Sunday, May 22, 2011

Android Apps

Yesterday, while waiting for Mini-Me's piano recital to begin, was cruising through the Android Market to see what apps I could just find. Now, bear in mind, that I refuse to pay for any apps at this point - particularly games - so I was just seeing things that could be of use. And the current list of apps on my phone must make me seem pretty nerdy as it runs a fairly comprehensive list of free Chinese language learning apps (1000 Chinese, Chinese Word of the Day - which had an incorrect definition for yesterday's word I should point out - Chinese Translator, Google Translate, Chinese flashcard apps and a couple of dictionaries for added measure), multiple news apps (ranging from CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, BBC, Al-Jazeera and others) and a few games that I enjoy (Chess, Chinese Chess, Pente and Sudoku among others - though my progeny would prefer I get racing games). This does not, of course, include a sizable portion of my music collection that I have yanked onto the phone.

But, came across a couple of very useful apps that I had probably heard of previously but somehow neglected to look up once I actually purchased this phone less than six months ago. The most notable were three - Shazam (a music service that helps to identify songs you may not know), Coupons (which provides an online list of coupons that can be used at various retailers - and I'm curious to find out whether I can actually use these coupons directly from my phone as they say) and GasBuddy (which helps to find the best gas prices in the local area or wherever you wish to search). Using GasBuddy, I managed to actually get gas for $.15/gallon less than I would have found if I'd refilled at my local station. And Coupons helped me find some decent coupons for the restaurant we'd eaten at the previous evening (oh well, better late than never to learn). Meanwhile, I've managed to confuse Shazam only with a couple of Chinese songs (but not all of them) so that is a pretty useful app (since I truly love music and would like to know about certain songs when I hear them).

So, it does beg the question of what other useful apps are out there that people have used? I use the Samsung Galaxy which means I'm limited to the Android market but most apps exist on both the Android and iPhone markets so there aren't many limitations. I'm sure there are others that are handy for the casual user (which is how I view my own usage). If you have some recommendations, feel free to share them.

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