…And so the prophecy says, but what does Droid do?
Diving into the mobile device head first at 100 mph, I uncovered all that Droid can do; take DVD quality video, act as a flashlight, navigate the world (and stars), edit photos, be social, play music, make music, find new music, hear music and tell you who it’s by, surf the web, estimate speed, level surfaces, stop time, calculate things, quiz you, test you, wake your ass up, take shots of things (and scan them for Google searches), control your computer, tune your guitar, search for jobs, news, weather, prices, places tickets, and times; and…it knows how to cook. But, like most computer systems, they are useless to the everyday user without an interface and programs to suit all the needs of the user.
Enter android market; a place where you can get stuff to make your android phone do things. Here is a top ten selection of some of the coolest apps out there. Badda-bing.
10 > GOOGLE GOGGLES
Take a picture in Google Goggles and watch it come to life. Well, not really, but this app WILL scan your photo and do its best to recognize it and provide you with Google search options based on what it ‘sees’. This is awesome for…well I don’t really know what for, but it’s amazing technology. I tested it out with about a 60% accuracy rate. Truth is that it really depends on the quality of the image you take which depends on the lighting and whatnot. Google Goggles is fairly limited, but it’s great for scanning your favorite items to find reviews or information on them (somewhat)quickly and saving that info. Unfortunately it doesn’t work at all on obscure things like wood, people, liquids or pretty much anything that isn’t labeled up and model shot. I tried to Google myself via Goggles and got a plate of cookies. Pretty close.
09 > SHAZAM
BAM!!! Yeah Shazam. An awesomely simple, yet uber useful app for quickly finding songs to which ya just can’t name. Hear a song you want to know the name, artist and album of; let Shazam hear it too and moments later,…SHAZAM! Now you know the song title, artist, and album. How convenient is that? Shazam is pretty accurate too. There was only one time it didn’t recognize the song I was listening to. Then again it was some really psychedelic jazz from WFUV.
08 > GOOGLE SKY MAP
Talk about romance. Google Sky Map is a romantic date rape. Wow, did I just say that? No really though. If you’re ever out on a hot date with Droid in hand, but the sky is too gloomy or you’ve just got too many clouds in the back of your van, you can rely on Google Sky Map. It’s Google Earth, but for the sky. Simple concept, yet somehow completely and uselessly fun! Even if you’re not on a date, it’s great for the ego because with this redundantly amazing app from Google, YOU are the center of the universe. Sure you can flick and drag your way through the celestial night, but turn on the tilt mode and move your phone around in any-which-way to create your very own observatory. As you tilt or move the phone in any direction, Google Sky Map shows the stars, planets and night sky compliments to where you point. Point down and see the stars the way the other side of the world does. A truly amazing, one-of-a-kind app!
07 > SYNTHESIZER
Bmmm Chikk Bmm Chikk Chikk. Alright, so I can’t type beats, but I can make them with the Synthesizer app. A pretty dope beat maker, Synthesizer gives you a couple different options. It has a touch synthesizer with three octaves of C-A#. Touch the key and hear a sound which is customizable by an array of options including wave form, filter cutoff, attack length, tuning, echo strength and much more. After that you can jump into the sequencer which allows for instrument loading and customization, speed alteration, and scale variations and length. Not only that, but after you’ve mastered a fresh new sequence to freestyle to, tilt the phone and listen as the sequence warps in each direction. For a little app, it packs a big punch that just could keep you musically amused for hours.
06 > PICSAY
Picsay what? Sorry Adobe, but your photoshop ain’t got $h!t on this app. Picsay blows Mobile Photoshop out of the water with their free app which allows you to customize tint, temperature, pixelation, distortion, size, contrast, exposure, saturation, color, brightness and more. This app also allows you to add titling, mustaches, hair, eyes, and noses along with multiple other features that really set Picsay in the lead for best mobile editing app. That’s all in the free version too, just imagine what you get when you pay!
