July 19, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Looking for great apps in the Android Market? Good luck. The Android Market is growing faster than it is improving, so finding that next great app is a challenge. Androinica.com encourages users to tweet great apps with the #androidapps tag on Twitter, and we plan to incorporate that into our periodic notifications of new, updated, or useful apps. Get to downloading and keep telling us about those exciting #androidapps.
Here is the third installment of our Android App Alert series.
Phone Search ($4.95) or LaunchIt ($1.99)
Universal search will come to Android through the Donut build, but who wants to wait for that to happen? Phone Search or LaunchIt scans Android phone data to find SMS/MMS messages, Calendar entries, MP3′s, bookmarks, and pictures that contain a word or phrase. Phone Search does a good job of indexing the user-determined content, enabling fast searches and prompt loading.
Possible uses include search for a contact by label (job title) or finding an SMS message that took place several conversations or weeks prior. LaunchIt also searches Apps, History, and Gmail. It even comes with a search widget and speech technology to perform searches or launch apps by voice. LaunchIt is available for $1.99 and Phone Search is $4.95 with a 14-day trial version also available.
(LaunchIt screenshot courtesy of Androidandme)
Phone Search on the left, LaunchIt on the right
Weather Widget – Donate ($1.40) and Beautiful Widgets ($1.40)
Many of you will have to wait a long time until you get your hands on HTC Sense UI, so why not tease/torture yourself with one of these great replications of the HTC Hero clock, toggle, and weather widgets? Beautiful Widgets and the competing Weather Widget Donate widget packs closely resembles a few of Sense’s eye-catching elements. In Weather Widget, users can set periodic reminders, weather widget size, create or install skins, and use the flip clock/weather combo seen in Sense. Beautiful Widgets also adds the clock/weather combo, but includes the toggle WiFi/GPS/etc features as well.
(Weather Widget on the left, Beautiful Widgets on the right)
Courtesy of: @Johnnylicious Weather Widget from #AndroidApps with HTC TouchFlo clock – http://www.cyrket.com/package/com.androidapps.widget.weather2 its worth it!
Pixelpipe (FREE Lite, $1.99 Pro)
Pixelpipe is the prescribed cure for social media fatigue. It can be a little overwhelming to manage your presence at Twitter, Facebook, blip.tv, Brightkite, Kyte, 12seconds, flickr, Blogger, vimeo, etc, etc. Pixelpipe provides multi-site management by uploading media, changing statuses, posting to blogs, or streaming video. If you have an account, this app probably supports it in some capacity. Until a few days ago, Pixelpipe was a full-featured, free app. It’s now offered as a “Pro” version with video/audio uploading support, and a “Lite” version without those two features.
Waze is a new service that promises to keep drivers informed about road conditions with real-time traffic updates. Drawing GPS information from a community of users, Waze is able to pick up on roadway congestion and warn that a route may be troublesome. It also gives members the option to report speed traps and road hazards. Waze creates user-generated maps, so the product can only be as useful as it is adopted in certain markets. The developer reports over 100,000 users. The more people turn-on Waze as they travel from Point A to Point B, the more effective it will be in guiding others.
Gmote is one of the best Android apps available. Fact. It streams compatible music and video to Android devices or acts as a remote to control media played on a computer. Set up a Gmote server (a short process) and you get complete access and control to compatible files in your media library. You can even use the touchpad features to control a PowerPoint presentation. Visit Gmote.org for more information.
Courtesy of: @ThatDougTrying out gmote for #android / #g1 nice app! #androidapps
Cupcake brought a much better Android browser, so is it really necessary to have another? Steel makes answering that question harder than you might think. Steel has the advantage of automatically clearing cache on exit, which frees up space on the device, and a full-screen browsing mode that gives users more screen real estate. It also has a much better system for navigating between browser windows, a URL bar that suggests page titles from your History in case you don’t remember a visited website, tagged bookmark organization, and optional left-hand friendly controls. Some users may find that switching to Steel provides an overall better web browsing experience.
Bloo ($1.49) or Babbler ($1.49 Full, FREE Lite)
If you’re not willing to wait on a possible official Facebook Android app, Bloo or Babbler may get the job done. Both apps have strong features and are great starts to what a Facebook app should entail. Though Bloo could use some navigation tweaks and Babbler could stand to be a tad faster, each has a feature list that is none too shabby: read or write status updates and comments, read or write wall posts, browse photo galleries, view Facebook feed, and much more. Read our full Bloo app review and then our Babbler article for more information and a gallery of screenshots.
Babbler Lite on the left, Bloo on the right
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Other App News
- CoPilot Live for Android takes turn-by-turn voice navigation in the right direction. The ALK-produced service creates Android GPS navigation systems on the fly thanks to massive map libraries available for every inhabited region of the planet…. [read full article]
- Google Voice app viewed by WaPo. The official Google Voice app has come to Android, and Washington Post took the time to share some of their impressions. [read article]