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Subject: Android apps and boardgaming rss

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Brian Morris
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My wife and I got new Android phones on Friday. Pretty nifty little toy I thought at first although it quickly proved to be a practical toy as today I ran over a screw which embedded itself in my tire on the far side of town. Thanks to my phone I was able to locate a tire store close by and got my slowly deflating tire fixed without having to go through the hassle of putting on the spare tire in the rain.

I've spent the last two days fiddling around and learning how to use it properly and of course picking up apps for it. I have the usual suspects already. I have a couple of news apps (can't find a good weather app. The Weather Channel app sucks I have discovered). I also picked up a few game related apps. I got the BGG app, one for adding up the end game scores for Agricola and an actual boardgame app version of San Juan which I played today while waiting for my tire to be repaired.

I'm curious as to what Android apps people have found useful?
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Andy Andersen
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I have vowed to never have a phone smarter than I am so I cannot provide any help.

But my wife plays "Hanging with Friends" on her iPad2 and loves it. Can you get this?
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Jeff Cramer
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Obviously you'll want an app to check your email account(s). I've got a Yahoo mail app that works great! Amazon App Store is nice but you have to get it from the Amazon website. It offers a free app every day. Amazon MP3 store is also handy for getting music.

I have a couple of comic readers that I check every day (Robocomic and Comic Reader). GasBuddy helps you find cheap gas near your location. USA Today is great for news. Pandora, Flixter, YouTube, and Netflix (if you have a streaming Netflix account) are good for media.

iDealyzer is good for deal of the day bonuses. Yelp, Tripadviser, Urbanspoon are good for travel. Lookout for security. Zedge for ringtones and wallpaper. Create Settings widgets to help in controlling your phone status.

For games, Carcassonne and Settlers are nice. Tichu is also available.

Anyway, I've enjoyed my Android for a few years. Have fun!
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Damian
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You'll probably find the following Geeklists helpful:
Android versions of actual boardgames
Android Games with Asynchronous Multiplayer
Games for Android devices
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Michael Edwards
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UrbanSpoon is great for finding decent food nearby.

GoogleSky is amazing if you are ever interested in finding out if "that bright object in the sky is a venus or what"

GoogleGoggles is fun to play with, but I've never actually used it for a real need.
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Jeff Forbes

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mrbeankc wrote:
My wife and I got new Android phones on Friday. Pretty nifty little toy I thought at first although it quickly proved to be a practical toy as today I ran over a screw which embedded itself in my tire on the far side of town. Thanks to my phone I was able to locate a tire store close by and got my slowly deflating tire fixed without having to go through the hassle of putting on the spare tire in the rain.

I've spent the last two days fiddling around and learning how to use it properly and of course picking up apps for it. I have the usual suspects already. I have a couple of news apps (can't find a good weather app. The Weather Channel app sucks I have discovered). I also picked up a few game related apps. I got the BGG app, one for adding up the end game scores for Agricola and an actual boardgame app version of San Juan which I played today while waiting for my tire to be repaired.

I'm curious as to what Android apps people have found useful?




Before I get in to explaining the apps, I'll give you a few general tips. You can look at the market online, from your computer. If you're logged in to Google on your computer, and on your phone (as you should be with Android), then you can purchase applications directly from the web, and they will automatically be pushed to your phone. There's a setting in your phone somewhere, it's probably checked by default, to automatically sync data, applications, and whatnot. In the event that you switch to a different Android phone and log in to it, all of your previous settings, applications, and everything will automatically download to it. Even if you turned off the keyboard vibration, it will bring that over.

There is a way to install applications not from the market on most phones, without doing anything particularly esoteric. If you are ever in a situation where you need to do this, in the security area under settings, there's an option to install non-market applications. Once this is set, you can install any program you download on to your phone (you just need to click on a link to the file, it'll ask if you want to install it). In this manner you can install malicious software, but there's a significant amount of stuff available that's not in the marketplace too, for various reasons.



PDANet - Tethering. Your carrier may bug you about it, as they like to charge a lot of money for tethering. Or they may not. Useful if you're not using one of the Nexus phones.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pdanet&fea.....

The free version is 90% functional, but it does not support HTTPS, so you shouldn't be logging in to any services that you are comfortable sharing your password on with potential random people. The pay version is less than the cost of a month of tethering from your carrier, though they may send you a nastygram if you use it frequently.





Teamviewer - Desktop access from any platform. Works fine with my huge multimonitor setup. Enables me to access stuff on my computer from anywhere with a phone or wifi signal.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamviewer...





Reader - I use RSS heavily, and Reader is my mobile means to using it. I primarily use Google Reader on the desktop, which is functional on a phone but Reader is a significantly quicker experience to use on the phone than it is on the desktop.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.and...

If you prefer a more visual level of interaction and just want to use it for general news purposes, Pulse is decent. Whereas Reader removes all the extraneous crap, Pulse has a graphical interface that is far less efficient to navigate, but is prettier.




https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alphonso.p...

I use a separate mp3 player, but I do a lot of podcast listening, and if I've been away from home for a few days, said mp3 player doesn't have the latest podcasts. So steaming them is an option. For this I use Stitcher. It updates pretty quickly, and is more efficient on battery than a lot of music streaming stuff, because it just downloads the episode in one shot and then you listen to it, as opposed to constantly keeping the data going for hours on end.




