My Android Apps

I have been meaning to write up my list of Andriod apps that I currently have installed on my G1, and then, I found these lists:

I had hopes to linking to the Market, but I couldn’t find a good link to it.  This is the best I could find:

Android Market

So, I thought I should finally get around to doing it.  So, here are my installed programs:

Google Maps

Home page

I definitely use this all the time.  It came with the phone, but I installed it from the market to get the new features.  The biggest new feature is the Navigation, which works very well, and I really like it.

The best place I could find for info on updates was their blog.

VirtueBible FE

This is a great Bible application.  I use it a lot during church, and it is nice to have access to the Bible wherever I go.  It looks nice and is easy to read.  I can quickly browse to passages, and I can search for words.  I don’t think it has a commentary or else I haven’t used it.

Links:

NewsRob (Google Reader)

I have been using Google Reader to keep up with various RSS feeds.  This program gives me an interface to the reader on my phone.  My biggest complaint has been that I only want to view certain feeds on my phone.  Some of the feeds I had subscribed to were too hard to read on the phone.  I haven’t looked to see if Google has changed their API but last I looked Google didn’t provide a way to pick and choose feeds.

All in all, I have really liked this program.

Links:

Facebook for Android

This is what I have used to post and view Facebook.  I remember seeing comments about the iPhone application being so much better, but I haven’t had the chance to compare.  I have noticed that it has improved since I first installed it.

Links:

The Weather Channel

Homepage

According to this article, this application won the developer challenge.  I have bounced back and forth between this application and the Weather Bug.  With the more recent update from The Weather Channel, I have liked this one better.

Weather Bug

This is a great application for viewing the weather.  One of the features that I do like is the temperature in the notifications bar.

Links:

BuzzOff

This is a great application for times when you need to turn your phone to vibrate.  It turns all of the volumes down to vibrate only.   You can choose a time frame, and it will turn it back on after the time frame.  You can also choose a distance where it turn it back on after you go that distance.  I haven’t used that because I haven’t wanted to spend the battery required to leave the GPS on for that.

I use Timeriffic for planned times that I need my phone on silent.  I use this for meetings and such that are not on a schedule.

Links:

Timeriffic

I started using Locale, but they made it a paid App and disabled the old version.  This program allows me to set the phone to silent automatically.  I have it set for during church times.  That way my phone shouldn’t ring in the middle of church.

One cool thing I just learned about this program is that it is open source.  It is hosted on Google Code and I could make changes to it and contribute!

Links:

SSI gTasks ToDo

Homepage

This is the first app I came across that would let me sync and use the Google Tasks in GMail on my phone.  I don’t use it a lot, but it gets the job done.

Links:

Power Manager

This program seemed to save battery at first.  I don’t really open it now, but I think it runs in the background.  I haven’t done any comparison to see if it really does.

Links:

Guitar Charts

I oringally downloaded this when it was free.  It was great to have in Church while I was playing my guitar and couldn’t remember how to play a chord.  I could look it up quickly before the song started.

Links:

Bonsai Blast

This is the one game that I have probably played the most on my phone.  It is addicting, and it has many levels to work through.  The graphics are great which I think has a big impact on the appeal.  The game play is simple: you tap the screen to shoot a ball and try to eliminate the balls in the line by getting three or more in a row of the same color.  Now that I am through all of the levels, I haven’t played it in a while, but it is still fun.

Links:

Toddler Lock

This was a great application for my son.  He has kind of outgrown it, but I think my second son might grow into it soon.  The cool part about it is that you don’t have to worry about him clicking something wrong and getting into another program or placing a call.  You do still have to watch to make sure he isn’t throwing it across the room or dropping it in the toilet.

Links:

Solitaire

This is a nice little way to play freecell while you are waiting for something.

Links:

Labyrinth Lite

Homepage

This was one of the first games that I put on my phone.  The reason it caught my eye was that it illustrated the phone’s accelerometer.  Playing the game was very fun, but it didn’t take long to beat the 10 levels.  It looks like it also works on the iPhone.

Links:

T-Mobile My Account

This program is handy to check the account details such as the minutes that I had used.  It also provides a quick way to check things like how much battery is left.

Links:

Toggle Settings

Homepage

I had used this program for a while, but then they made it something that you have to pay for.

Links:

PapiCatch & PapiJump

These are fun, simple little games.  Sunflat has a bunch of different little games like this: PapiJump, PapiOrange, ActionPotato, SFCave, PapiMissle, PapiRiver, PapiCatch, PapiPole.  I started with PapiJump because it was a game that demostrated the accelerometer.  I also tried PapiRiver.  The graphics aren’t much on the ones that I tried, but they were entertaining for a little bit.

Links:

DroidRecord

I originally downloaded this program to try to create my own rings.  I never got around to doing that, but I have used it to record some notes while I was in the car and couldn’t type.  It is very easy to use and worked great.

