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Saturday, 9 November 2013

If you use an upmarket Android phone you may like some of the apps I use.

Apps I have found useful (Android) however, I will offer a caveat here:

I do use a more powerful version smartphone (Galaxy S4) and some of these apps may not appear as fast on smaller models, if they work at all).

Anyway, make of them what you will, and if you have some of your own favourite apps, feel free to add them under Comments below.

They have all been used for some time now.
aCurrency Pro This is a useful app if you want to keep a check of currencies or precious metals. I found it so useful so I paid for the full application model Alcodroid This is putting years onto my life. You enter the drink you are having, with the quantity in mL and the percentage alcohol. It works out the true “unit” size and keeps a record. You enter the maximum weekly number of units – the British government decree this to be 28, and it shows you your daily, weekly and monthly totals, including the percentage of your target you have reached. I usually only reach 75% of the target. It has cut down my drinking by 140%. It even acts as a nag if you don't have 48 hours alcohol free each week, which is recommended by doctors.

Move This registers my travelling in steps and transport and I have set my target as 5,000 steps every day. I have to admit, I find it compulsive and if I don't make the full 5,000 paces, I do more the next day. This will, as I am already 74, only add a few years to my life but when you're close to the end, anything is welcome!

Tweetcaster I am very active on Twitter (@AmpersUK) but prefer this app to Twitter's. It allows longer than 140 characters by shortening them and adding a link to the full message. It can also post a long tweet as several shorter (140 characters) tweets running consecutively.

Accoweather. I find this a very accurate app, far better than the main UK weather bureau or the TV weather people. I live in London. This app actually shows me the weather for Finchley, can't get more localised than that. Not always correct, but incredibly often it is spot on.

Business Calendar and Business Ta though.sks. These can act as stand alones, but I sync them with Google Calendar and Gmail respectively. The writers say they will link them together into one app soon which will be useful.

Evernote One of the best note app on the market. You can add it to Windows, Mac (or as Nixnote in Linux) and it will sync perfectly all around.

Whatsapp This is a useful message app which will search your address book and include anyone who is also in Whatsapp to your list. I find it cheaper to use to send sms's to South Africa and America and Australia. I've tried most and prefer this unless I want to use a video call, then I use Skype.

Bus Countdown Pro This is useful in London as you can see the exact time your bus will arrive at a certain bus stop. I was on the phone to a friend who wanted to come and see me. I said, you'd better hurry, the bus will be at your stop in exactly seven minutes. He was certainly amazed.

London Journey does what the last app does but with underground trains. And a lot more. Allows you to plan journeys in the future using all transport in London. Overground. Underground. Docklands Railway. Buses. Thames water buses.

Shopping Lists Manager. I have tried many apps for this but this is the best. And it sinks with their web program so you can do all the typing on your desktop. I use it for our local Tesco. I add the aisle numbers so: 03b Soap Powder would be Aisle 3 on the side the back door is. 03f would be the side the front door is. No good putting left and right as you don't know which side you will approach. What I am saying is, it can be very efficient as it saves us 10 to 20 minutes per weekly shop.

Finance A Google app which allows you to add your shares, and also a watching list. With graphs on their performances, and any information on the company published on the web. I use this daily. 

WhereamI Ever been to a huge car park and forgotten where your car is? A click on this program and, when you return, it will walk you to your car. Very useful at the NEC Birmingham – half a dozen car parks spread over a square mile!

Fing This will show you the IP address, MAC Address and other information of everything connected to your wireless router. Including anyone illegally logged on!

WiFi Analytics This shows signals of all wifi in your immediate area, with a lot of information re strength (are you using the best channels and strengths).

Remote Apps infra red on your phone required 

WatchOn is a Samsung app which connects my phone to my TV. I can see when Films Sport, Plays are on, and a full program list according to whether I use FreeSat, Freeview, Sky or others.

Remote App is for the Marantz M-CR610 and I can set it to play DABs stations, Internet Radio from any country in the world, Music Streaming, CD player (also MP3), Front USB, back USB and more

BubbleUPnP This is a useful app if you love music. I have a small office at home, and in the lounge I have a Marantz M-CR610 for my music and a Technomate TM-Twin-OE for operating my TV. This app allows me to stream music to the former and videos to the latter. Both boxes are linked to my home network of course. Unlike Plex and other streaming software, I can sit in the lounge and choose which songs or playlists I want to play. You can even operate your equipment from outside the home network so you can have access to all your music and videos anywhere in the world, as long as your home computer is on.

On Holiday

Google Goggles will photograph a street sign or notice in a shop window. Use OCR and translate the information into English.

Google Translate This is very accurate but the trick is to write in short sentences, The number of languages it uses is pretty extensive and they have even included Latin. I use this more than once a week now (not the Latin). If abroad, write your question in English and hit “enter” and show your phone to whoever you are asking directions to.

TripAdvisor allows you to plan your trips abroad, and when you are there, it shows local shops, restaurants etc near you. And a lot more. I always use this.

GPSWaypointsNavigator This can be very useful if you are in a strange City. Set your hotel as your start, and every time you turn left or right, or come to a junction, make a waypoint. Then it is easy to retrace your steps. Also has a built in compass. Don't buy this unless you are willing to learn about navigation. Useful also in the African bush.

I have well over 200 apps on the phone, so you will understand I can't write about all of them!


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