13 February 2014

What apps can't you live without? (Android edition)

I thought I'd take the opportunity on this snowy day to put together a short list of some of my indispensable apps. Most of them I use every day, and can't live without. The descriptions below are taken from the Google Store pages for each app with some light editing and comments from me. 

Waze

Waze is a community based mapping, traffic and navigation app with 70 million users. Join forces with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time & gas money, and improve everyone's daily commute. By simply driving around with Waze open, you're already contributing tons of real-time traffic and road info to your local driving community. You can also actively report accidents, hazards, police and other events you see on the road, and get road alerts on your route too. Find the cheapest gas station along your route with community-shared fuel prices. Waze also makes it fun and simple to meet up and coordinate with friends on the road.
It's all about contributing to and benefiting from the 'common good' on the road, so hop on board and get involved in your local driving community today!

✓ Live routing based on community generated, real-time traffic and road info
✓ Community contributed road alerts including accidents, hazards, police traps, road closures and more
✓ Complete voice guided navigation
✓ Automatic re-routing as conditions on the road change
✓ Learns your frequent destinations, commuting hours and preferred routes
✓ Finds the cheapest gas station along your route
✓ One tap navigation to Facebook events 
✓ See Facebook friends driving to the same place
✓ Notify someone you're on your way by sending a live ETA and a link showing you as you drive
✓ Earn points and move up the ranks in your community as you contribute road info
✓ Live maps, constantly edited and updated by Waze community map editors

More than once Waze has saved my day by routing me around traffic problems. This alone makes it totally worth it. If you drive a lot (or even if you don't), you can benefit from using this app. And by using it, you're contributing data to help make every else's experience better. Highly recommended.

Waze is available for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone.

Handy Scanner (Pro)

Handy Scanner Pro turns your phone or tablet into a powerful document scanner. Say goodbye the piles of paper that follow you around. You can scan multipage documents, whiteboards, business cards and so much more. The post-processing filters give you the greatest quality with the lowest background noise. Then, just share them to GMail, Dropbox or any other application. Better yet, use instant uploading to Dropbox! Produces both PDF and JPEG images!

★ Scan Documents
» Take several pictures in a row (batch scan) with our custom camera.
» Automatic document bounds detection
» Improve readability with our filters (print-ready, enhance colors/contrast,...)
» Export documents to PDF or JPEG format (to Dropbox, Box, Gmail, GDocs, …)
» OCR your documents by sharing to the Google Docs application and selecting “Convert to Google Doc”
★ Manage
» Search your documents
» Post-process documents again

The "Pro" version is $4.99 and worth every penny. It removes the page limits from the free version (20 Documents, 5 pages per Document). If you spent time doing research, in a library, or other places where you need to scan or copy documents, this is a huge time saver. Dropbox integration is huge.

Handy Scanner is available for Android.

MightyText

SMS Text Messaging from your Computer or Tablet, using your CURRENT Android phone number. Texting done better!

★ Send & Receive SMS on your computer or tablet
★ Instant Notifications on computer/tablet when SMS hits phone.
★ 100% Free (no additional charge from your carrier - text free)
★ See who's calling your phone, and see battery level -- on your computer/tablet
★ Sync/backup your photos & videos from your phone
★ Group Messaging (Group Texting)
★ SMS from Gmail on computer using your Android phone #
★ Send Picture Messages (MMS Messaging) on PC. Backup MMS Text Messaging
★ 30 Seconds Setup Time
★ Messages stay synced w/ your phone's SMS inbox

★ SMS Backup and Restore: Backup MMS & SMS Text Messaging from any device

MightyText has a special place in my heart because, while I am home, I can text from my laptop. You see, I have fat fingers and I'm just not very good at texting on a mobile phone. :-)

MightyText is available for Android.
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