Android Rundown or Jewish Content on Android

I recently got an Android phone (Motorola Droid for Verizon) and I am loving it. I was a Blackberry person for over 5 years and I even tried making the switch to the G1 about a year ago, but now with the new Droid I haven’t looked back. It really does do everything I want in a phone (or net-book for that matter!) and more. Here’s a look at some of the apps that I have been using so far (both Frum and not):

  • Zmanim – This app is solid for grabbing Zmanim on the fly when you are away in a place that you don’t know the zipcode for. It picks up your GPS location and gives you the Zmanim for that location. The developer is nice and responsive and is working on improving the app. Features I Love: GPS location of zmanim, easy fingerswipe interface. Features I Wish: Widget implementation, GRA Zmanim, Reminders.
  • Gallery Widget – Not what you think, I don’t keep pictures of my mother on my home screen…What I did do was take a picture of Modim De’Rabanan in my siddur and put it on my secondary home screen so that I can easily say it when the chazzan get there during chazarat ha’shatz and I have wandered away from my siddur…
  • Tanach App – To be honest I don’t really use this, but I would. The Droid doesn’t have native Hebrew support and I have been to lazy to actually set it up, it just didn’t seem worth it for the occasional GTalk status…However this app does contain all of tanach in an easy to use, easy to reference format. Feature I Love: Search Feature I Wish: Native Hebrew Support.
  • Agenda Widget – This little guy is my absolute favorite, it allows you to put your upcoming events right on your homescreen. It also allows for complete customization of which calendars to display (Shabbos times and Zmanim see, how large the widget should be and the formatting of text. All events are linked to your calendar so when you click from the widget it opens to the event to view or edit. My favorite app! Feature I Love: Its existence, color coded calendars, customization. Feature I Wish: Multiple widgets with individual calendar set-ups.
  • zmanimbot – Not really an app, but still my favorite zmanim thingy. See previous post
  • Shazam – This is the coolest thing! Imagine you hear a song on the radio and you want to write a blog post about it later ( all you do it click this app and it listens to the song, identifies it, and saves it for later. It also gives you options to search YouTube for the song or buy it on Amazon. Features I Love: Save tagged songs for later use, YouTube search to verify its the right song. Features I Wish: Syncing to cloud
  • tDigitalClock – This app is a Shabbos lifesaver. All it does is turn your screen into a digital clock and keep the screen on all the time. Plug your phone in, open the app and you are good to go all shabbos long. No more waking up in the middle of the night to try and stumble around looking for a clock! It even lets you customize the background and text. Feature I Love: Prevents screen from sleeping Feature I Wish: Screen lock to prevent accidental Issur De’Rabanan.
  • Easy Metal Detector Lite or Metal Detector – That’s right, this phone is a metal detector, no joke. I also thought it was a gag app at first, but after some serious testing it is real. No real uses other then being awesome, but sometimes that is important. And the other day while teaching I caught a kid using his phone and when he claimed he didn’t have one, I whipped out my Droid and found that he was hiding it in his sock, airport security style!
  • Bubble – A bubble level, it has been especially helpful in hanging pictures and the like, works really well.
  • Google Goggles – Search by pictures or see through walls, all you do is take a picture and the OCR and Google Picture Search does the rest, adding business cards to your contacts, finding books online, finding info on products. Additionally, you can hold the phone up and the GPS will kick in to show nearby businesses in the direction you hold the phone. I have actually used this quite a bit.
  • GPS Status – Awesome compass app. Gives you exact headings and allows me to Daven in the correct direction exactly. Feature I Love: Detailed GPS Data, Compass headings. Feature I Wish: Davening integration with markers for great circle and rhumb line based on GPS location.
  • Woot Checker – Does just that, great for woot-offs.
  • WordPress – A nice app, can manage all my WordPress blogs, self hosted or not.
  • Pandora and Pandora Widget – Really smooth streaming, doesn’t kill battery that much and the widget allows you to check on the song currently playing and control the music.
  • – This isn’t really an app and really deserves its own post. I discovered this web app after searching for something like it for a while. I think it is my favorite find of the year. Essentially it is a Notepad in the cloud. It is a simple plain text editor that stores documents in the cloud and can be accessed from the browser on my droid. Notepad is to MS Office what is to Google Docs. I love it. It keeps my notes synced across all my devices and where ever I go. I can jot a quick note or write up some HTML code where ever and have it when I get home. It is awesome. And using the bookmark shortcut adding feature on the Droid it is basically an app, all I did was bookmark the page and add the shortcut to my homescreen and it behaves just like any of the other notepad apps that exist, except it is in the cloud. Did I mention it is clean and pretty looking. Feature I Love: Plain text only, save and open multiple docs, fast even on mobile, clean interface, everything about it. Feature I Wish: Sharing.
So far, I love my Droid and haven’t looked back. It is fast, does what is supposed to do and has a flip-out keyboard for when I just don’t feel like dealing with the on-screen (which is surprisingly good, and that is from a former Blackberry user). It has built in navigation, voice search, Google Voice integration and is just awesome. I am happy!
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