Dropbox is handy. It's a multiplatform enabled, free-for-2GB cloud storage application. It isn't as useful as SkyDrive is for large files on real computers (25GB limit, and works well with Windows 8), but unlike most other services, Dropbox is on pretty much every single platform. On your desktop or laptop, and file you put in the dropbox folder is automatically synced with any other desktop/laptop you have around. And you can easily share files from it, access them from your phone, or upload files directly from your phone to your dropbox. Handy for dealing with things ranging from pictures, to PDFs, to music, and more.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dropbox.an.....


Plan B - So. Let's say you just lost your phone. Let's say that you didn't install any tracking software on it. Oops? LOLOLOL. Nope. Not if you're on Android. Install it remotely, of course, and find out where it is. It'll email you locations, and you can text it for updates. Handy if you're looking for a lost phone and the police are involved. Go back to the first thing - remember to be logged in on your phone. There are also apps that you install before the phone gets stolen, which are more powerful but obviously not as flexible.



Car locator - Ever go off away from your car and sort of lose it? Well, there are apps for that. When you park, you tell it where you are, and then, use the app to find the car when you're done. Might be helpful if you're parking in a huge lot. Definitely helpful when you park, and walk somewhere a mile away. There are various programs by various people for this purpose. Here is a free one:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.parkdroid&.....


Yelp - Yelp is an online review site/service focused mostly on restaurants and local businesses. Works great when you're looking for a new place to eat, or to see if there's some better place in town than the shithole tourist trap that all the guides tell you to go to. Shilling can be an issue, but if you read the reviews it's easy enough to see if they are shills. Yelp has never done me wrong in selecting a place.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yelp.andro.....



The Photographer's Ephemeris - Useless if you're not a photographer. It's an app that shows you where the sun is pointing at what time. Figured I'd note it here as it's really cool for me. Useless for most people, though! :P

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.crookneckc.....


I can do games, but I think the non-game stuff is a good a start as any!

If you're looking for a simple weather app, there's a news and weather widget that comes with Android. If you use the widget, you can tap it and it brings you to the weather info. It just shows you a chart with expected temperature over the rest of the day, and the 7 day forecast with no details, but it's enough for me, and it's not an overwrought piece of junk like most of the weather apps.
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Brian Morris
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The weather widget doesn't really fit my needs. No radar, no weather warnings. I live in tornado ally. I need more than just the current temperature and the seven day forecast. Mind you I have a great app for one of the local news stations that has the weather radar on it and a much better one than was on the weather channel's app.

I do wish there was a text service from the NWS with severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. I actually downloaded an app for that sort of thing that seemed to work pretty well but for the thing to be effective it has to constantly check in and the battery drain was pretty impressive. I could hear my cell phone battery crying so I took it off.
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Brian Morris
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Chanfan wrote:
UrbanSpoon is great for finding decent food nearby.

GoogleSky is amazing if you are ever interested in finding out if "that bright object in the sky is a venus or what"

GoogleGoggles is fun to play with, but I've never actually used it for a real need.


Skymaps aka Googlesky sounds interesting. I downloaded it.

*edit*

Ok, this rocks.
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Boo
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The game I am currently addicted to on my Android is Elder Sign. The app is awesome.

My most used apps are:
Tip N Split (I often eat out with groups of friends)
Yahoo Mail
Boardgame Geek
Facebook
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Marc P
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Sky Map is one of those things that sounds kind of pointless, but proves to be amazing.
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Justin Morse
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walk_softly wrote:
The game I am currently addicted to on my Android is Elder Sign. The app is awesome.



One of the very few apps I've paid for, and it was worth every penny.


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Brian Morris
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One of the apps I don't use which will surprise people is e-mail. I have a home office so most days I'm at my computer. I just don't need to access my e-mail when I'm out running errands. That might change though come our next trip. I'll probably use it then.

For me games on my phone are time wasters. I just need something to kill some time like yesterday when I was waiting for my tire to be repaired. Might be a bit different if I had a tablet where I could play a bit before bedtime but then again that's when I do most of my reading.
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Jeff Forbes

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Games?

Angry Birds
Cut the Rope
Where's My Water?

Those are the current most popular, and fit the notion of keeping you busy for a few minutes.

I will also note that the web browser works fine to play Through the Ages online, and works fine for Yucata too.
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Brian Morris
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I have three different angry birds games on my phone. My wife asked for it so I put it on her phone and started playing it to test it...and wouldn't give it back. So she made me put them on my phone so I would stop playing it on hers and running her battery down.
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Tom Hancock
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There is a very good Tichu app. We've been playing Draw Free, which is sort of like telestrations. Its a lot of fun.
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Marc P
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That Tichu app has been kicking my ass. Evelyn is a terrible partner.
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Jeff Forbes

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slowcorner wrote:
That Tichu app has been kicking my ass. Evelyn is a terrible partner.


Maybe you should use Andrew? I hear he's much better.
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Marc P
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I've already threatened her with a switch, so we'll see if her play improves.
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