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Favorite Android Apps


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#41 of 187 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 12 2010 - 02:18 PM

Has anyone tried Tango yet? A good friend suggested Kik Messenger. I have been playing around with it and it is really nice alternative to SMS.

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#42 of 187 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted November 20 2010 - 01:58 AM

Please understand I'm not trying to troll you all, I genuinely want to see a strong competitor to iPhone which forces Apple to remain nimble.  But it doesn't seem that Android Apps are really taking off in a big way (with the possible exception of Angry birds) and I was never really able to put my finger on why.  I'm sure a gruber link will draw groans from this crowd but he legitimately nails down what has been eluding me about this problem:



My hypothesis hinges on three factors:

    [*] Apple has carefully constructed iOS and the iTunes App Store to support this “app console” model.

    [*] Developers, large and small, have swarmed to Apple’s app console model, with consumer-friendly apps, design, presentation, and pricing.

    [*] iOS users understand the app console model and have embraced it — both in terms of a willingness to look for and install apps, and a willingness to pay for them.

None of those three things are true for Android.



http://daringfirebal...oid_killer_apps


Would any of you dispute what he is saying there, and is there some kind of secret sauce that is missing here?  My hypothesis goes like this:  The iPhone survived for a year plus with no third party apps, is it so surprising that andoid is doing so well with a sub par app landscape?  Do you see a middle ground between the geek loving phone as a PC crowd that has embraced the limited openness of Android vice the candyland that seems to result from the locked down walled garden that Apple has created?


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#43 of 187 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted November 20 2010 - 05:44 AM


Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Please understand I'm not trying to troll you all, I genuinely want to see a strong competitor to iPhone which forces Apple to remain nimble.  But it doesn't seem that Android Apps are really taking off in a big way (with the possible exception of Angry birds) and I was never really able to put my finger on why.  I'm sure a gruber link will draw groans from this crowd but he legitimately nails down what has been eluding me about this problem:



Quote:
My hypothesis hinges on three factors:

    [*] Apple has carefully constructed iOS and the iTunes App Store to support this “app console” model.

    [*] Developers, large and small, have swarmed to Apple’s app console model, with consumer-friendly apps, design, presentation, and pricing.

    [*] iOS users understand the app console model and have embraced it — both in terms of a willingness to look for and install apps, and a willingness to pay for them.

None of those three things are true for Android.



http://daringfirebal...oid_killer_apps


Would any of you dispute what he is saying there, and is there some kind of secret sauce that is missing here?  My hypothesis goes like this:  The iPhone survived for a year plus with no third party apps, is it so surprising that andoid is doing so well with a sub par app landscape?  Do you see a middle ground between the geek loving phone as a PC crowd that has embraced the limited openness of Android vice the candyland that seems to result from the locked down walled garden that Apple has created?


I don't own either -- not even an iPod Touch anymore (since my kid lost the one I passed to him).


My take is the specifics of the app store actually doesn't matter quite that much in the grand scheme of things (as long as they have or will quickly create a consumer-friendly-enough one).  The app store is actually more of a niche thing for the most part.  Most people don't really care that much about such things.  It's really just a novelty thing for most, and that shall pass unless some truly serious apps become available thru this model.  The main thing about it that will stay w/ the masses is the inexpensive games and a handful truly useful (likely content-heavy) apps, and all those things will likely show up in enough quantity and quality on the Android platform (and anything else that can rival Android and iOS for consumer base).  If Angry Birds made it to Android, that should say enough for games me thinks.  And no homebrew, non-game apps will likely ever make or break a platform.


In the long run, people will likely choose iOS or Android (or something else) for reasons other than the app store thing.  Even now, I see enough people choosing Android over iOS -- that *might* change if/when Verizon starts offering the iPhone, but that has not happened yet.  My sister and brother-in-law, who had the iPhone w/ AT&T for 2 years, just switched to the HTC Droid Incredible (not even the latest Android phones) w/ Verizon as soon as their AT&T contract was up -- they actually found *both* the (old) iPhone and AT&T (in the NYC area) to be rather lacking in actual practice, and they are probably tech-savvy enough to care a little about app store offerings.  I also know someone else who recently opted for the Motorola Droid X to stay w/ Verizon instead of switching to AT&T for the new iPhone (or even waiting for Verizon's own iPhone next year) -- and he's loving his Droid X for much of the reasons I mentioned, including having good access to content-heavy apps (like YouTube, etc).


_Man_


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#44 of 187 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted November 22 2010 - 07:58 AM

Interesting take thanks.  I guess nobody else wanted to take a swing at the Q...


