter clients, Seesmic has earned the right to take a crack at joining the crowd. Seesmic is yet another Twitter app with a good UI and support for photo uploads, favorites, notifications, and seeing profiles as well as timelines. There’s really nothing new or groundbreaking in this app – seriously, this thing is as typical as possible – but it runs smooth and provides another option for people who think no one has gotten a Twitter app for Android right yet.
Android Agenda Widget [1:25 -3:04]
Business-minded Android users typically want a quick view of their upcoming appointments, and the default Google Calendar doesn’t quite fit the bill. Android Agenda Widget brings GCals to the homescreen for a quick glance. The widget refreshes to update at set intervals and provides a shortcut to creating new events. Pressing a listed item will bring up event details for additional information or editing. Agenda users can see either a half-screen or full-screen widget that can show multiple Google Calendars. Though I’m disappointed to see that the app doesn’t include options to change background or font settings, Android Agenda View provides a convenient view of the day’s events.
Possible alternative: Pure Calendar Widget
Buzz Deck [3:05 - 5:04]
If you read my review of FlyScreen, you already know what I think of Buzz Deck: it’s great but do I really need it? No, but it’s still a cool app worth having. Unlike Flyscreen, Buzz Deck runs strictly as an app rather than tapping into the lock screen. It includes customizable cards that bring information from various sources into one place, allowing users to “zoom in” to see certain feeds of content and “zoom out” to continue browsing through Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, or any of your favorite websites. Buzz Deck can auto-refresh in the background and provide notifications when your card is updated, unlocking the information you store.
Zedge [5:05 -7:11]
Ringtones and phone wallpapers have generated billions of dollars for the mobile phone industry. I refuse to contribute one penny to that total, so it’s good to have resources like Zedge, an app that offers millions of ringtones, SMS sound clips, and wallpapers in sizes designed for Android phones. These types of files can easily be found on websites, but Zedge works well enough to browse directly from an Android phone. Zedge offers visual or audio previews of content and downloads ringtones or wallpapers to your SD card. There are more than 5,600 wallpapers and 337,000 ringtones available, and it takes only a few moments getting them when browsing on Wi-Fi.
MouthOff (£0.59) [7:12 - 8:43]
I bet you’ve wondered what the heck Molly Shannon puts over her mouth in that myTouch commercial. Wonder no more; Shannon is probably using MouthOff, an app that features a gallery of cartoonish images that stand-in for a speaking person. MouthOff is all about having pointless fun. Users choose from a gallery of artist-created mouthpieces, which move in-tune with the person speaking. The instant drawback to using the app is that it takes up a whopping 9.24 MB, a no-no for most current Android phones hobbled by limited space. If you’ve got some on-device storage and £0.59 to spare, have it and let your phone do the talking.
Fring (not filmed)
Don’t ask me how they do it, but Fring provides free calls on Android phones. Joining the fray of VoIP services on mobile phones, Fring provides calling or chat support to Skype, Gizmo5, Google Talk, MSN, and a long list of other communication modes. Calls work over 3G or Wi-Fi and landlines can be reached with Skype-out or other SIP services. Anyone who wanted to make VoIP calls on their phone and didn’t like SIPdroid or similar apps can now go Fring themself. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
ShopSavvy (not filmed)
Everyone with access to ShopSavvy should have it, but just in case you haven’t already, get ShopSavvy now. The holiday shopping season kicks into high gear this week, and ShopSavvy will be a must-have when you do your gift-getting. Scan barcodes to compare prices and discover if you’re getting a discount or a dud pretending to be valuable.