This month we’ve been busy using our Android handset to look at Flash movies, find hidden treasures, listen to radio from around the world, convert every kind of measurement imaginable, protect our passwords and do a bit of shopping. Quite a rounded life, then.
This one might be a bit cheeky to describe as an app, but Android 2.2 is available as a free update for many handsets running earlier versions of the operating system. Get hold of it and it’ll give you access to a number of useful tweaks, among them the ability to use your handset as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices (watch those data charges!), and to play Flash video. Finally, we are able to stream video from the BBC news web site, and others.
If you’ve always felt geocaching is a faff then the Geocaching app ought to change your mind. It’ll cost you $9.99 but for that money you get some great utilities like locating caches near to where you are, access to navigation via GPS and Google Maps, even hints for when you can’t find what you are looking for. Oh, and photos taken by previous finders too. The app is extremely easy to use, and should suit beginners as well as the more experienced.
Online radio is great. The free streaming app A Online Radio give you access to hundreds of online stations which it streams to your smarpthone. You’ll be best off using it over Wi-Fi, and we did find pauses while buffering a bit of an issue at times, but there are plenty of features. You can keep your own favourite stations lists, and there are directories for Icecast and Shoutcast, both of which organise music by genre. There’s a useful timer so you can listen to radio while you drop off to sleep, too.
There are some apps you aren’t going to use every day but you know when you want them they’ll be worth their weight. In this case there’s no price to pay, just the minimal effort of downloading. ConvertPad does what you’d expect, converting a huge number of units. The obvious ones like weight, area and volume are joined by currency, velocity, fuel consumption, pressure, torque, permeability and loads more. Beautifully designed and infinitely flexible, it’s a great utility to have on standby.
Passwords, passwords, we have oodles of the things. So many that it is tricky to remember them all. So we store them electronically. Many of us store them on our phones and of course if our phones get stolen, there go the passwords. One way to prevent theft is to use something like the free BioWallet Signature. You can store your passwords within the software and protect access to them via your on-screen signature.
Food shopping is a bind, isn’t it? If you are an Ocado fan, then try the free Ocado on the Go app. You can add items to an order ready to send it off when you are sure it is complete. It is rather more fiddly to get around than the desktop version, but shopping by voice is fun – just don’t do it on the bus!
As above. All apps available via the Android Market.