The early adopter that I am, I just had to get my hands on the new Samsung Epic 4G when it became available at Sprint on August 31. And I am so glad I did. Though I was a Palm fan for more than a decade, I am definitely an Android convert now. The larger, super-clear screen and slide-out keyboard are fantastic. And the variety and amount of apps available through the Android Market can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of 15 apps I’d recommend for any professor, especially PR profs.
- Advanced Task Killer: To be sure that unneeded apps are not running and taking up precious battery power, try Advanced Task Killer. It will show you — at a glance — all the apps that are running, even those behind the scenes, and you can choose which ones to “kill.” You don’t want your Epic battery to die during your day on campus.
- doubleTwist: To sync my iTunes library, including music, video, pictures & podcasts, I’ve been using doubleTwist. Sometimes it seems like the podcasts don’t sync, but if I exit dT on my PC and open it again, the sync works well.
- Evernote: I listen to a lot of podcasts while take my morning walk every day. When I hear (or come up with) an idea that I need to capture, I use Evernote’s Audio Note feature. (Typing/texting and walking don’t work well for me. But I definitely can talk and walk.) I’ll be exploring more of Evernote’s capabilities in the coming months.
- TweetDeck: I confess. I am a tweetaholic. I use Twitter, for personal and professional reasons, several times a day. It’s a little tricky installing TweetDeck, since it’s not in the Android Market yet, but it’s worth it. (If you are not up for a beta app, try Seesmic instead.)
- Gesture Search: If I need to quickly find something (a contact, an app, a song, etc.) on my Samsung Epic, I like having the ability to search by moving my finger over the screen and not need to be as exact as when I an typing on either of the keyboards.
- Desk Home: In the computer lab where I teach, there is not a wall clock, and I haven’t worn a watch in almost four years. I use Desk Home to show a clean and easy-to-read clock. Don’t want to keep the students in class longer than my allotted time, don’t you know. (NOTE: This app may only work on the Samsung Epic. There are other clock apps, but this one is designed for my phone.)
- BlackBoard: Though the BlackBoard app doesn’t allow me to do everything that my desktop program will do, I can read discussion items, create announcements, e-mail students, and more.
- Kindle: My husband and I share one Kindle. By having the Kindle app on my Samsung Epic, I can read books in our collection even when it’s his “turn” to have the Kindle. And it’s great to show my students how many free classic books are available in the Kindle store.
- Barcode Scanner: This little app works with your Android camera. It will scan both barcodes and QR codes. It’s fun to show students what those little square codes are for, and equally fun to show them how to do price comparisons while shopping.
- Shazam: When I can quickly refer to songs my students also listen to, it helps me relate to them better. I cheat a little using Shazam. To find out what “that song” is, use Shazam. It will listen to the song and determine title and artist.
- Pandora: With Pandora as an Android app or on my computer, I can enter the name of a song I know my students like and create a playlist from it.
- Ringdroid: I wanted a ringtone that sounded like <gasp> a phone ringing. The Samsung Epic did not have a ringtone like this. So I found an mp3 that I liked, and used Ringdroid to create a ringtone for me. Please tell me, am I not the only one who despises other ringtones?
- Carr Matey: Have you ever forgotten where you parked your car? It’s happened to me before. Carr Matey is a fun little pirate-themed GPS app that will help me find my way back to my car. Backtracking in a parking lot in Florida is not only a little embarrassing, it’s downright hot.
- Instant Heart Rate: Ever have a rough class and wonder if your blood is really about to boil? Me either. But this app will still let you check your heart rate using, of all things, the camera. Don’t know how it works, but it does, and it’s cool.
- For Immediate Release: As an avid listener of the For Immediate Release: Hobson and Holtz Report for more than three years, I was very happy to see that there was an Android app for the podcast. You can find the app by searching in the Android Market, but I cannot find a link for it elsewhere. UPDATE: Though parts of this app work, I’ve recently learned that others don’t, so I am removing the FIR app from my list. I absolutely will continue listening to the FIR podcast, just not through this app.
So those are my favorite Android apps, based on the one week I’ve had my Samsung Epic 4G. Are there others you’d recommend?