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Favorite Android Apps

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Parker Clack, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Because I have a fantastic sense of timing, it turns out SwiftKey left beta today and is in the app store:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchtype.swiftkey

    The trial version for phones is here:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchtype.swiftkey.phone.trial

    I have written about SwiftKey extensively in the past. Suffice it to say, I highly recommend it. It is hands down the best keyboard, soft or hard. The new version has undock and split modes for phones as well, and an option to shrink the keyboard to corner, allowing one handed typing for phablets (the Note has this function, but it only works with the default keyboard). SwiftKey has a flow mode like Swype, so the compact keyboard mode would make it much easier to slide your thumb around one handed even on less enormous phones like the 5" Galaxy S4.
     
  2. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    If you need a remote desktop app, the best one right now is the Microsoft Remote Desktop. To get the fullest out of it, you will need a keyboard with an undocked mode (like SwiftKey) and a pointing device, like a stylus. And your screen resolution should be 1280 x 800 or 2560 x 1600. Unfortunately, 1980 x 1200 resolution talents tablets require a bit too much bandwidth and result in touch targets that are too small for comfortable use. 2560 x 1600 scales down to 1280 x 800. Once that's out of the way, the reasons why this is the best implementation of Android RDP are due to two important features:1) You can drag and drop links 2) You can Alt+Tab The former is a huge convenience and time saver. The latter is the single feature I've been looking for for almost two years. You cannot have a true desktop experience via RDP unless you can Alt+Tab to switch between programs. Even on a hardware keyboard, Alt+Tab only switches between Android apps and does not work within the RDP session. It's the same way with MS RDP, but there is still a way to Alt+Tab - double tapping on the Shift, Alt, or Ctrl keys causes them to lock. So if you Alt lock, you can tap the Tab key to bring up the Windows program switcher. Voila! The one feature that would make the app absolutely perfect would be and alternate to long press for right click. It's a bit dodgy and doesn't take 20% of the time. Maybe something like touching a link and tapping a second finger would be more reliable. In any case, the ability to Alt+Tab makes MS RDP the Holy Grail of remote desktop apps.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

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    I was having issues getting Auto Wi-Fi Toggle to work reliably on my new Motorola Droid Maxx, so I installed the free app Wi-Fi Matic to automatically turn my wi-fi on/off. So far, it seems to be working fine.

    Now I just need to find a way to do something similar for Bluetooth. With my previous Droid Razr, I used Motorola's Smart Actions app to turn it on/off based on time of day so BT would be on when I commuted to/from work, allowing my phone to synch with my car. Unfortunately, Motorola did not include Smart Actions with their new wave of Droid phones, and the version on the Play store will not install. For now, I am just leaving BT on all the time. Luckily, the Maxx has a very large capacity battery, but I still like to optimize these things when possible.
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

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    I had been using an app called Battery Circle to give me more accurate info on the amount of charge left on the battery. I recently switched to GSam Battery Monitor, which not only gives an accurate battery percentage remaining, but also tells you in great detail what is using the battery, and how much.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    My new company switched us to iPhone 5c (as they don't do Android), and definitely missing SwiftKey, especially on the tiny screen. :wacko:

    _Man_
     
  6. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    That terrible, Man. No long press for numbers and punctuation either. Also, there's no indication that you're in caps because the letters are always displayed as caps. What, is this a Blackberry keyboard? That's puzzling.

    Anyway...

    I am playing a lot of Angry Birds Go! Which should really be called Angry Birds Grind! While it's billed as a racing game, it's really a grinding and leveling up game, with racing merely being the mechanism for collecting coins. There is no deep racing engine here -- it's a downhill cart racer, so there isn't a gas or brake -- just steer and use your power-up judiciously. Even the leveling has no depth -- although there are four attributes to increase, the only purpose in leveling up is to increase your overall CC rating. So it doesn't matter if you spend 3000 coins to increase your Handling rating by one bar to increase 10 CCs or if you spend 3400 coins to increase your Acceleration by one bar to increase by 10 CCs (except the former is cheaper). The increase in CCs is the only thing that matters. Increasing Handling doesn't make the cart steer any better nor does increasing Acceleration make the cart shoot out of the gate faster.

    Which is not to say I'm not addicted. Like many other grind out games, I'm constantly muttering, "just one more" over and over again. There is limit to the number of races per bird within a certain time frame, but it's easily overcome by changing the system clock. As you progress, you get so many birds that you might not even have to resort to that. Although... I still do it.

    I don't think Angry Birds Go! is particularly a good, game, but if you have the personality that gets hooked on grinding, it's not going to matter.
     
  7. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Cardcam and Soundhound are two of the very few apps that I find useful.
     

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