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#45 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 22 2010 - 08:17 AM

The entire premise of the app store article is wrong because it is treating the app store like it was an XBOX vs PS3 war.  This model doesn't apply because:


a) People aren't restricted in their console purchase according to, say ISP or whatnot

b) The killer apps for Android are built into the OS and buyers don't really care about the distinction between 1st and 3rd party software

c) There are plenty of enough reasons to choose Android over iPhone that have nothing to do with apps at all, like choice of form factor, carrier, and features (not dropping phone calls, etc)



Apps are not the reason why a phone platform lives or dies.  These are not dedicated video game consoles.  Do you think if WebOS has 100K apps it would have flourished?  The Pre hardware was simply too limited and fragile to sustain sales.



#46 of 187 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted November 22 2010 - 09:04 AM

Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 
b) The killer apps for Android are built into the OS


I'm most curious about this.  I'll give you one:  the browser.  What other app built into the OS is killer?  _maybe_ the media player.  What else?


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#47 of 187 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted November 22 2010 - 10:05 AM


Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 
b) The killer apps for Android are built into the OS


I'm most curious about this.  I'll give you one:  the browser.  What other app built into the OS is killer?  _maybe_ the media player.  What else?


Sam,


If you can actually consider those to be killer apps for Android, then that's probably plenty enough already.


People don't buy into smartphones (and pay for additional data service) for little trinkets in app stores.  People mostly want to do the core stuff that tend to be content-heavy like surfing the web, checking YouTube, listen to some music, or just some PIM/email stuff (or actually making/receiving phone calls!).  And in the NYC area, 3G/4G on AT&T wouldn't do diddly squat, except possibly force your smartphone to chew up battery power constantly searching for a good enough 3G/4G signal -- my coworker, who sits in a cube next to me, decided to turn off his BB Bold's 3G connectivity w/ AT&T because of that, and he's getting much better battery life since then.  Obviously, this latter aspect won't apply to everyone and will depend on actual network coverage in your area, but it's one of those factors that clearly and easily trump whatever perceived diffs between these platforms.


BTW, I just met another person at a close friend's 50th b'day party who recently opted for the Samsung Fascinate w/ Verizon instead -- and he's got some others interested too...


_Man_


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#48 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 22 2010 - 10:21 AM



Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 
b) The killer apps for Android are built into the OS


I'm most curious about this.  I'll give you one:  the browser.  What other app built into the OS is killer?  _maybe_ the media player.  What else?


In addition to the Flash enabled browser:
Google Maps

Turn by Turn Navigation

Google Voice


Then there are the first party apps that aren't necessarily installed out of the box:

Google Earth

Google Sky

Google Listen (for podcasts)

Google Goggles


BTW, the totally free turn by turn nav program fills the need for a dedicated GPS unit and is a mucho killer app.



#49 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 23 2010 - 04:29 AM

And let me reiterate -- the Google Nav program is almost worth the price of admission to Android.  Will a dedicated GPS unit do the same thing?  No.  Because unless you're in the habit of carrying around a GPS unit with you at all times, the flexibility of having on your phone trumps whatever extra niceties a dedicated unit brings to the table.  I essentially have a GPS unit with me no matter what car I'm in, can get turn by turn walking directions if I'm in the city, and I can interact with my contacts and web browser to get addresses.  For me, this is better than a dedicated GPS unit and free with the phone.  It's a phenomenal app that I use on a daily basis.



#50 of 187 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted November 23 2010 - 05:02 AM

Hanson,


Would Google Nav work well, if at all, that way on an Android device that only has wifi capability, not using cell phone service?


I'm curious whether it would still work the same on something like the new Archos tablets.


Thanks.


_Man_


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"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#51 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 23 2010 - 05:59 AM

Unless the Archos tabs have GPS chips, navigation won't even function since it won't know where you are in the route to tell you to "turn in a quarter mile".


I know that the software actually caches maps as a matter of operation (in case you hit a patch of poor or no data reception), but I don't think it has a true offline mode.


Check out MapDroyd if you want to use offline maps.  But there is no turn by turn functionality.



#52 of 187 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 24 2010 - 02:36 AM

I picked up a great app from local radio stations+ TuneIn Radio http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://www.appbrain....p/tunein.player

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#53 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 24 2010 - 03:20 AM

I use TuneIn.  It's great app.  I've listened to NFL games that aren't being broadcast locally with this app since you can get radio stations all across the country, both AM and FM.


The only drawback is that it's pretty slow switching between stations, which makes it onerous to jump to another station when your current station is on a commercial break.  It almost doesn't matter though, since there's some nationwide radio conspiracy to synchronize all commercials.


