For those of you with an Android phone, you need to get Tasker. If you don’t have it, you’re missing out on a truly great application. It’s described as “Total Automation for Android” by the author, but what does that mean for you? Well it’s simple really, your phone does things, you do things in response to that. Tasker can do most of that for you. Let me put that in a few practical examples.
- You like to disable your Wifi radio to save power, but you want it running when you’re at home or at work. Tasker can do this for you by looking at what cell towers your connected to. (More on this later, but it’s ridiculously awesome and doesn’t burn battery like using the GPS does)
- You get home, your phone gets in range of Wifi and connects automatically. Normally, you’d want your ringer on and at max volume. Tasker can detect that you’re connected to your home Wifi network and setup the ringer for you.
- You get into your car and plug your phone in. Normally, you’d want the wifi turned off, 4G turned on, hotspot enabled, and the car panel application started. Tasker can do all of that for you.
- When you boot your phone, you need your phone setup a certain way. I like mine with the Display Rotation turned off, brightness on auto, display timeout at 30 seconds, WiMax off, etc. Tasker does all of that for me.
- The Wifi sticks sometimes, but cycling it fixes the problem. Tasker cycles my Wifi for me every night and I no longer have issues.
- Because I disable rotation, I lose the ability to view the Gallery and Browser in landscape mode. Tasker enables it for me whenever I start the Gallery and Browser applications and disables it when I exit them. This prevents my phone from entering landscape mode on my home screen (which drives me nuts) but lets me use rotation in the applications that I select.
- Tasker can also create shortcuts/widgets to tasks, this allows you to perform many steps at once, such as my Wifi cycle task. This is also handy for things like my ringer enable task, which also sets the volume levels after it enables the ringer so my phone is always at the volumes I like.
And that’s just the beginning of what is possible with Tasker.
Part of the problem with Tasker is understanding what everything is. Most people probably haven’t read the Tasker manual (tl;dr), so let’s go over some Tasker terminology.
- Action – A single thing that you want Tasker to do, like Turning the Wifi Radio on.
- Task – A collection of actions. Tasks can contain one or many actions. An important thing to remember about Tasks is that you can call one Task from another Task. This will come in handy for repeating common tasks.
- Profile – Profiles are used to define the states of when to execute tasks. Basically, you “enter” a profile when your phone matches all of the criteria of the profile, and you “exit” a profile when it no longer matches. You are allowed to define a task for entry and exit of profiles. This is how you correlate your tasks to what your phone is doing and teach it how to respond accordingly.
In this first article, I’m going to demonstrate my most common uses for Tasker.
First off, go download Tasker from the Android Market. (More links and a QR code at the bottom of this post)
Now that Tasker is installed, fire it up. It requires no real configuration so no need to worry about that yet. The first thing you want to do is change to the Flat view of your profiles. Contextual is great once you get the hang of Tasker, but for now, we’ll go with Flat. So at the Tasker screen, hit Menu -> View -> Flat.
Creating some tasks
The first thing you’re going to want to do is create some common tasks. These are things that you want to do from many profiles, like set the ringer volume. We’ll start by creating 3 tasks.
- From the main screen, hit the Lightning Bolt icon (It’s the 4th one on the toolbar).
- Now hit “New Task”. Name it “Ringer Enable”.
- Hit the check mark and you’ll be at the Task Edit screen.
In my ringer enable profile, I like to set enable the ringer, and then set all of the volumes in one task. This way, the volume is always right. So first, let’s enable the ringer.
- Hit the blue “+” button.
- Go to “Audio”, then “Silent Mode”.
- Set “Mode” to “Off” and hit the Green check mark.
Now let’s set the volumes.
- Hit the “+” again, go to “Audio”, then “Alarm Volume”, set it to maximum volume (For me, that’s “7″).
- Hit the check mark.
- Now do the same for Notification Volume, Ringer Volume, and System Volume.
In addition to this, I like to add a popup notification.
- Hit “+” again, go to “Alert”, then “Flash”. In the “Text” field, enter “Audio Mode”.
When you’re done, the task should look something like this.
You now have a task that will setup your ringer the way you like it and notify you that it’s done. You’ll use this task a lot later.
Now create a Task called Ringer Disable, except this time set Silent Mode to “On” and set the Alert to “Silent Mode”. Don’t bother adjusting the volume controls this time. They’re all irrelevant since the ringer is off. Create one last task called “Ringer Vibrate” with Silent Mode set to “Vibrate” and the alert set to “Vibrate Mode”. You now have a base set of tasks to control the sound levels on your phone. For me, this alone was a life saver.
Here is what the other two ringer tasks look like.
Putting your tasks to work using profiles.