05 > PANDORA
All hail Pandora! Pandora! Pandora! I love Pandora and I just want to take this opportunity to say ‘Thank You’. Thank you for finding music that I’ve never heard and only asking me to tell you one song I like. Thank you for expanding my mind and my ears to the sounds of Blue Sky Black Death, Jedi Mind Tricks, Wax Tailor, and so many many more artists that fill my iPod and heart today. This app only makes me adore you more Pandora. WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT OR WHAT PANDORA IS OR HOW TO SPELL PANDORA; YOU NEED TO JUMP ON THE PANDORA TRAIN IMMEDIATELY.
04 > MUSICAL PRO
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s something of a music theme going on here. Yes, I love my music and I also love making music. Musical Pro lets you do this in a multi-touch kinda way. This is the only app on this list that I paid for, but is well worth it. The free version includes limited features, but the paid version, well….let’s just say it’s not very limited. This app lets you keep a metronome while you play piano at the same time. It will act as a tuner. It will act as a pitch pipe. If you get tired of the one tier piano you can switch to the two tier keyboard and choose one of the 128 instrument presets. Oh yeah, you can even download a song to help you learn it with light up keys!! Or, you can jam out on the drums with four touch pads. What’s really cool is the multi-touch feature so you can do double drum hits or play much more complex piano pieces. Musical Pro can even act as a MIDI over your Wi-Fi network. For two bucks it’s totally worth it and I plan to make it worth it by producing a couple tracks using only my phone. Mwuahaha.
03 > SNESOID LITE
I won’t waste much time talking about the absolute awesomeness of this app. Super Mario 1, 2, & 3, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter Turbo, Earthworm Jim, Uniracers, Contra, Yoshi’s Island, Zelda. The list goes on and on, but you’re right. Super Nintendo Rules!!!! Especially on a portable phone. I always wanted a hand-held Super NES; thanks mom!
02 > GMOTE
G G G Geeeeeeee. Gmote is here….and your computer is there. Don’t wanna get up? Not a problem. Gmote is here. Gmote is a geek’s fantasy. Control your computer from your phone. Only catch is you have to be on the same Wi-Fi network and install the Gmote server on your computer. Still, not a problem. It only takes a minute to set up, but lasts a batteries’ lifetime to play music on your computer from your phone or Google something on your phone and open it up on your computer. The coolest thing about Gmote isn’t just the file system search and execution you can do; it’s the mouse and keyboard function. Yup, you can use the touch screen as a mouse and keyboard for your desktop or laptop computing system. Or, if you have a Moto Droid you can flip the screen up, use that as a mouse while you type on the keypad for simultaneous functionality. So just touch and type and watch your friends freak out as they experience your computer become possessed. It’s so so really cool. Thank you Gmote (but you’re still my numero dos).
01 > ETHEREAL DIALPAD
Along with the them, my number one is obviously a music lover’s delight. Ethereal Dialpad? Sounds like a phone on acid. Sorta, but not really. Ethereal Dialpad is hard to describe but it is a way to make music like no other. Simply drag your finger around one of four dialpads and listen as two strings are simultaneously played according to the interecting points of your finger and movement. You can customize various features regarding the sound of the strings including softness, timber, depth, flanger, octave, and pitch. It really is quite beautiful and amazing. The way it works is simple. Select your pitch and octaves. Depending on this input results in a number of strings vertically and horizontally. As your finger touches any intersecting point Ethereal plays that corresponding sound of the two strings that cross at that point. Slide your finger to the left or right and it holds one string while scaling the vertical strings. Up and down holds vertical string while scaling horizontals. Move it all around and you can scale Mount Everest. Combining the Dialpad app with Musical Pro and the Synthesizer, one can only imagine the tunes, beats, and head-bumpin magic that will be blasting from local speakers ’round the world. Coming soon to a wavelength near you.
..and just in case my words didn’t explain the functionality of this app quite well check this out:
THE ONES WHO COULDN’T CUT IT (but are still awesome and should be obtained).
