OK. Here it is. A review of every app that I have installed, or have previously installed through the marketplace. Which is a lot. They’ll be short reviews, but hopefully you’ll appreciate one or two of the gems that are out there.
One of the first apps I installed, and it’s never going away. In order to get a cheap deal on my phone, I only have limited mobile internet (80MB). This isn’t a big problem, because I’m mostly in range of wifi wherever I go. But keeping track of what I have used is really handy. This little app sits in the notification bar, and monitors all your mobile internet usage. You can set up warnings based on your billing dates and allowance, and it’s even possible to have it turn off 3G when you’re about to hit your limit (via an additional app). Small, but perfectly formed. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t have this installed….
It’s an ebook reader. I haven’t read huge swathes of books, so I can’t comment a lot, but the app seems competent enough. Doesn’t handle PDFs, which is a shame for some of the books that I have that don’t come in ePub format.
Angry Birds (beta)
This was a MASSIVE hit on the iPhone, and the beta was released a couple of weeks ago on Android. It’s great fun. I’ve played through all the levels and am now going back to try and get 3 stars on all levels. (Currently all but 5 are on 3, and those 5 are on 2). Massively addictive with cute graphics and sound. Can’t wait for the full version to arrive.
Astro File Manager
Do you really need a file manager on a phone? If you do, then this is the one to have I do use it every now and then, and it also has a good task manager and a load of other little administrative applications that are quite handy.
Just about every website that talks about Android apps shows a QR code for you to scan, but the phone doesn’t come with a scanner built in! This is one of the recommended ones, and I add my recommendation.
OK – I have 2 Bibles installed, although I’m really waiting for the ESV guys to finish porting their iPhone app across. The first one here is from YouVersion, an online Bible reading community that was created by LifeChurch.tv. The CrossConnect Bible does come with a nice daily verse widget for your homescreen. I tend to use the CC Bible more, although the interface is a bit ugly, and the YouVersion team have made a number of updates to their app since I last used it in anger.
Nifty little app that links with a web service to tell people where you are based on your GPS. Great if you travel long distances to family, so they can see you coming.
I love football games, and I’ve always had a soft spot for FIFA on the PC. I’ve played quite a lot of this game since I got it. Sadly, it’s not perfect. On-screen controllers aren’t ideal in any situation, but these can be pretty bad at times. Plus the number of press and swipe options for the 2 “buttons” is quite bewildering. On the plus side, the graphics are nice and the sounds are OK. And you get the “Be a Pro” mode where you get to play a single player rather than the whole team. I’m not convinced as to how much management the computer does in “Pro” mode, although I’ve not played that the most. In manager mode it’s far too easy to buy players – I bought David Villa and Lionel Messi to Liverpool without any problems – and there doesn’t seem to be any good way of tracking things like player fitness and form in the middle of a game. Plus, it seems to forget my team management changes quite a lot.
All these things would be bearable if it wasn’t for the fact that the difference in difficulty between Amateur and Semi-Pro wasn’t so huge. I played a season at Amateur level and won the Premiership, then switched to Semi-Pro and got relegated. I scored about 3 goals in the whole season, with 2 being from corners. Now – I may not be brilliant at the game, but I would expect the gaps between difficulty levels to be smaller. Heaven help me if I ever try “Professional”, let alone “World Class”!
It’s a guitar (and other stringed instrument) tuner. I downloaded it when the battery in my built-in tuner died and I didn’t have a spare. Seems to work really well. If you’re a musician, definitely worth having to hand.
Futuristic game where you have 2 big guns (and rockets and plasma rifles, etc, etc) and have to shoot loads of baddies. Basic premise. Brilliant game. The controls are great too – 1 circle under each thumb a bit like a D-Pad, but the aiming system makes it really usable and great fun. Good graphics, good sound. Highly recommended.
Same as the website, but on your phone. Nicely implemented, although I only use the search function rather than all the (seemingly US-centric) content on the front screen.
Android 2.2 _should_ be on my phone by the time you read this, at which point this app goes away. Simply put, this ties in with a little plugin on my laptop’s web browser. I click the button on the browser and it sends the link to my phone. Start up the app on my phone, and it loads the page on my phone browser. FroYo (Android 2.2) does this (and a whole lot of other clever stuff) better, but if you don’t have 2.2 this can be quite handy.
Found this recently. It combines with an app on my laptop and pops up notifications on my laptop screen whenever I get a phone call, text message, and things like that. It also does battery state notification too. Most usefully, it mutes the audio on my laptop when my phone is ringing – perfect if I have headphones on!
Skies of Glory
I got this game along with a guy in the office to try out the multiplayer between iPhone and Android. It takes a while to get used to the controls – it’s a “proper” flight sim rather than arcade style. It seems like a really competent game, although I haven’t played enough to give an informed review.
Does what it says on the tin. Does it well. Notifications and stuff too. There’s a whole betting community system built in, but I’ve never used it so can’t comment. Covers pretty much every league in every country.
Super KO Boxing 2
An arcade style boxing game with great cartoony characters. Nice progression of difficulty too. Great graphics and sound and controls. Can’t complain
Installed this only yesterday. It’s a keyboard replacement. It tries to guess the next word you are likely to type in your sentence and offers it. A bit like standard predictive text, but guessing the next word as well as the current word. Initial impressions are that it’s pretty good, although I think it’s a bit ugly compared to the stock HTC one.
We do a fair bit of time lapse photography at work and I thought it would be fun to play around a bit with it. The Lite version of this app only does a small resolution, but it was enough for a bit of lunchtime animation. I might get the full version for a bit of time lapse for church.
Visual Task Switcher
This is basically the same as what you have when you Alt-Tab on a PC, or a bit like ExposÃ© on Mac – you get a visual representation of all the open applications when you press the Home key (or another configurable key). Plus you can force close them from there if you require. I had been looking for something like this for ages, and I love having it.
For handling your WordPress blogs. Does exactly what you need.
Force Close Button
Adds a force-close option to the slide-down notification panel. Works brilliantly – thoroughly recommended.
Winds of Steel
Another flight sim. A bit more arcade-y than Skies of Glory, but great fun to play.