Tuesday, December 08, 2009

4 Android Apps Worth Your Attention

Google Maps Navigation

I feel like the last person on the planet to install this one - but in case I'm not, you must, this very second, go upgrade Google Maps on your Android to get navigation support. Holy Smokes, is navigation slick.

Not only do you get the turn by turn directions and maps you'd usually pay a nice price for from Garmin or TomTom (which I'm glad to do, frankly) - but you also have a data connection so you can do things like check out StreetView along the way. I love how when you arrive at a destination Google shows you an actual photo of the location.

If I were Garmin or TomTom I'd take this as a big warning shot across the bow - not only can a cell phone provide just as high quality service as your devices, but it can go one even further thanks to a data link.

On a recent post, Jordan commented that he could imagine life using a Cell Phone GPS only. I wasn't quite there - now that I see what Google Nav is all about, I totally see it.

Astrid Todo/Task Manager

This app was recommended to me by my buddy Greg. He says it's a winner when it comes to TODO list management. I haven't had a chance to use it, though all the marketing material sounds good. I'll probably wait until I get tired of my current system before I delve too deeply into using it.

Google Goggles

This one is hot off web: Google Googles allows you to search the web using a photo. Essentially, you pull out your cell phone, snap a photo, the system then analyzes the photo and gets back to you with search results.

What really strikes me as interesting here isn't so much the search capability, but the fact that the Android phone is going to be able to take input from the camera and make meaningful sense of it. Currently, when I see a book or item I want to add to the todo list, I take a snapshot of it and manually add it. I assume, eventually, I'll be able to skip the manual part of the equation.

Aldiko

I came across Alidko while I was hanging around a T-mobile store waiting for them to finish ringing up my Web Stick thingy. I notice that the MyTouch in the store was running this app and it immediately won me over.

Aldiko is an eBook reader that actually makes reading books on the G1 quite feasible. I find the text clear and the gestures to switch pages natural.

So far, I've been using Aldiko just to catch a few pages here and there (say, while I'm pumping gas). The auto-bookmark feature is just what I needed to allow me to close the app and get back to where I left off with zero effort.

Perhaps what's most impressive is how many books are available to download for free. Check it out - it's one of those apps that you'll be glad you did.

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