Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Apps for Android

First of all, if you're looking for a central clearinghouse of Android apps outside the Android Market, perhaps on your computer where you can browse without going blind, you'll definitely want to check out AppBrain

Library-Related Apps (pretty much all from Android Market)
  • AccessMyLibrary from Gale. The public edition finds your closest public library and allows you to search their InfoTrac databases from your phone.
  • Ebook Readers - Borders, Kindle and Nook all have their ebook readers available for Android devices. The only one I use on a regular basis is Kindle because the Whispersync with my Kindle make it easy to pick up where I left off.
  • Book scanners - Goggles will let you scan a book cover and will identify the book and tell you where it can be bought online and for how much. LibraryThing scanner will scan a book's barcode and give you information on that book and allow you to add the title to your LibraryThing account. Amazon also has an app where you can scan in a barcode or a photo and it will search for the book within its collection.
  • OverDrive Media Console has an Android app. You can download audiobooks from the MontanaLibrary2Go collection right to your phone.
  • WorldCat - you can search the OCLC WorldCat database. Librarians will think this is pretty neat - too many results in too many far away libraries.
  • ALA 2010 - a handy app for keeping track of sessions and vendors at conference. You'll find quite a few libraries using Boopsie for their library apps. You might want to download one or two to try out. I've got Seattle Public Library on my Android.
Information at your fingertips - what librarian can resist?
  • News - BBC, News Pro (Thomson Reuters), NPR News, NYTimes, TIME Mobile and more
  • Weather - The Weather Channel
  • Sports - ESPN Score Center covers all sports but there are also apps for individual sports, e.g., At Bat (yes, there's a charge for this one but if you're a baseball fan, it's worth it).
  • Comic relief - ONN Onion News Network, The Word from Colbert Report - I just downloaded this one today and the video playback has some bugs which hopefully they'll work out.
  • Restaurants and more (particularly useful when you're on the road) - Urbanspoon, Yelp
  • IMDb (Internet Movie Database) - uses location information to give you showings, theaters and reviews of movies in your area.
  • Tech News - Mashable,, CNET, Engadget
Just fun and useful apps
  • Gesture search - allows you to search for contacts, apps, etc. with one letter
  • Google Sky Map - point at the sky and it shows you and identifies the constellations overhead
  • Google Translate
  • Maps and Navigation - some people have problems with Google maps and navigation. While it's directed me into some kind of interesting areas sometimes, I've never had any serious problems. Many times, I've found it extremely useful
  • Swype - instead of trying to type on the touch keyboard, you just move your finger from letter to letter to spell out words. Unless it's something obscure, it's usually pretty good at figuring out what you're trying to say.
  • Voice Search - you speak and it types out the words. It's pretty impressive really
Feel free to add some of your own favorites.