Links:

Expense Manager

This program started a great idea for me.  I haven’t traveled enough to give it a far chance, but if I traveled more, it would be a necessity!  The great part is that it allows you to take a picture of your receipts while you are traveling.  You can key in some information such as the price and type of expense.  At the end of the trip, you can download the images and info to your computer.

I also found that on the homepage, there is a link to the source repository.

While I haven’t used the program that much, I love the concept.  I have started my own little program that will take pictures of receipts and sync up with my money management software.

Links:

Google Voice

I have a Google Voice account, but I haven’t used it that much.   I had trouble with latency, and it wasn’t good enough to use on a regular basis.  It has been a while since I tried, so I will have to try again.  The program allows you to make calls from your phone using Google Voice.  It doesn’t save anything on minutes, and the program didn’t let you change the settings and such.

Links:

Places Directory

This is kind of a cool application, but I never really understood what the advantage of this program was over the regular Google Maps.  I think I noticed that maybe now it is combined with the Google Maps application.

Links:

System Manager

I haven’t used this application very often.  I can’t really even remember why I installed it!

Links:

wpToGo

I downloaded this program to be able to blog from my phone.  The problem is that I usually wanted to just save it as a draft and finalize it on my computer.  Then, I would actually publish from my computer.  I couldn’t make that happen with this app for some reason.  I will probably try the official application next.

Wapedia: Mobile Wikis

Homepage

I haven’t used this much, but I do look at Wikipedia a lot.  I am not sure how many advantages this gives over just using the regular browser.

Links:

Nimbuzz IM & Voice

I tried this is an option to use Skype with my phone.  It never did work exactly the way that I wanted it to, so I haven’t stuck with it.

Links:

SNesoid Lite

This is a Super Nintendo Emulator that I install but have never used.  I keep meaning to download a ROM and try it out, but I haven’t ever done it.

Links:

      Installing My First APK from the SDCard

      I finally finished my first Android application to the point that I wanted to try to start using it on my phone.

      This post explains how to install applications, but I had some problems:

      Bright Hub: How to install APK files on your Google Android Phone

      First, with installing from the SD Card, it doesn’t say exactly what application to use.  From the Market, I installed “AppsInstaller” developed by ModMyMobile.com.  When I opened the program, it scanned my card, and found my application that I had uploaded via the USB cable.  But, it said that the applications were blocked and offered to take me to settings.  I check the “Unknown sources” option which is described  as “Allow install of non-Market applications”.  Then, it worked!

      Also, I tried to install with adb, but I couldn’t get that to work.  When I ran “./adb devices”, I don’t see any devices listed.  This “G1 usb drivers for linux” post looks promising, but I haven’t finished going through all of the steps.  I will try to post back when I do.

      Annoyances with Uploading Photos to Facebook

      I have been trying to get my photo programs to upload to Facebook, but they just don’t want to work.  There are no solutions here yet, but if anyone has any tips, I’d be glad to hear about them.  Does Facebook not like Linux?  Is it the Chrome that is conflicting?

      I could always just upload the photos one by one the manual way.  But, what programmer or Linux geek wants to do that?  We would rather spend more time hacking the automatic tools than it would take to do it manually!

      F-Spot to Facebook

      Since upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10, I decided to give F-Spot a try.  For a while, Ubuntu has been offering to import photos every time I plug the camera in.  So far, I like all the features, and it has been working great.

      The Facebook export doesn’t work though.  I am kind of disappointed because that could be really nice.  First, I found that I had to enable it.  For some reason, it won’t log in once enabled.  It just stops at “Session established, fetching photo albums…”.  I have Chrome as my default browser, and I wondered if that had something to do with it.

      G1 to Facebook

      I was able to take a picture using the Facebook application and post it on Facebook.  But, I have tried several times to share a picture from the Gallery application.  When I installed the Facebook application, the Gallery added a new sharing option to share with Facebook.  When I share a picture, it asks me to add a caption, and allows me to upload.  The problem is that it just sits there at 0% and never finishes.

      With both problems, I can’t find any error messages or any log that would help with searching for answers.  So, for now, I am stuck.  I guess I am up to the manual upload methods.

      New Google Phone

      A co-worker pointed this article out to me:

      CNN Tech: Google unveils Nexus One ‘superphone’

      Google looks like they are coming out with a new phone called Nexus One.  I like the openness that they are touting.

      Links:

      Google: Nexus One

      Technical Specifications

      Google Maps on Android

      I saw this post about Google Maps on Android, and I thought I would share my comments.  I had the opportunity to use my Google Maps for navigation on a trip a couple of weekends ago to Chicago.  During the middle of that trip, I decided to upgrade my Google Maps through the Market.  Here are some things I noticed.

