Well I got delivery of my brand new HTC Desire mobile phone over the weekend and am totally over the moon with the advances made in the Android operating system. My last 4 phones have all operated on Windows Mobile which has offered some tweakable features whereas the Android system is totally open and now boasts over 100,000 apps made for it with the figure growing at a really rapid rate.
So you’ve just got yourself a swanky new Android 2.1 mobile phone – what apps do you instantly need to add? Well here is my list of what i’ve put on in the first week and found really useful.
Meebo (FREE) – an instant messenger app that allows you to chat with MSN, AIM, Yahoo, and even Facebook contacts all within one window. Much more easier than multiple accounts open in loads of different apps!
Layar (FREE) – an interesting little app this! Essentially it is a take on Augemented Reality on the Android operating system. Essentially what this app does is allows you to view your surroundings via the onboard camera and move it around your environment to interact with it and discover/locate things! For instance, I was trying to find a Post Box near me to post a letter in – switch on the ‘Post Box layer’ and spin the camera around to see where the nearest one is. Or if you are feeling a bit peckish and need to know where a local takeaway is – switch on the ‘Takeaway Layer’ Essentially it is a massive database with GPS locations of items which you can view relevant to you. It comes into it’s own when you start using the social media layers consisting of Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. A little bit scary for some people to see other Tweeters located around you but a really invaluable tool!
Twidroid (FREE) – a Twitter client for the Android operating system. A lot of phones come with their own Twitter app/widget but this one comes into it’s own as it proves VERY useful when trying to navigate the myriad of media contained within Tweets – be that whether its video, photos, other people or URLs. It’s so easy and intiuitive to use.
BeebPlayer (FREE) – this is a non-BBC branded version of the BBC iPlayer. There isn’t an official BBC iPlayer app but this does everything you would expect from an official app! You can watch live streams of any of the BBC channels (was very useful for The Grand National at The Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday!) and also you can watch the thousands of hours of material in the watch again section. Obviously streaming quality depends on your 3G signal but is still watchable on other sources!
Net Counter (FREE) – this app counts up the amount of data that your phone uses and is very useful for people on tariffs with Orange as they only give you a figure of 500mb a month (which is a bit stingy of them!) These new smart phones really do use up a lot of bandwidth and i’d try and get at least 1Gb per month just to be sure.
Barcode Scanner (FREE) – this little app is extremely useful in that you dont even have to enter URLs or other information to browse websites or find out costs of items. All those little boxes you can see can be scanned by this app and hidden within those boxes are information and instructions depending on what is scanning it. Therefore you scan those boxes with this app and it redirects your phone to download the associated app with it. Very simple and useful.
Nesoid (FREE) – an emulator that allows you to play any of the games released on the Nintendo Nes system. You will have to download the ROMS aswell and sometimes the controls can be a bit dodgy if playing on a touch screen – but otherwise its great discovering the old games again.
Marvin (FREE) – a Spectrum 48k/128k emulator. Luckily there is a link directly to World Of Spectrum within the app to download all the ROMS directly. Very handy but choose the game carefully as some dodgy control systems in place if using touch screens. (or maybe I just havent configured everything properly yet!)
Right that’s a few to get you started. As I discover even more useful apps i will post them here! Have fun with your Android mobile phone and please add any interesting apps you find here!