Weekly Apps in Review – Episode II – Samba and Psycho


With CES, Mac World, and everything else going on, one thing will always trump them all: WAR. This week was an interesting one with android apps; and we hope you dig that much deeper into the bizarre comments that are made on the Market to find some actually useful ones. So, without further adu, I present: WAR!

(This week will feature average ratings on the Market. Also, we will make sure WAR stays away from the ultra annoying “shopping list” type of applications that you might as well have a 6 year old use. AlsoSquared, if you want my up-to-the-second thoughts on apps, Android, unrelated stuff, and other stuff/stuff, or want to pick my brain, follow and discuss with me on Twitter!)

1. Better Bookmarks3 stars – This app is like a few others in the Market, but it offers a nifty “auto-getting” of a webpage’s favicon (the icon in each tab of a website in your browser…such as the small “t” in on This allows for quicker homescreen bookmark-making.

2. Speaking Pad4 stars – Take a wild guess. Seems kind of plain and boring, but when coupled with the TTSL (text-to-speech library), one can literally amuse himself/herself and his/her friend(s) for hours. Write it on the pad, and listen to it speak! It’s too bad that it doesn’t support four letter words!

3. Vincent3.5 stars – NERD ALERT! Now that everyone but the special upper-class are reading – Vincent is an all powerful (I mean soon to be all powerful) application that allows a user to connect to a CIFS/Windows (can you say S-A-M-B-A with me?) share, and subsequently downloads all files within that share to a user-specified directory on the G1’s SD card. Pretty nifty, and once it gets a few more features could be very promising. 

4. AndFTP4 stars – Semi-Nerd Alert! Geez, who’s still reading? There are a few other deeply buried Android based FTP clients out there, but from my experience AndFTP is by far and away the best option. It includes a clean UI, handset/server file browser, and allows for uploads and downloads. And…….FTP. Get it?

5. G1 Psycho3.5 stars – Now that you’re done wiping away the tears of laughter, it just gets better. There seems to be literally no reason in my mind why G1 Psycho is not a 5 star app. In Episode I of WAR, I introduced “The Schwartz Unleashed”, a light saber app. Yeah, you thought that was good? This app puts others to shame: it displays an accelerometer based Knife onscreen, and when one certain “murderer” shakes one certain “G1”, one certain “Eerie string sound heard in the hit show Psycho” plays. You know, that “EEEEH EEEH EEEEEH EEEEEEH” sound?

6. Simple Shopping List 2.5 stars – Whoops! Never mind!

7. Lite version of Skype3 stars – Here’s a buzzword: “Skype!”. Okay, after you’re done ogling, I assume you could download “Lite version of Skype”. Some people, in some far-reaching situations, could find this app useful, but in it’s first day of release, I’ve really found it unusable and annoying. Before I say anything else, let me explain that this app uses your cellular plan minutes to make calls, even when it is to another Skype enabled device. The reviews have been mixed, and I have a hard time seeing this app being terribly useful. ‘Nuff said. 

8. RSS Reader 3.5 stars – Does what it says it does. WYSIWYG, IOW. It could be a little better than the token few other RSS apps out on the market, but I’m still yearning for something a little more integrated and pretty. 

The battle for this week is over. WAR will continue with Episode III next week…and we hope you stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial! (Because there isn’t one.)

Also, just a reminder – make sure to follow me on Twitter – I’d love to discuss Android, the newest energy drink, and anything else on your mind/browser. Feel free to command me to download an app, try it out, and give my opinion.  Consider it my outreach program for the world! Hope to see you there.

Spencer Gardner
Spencer sheds blood, sweat, and sometimes tears over each and every story that is written. All in the name of! He also runs many miles many days of the year and hugely enjoys the tech world in general.

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  1. I can’t believe you left out the most import app to appear in the market in a very long time, Mono. Read up on your read ups.

  2. Thanks for the reply, cashless. Needless to say I did “read up” on my apps, and recognized that mono would be an important app for the future, but not necessarily one that the majority of users would care about. Would you like some sort of advanced userd/developer posts?

  3. A suggestion for next week – DoggCatcher. It’s an outstanding podcatcher/player that has been getting better all the time because of an extremely responsive development team.

  4. I 2nd DoggCatcher. Regarding Skype beta, it’s useful if you have people on skype abroad or use skypeout as you can call them using only your local cell minutes or using the minutes plus the reduced skypeout fees. If you’re away from your computer it’s pretty nice to be able to place those international skype calls at local rate. It is obviously not skype voip and I guess that’s where people’s expectations were placed but I don’t think they could make it due to CPU constraints. I would call it something like “SkypeOut mobile companion” and not “skype lite” which is confusing some users and frustrating them, hence the very low reviews and the very high ones you can see on the Market.
    Anyway, even this beta still needs improvement as it eats up your CPU big time!

    And yes, do review more advanced apps, and review them in depth (what are they useful for, how big is their disk/cpu footprint, developer updates, trust-worthiness, …)

  5. Thanks for the feedback, people! I (and Phandroid as a whole) will make sure to keep these things in mind.
    Also, regarding DoggCatcher. I personally use (and subsequently love) DoggCatcher came out a while ago, I can’t really put if up for WAR because it wasn’t release this week. However, if a large update is released, maybe we could do that. That’s why I’m staring this whole Twitter thing…we can all discuss it and have a more cheery time ;)

  6. Hi Spencer,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the mention of G1 Psycho this week, and The Schwartz Unleashed last time. I’m the programmer behind both those apps and I appreciate the mention. I just want to let readers know that better things are on their way including some much needed updates and a new addition or two.

    Anyhow, thanks and keep up the good work!


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