Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random including google, analytics and loving open office

I just checked out google analytics for this blog and found that someone found it this week after searching for "jane gianoutsos" and "jane gianoutsos openoffice".  Makes me feel a little bit famous.  Someone other thane me googled me.  [sheepish grin]

Anyways - if you're still reading mystery googler - Hi!

And once again, if anyone is swearing at Open Office, please please do let me know what's bugging you with it so I have more inspiration for working out how to do other things in OO and subsequently blogging about it.  Hmm, I must do that post on getting the most of TOCs - which I love btw.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apps I use on my Android

Apologies to all those that I promised this to.  It's taken me waaaay too long to do it.  In the name of getting it done, I'm going for a list only here, but please feel free to ask questions in the comments.

What I'm using: Google Nexus One, running Froyo, Android 2.2, build FRF91.

  • I'll list all the apps I either find useful or interesting, and then will finish with a list of widgets I'm using.
  • All apps in the list are free unless otherwise stated, and currently there is only one app I have purchased (Robo Defense - see games below). 
  • for most of these apps listed I have tried multiple different apps to solve a need, and the list below represents the ones I have settled on as having the best combination of features, usability and fit for purpose.

General OS and device organisation
  • 3G watchdog - to keep track of when 3G is on, and how much 3G data I've consumed
  • Adobe Reader - so I can read PDFs on the phone
  • Astro - primarily for file browsing and file management
  • Android System Info (seldom used, but useful if I need to know what's going on)
  • Apps Organizer - this is one of my favourite apps - allowing me to categorize applications then create folders of related apps  - ie 'Games', 'Travel', 'Social' etc. (not as ugly as the default folder functionality, allows ordering by way of 'favourites')
  • Barcode Scanner - useful for scanning in QR codes for apps in particular
  • Bluetooth File Transfer - I find this much easier for sharing files to my PC via bluetooth than the standard system bluetooth features
  • Browser - I'm using the standard N1 browser.  I tried Dolphin for a while, but didn't find any of the features to enhance my experience, so went back to the default shortly after publishing this I was reading a blog on my phone that I wanted to subscribe to in Google Reader and realised it didn't have a 'subsribe to RSS' function (which I'm used to from FireFox). So I gave Dolphin another go - and I"m sticking with it - love the integration with all my google applets, Delicious, the ability to subsribe to RSS, and I think I'll probably find the gestures pretty useful too.
  • Dotty - not a useful app, but interesting - especially seeing some of the dodgy behaviour in multi-touch handling on the N1.
  • Dr Web for Android - antivirus
  • Sensors - again, like Dotty, not useful, but interesting to see the inputs from the magnets and accelerometers on the phone
  • Trafficstats - to see which apps are using the most WiFi data
  • VolumeToggle (free) - for managing sound profiles
Communication & Social Media
  • ebuddy - for instant messenging - this allows you to sign in with various IM apps, including windows live (which is what I use at home)
  • Delicious - I have 2 delicious apps installed - one allows me to tag pages from the phone browser to my delicious account, the other is meant to show me my delicious book marks, but it seems to be munted, I live in hope that an update will change this!
  • Facebook -  does what it says (although doesn't allow me to access any FB apps - just feeds, notifications and friends)
  • GMail - the default app for accessing my GMail
  • Handcent SMS - for text messaging - I find this more feature rich than the default SMS app, and love the conversation bubble display.
  • Mail - Yahoo Mail - my primary email account is on Yahoo, so I use this a lot.
  • NewsRob - for reading my Google Reader syndicated RSS feeds (I tried various different apps before settling on this one)
  • Phone - I don't even know if there are other phone apps! I just use the default
  • SMS Backup - I have this installed but haven't used it yet.  I probably should.
  • Twitter - I also tried Twidroid & Toiteur, but finally decided to stick with the official Twitter app

