in eBooks, Ramblings, Reviews, Tech

Indispensable Android Apps

About a month ago I finally joined the smartphone world. Verizon released the Motorola Droid phone, which runs on Google’s Android software platform. I’m 95% satisfied with the phone, with only a few minor quibbles. I’ll get into those in another post. But first, here’s some of the 3rd party Android apps I’ve used most often:

Aldiko: An e-book reader, every bit as good as Stanza is on the iPhone. And that’s high praise.

Android Scripting Environment: This one’s just a bit of nerdy programming fun, you can write quick python scripts to do things on the phone – speak words, read your text messages, scan & process barcodes, etc.

Astro: A great file browser & manager, a category which Android oddly doesn’t have a default app for.

CardioTrainer: Keeps track of your workouts via GPS. I use it on my bike with great results. Kind of like Nike+, but free!

DockRunner: Kicks the Droid into its alarm clock nightstand type mode, which usually can only be accessed by placing the phone in its official Motorola docking cradle (and that cradle costs $30).

Listen: Google’s podcast downloader & organizer.

Mototorch LED: Turns on the Droid’s camera flash LED for use as a (surprisingly powerful) flashlight. Plus as a bonus, you can use the LED as a strobe or to send morse code flashes – always handy.

Pixelpipe Lite: For some reason the Droid’s built in photo uploaders strip all EXIF data out of the photo while uploading – including date stamp and rotation info. Pixelpipe is the only Flickr & Twitter photo uploading app I’ve found that preserves this data.

Twidroid: This app’s latest update took it from a good Twitter client to a great one.

That’s it for now! Look for a more in-depth Droid review at some time in the semi-near future.