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A Roundup of Geeky, Useful, and Fun Android Apps - page 2

Command Line, Social Media, Notes and Tasks

  • September 14, 2010
  • By Juliet Kemp
  • There are a whole stack of Android eBooks apps available. The best-known (and my preferred) non-proprietory app is Alkido, which also comes with a built-in search app to look for free eBooks. It won't handle DRM, though; for that you'll need one of Barnes and Noble's Nook for Android, Amazon's Kindle for Android, or the Borders eBooks for Android app. Note that DRM formats are not, in general, compatible across apps (although all should handle DRM-free books).
  • The DoubleTwist player allows you to import iTunes playlists and other info to Android by syncing with their desktop client. It's also better at playing video than the built-in client.
  • If you're in the UK, myPlayer allows you to access BBC iPlayer content. It's still in beta, but a release candidate is expected soon.

Bits and pieces

  • The Google-own contacts/phone app is OK, but HTC's version has some major limitations (most notably that there's no way of seeing full addresses, phone numbers, or emails). aContacts fills the gap very nicely if you're on an HTC phone.
  • The Flashlight widget does what it says on the tin: uses either your phone screen or your camera flash to generate a pretty strong flashlight.
  • Swype is a keyboard replacement that allows you to swipe through the letters you want rather than tapping them. Unfortunately currently in closed beta, but worth signing up for.
  • Google Sky Map: tells you what you can see in the night sky.
  • Layar: crowdsourced reality browser which tells you what you can see in front of you. A bit like a heads-up display, except it's in your phone instead.
  • OISafe: stores your passwords and bank details for you.

Hopefully that's enough to get you started with Android!

Juliet Kemp has been messing around with Linux systems, for financial reward and otherwise, for about a decade. She is also the author of "Linux System Administration Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach" (Apress, 2009).

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