Scheduling & General Life Organisation
  • Contacts - I use the default contacts manager 
  •  Jorte - love love love this calendar app, I find it so much better than the default and it integrates beautifully with my Gmail calendar, including things like national holidays, contacts birthday calendar, and any others I have shared to me (for example I view Simon's calendar as well as my own). It also integrates with my Gmail Tasks list beautifully (manual sync for now, but that's not a problem).  This is probably my absolute favourite app.
  • OI Shopping List - and I use this for way more than just shopping lists, including packing lists, goals, general To Do.  Love the functionality of this one (and I tried a few)
  • TripIt - I use this online so it helps to have the Android app for offline viewing
Imaging & Documents
  • Camera - the default camera
  • Camera Illusion - for different effects, and with the added bonus that the 'shutter' sound on this camera is far more subtle than the default one
  • FlickrFree - for uploading photos to my Flickr account. (I must try Flicka now that it's out, but haven't got around to it yet, not to mention that FlickrFree does pretty much everything I could want)
  • Gallery - the default - I probably ought to look around for some alternatives
  • NoteEverything - document, scribble pad
  • NE GDocs - allows me to import my Google Docs to NoteEverything (not a 2 way sync), and export to new Google Documents
  • Whiteboard - love this for sketching design ideas down (I make handbags)
Location Related
  • c:geo - a fabulous app for Geo-Caching.  Allows me to link to my account, find caches, then download them for offline use (so I don't have to use 3G) - this includes maps at various scales.  Provides various methods of navigating to caches, plus the ability to log your find while in the field (network connectivity dependent).  This is a brilliant app and very much our preferred tool for geo-caching now
  • Compass - I can't think why I still have this now.  Given I would have installed it for geo-caching purposes, but c:geo does everything I need.
  • Google Sky Map - this is another of my favourite apps - location and orientation aware, this simply shows you a live sky map, which you can orient towards a star or constellation and compare what you see in the sky to what you see on screen and work out what it is you're looking at.  Love love love!
  • GPS Status - I find sometimes the GPS takes a bit to get a location, but this app gives me a bit of feedback as to why, and I find it also seems to speed up getting a lock. Also has a light intensity reading.
  • Maps - default maps app
  • Moon phase - does what it says, requires network connectivity
  • My tracks - haven't used this yet, but have it installed for recording GPS data on a journey
  • NZRoadInfo - requires network connectivity - then allows you to view all NZ traffic webcams
  • Places - Google Places - have occaisionally used this when we're trying to find a store, cafe, or.... nearby
Miscellaneous Tools

  • Bubble - a spirit level tool - vertical, horizontal, and a circle level for flat surfaces
  • Color Flashlight - turns the screen white for bright illumination (you can choose other colours), I'm told this is very useful if you get stuck with a flat tyre in a dark area - personally I'd just call AA. ;-)
  • Instant Heart Rate - uses the camera to read changes in oxygen in your blood and thus take your pulse rate.  Nifty. :)
  • Moon phase - requires network connectivity. Very basic, just tells you what phase the moon is in, when the last full/new moon was and when the next full/new moon is due.
  • OCR reader - I'm still playing with this, but basically, take a photo, run it through this to extract the text.  It doesn't seem to handle italic, serif fonts so well, but I do need to play some more.
  • Aldiko - ebook reader
  • Advanced Task Killer - while I still have this installed, I don't use it anymore. For ages I did, but then after a bit of reading I decided just to let the phone handle it's own memory - and it hasn't been a problem. (pre android 2.2 was another story, but that IS another story).

There are several games that I've have a play with, got bored of and then deleted, I'm only listing ones that I go back to.

  • Andoku - sudoku that includes irregular areas
  • Backgammon free
  • Cribbage Pro
  • Galaxy domination - I've completed the 100 levels for this, so am due to uninstall, but it was fun for a time.
  • Gem Miner - haven't really played this one yet
  • Light Racer - kind of like snakes, but against an opponent, and there's no real goal or 'death', so nothing to keep you coming back
  • Paper toss
  • Robo Defense - my ONLY paid application, and then it was the grand sum of $NZ4.03.  I played up to the 10 free levels, was still loving it, so went ahead and bought the full version.  I absolutely love this game  - didn't realise I enjoyed tower defense games so much!  This is a great one for when I'm stuck somewhere waiting for someone or something and don't have network access.
  • Traffic Jam 
  • WordUp! (like boggle)
  • Zilch Free (a dice game)
  • I used to have a Yahtzee game.  Not sure what happened to that, possibly a victim of my stuffed SD card a month or so back.
Anything else?

I have a bundle of location specific apps installed - ie a London tube map (you never know when you'll need it!), and a bunch of things for Sydney where we're heading for a holiday soon.  So things like bus timetables, maps, public transport maps, Ferry details, travel guides.

  • Jorte Horizontal 4x1 week view (Jorte has lots of options for calendar widget layouts - again, can't tell you how much I love this app)
  • Battery Widget - tells me what percentage of battery I have remaining
  • Volume Toggle widget - this is customisable, I've only got 2 profiles in the toggle - Silent and Normal (which is also customised).  Love the ease of silencing my phone with this.
  • OI Shopping list
  • Google Search
  • 3G watchdog - 1x1 display of total usage in period and also tells you if you have 3g on, includes a percentage of quota for period
  • Power Settings - for toggling wifi, bluetooth, gps, sync, auto-brightness (system supplied tool)
  • LED Flashlight - toggle for turning on/off the LED (which is the camera flash). That guy is seriously bright!
  • Default music toolbar widget (I had played with Double-twist, but wasn't using it enough to keep it, I may come back to it yet).
So, while this is not an exhuastive list of everything I have installed, it is a pretty good representation of everything I actually use on the phone.  Once again - any questions, even if it's 'oh, you use newsrob, have you tried Greader' (yes, rejected). ;-)  I've played with quite a bit!