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Kevin Signing In With Top 5 Android Apps

I must admit I’m really not that great at introductions. Ask any of my friends and they will probably agree (to be fair, I don’t think they do a very good job of introducing people either). I tend to think it is easier to simply skip that part and jump right in, but in any case, hello world.

Like I said, I tend to find jumping right into the thick of things to be the easiest way to go about getting acquainted, so I have compiled a list of the five Android apps I can’t live without that will maybe reveal a bit about myself in the process.

Swype

Swype LogoOne thing I cannot stand is software keyboards. I’ve yet to come across one software tap-to-type keyboard I consider usable, and sadly I have the same feeling’s towards my Droid’s slide-out hardware version. Swype’s innovative method of entering text through the use of swiping across words rather than typing is so genius partly due to the fact that it is the obvious solution to the shortcomings of other touch screen input methods. Quick, accurate, efficient. What’s not to love?

Google Voice

Google Voice LogoFinally, I can check my voicemail in places where I really shouldn’t be using a phone — like movie theaters — without even having to be conspicuous about it. Google’s speech to text translation is far from perfect, but it usually gets the job done. Having all of my messages organized visually with much of the same functionality as GMail? Heaven sent.


Wapedia

Wapedia LogoI’m a Wikipedia junkie, and Wapedia just might be my crack. It allows me to untether myself from my computer and take my addiction to impulse research everywhere I go. It’s great for those moments when I just can’t go on without knowing Malawi’s gross income from exports or the habitat range of the Iberian ibex. The simple, clean interface and access to all of the top wiki sites aren’t making this habit any easier to quit.

SportsTap

SportsTap LogoBaseball season has commenced, and with 30 teams each playing 162 games you’d have to be Rain Man to keep up. Or you could simply have SportsTap, an awesome app for tracking game scores in real time. You can even set up notifications for your favorite teams, and all major sports and leagues are covered. Pretty nifty stuff.



CardioTrainer

CardioTrainer LogoTraining for long distance runs can be a real hassle. Tracking routes and pace, keeping time, and calculating mileage can start to become a daunting task, but CardioTrainer makes it pretty simple. While the GPS tracking can be hit or miss at times, it has become an essential tool in monitoring my progress over time as I work up to my first marathon.


And if you really must know, I enjoy many things aside from Android phones, but that’s not why we’re here, so feel free to stalk me to the edges of the internet if that’s your sort of thing. But really, I look forward to interacting with the many loyal Phandroids who frequent this site — I even made a brand-spanking new twitter account for that sole purpose. Follow me @KevinPhandroid for even more Android updates and musings.

I am truly honored to be working with the Phandroid team, and from here in I’m your go-to guy for all those juicy news morsels you crave to satiate that burning hunger for all things Android, without skimping on the snacks between meals. Add in Rob and Quentyn, and I promise you won’t be disappointed in the many great things to come.

Of course, I can’t be everything to everybody, but feel free to shoot me an e-mail at Kevin(at)Phandroid.com with any suggestions for things you’d like to see on the site in the future.




  • Rob Jackson

    Welcome to the team, Kevin! In the wise words of Billy Madison, “Now you’re all in big, big trouble!”

  • http://karsultation.com Karsultation

    Congrats for getting the job! This has been an impressive website for me since I got a droid and so I have to imagine your qualifications are impressive as well. Also, I have most of the apps your mentioned so we see things the same…..

  • Noah Y

    “Swype…What’s not to love?”
    Maybe the fact that it’s not actually available.

  • Craig

    Great article Kevin. Congratulations on your first marathon too. You should check out “Running Calc”. It’s an essential tool for my running!

  • http://s-berger.com porky101

    @Noah Yea, but you can find the Swype Lite leaked file and it WORKS AMAZINGLY on my Eris!!!! The only thing I do not like about Swype is the fail to put periods when I hit the space bar twice.

  • Scott S

    Any chance of getting some QR Codes for any apps listed or recommended here at phandroid?

  • http://blog.taptu.com Jason Harris

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for including Wapedia…we’re pretty stoked about how the Android has taken to Wapedia.

    If anyone has any feedback, email me at jason taptu com

    Jason Harris, Community Manager for Wapedia/Taptu

  • G8D

    Your lack of grammatical errors pleases me.

  • doctorclark

    Shapewriter is available on the Market, and does a very good job similar to Swype. But I dislike the lack of autocorrect while using the physical keyboard (Shapewriter, when activated, usurps some of the native keyboard functions).