This free comic reader is simple and awesome. It allows you read various comic file types (CBR, CBZ, etc…) and customize flicks/buttons for different actions in the reader itself. A great way to catch up on comics while on the run. I put a ton of Spawn comics on my SD card so I can read them with easy navigation using the ACV comic reader app.
> New Scientist
This is a personal favorite of mine, but it isn’t that exciting for most. New Scientist is a simple app that lets users search the latest scientific news by channel. Channels range from tech news to topics in physics, math, health and space. This app provides a quick way to learn about the latest advancements in graphene sheets or cosmic bubbles. I geek out on this one daily.
> Camera 360
There are a lot of free and paid apps out there that turn your already awesome camera into a filter themed lens for your wildest imagination, but thus far this one reigns supreme. First of all it’s free. Second of all it has a large array of options, doesn’t crash all the time and the effects aren’t cheesy. Really, they aren’t. Oh and I forgot to mention it has a grid composition feature that lets you line up shots better!
We all love the Japanese and Sudoku is one of the reasons why. Sudoku lets me focus and train my brain. I had the game on my iPod, but that wheel doesn’t compare to the ease and effortlessness of touch screen capabilities. There is a plethora of Sudoku options in the Andriod Market, but I find this one to be the most succinct. It’s very simple and gives you a couple options to plug in numbers. The clean interface is perfect and has not been overdone. For those looking for a Sudoku option, here it is.
This app is very useful for freely organizing projects and important tasks you want to manage. Although it can be tedious, this app makes it well worth it to input project information, deadlines, ideas, dates, and other information vital to keeping yourself on track and on time. Reminders can be set to however often you like and there is even a feature that will alert you to do certain tasks when you are in certain places. For example you can have ActionComplete remind you to wash your clothes every Sunday at noon, but only if you’re home. It’s a pretty bad-ass app, but the app won’t remind you to input your ideas so it can remind you later.
You know what a Kindle is. Well now you don’t need one if you have an Android phone and still want to read eBooks. Simple, but convenient. Thanks Amazon.
> Scanner Radio
Yeah this is awesome! Would have definitely been on the list, but it’s Top Ten, not Eleven. Scanner Radio lets you listen in on the Po-Po, EMS, Fire Trucks and more. It turns your phone into a CB radio. How cool and pointless is that? Maybe not pointless, but still cool. Hear the cops before they even get to you! What’s next, a clairvoyance app?
BONUS: Top 5 Live Wallpapers!
5 > Mario Live Wallpaper: This awesome little wallpaper will put recorded Mario level plays as your background. It’s a classic for any Mario lover or fan. Watch the little Italian fly through different levels with tweak-able options.
4 > Logcat Live Wallpaper: Logcat is a really geeked out wallpaper that lets you have the android system syntax appear as your background like a CMD or DOS command. Customize the letter font, size, color and scroll-ability.
3 > Shake Them All: If you like puppets you’ll love this. Shake Them All is a live wallpaper that lets you select a character (or make your own) in various amounts and sizes, puts them against a solid background and then allows them to act according to the behaviors you set. You can let them move based on the accelerometer, gravity, and touch. Shake your phone and watch the little Droidbots flop around like fish in a sushi mart.
2 > Seismo: A badass wallpaper for doctors, seismologists and weird people like me. A sensitive seismograph in your phone. This wallpaper gives you background and line color options. Then, hold your phone out, watch the line appear vertically on your screen, shake and watch the line react to the movement. It’s really simple, which is what makes it an awesome background. Not too distracting yet provides an interesting background that constantly changes.
1 > Waves Wallpaper: This cell-shaded wallpaper is very peaceful and flowing. It’s a sailboat in some water with building in the background. The sailboat moves according to left and right tilting of the phone. That’s it. It’s just a really calm and peaceful background which give the phone life and looks great too!
So for you Droids out there, what are your favorite apps/wallpapers/uses of your phone or plans for world domination?
Over and out.