      • Before the upgrade, I could choose a destination from my history for getting directions.  That was handy because we kept going to the same places in various combinations.  After the upgrade, history was not an option.  I did find that if I could remember some of the address, it would autocomplete from my history and that worked good enough.
      • I like the new feature where I can click on a location on the map and get directions from or to that spot.
      • One feature I would like is the ability to add way points or adjust the route.  If we wanted to force a route or drive past a point, we would have to get directions in two separate steps.
      • I had the opportunity to use some else’s iPhone also.  One thing I missed on the iPhone was the menu button.  When I look for settings or options on my gPhone, I typically press the menu button and find it there.  On the iPhone, it has to be somewhere on the screen because the phone had no menu button.  It just surprised me that I kept looking for a menu button.  I never did figure out how to turn the GPS on and off, but I did figure out how to get my current location and get directions.

      Resources

      Engadget: Google updates Maps through the Android Market

      CupCake is Here!

      As I was driving home, my phone finally asked if I wanted to install an update.  I had been reading about Android 1.5, and I was ready for that update!  My understanding is that this is the update that was called Cupcake.

      I noticed an immediate difference as the phone was starting up.  The logo screen was different as it booted.  I feel like I have a new phone because everything looks different!  Many people say looks don’t have any value, but it did something for me.  I haven’t had time to play with it much, but I did notice the Camcorder application and I had a chance to see the virtual keyboard pop up.

      Android: How do I get 1.5?

      I found this post on Engadget: T-Mobile is beginning to deliver the new version to phones.  To my knowledge, I haven’t gotten the update yet — my phone hasn’t asked me to update.

      The new version was announced at April 27th at the Google Developer’s blog.  In digging around, one of the things that I noticed was that the system image delivered with the SDK includes a video camera application.  I finally found the release features here.

      Here are some of the features that caught my eye:

      • Refinement of all core UI elements — looking better is always good in my book
      • Accelerometer-based application rotations — I have a couple of games that use the Accelerometer so I know it works.  It will be nice to have more applications that use it!
      • Faster Camera start-up and image capture — The camera is horribly slow to capture pictures
      • Video recording — This will be cool
      Posted in Andriod. 1 Comment »

      New Christmas Present: Google Phone

      Well, my wife gave me a Google Phone for Christmas, and so, you will hopefully see some content about the phone and developing for it.  For now, let me just list some various tidbits about it for now.

      First, I have noticed a definite difference in the Network.  We switched from Alltel to T-Mobile in order to get the phone.  I didn’t really have a signal problem in my normal stomping grounds.  Now, I get no signal in my parents house and have to walk outside if I want to place a call.  Coming out of church, I had to turn the phone off and back on again before it realized that I had a signal.

      Another thing is that the phone doesn’t appear to use the hardware to the fullest extent.  For example, I haven’t found any applications that use the multitouch features, but Engadget reported that Ryan Gardner demonstrated that the phone does have the capability.  The other feature is the accelerometer.  It doesn’t seem to switch from landscape to portrait except when I open the keyboard.

      The big feature that I need is a quick easy way to put the phone into etiquette mode.  If I walk into church, I would like to be able to turn the sound off so that it only vibrates.  Currently, the only way that I have found is to either turn off the sound in each individual application (like GMail, Calendar, Phone, etc.) or Silence the phone so that it doesn’t even vibrate.  Furthermore, I would love to have profiles.  When I am out and about, I would love to have it notify me if I get an email, but if I am in the office at my computer, I would rather my computer notify me rather than the phone.  I would like to configure profiles so that I can quickly switch between settings.

      I hope to eventually develop some applications for the phone.  I am excited that this is very possible.  I have already installed the SDK.  Here are some links that are helpful:

      Here are the applications that I use so far:

      • AcroBible Lite: A complete Bible on the phone
      • Bonsai Blast: An addictive little game
      • Browser
      • Calculator
      • Calendar: I use my Google Calendar much more
      • Camera: the camera works, but it is not the greatest camera
      • GMail
      • IM: I haven’t used it much, but I talked with my sister once
      • Maps: I used it to help with directions a couple of times.  I also used it to look up a phone number for ordering pizza.
      • Market: easy to install applications
      • PapiJump: a cool little game that demonstrates the accelerometer
      • Power Manager: easy to turn on/off things like the GPS
      • Tag ToDo: todo list application
      • The Weather Channel: nice application for looking up the weather
      • WeatherBug: Another interface for the weather
      • YouTube: only to watch Google Tech Talks

      I installed the G1 Central application, but it didn’t really work.  I was hoping for a quick way to change the settings for where the phone rings, but it didn’t support those features.

      Another thing I would love to have is a VPN to connect securely to resources at home while on the road.  I found an idea about using Juniper, but I haven’t tried it yet.

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