Now that we have some basic tasks in place, let’s put them to work. To do that, let’s create a profile. First off, let’s do a startup profile. In this profile, we’re going to setup the ringer, disable rotation, etc.
- From the main menu, hit green “+” button on the toolbar.
- Name the Profile “Startup”.
- In the dialog box that pops up (First Context), select “Event”
- Select “System”, then “Device Boot”
- Hit the green check mark and when the Task Selection dialog pops up, select “New Task”.
- Name it “Device Bootup”
- In this task, first add an action to kill display rotation. (Display -> Display Rotation -> Off)
- Now setup your desired brightness. I like automatic mode so I add an Action for it. (Display -> Auto Brightness -> On)
- Disable your WiMax (this is handy if you have a phone that has the annoying habit of turning on 4G every time it reboots, thus draining the crap out of your battery for no reason). The action is under Net -> WiMax. Set it to off.
Now it’s time to turn the ringer on. Because we already have a task for it, let’s just call that task instead of repeating the same tasks.
- Add an action to call the Ringer Enable task. Hit the + button, then select “Task”, then “Perform Task”. Press the magnifying glass that’s about the “Name” field and select your “Ringer Enable” task.
Your phone is now setup to configure itself the way you want it every time you reboot it.
This is what my Device Boot task looks like.
This concludes part one of this article. Next time, I’ll go over executing tasks based on what cell towers you’re near. This is one of my favorite features as it lets me control the behavior of my phone when I’m near home or my office. Used in concert with the “Wifi Connected” state, it allows me shut the Wifi off when I’m not near areas that don’t have it, but turn it on when I get close, and then setup the phone the way I like it for those certain areas. If you have Bluetooth for your car, you can use the “Bluetooth Connected” state to know when you’re in the car and act accordingly.
Enjoy the beginnings of Tasker! Be sure to hit the Tasker site and check out the documentation for more examples, then hit the Tasker Wiki for some really wild examples of what you can do with Tasker. Be forewarned, a lot of the stuff on the Wiki is very advanced, so get some practice under your belt before you dive into the advanced tasks.
I’d like to give a shout out to the Mozilla team and show my support for Firefox 4. It’s fast and packed with features. Yet another generation of a great browser. If you don’t like the browser out of the box, grab some extensions. I recommend AdBlock Plus and if you’re really into security, go for NoScript. Stay thirsty my friends.
The boys at Exact Audio Copy have been putting in some OT and there’s now a new version that does cover art available! Actually, it’s been available for quite a while but I haven’t updated because I was being lazy.
In my last article, I spent a lot of time talking about what options I had changed and all of that. In this case, most of my setup options upgraded correctly from my old options so I’m not exactly sure what I’ve changed from the defaults anymore. I’ve taken a screenshot of the relevant dialogs for comparison though. Keep in mind that I run a “Insert, Rip, and Eject” setup so I’ve got everything wired to be pretty much automatic.
Here are the dialogs for the general options. The external compression options that I use have changed quite a bit since the 1.0b2 release, so I’ll go into those more shortly.
And now on to the good stuff… the encoder options. EAC 1.0b2 changed all of the tag formats, fortunately it converted all of mine when I upgraded so I didn’t have to go figure them all out again. (Thanks to the EAC developers on that, it would have SUCKED) Here’s a screenshot of the configuration dialog.
Here are my settings for this dialog so you can copy/paste.
Use external program for compression : Checked
Parameter passing scheme : User Defined Encoder
Use file extension : .m4a
Program, including path, used for compression : C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe
Additional command-line options : /E:ON /C C:\Tools\aacencode.cmd %source% %dest% “%artist%” “%albumtitle%” “%title%” “%year%” “%tracknr%” “%numtracks%” “%genre%” “%comment%” “%cddbid%” “%coverfile%”
Delete WAV after compression : Checked
Use CRC check : Checked
Add ID3 tag : Unchecked
Check for external programs return code : Unchecked
And now for the script that you need to make it work. I keep mine in “C:\Tools\”. If you put yours somewhere else, adjust the paths above accordingly.
