Samsung and Mccann Digital launched a new marketing campaign for the first ever Android Samsung device, the Galaxy. They gave 5 bloggers the phone for 4 days, and we have to review 100 Android apps over that time period. The phone is definitely impressive with its 3.2′ capacitative touch screen and 5 mp camera, but to the obvious iPhone comparison question, Android still has what to improve before that comparison is really justified. Don’t worry, I will go into more detail in the posts that follow.
Here are today’s five Android apps.
Flyscreen: For the sake of transparency, I will say that the CEO of Cellogic, the company that develops Flysreen is a good friend. Now that I told you that, you wont believe me when I tell you how awesome of a product it is. Flyscreen, as a mobile app, is what “thinking out of the box” means. You know that dead space when your screen is locked and your device is asleep? Flyscreen makes use of it with the ability to add customized widgets, at a very low price of both data and battery. You can easily add from their wide selection or choose your own website to add. The UI is fantastic and brilliant, with the ability to easily scroll between the screens. The Twitter widget gets a special mention; it is a full fledged Twitter client right on your sleep screen. The app is still in private Beta, so a few UI qwirks need to be worked out, but all in all a very useful, practical, and innovative app that is guaranteed to make all Android users’ lives easier.
Terminator: A much needed app that enables you to choose from the background apps running at any time, and either uninstall them or exit the app all from within the Terminator’s interface. One of the problems of Android as a mobile OS, is that unlike Symbian or BlackBerry, there is no button to press that will display anything that is running in the background. What ends up happening is that the device’s memory runs out and it affects its performance. With Terminator, you can get that memory back with no effort at all. This is a functionality that should have been built in to the OS, but being that it is not, this is the best you are gonna get.
Swift: After trying out Twidroid for some time, I looked at reviews, and decided to check out Swift. I was not disappointed. Swift is a full fledged, feature-packed Twitter client with as clean of a UI as any. Your timeline, replies, and DMs are separated into columns that can be viewed one at a time, which is not as easy to use as let’s say Tweetdeck on a computer, but being as we are talking about a mobile phone, it is close enough. I found the app to lag a little in the time it takes to update, but all in all, it had all the features I needed from a Twitter client.
Battery Widget: Yet another thing that should be built in to the Android OS, but definitely a useful app/widget. Basically, this shows the exact percentage of your battery charge at any given moment. You can simply place this widget on your home screen, and you will remain notified of your battery’s juice at all times. When you click on the widget, you are shown current information about the different radios on the phone and their status. So if Wifi is on or GPS is off, the Battery widget will let you know so you can adjust them accordingly. Very useful tool.
Facebook: Took them a long time, but the official Facebook app for Android finally launched. To put it in perspective, it is better than the last Facebook app on iPhone, much better than the BlackBerry version, but nowhere near as good as the new iPhone Facebook app. The UI is very clean and easy to navigate, and the features are many. You can easily upload photos, configure your Facebook notifications and their ringtones, see and write on yours or anyone else’s wall, and of course manually refresh your timeline. The app also comes with a very cool widget that you can place on one of your home screens and update your status or see others’ statuses without even one click. A definite favorite of mine, I am sure I will be getting a lot out of this app, it was worth the wait.