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Android Apps Alert #99: Pay, Run, Shop, Text, and catch Google I/O fever edition

June 22, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka

Android App Reviews, Android Apps, Reviews

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Androinica.com browses the Google Play Store and tries to find a few quality apps that you may be interested in downloading. Each week, we look for quality games, productivity tools, social apps, and other gems to help make your Android phone eve more powerful that it is already. For the 99th edition, we’re taking a look at a few apps that will make you healthier, help you buy new clothes once you do, find places to buy them, and even message people to tell them.

As a heads up, this will be the last Apps Alert for a few weeks as I’ll be attending Google I/O next week and devoting all my time to covering the whirlwind of news and app demos that are show to come out. We’ll then return to our regularly scheduled program soon after, so let’s take a look at what’s worth grabbing.

MasterCard PayPass Locator

Android 2.1+ required

Google Wallet is starting to appear on more phones, including the just-launched T-Mobile Galaxy S III, but finding places to actually use Google Wallet might be a bit of a challenge. One great way I’ve managed to find places tis the MasterCard PayPass Locator app. MasterCard’s PayPass terminals are compatible with Google Wallet, and users can merely press their NFC phones to the terminal to trigger a payment. The PayPass Locator app thus becomes a quick way to find gas stations, restaurants, pharmacies, and other businesses that accept Google Wallet. The app can find businesses near your current location (using GPS) or you can enter a zip code, airport code, or address to get a specific area. And if you’re looking for a just fast food or gas stations, you can filter according to category. You can also get directions or report a problem at a PayPass location.


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DjRun

Android 2.1+ required

Nike+ debuted on Android last night, but there’s another running app you may want to consider because of the way it plays music. DjRun is an app that measures movements based on the accelerometer, giving the app a sense of how fast you are traveling. It then cross-matches that information with your music library to find songs that match your pace. When you’re running or cycling at full-speed, DjRun might play your high-octane metal music, but it will know to switch to down tempo songs when you slow down. The concept is simple and effective for music motivation as you exercise, though there needs to be a better way to high podcasts and non-music audio files from appearing. DjRun intelligently monitors movement, so it won’t switch songs just because you momentarily slow down or stop, detects tempo by metadata, avoids repeating songs too much, and provides options to change songs when it doesn’t match what you want to hear. Try it out and then upgrade to the Pro version for more features.


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mightyText

Android 2.2+ required

Google Voice users love sending/receiving text messages on their computer. If you’re someone who wants to do it on your existing phone number, give mightyText a try. The app works seamlessly by forwarding texts you receive to a Chrome extension or web app, and instantly notifying you on the desktop when new messages come in. You can directly reply to those messages or send a new one from the computer. mightyText shows your contact ID information, sends and receives MMS, and provides missed call alerts. We’ve previously covered DeskSMS as a way of doing this, but mightyText is simpler and doesn’t alter your contact info like DeskSMS. And it’s free.


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Amazon’s MYHABIT

Android 2.1+ required

Love designer brands but don’t love designer prices? Well, then go shop at Ross or TJ Maxx, why the heck are you asking someone who has worn the same dingy shirt for 3 days in a row? Oh, wait, there’s actually a new app from Amazon that offers clothing, accessories, home appliances, and other items at discount prices. MYHABIT is an online store that offers curated items for members and slashes the price. A dress that might retail for $500 can be found for only $200, leaving you an additional $300 to spend on shoes, jackets, cologne, and coffee machines. Sales are limited to select quantities and time periods, so it’s sort of like an offers page only available to people who join (membership is free and you can use your Amazon.com credentials). MYHABIT has 360 views of products, free shipping in the U.S., and built-in reminders.


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Google IO 2012

Android 2.2+ required

I’m excitedly awaiting the start of Google I/O 2012 next week, and the official app for the conference isn’t helping me temper that excitement. The app is geared towards people who will actually be in Moscone West, but fans can also use it from afar. The app has a list of breakout sessions and offers an option to add them to a personal agenda that lays out your schedule. Attendees also get the benefit browsing by track and seeing a multi-level map of the venue. For those of you following along at home, you can follow the #io2012 stream on Google+, watch session video streams on-demand with an Android 3.0 or higher device, and post directly to Google+ from the app. (Hmm…a write API for G+ announced next week perhaps?)


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Powerade Hydration Calculator

Android 2.0+ required

Need another cool app to go along with your Nike+ fix? Try Hydration Calculator, a Powerade-branded app that helps calculate you how much you need to hydrate (duh). The app takes user information – sex, weight, and height – and then asks what sporting activity you’re undertaking. It then combines that with data from local conditions and comes up with a recommendation for how much fluid you need to put back into your body to prevent dehydration or cramping. You’re probably thinking, “Powerade wants to tell me how much Powerade to drink with an app? How convenient for them,” but the app can come in handy if you’re not an expert on how to stay hydrated.


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