Guest Author - Kathryn K Free
There are several ‘must have’ Android mobile APPs that everyone should have. These APPs make using your smartphone easier and fun.
The first one I want to bring to your attention is ‘Incoming Call Plus (beta)’ Android mobile APP. This APP has helped me so much! When important calls come in they are not always at the most opportune time, like a meeting or deep conversation. You do not want to ignore the call, but you cannot ignore the situation either. With this mobile APP your phone would not just ring but give you three options ~ answer the call, ignore the call and now ignore the call with a text message. You can make up canned text messages like, ‘Can’t pick up will call back’ or ‘Give me a minute.’ You can even include custom messages. So check out this Android mobile APP on the Android market.
iOS has Siri, but are you aware that Android has a built-in voice recognition software that is capable of being like Siri? And it is easy to try. From a text field simply click on the microphone provided on the keypad and dictate a message. You can use this feature to write a text message, email or even search the Web without having to type anything! Be aware that you may need to turn some settings on to activate this feature but it is worth the time. Have a little patience, because your device may not be so accurate at first but with time it will actually learn and recognize your voice and adjust to it.
Keep track of data usage is vital to those who are not all an unlimited data plan. If this is you, I recommend checking out the Onavo Android mobile APP. This APP will keep track of your data usage and warn you when you are approaching a certain limit. You can also set a ‘hard’ stop when your data use hits a particular threshold.
Many use Google voice integration but I have found it not so successful. It is a totally free service but often text messages take a few hours to be sent and phone calls seem choppy at times. Google voice gives you a new phone number that is tied to your Google account. With this number you can do many things like voicemail greetings for different callers, forwarding then number, have voice messages transcribe to text messages so you can read them instead of calling as well as other features. Texting is also a free service offered by Google voice.
A fun Android only mobile is Google Sky Map. This is just a fun APP to have. All you do is point your phone to the heavens and you will see a map of the constellation, planets and objects occupying the same you are pointing to. Point in any direction and you will see what is in that direction! Watch meteor showers while they are happening. But that is not all ~ you can actually travel backwards and forwards in time with Sky Map. At present you can go back to 1900 and see what the sky looked like on any specific date. A great teaching tool for kids of all ages.
This next one is very useful. ‘Screenshot it’ is another Android mobile APP that lets you take a screen shot of anything on your smartphone. The image is saved in your photo gallery and what is even better. . .this APP no longer has to be rooted and is very simple to use.
All those APPs mentioned about can be found on the Android market and each have an equivalent APP for the iOS. That is except for Sky Map. Sky Map is a Google proprietary offering!
Have fun with your smartphone and remember you are actually smarter than your phone when you take advantage of all the APPs that make your life easy, more enjoyable and productive.