Android app round-up: Spotify, Google Docs, miCoach, Vouchercloud, Vlingo Virtual Assistant, Little Photo review

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This month we’ve been enjoying the best of work and play on our Android smartphone. We’ve listened to music via Spotify and done our office work using Google Docs. We’ve also been getting fitter with miCoach and making our money go further with Vouchercloud. And we’ve been embarrassed by a talking smartphone thanks to Vlingo and brought to laughter by Little Photo. All in the name of research, obviously…

Spotify for Android
Spotify is a music lover’s dream, and the streaming service has had an Android app for a while. But a recent update allows those who are not premium-rate subscribers to take advantage, including synchronising your own music and using Spotify instead of the music player on your device. If you’re a premium-rate subscriber (£9.99 a month), you’ve got offline playback on your Android device too.

Google Docs
If you’re an Android smartphone user, you already have a Google account. If you’re keen on creating documents on the move, then the free Google Docs for Android app could be just what you need. It provides access to your Google Docs and allows you to easily create new documents and spreadsheets. There’s never been a simpler way to start a document on your smartphone or pick up a work-in-progress that you’ve been working on at your computer.

Running fans might like to take a look at the free miCoach. This is one of a number of apps that uses the GPS in your handset to track a run. It delivers audible instructions during an outing, helping you pace yourself, speed up or slow down as appropriate. miCoach is produced by Adidas, and its web site offers an array of training programmes for you download as well as providing detailed tracking of your performance and experience. And it’ll double up with any music you have on your smartphone, so you can still listen to favourite tracks while you train.

If you like discounts and freebies, then you’ll love Vouchercloud. This free app knows where you are, and will use this information to help you find discounts in all kinds of places including food, shopping and entertainment venues. There’s a category bar along the top of the screen that lets you sort vouchers and discounts, making it easy to find what most useful at any one time. To use a voucher you have to display the screen in the store. Bargain hunters will love it!

Vlingo Virtual Assistant
If you’ve ever been in the situation of knowing you’ve received an important text or email, but not having a hand free to use your Android smartphone, then the free Vlingo Virtual Assistant can help. The app reads messages out loud in the voice of clear-speaking American lady, who does a good job of converting the written word into speech. She starts speaking as soon as emails or texts are received – so remember to turn her off when you’re in a public place!

Vlingo will also let you speak to control your smartphone, including to create emails and texts. An In Car mode even lets you initiate voice calls and create SMS messages via a specially designed interface with large, easily tappable icons.

Little Photo
We’re quite keen on taking photos with our Android smartphone, and sometimes we want to have a bit of fun with them. Little Photo is a free app that has oodles of camera effects for you to try out. There are some fab names for these effects too. Lover candle, comic conflict, hell fire, magic powder, the vertical menus from which you select effects seems endless. Fortunately it’s easy to go back to the original image if your efforts produce something hideous.

Company: Android


As above. All apps available via the Android Market.