@echo off REM Use with cmd.exe and the command line of REM /E:ON /C C:\Tools\aacencode.cmd %source% %dest% "%artist%" "%albumtitle%" "%title%" "%year%" "%tracknr%" "%numtracks%" "%genre%" "%comment%" "%cddbid%" "%coverfile%" SET SOURCEFILE=%1 SET DESTFILE=%2 SET ARTIST=%3 SET ALBUMTITLE=%4 SET TRACKTITLE=%5 SET YEAR=%6 SET TRACKNUMBER=%7 SET TOTALTRACKS=%8 SET GENRE=%9 SHIFT SHIFT SHIFT SET COMMENT=%7 SET ISRC=%8 SET COVER=%9 C:\Tools\min.exe C:\Tools\NeroAAC\Win32\neroaacenc.exe -q 1.0 -if %SOURCEFILE% -of %DESTFILE% C:\Tools\NeroAAC\Win32\Neroaactag.exe %DESTFILE% -meta:artist=%ARTIST% -meta:album=%ALBUMTITLE% -meta:track=%TRACKNUMBER% -meta:title=%TRACKTITLE% -meta:genre=%GENRE% -meta:year=%YEAR% -meta:isrc=%ISRC% -meta:totaltracks=%TOTALTRACKS% -meta:comment=%COMMENT% C:\Tools\NeroAAC\Win32\Neroaactag.exe %DESTFILE% -add-cover:front:%COVER%
Here’s the zip archive of my scripts and tools to make all of this work. You’ll still need to download the Nero AAC Encoder yourself. Check the script to see where I put mine and adjust paths accordingly. I have also included a utility called “min.exe” that goes in C:\Tools. This utility minimizes the window so you don’t have to start at the Nero encoder window. Remove it if you don’t like that and you’re rather see the Nero AAC encoder do it’s thing.
Once you’ve got all of this in place, pop in a CD and EAC should automatically go out and get the track information from FreeDB or GD3. If you’re using GD3, it’ll get the cover art too. If you’re using FreeDB, you’ll have an option to search for cover art and you’ll have to go select your own. (I also find cover art on Amazon’s CD store if the EAC search doesn’t get it) Now that your album information is loaded and ready, press F4 to do a gap scan, then press SHIFT-F5 to fire off the rip and compress process.
Update 2011/06/11 : I have updated these scripts for EAC 1.0b2, click here for the new article.
Having recently done a significant upgrade to the audio system in my Maxima and finally having an iPod option, I was faced with the dilemma of what format to encode my music in. I’ve got over 600 audio CDs that I’ve purchased over the years and I really wanted to get them into a common format. Seeing as all of my players and streaming devices support it now, AAC was the obvious choice. After several experiments and a lot of ripping, Exact Audio Copy and Nero’s AAC Encoder proved to be the best choice for sound quality when creating AAC files. The problem is that they don’t really work together out of the box…
With the help of my good friend Google, a little scripting, and a lot of patience, I’ve now come up with a way to encode AAC files through EAC in a simple process. Here are the steps I’ve taken to get Nero’s AAC encoder and Exact Audio Copy to play nice together. This also includes tagging the AAC files. I’ve attached the script I use to the end of this post.
First things first, grab a copy of Exact Audio Copy and Nero’s AAC Encoder. Install EAC and extract the AAC encoder to the folder of your choice. (For this example, I’ve extracted it to C:\Tools\NeroAAC)
Now it’s time to create a script file to launch NeroAAC. EAC’s “external tools” command line doesn’t allow enough characters to run all of the commands we’re going to run and we’re also passing more than 9 command line parameters so we have to do some shifting and such. Here is the contents of the file I use to execute Nero AAC. I’ve named my file aacencode.cmd and saved it into C:\Tools. If you need to adjust the quality settings of Nero AAC, this is the file where those settings are located. Run the NeroAACEnc utility to see what options are available. This batch file has the quality cranked to maximum. At this level it’s really difficult to tell the resulting AAC files from the original CDs.
@echo off REM Use with cmd.exe and the command line of REM /E:ON /C C:\Tools\aacencode.cmd %s %d "%a" "%g" "%t" "%y" "%n" "%x" "%m" "%e" "%f" SET SOURCEFILE=%1 SET DESTFILE=%2 SET ARTIST=%3 SET ALBUMTITLE=%4 SET TRACKTITLE=%5 SET YEAR=%6 SET TRACKNUMBER=%7 SET TOTALTRACKS=%8 SET GENRE=%9 SHIFT SHIFT SET COMMENT=%8 SET ISRC=%9 C:\Tools\NeroAAC\Win32\neroaacenc.exe -q 1.0 -if %SOURCEFILE% -of %DESTFILE% && C:\Tools\NeroAAC\Win32\Neroaactag.exe %DESTFILE% -meta:artist=%ARTIST% -meta:album=%ALBUMTITLE% -meta:track=%TRACKNUMBER% -meta:title=%TRACKTITLE% -meta:genre=%GENRE% -meta:year=%YEAR% -meta:isrc=%ISRC% -meta:totaltracks=%TOTALTRACKS% -meta:comment=%COMMENT%
Now it’s time to configure EAC. Launch EAC and go into the EAC menu in the top left. Go to “Compression Options”, then click the “External Compression” tab. Check the “Use external program for compression” option and select “User Defined Encoder”. In the file extension box, put “.m4a”. In the Program Path, select C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe. If you’re using a different directory for your windows installation, please adjust accordingly. In the Additional command-line options, use the following
/E:ON /C C:\Tools\aacencode.cmd %s %d "%a" "%g" "%t" "%y" "%n" "%x" "%m" "%e" "%f"
Note : If you’re not using the same script file name or path as me, please adjust accordingly.