I haven't listened to radio in a while (it's podcast only during my drive commute), but it seems there are more commercials than ever.



#54 of 187 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 25 2010 - 05:07 AM

My only issue with TuneIn is that the local stations that I listen to are buffered for a certain amount of time for some reason. I can listen to the station for about 20 minutes and then it just stops playing. It is really annoying. I am also having to deal with Extended Controls not working after he upgraded it. It just keep closing out.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#55 of 187 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted November 27 2010 - 12:02 PM


Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

Unless the Archos tabs have GPS chips, navigation won't even function since it won't know where you are in the route to tell you to "turn in a quarter mile".


I know that the software actually caches maps as a matter of operation (in case you hit a patch of poor or no data reception), but I don't think it has a true offline mode.


Check out MapDroyd if you want to use offline maps.  But there is no turn by turn functionality.


I started considering a new dedicated GPS unit w/ the current BF-week pricing, but came across this that makes the notion of using a non-GPS tablet a possibility.  What do you think?  Of course, doing this w/ a 10" tablet might be overkill to say the least -- 10" would likely be much too big for the dashboard. Posted Image


http://www.gpspassio...TOPIC_ID=138653


Hmmm...  Looks like that'd still need some sort of wireless data service anyway (for the maps), which would not work w/ a WiFi-only tablet unless one gets something like Verizon's MiFi service to go w/ it.


But even if we forgo a new GPS unit and use either the Samsung Fascinate or Motorola Droid X (or the next new/best Android smartphone) for GPS, will it perform at least as well as our few-year-old Magellan Maestro 3225?  Does the GPS software provide fast, smart routing (and rerouting), good, prompt voice direction and turn indicators, etc.?  I guess we'd also need to get a proper dashboard(?) mount for it.


Also, would these Android smartphones be able to handle both phone calls *and* GPS nav at the same time w/out any hitches at all?


Thanks.


_Man_


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"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#56 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 28 2010 - 02:35 AM

Google navigation does Voice prompts for turns at a quarter mile and at 100 feet. It will reroute on the fly if you miss a turn. If you're listening to music or on the phone, it chirps in to give you the turn by turn directions. If you need the phone mounted, there are numerous windshield suction mounts available, although those are illegal in CA (you can use a vent or bean bag holder instead). If you're used to having the screen on during the entire trip, I suggest you get an AC adapter as the screen will draw a lot of power. I normally rely on just the voice prompts and leave the screen off.

#57 of 187 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted November 28 2010 - 03:39 AM


Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

Google navigation does Voice prompts for turns at a quarter mile and at 100 feet. It will reroute on the fly if you miss a turn. If you're listening to music or on the phone, it chirps in to give you the turn by turn directions. If you need the phone mounted, there are numerous windshield suction mounts available, although those are illegal in CA (you can use a vent or bean bag holder instead). If you're used to having the screen on during the entire trip, I suggest you get an AC adapter as the screen will draw a lot of power. I normally rely on just the voice prompts and leave the screen off.


But you can always just touch the screen to bring it back on (from screensaver mode) for a short while as you normally would for other uses, no?  I guess one would set the screen to stay on longer than usual for this -- maybe for a couple minutes after touch.


I wonder how much data bandwidth this uses.  The phone will be for my wife, and she probably wouldn't use the GPS more than once a week to run an errand or something (to somewhere relatively unfamiliar) and maybe once a month for more extended use beyond our 10-mile radius perhaps.  I'm wondering whether this will definitely push her usage beyond Verizon's ~$15 minimal data plan, which basically charges $15/150MB.  She probably wouldn't be surfing the web all that much on it, but I guess using it for GPS even just occasionally will push her over...


Thanks.


_Man_


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#58 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 28 2010 - 11:56 AM

The Navigation program forces the screen to stay on. I usually turn the screen off manually and I can always pop back to it in progress if I want to look at the route. I'm not sure how much data the program uses since I haven't been on a metered plan in ages and don't really track my data usage. I will say that the maps load even if I'm in a low bandwidth situation, so it's probably not much. If you use satellite overlays it will probably drive up the data usage, but the default maps are flat colored and presumably quite small.



#59 of 187 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted November 28 2010 - 11:56 AM

Dupe.

#60 of 187 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted December 01 2010 - 04:26 AM


Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 
I know that the software actually caches maps as a matter of operation (in case you hit a patch of poor or no data reception), but I don't think it has a true offline mode.



Hmmm...  Do you know roughly how much caching it does?  I'm wondering what happens if you drive thru a sizeable region w/ poor or no data reception.  Certainly can happen if you drive into a state park or something.


Thanks.


_Man_


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"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)


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