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G1 Power User Group
My company has an internal initiative where they are trying understand how the latest generation of PDA-Phones are used, with a focus on downloadable application usage. Three user groups have been formed for three major platforms: the Apple iPhone, the G1 with Android and the BlackBerry Storm.

I've been selected to be a part of the G1 team. In exchange for a $25 stipend, my responsibilities are to download and use any applications that interest me and to keep an electronic journal of my thoughts.

I figured I might as well share my thoughts here while I'm at it, so first up is an inventory of the apps I already have. It's pretty long and so far, they've all been free. The list is in alphabetical order.
  • aBooks - Open source Android book reading platform. I've downloaded a few public domain books like Alice in Wonderland but have yet to read any. The pages are a little small.
  • Barcode Scanner - I prefer Shop Savvy or Compare Everywhere but I keep this since it's the only one that supports 2D codes, even though I have yet to scan one.
  • Bistro Math - Quick handy tip calculator
  • Bread Crumbz - Allows you to take pictures and associate them with GPS geocodes so you can leave interesting trails/routes on-line. Haven't used it yet.
  • Bubble - A nice bubble level for checking level and plumb when hanging pictures and such
  • Chess - It's chess, what else can I say? Decent UI, ability to undo moves, different levels of AI
  • Compare Everywhere - Barcode scanner to compare prices on products while shopping. I like the search results on this as well as the ability to contribute descriptions for unknown items.
  • ConnectBot - Handy Telnet/SSH client for logging into Linux/Unix server shells when on the go.
  • ConvertDroid - Ability to convert various units, e.g. knots to MPH, but not really needed since Google does it all very quickly.
  • Depth of Field Calculator - Handy reference when shooting with a SLR camera to check focal distances and depth of field based on camera and lens combos.
  • Doom - Classic PC First Person Shooter ported to show Android's power. Provides a framework for other game designers to create their own FPS games as well.
  • DroidFTP - FTP client in the event I need to transfer files to a webserver on the go. The older version was missing some features and I haven't had a chance to test the new version yet.
  • Dungeon Quest - Silly little Role Playing Game that interfaces with FaceBook and the iPhone. Very little action and is ad/spam driven if you want to advance far, but still entertaining if you like RPGs.
  • Fast Local Search - local restaurant and event searcher, but not any better than google maps
  • Flashlight - Plain, simple, white light. Does what it says, does what I need.
  • HotSpot Locator - T-Mobile app to locate T-Mobile WiFi hotspots, but I never use it with 3G
  • Kanji Flashcards - To help me learn Japanese hiragana, katakana and kanji, but I'm not a big fan of the UI and don't use it much.
  • Linda File Manager - Handy file manager to explore your SD card and phone memory.
  • Magic 8-Ball - simple app to answer your questions, works by shaking, just like the real thing.
  • Metal Detector - neat app that uses the electronic compass to detect changes in magnetic fields due to proximity of ferrous metal objects (it's a metal detector). Unfortunately, it has a lot of false negatives and false positives.
  • My Account - T-Mobile account app to quickly see account statistics like minutes used
  • Orienteer - Simple compass app.
  • QSearch - Provides an on-screen keyboard that can be used for google search, google maps or youtube searches, but will be rendered obsolete by the keyboard coming with Cupcake (Android 1.5)
  • QuickList - A to do list that accepts typed input but also allows you to write notes with your finger which is handy when you don't have two hands free.
  • QuotePro - To keep up to date with stock prices in your portfolios. A little too simple though, I'd like to see the ability to enter your purchase price so you can see how it's doing overall, not just today.
  • Restaurant Search - Boo Rah local restaurant search tied to their site with reviews (Boos or Rahs). Not that special, Boo Rah site is small and doesn't have as much info as google
  • Screen Crack - Joke app that locks the phone and makes the screen look like it's broken in case annoying people want to play with the phone
  • ShopSavvy - Another barcode scanner. I don't really like the menu interface, but I do like that it gives you more space on the camera screen to scan barcodes.
  • SkyMap - One of my favorite apps. Go outside at night, point it at the sky and it will use the time, GPS and compass to determine what you're looking at. It helped me identify Venus when I was in the mountains in California
  • Solitaire - Nice simple solitaire app that supports Spider and FreeCell as well
  • Sudoku - Nice little Sudoku app with multiple levels of difficulty. Unfortunately it is ad driven and sometimes I hit those links and it kicks me out to the browser.
  • Terminal Emulator - Emulator to allow command prompt access to Android, useful for poking around the file system. Defaults to limited access but you can easily give yourself temporary root access. Permanent root access is possible as well, but requires some Linux know-how.
  • Tetroid - Nice little Tetris app that allows you to customize the screen dimensions
  • The Schwartz Unleashed - Light saber app. Totally pointless but a must have for any geek.
  • The Weather Channel - Handy app for checking the weather. It seems a little slow to me but the radar and video options are nice. Too bad the Weather Channel can't even get the current weather correct, but that's not the app's fault.
  • Toggle Settings - Quick access to commonly used settings (e.g. GPS activation, airplane mode, screen brightness)
  • Trap - fun little game where you try to trap floating orbs to get points.
  • Twilight - Handy app that provides sunrise and sunset information in your area and any other area you choose.
  • Yellowbook v2 - Local copy of the yellow pages. I've never used it though.
  • Zombie, Run! - Silly game that uses GPS to simulates a radar for zombies in your area. If one is too close, you need to physically run away or your player will be killed. I tried it out but canít bring myself to run for no reason in public.
Now that work is subsidizing me, I'll be looking at downloading a couple productivity apps:
  • MS Exchange Clients for e-mail/calendar/contacts - TouchDown, RoadSync, Moxier
  • MS Office Readers/editors - QuickOffice, DocumentsToGo

Posted 05/12/2009 06:34 PM in Geek Stuff, Reviews, Work | Total Comments: (10)
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