Posts Tagged ‘apps’
Not long ago I wrote a post detailing four Android travel apps I found useful. Of course, there are dozens of travel apps on Android, so a few commenters raised objections. In that spirit, I thought we could take just a few minutes to look over a few things they suggested — and a few items people mailed in.
One reader suggested that OnTheFly is a better solution than Orbitz. That makes enough sense, since the developer of OnTheFly, ITA Software, is owned by Google. The app does pull from many resources to find the best flight prices within any given parameters. The app interface is second to none — plenty of competitors could learn a lot by how smoothly it runs through the process. And it does provide you with a comprehensive list of flights, allowing you to find the cheapest.
The only problem is that it doesn’t allow you to book those flights right from the app. Once it adds that, and tweaks a few features, it will certainly be a go-to app. But until then, apps with poorer UIs will win out, since users can book right from the app.
Anyone who travels even a couple of times a year needs a travel app on her Android smartphone. Having all of that information right in front of you, whenever you need it, is more than a convenience. At times it can save your hide. Here are a few of the best travel apps for Android.
How does an app survive over 10,000 ratings in the Android Market with a 4.5-star rating? By being one of the best in its field. TripIt has the travel thing down right. It’s a simple premise, too. All you do is forward your confirmation email to a tripit email address, and it automatically populates the app with your travel information. This includes not only flights, but also hotels, restaurant reservations, cruises, and more.
There’s a social element on top of this, too. You can share your travel plans with friends on Facebook. Maybe you just want to brag a bit. Maybe you’re looking for companions. Or maybe you just like to let your family and friends know what’s going on. In any case, it’s an available feature with TripIt.
I have been gardening since I was old enough to play in the dirt. For me, gardening is more than a hobby…it is a great stress reliever, a healthy way to break a sweat, an exercise in self-reliance, and a creative outlet. The payoff — whether it is in the sweet smelling flowers that attract foraging honey bees and an assortment of butterflies, or the abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables I can share with family and friends — is always rewarding, and it makes me feel accomplished to reap the fruits of my labor. The secret to gardening isn’t in the fertilizer, it’s in the apps.
If you are looking for gardening tips and are not shy when it comes to technology, an Android phone or tablet can be an invaluable tool in planning and maintaining your green plot. Below, I have listed some apps I often defer to for garden planning and organization, plant facts, and other helpful tips.
The Food Gardening Guide, from America’s leading magazine on organic gardening, is a comprehensive gardening app, providing an abundance of expert advice on Crops, Techniques, and Resources.
Do you work out with your Android? I do. It’s my music player, my stopwatch, and even my data tracker. It comes with me to station to station, and so I’m always open to new fitness apps that I can use with it. Lately I came across some apps from the developer Rittr Labs, and I came away very impressed. They focus on pure strength maneuvers: push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. Those can be the most important exercises (though I prefer dips to push-ups), because they work multiple body parts. Moreover, they translate to the real world. There are instances were pushing or pulling yourself up can come in handy. Few situations, I think, require me to lift a 225-pound weight off my chest.
The apps couldn’t be easier to use. You download them and then follow the programs they lay out for you. I’ve seen other programs that supposedly can increase your push-ups and whatnot, but they’re very general. These apps take into account your own feedback, and so guide you along a personal path. It might take longer than the other programs, but you’ll get there more effectively, because you’re tailoring the programs to your own personal needs. Check out the Rittr Labs apps in the Market. If you’re into fitness and use your Android as a tool, these can add to your arsenal.
Why are so many apps that cost money in the Apple App Store free in the Android Market? I had a friend gripe about this issue a few weeks ago, in regards to Angry Birds. Sure, the Android version has ads running over it, but the fact remains that it’s free, while it costs a few bucks on the iPhone/iPad. The reason might be as simple as this: Android users just aren’t as apt to pay for apps. At least, that’s what it feels like. For those wondering if there is any statistical backing to this anecdotal evidence, I turn you to a recent Distmo report that contains information about paid apps in the Android Market. It does seem to jibe with the general feeling about the app environment.
Nothing in life is free. Everything comes with a cost, whether direct or hidden. So when I get press releases that claim users can get premium apps for free, I automatically do the calculation in my head. Is it worth my time? Is it worth the possibility of being added to a mailing list? Those things cost time and incur frustration. That makes them not free, at least in my book. But if you have some free time and want to keep your wallet fatter, check out OfferedApp. You just might find the app you’re looking for.
It’s a pretty simple idea, one we’ve seen executed in different forms throughout the internet’s history. Instead of paying for the app with money, you fill out a survey. Once you finish, OfferedApp provides you with the premium app, usually valued between one and 10 dollars, for free. It sounds like a good deal if you’re an app hound on a budget, but it’s important to realize the cost of it all. Again, just because the app doesn’t make your bank account lighter doesn’t mean it’s free.
Note about Grooveshark included after the jump.
If you use Last.fm as a music discovery and recommendation tool, then |OP| of the xda developers forums has a must-download app. It’s called PlaylistR, and it lets you build playlists from your Last.fm favorites. This includes your charts, recommendations, friends, and overall charts. Then you can import those playlists into one of a few services. It works best with Grooveshark, MOG, and rdio, since you can import those playlists right from your Android device. There is also a level of support for Spotify and Deezer, though you can’t really build playlists for them. You can, however, stream individual songs.
With streaming apps, playlists are where it’s at. This is especially true of an app such as Grooveshark, which can get a but cumbersome when searching. Last.fm does a great job of pinning down music that you enjoy, and so it works well for playlist creation. If I still used Grooveshark, or had any of the other streaming services, I’d be all over this one. The more ways to generate playlists, the better. The app takes that further, automatically generating them for you. I like making playlists as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just want to automatically create one.