I’ve been playing around quite a bit with my Samsung Galaxy S recently, and decided to share some of my favourite apps (instead of doing my uni assignment like I should). I ditched the Android 2.2 (Froyo) version that came on the phone from Optus/Samsung, and installed Cyanogen Mod. I had been running on the release candidate for a while without any problems, and recently the CM team released CM7.1 for many devices, including the Galaxy S. Since installing CM7 on my phone, it runs a heck of a lot faster, and apps aren’t hanging on me like they were with the standard Optus/Samsung 2.2 release. Instructions for how to install CM7 on the Galaxy S (and others) can be found here.
Yesterday Google and Samsung actually announced the release of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The phone looks great, but the real stand-out is Android 4.0. I can’t wait for it to be released! There are so many great new features, all of which can be seen in the second half of the video below (turn off AdBlock if the video isn’t showing up for you).
Anyway, if you currently have an Android smartphone running 2.x here are some of my favourite apps and games. They may have limited or no use to you, and some are specific to Australian users but I thought I’d share anyway!
The Angry Birds franchise (including Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio) is by far the most popular series of mobile games. And the best thing is that on Android they’re free! (ad-supported). There are plenty of levels with more being added regularly and it will take you a while to master each and every one of them.
Fruit Ninja was developed by Brisbane’s own Halfbrick Studios. The premise is simple, yet addictive – drag your finger across the screen to slice different kinds of fruit while avoiding the bombs. There is a free and paid version available on Android.
This is the same as the original Worms game, but now available on Android! Control your team of worms to annihilate the opposing teams using some crazy weapons. Great fun, $1.99 well spent.
Those are my top 3 games at the moment, though there are plenty of other great ones available in the Android Market.
I have so many apps that I use on a daily or weekly basis, so I will just give a brief explanation about the best ones. If you think they will be useful, the best thing to do is download and try them out! Hopefully there will be a couple of apps that you didn’t even know existed. All are available through the Android Market and most are free. I have conveniently linked all of them here, so if you view on your Android phone you can install easily.
Adobe Reader – Pretty self-explanatory, great for opening PDF files on your phone.
Advanced Task Killer – A quick and easy way to kill off programs running in the background.
Aldi Australia – Let’s you see the weekly specials coming up at Aldi stores.
android-vnc-viewer – Connect to a VNC server (remote access to your computer). This is great, I can control my Windows 7 media centre PC from anywhere. Works will common VNC apps like TightVNC and RealVNC.
APPY Geek – Tech news including breaking news alerts.
Barcode Scanner - Scan barcodes on products then look up prices and reviews. You can also scan Data Matrix and QR Codes containing URLs, contact info, etc.
Cloud Print – Lets you print documents from your phone to your home printer using Google Cloud Print, no matter where you are!
Domino’s Pizza – Order directly from the mobile app. Notification in task bar when your pizza is ready!
Dropbox – Store files in the cloud (2GB for free) and share between your desktop, laptop and phone using this app.
eBay – Purchase items and manage your account with this app.
Engadget – Tech and gadget news. Well presented and loads image galleries and videos within the app.
Facebook – Official Facebook app, provides most of the functionality of the desktop site, minus a few features. This app was hopeless running on the standard Optus/Samsung 2.2 install, but works fine since changing to CM7.
Foodspotting – Share and view photos and reviews of food. Can look for new food near your location.
Google Sky Map – Hold your phone up to the sky and it will show you where the different constellations and planets are.
IMDB – Quickly look up information about TV shows, movies and actors.
Lookout – Lets you track down your phone on a map from any computer, and can sound an alarm on your phone if you lose it.
Media Remote – Lets you control your Sony devices (i.e. Bravia TV) from your Android handset.
My Tracks – Great way to track your route. I use it when I go cycling. Can share your track on Google Maps, shows you average speed, distance etc.
MyAccount (Optus) – View your account usage and pay phone bills within the app.
NASA – Latest news and information from NASA.
Paypal – Manage your Paypal account and payments with this app.
Photoshop Express - powerful photo editing tools right on your phone! Adjust exposure, saturation, cropping and rotating etc.
reddit is fun – View reddit, can sign in with your account. Loads photos etc within the app.
Shazam – Not sure what that song on the radio is? This app will listen to it and look it up.
Translink QLD Planner – Not an official app, but works well. Look up public transport by simply entering your location and destination (Brisbane).
Twitter – Official Twitter app, does all the things you would expect.
Urbanspoon – Reviews and photos of food. Find by category or location.
Wikidroid – View Wikipedia in this app – layout is nicer than the website.
Woolworths – Great app, lets you link with your Everyday Rewards card, check your fuel vouchers, look up specials, scan barcodes and add them to your shopping list, search recipes.
µTorrent Remote – Add and manage your torrents from anywhere right from your handset! This is great – I can add torrents when they are released and they’re ready by the time I get home!