  • Jonathan

    Thanks for the article. I’d love to see more featured app articles on phandroid.

    Now that Android is all over the place, rumors and speculation about the latest devices is getting kinda old.

    More app articles please!

  • http://phandroid.com Talton "Phases" Pettigrew

    Welcome to the team, Kevin – we’ve been looking forward to today!

  • Daniel Cormier

    Just because you’re not talking/listening to your phone in a movie theater doesn’t mean that you aren’t disturbing others. Having a bright spot (like the screen of a phone) in an otherwise dark area at the edge of my vision while trying to watch a movie IS distracting and does make the experience that I’ve paid for less enjoyable.

  • jeremy

    Welcome! I do not have swype , but I found that smart keyboard works very well on my G1. I like how smooth and fast i can text with it. They all take a lil practice though.

  • Quentyn Kennemer

    Congrats Kevin!

    Note to self: I should probably use CardioTrainer more often. =X

  • Topshelf

    Good first article Kevin, but please, pretty please even, under Google Voice can you please remove “movie theater” as the place you can check your voicemail now. I was at the movies a few weeks ago with my wife and 3 people around us spent the majority of the movie “checking voicemail” and doing countless other things on their phones. Just for reference for anyone who does this…you phone is EXTREMELY bright in a dark movie theater and it will annoy the crap out of anyone near or behind you. It’s incredibly ignorant to the rest of the people who paid too much to see a stupid movie. So please don’t use your phone for anything while at the movies.

    OK, I’m done ranting now. :) I do like this idea of giving us a few good apps at a time though. Keep them coming.

  • Doug

    @Noah Y
    Swype is in Public Beta and a lot of us have a legit version installed. Register for the beta and wait to get admitted, it’s my default keyboard now (even though I own two others).

  • Mike

    @Noah, head over to:

    http://www.droid-life.com/downloads/

    Go down to #8. Install Swype. Enjoy.

  • Logotic

    Welcome! And props to Cardio Trainer, it’s the only pedometer I’ve tried that, like, works.

  • Sanjeev

    The SlideIT keyboard is much better than Swype or ShapeWriter.

  • Rachel

    In my usage, I found that SlideIT was nice, and actually better than the original leaked Swype bundle. The current Swype betas, however, feel considerably better than either the original leak of Swype OR the released versions of SlideIT.

  • Bavarian Cave Monkey

    Must have app Cardio Trainer???? that ranks 5 out of 20,000 apps something fowl?

  • Kevin Krause

    Thanks for all the encouraging comments! For the record, I definitely do not encourage the use of phones in movie theaters.

  • Bozo

    Would love to try out Google Voice but cannot seem to get an invite! Come on Google. open it up!

  • Rebecca

    Great article Kevin!

  • Tom

    Thanks Kevin – good luck with “the job” I appreciate some asides from these great apps. Like how does one obtain the coordinates from Droid GoogleEarth – if possible, how can I paste that info into a webpage ( is there a clipboard ). Guess I love the Droid, but want to use it like a computer.
    Perhaps there is a forum that covers my question

  • mihaelb

    For those who do not want or cannot use the Beta version of Swype, I recommend trying SlideIT keyboard. it’s the same idea, with many customizations and changes possible (although I wish I could change the appearance of it). There’s a free version, which (from what I can tell) is only missing the custom user keyboard, and a paid version ($6) that has it.

    I had to uninstall/reinstall to get mine to work, fyi, but haven’t looked back since. This thing lets me type BLAZINGLY fast (on a portrait mode Nexus One, faster than I can type landscape on the standard keyboard), and it impresses every skeptic I come across who plays with it for 30 seconds…quite funny :)

  • mihaelb

    errr…sorry, the above should say “custom user dictionary”, not “keyboard”

  • http://androidforums twospirits

    What. I didn’t get the job. nooooooo. Lol Welcome. Great article.

  • AGx-07_162

    Ever since I installed Swype I’ve typed more than ever on my G1. Not because I suddenly have more to say or (entirely) because it’s now so simple and efficient but because using Swype is a blast! Swype is one of the WORST when it comes to tap-to-type, so inputting punctuation isn’t always pleasant (something I can forgive since I’m using a leaked, incomplete file not meant for my device) but overall Swype is probably my most used app as of late.

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  • j

    When you are in a movie theater, turn your phone off & give your attention to the film. That’s why you are there.

    If you find this difficult, then please stay home.

  • http://androidphonerocks.blogspot.com Best Android Phones

    great list ..apps are really nice..