Make sure the “Add ID3 tag” is unchecked, the rest of the options are personal preference or irrelevant.
(Just a footnote, all of this configuration was done with EAC 0.99 prebeta 5)
This is what my screen looks like
Now would be a good time to go through the rest of the options in EAC and set up your desired directory structure, file naming conventions, etc. All of this needs to be done before the ripping process begins!
Once this is done, insert an Audio CD into your drive and when the track list comes up in EAC, click the CD icon on the tool bar to get CD information from FreeDB. Once the tracks are titled to your liking, select all of the tracks (use Edit -> Select All if you’re ripping the whole CD), and press Shift-F5 to extract the tracks and use the selected compression tool. You can also use the menus to do this.
That’s it! EAC should now begin extracting the tracks and firing off NeroAAC after each track. Enjoy the show!
As promised, I’ve attached my batch file so you won’t have to depend on copy/paste.
AAC Encoder wrapper script
Nikon just gave us the NEF Codec 1.10.0. Guess what it does for us? It supports their newer cameras of course. It also has a few other tweaks around color processing and distortion control.
Would you like to know what additional operating systems are supported? None! Yeah, that’s right. None! Vista 64-bit was released in November of 2006, almost 4 years ago. Yet still no 64-bit OS support from Nikon. What’s the deal guys? Adobe is all over it, with some of the software in CS5 requiring 64-bit. Where are you at Nikon? Oh that’s right, you’re doing a whole lot of nothing. I suppose you’re going to continue to be as ridiculous as Alpine and Parrot and just keep flogging the dead horse. They’re being stubborn and not supporting the newer platforms either. At least those guys are doing device level programming which can get kinky when you start to mix architectures. File format manipulation shouldn’t have these issues so it’s kind of ridiculous that Nikon won’t upgrade their tool chain and port it. Hell, release the source code, I’m sure it would take some open source developers all of about 3 days to port it for you.
So yeah. A new release. Great! I guess we’ll just keep having to buy 3rd party software to view/manipulate NEF files or be forced to shoot the reduced quality JPG. Oh well, whatever. Everyone’s workflow uses 3rd party products now anyway. Thanks for nothing Nikon.
For reference, this is the 3rd post I’ve made on this crap. I’ve been ranting for quite a while on this subject and if you’re tired of hearing about it, feel free to write someone at Nikon. I’m certainly tired of constantly ranting about it Here’s the link to the NEF Codec product page for those 32-bit users who want to download it and so Nikon’s web guys will see this post via the referrer link.
Since my last post on my favorite Android apps, I’ve found more that I like and decided to share them. I’ll skip the intro and just get right into the meat of things!
- Amazon MP3 – Like to download MP3s from Amazon? Here’s the app for you! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Amazon-MP3/-6768468292611783909
- Google Translate – Very handy when you’re trying to figure out how to say “The Bathroom Adventure” in Spanish – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Google-Translate/-9048602167933008240
- Onion News Network – If you like the Onion, here’s a fun app for watching their videos – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Onion-News-Network/-5555255265406838221
- Movie – Now this is a neat app! It lets you use the barcode scanner to scan movies into it’s database. So you grab your DVD/VHS collection and start scanning! Then it exports them out to your SD card so you can bring it over to your PC. It even has a section where you can put notes about who you lent movies too. Kinda handy for knowing where your movies are at all times! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Movie%2B/-8283958031060293670
- Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal – This is a neat app for tracking your diet and watching your weight loss. If you’re not in a program like weight watchers, this is a great app for managing your diet and it has a lot of foods already in the database so it’s easy to keep track of! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Calorie-Counter—MyFitnessPal/4809937025041738028
- Google Chrome to Phone - Love this one. It lets you send links from your PC’s browser (Chrome or Firefox) to your phone. Very handy for passing links to your phone instead of having to send them via email and such. – http://code.google.com/p/chrometophone/ – For the Chrome Extension, go here. For the Firefox Extension, go here.
- Photobucket Mobile – If you use Photobucket for storing pictures, this is a great app to have. Handy for managing your library or adding in more pictures. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Photobucket-Mobile/4991857228994313008
- