Essential Android Apps

By | Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:02 am

We’ve been very busy the past few weeks since Sandy’s dad George passed away.  He left behind a great family of three kids (if I can call them that) and a pretty darned nice house, if I do say so myself.  We’ve been busy getting things in order, cleaned up, shuffled around, and legally situated, and we’re almost ready to “Git ‘er done!” as they (Larry the Cable Guy) says.  Since I’m not willing to discuss anything regarding this in detail yet, and I still feel like writing, let’s talk apps.

There are a few apps on my Android that I just can’t live without, and I’d like to discuss them.  The first one is Evernote.  Evernote is free, and it’s awesome.  It’s very simple to use, and you can use it just as a basic note-taking app if you want to.  Once you write and save a note in Evernote, it’s on your account and will automatically sync with every other device you have (if you have Evernote on that device) and this way your notes will be available to you everywhere you need them!  This has become priceless for me at work–I often take notes before going offsite to other faciltiies.  I used to write up a quick Word document, print it, fold it up and put it in my pocket.  Now I simply type it up in an Evernote document and I can head out the door knowing when I take out my cell phone, it’ll be there for me to read whenever I need it.  Evernote also does much more.  It lets you attach files, insert images, and documents such as PDFs and docs, and it’ll even OCR your images and will find the text within them instantly whenever you search for something!

Another must-have app–for me, anyway–is Cardiotrainer.  I won’t walk without it.  It GPS-tracks your walks (or hikes, rides or drives), providing you with an excellent map of your journey as well as complete calorie-burning details and much more.  It even allows you to set optional goals for you trip, such as a specific amount of time you’d like to walk, a certain distance you’d like to travel, or a certain amount of calories you’d like to burn off, and it will prompt you accordingly at the intervals you set, as you walk, so you know exactly where you are and how close you are to your goal all the time.  This is one of those smart talking apps too–none of of beeps and ringtones, it talks plain english to you.  It will even automatically play a specific playlist of your music as you walk, if you want it to.  I prefer to listen to my audiobooks on my walks though, which encourages me to walk even more–so I can get further through each book I’m reading.  Cardiotrainer is free for basic use, but the “pro” version is the version I use, which include all of the features I mentioned.   It’s $9.99, which is actually pretty pricey for an Android app, but believe me, it’s worth every penny!  Especially if it helps you live longer and healthier, as it has me…A one-time $10 fee is a no-brainer!

There are many more apps I could mention here, but it’s time for breakfast, so I’ll only mention one more: Handcent.  Handcent is an SMS texting app replacement.  It replaces your stock Android texting app with a fancy-shmancy “bubble-type” texting app, akin to the iPhone texting app.  It includes a TON of options, so you can pretty much customize it exactly how you’d like it for everything from popups when you get a text to exactly what ringtones you want it to play for a specific person or for the default text-received ringtone.  It even has “skins”, which opens it up to hundreds (maybe even thousands) of user-created and custom skins you can use while texting.  You can even make it look and act just like the iPhone–if you want to keep it simple.

So that’s about it for now… breakfast time!

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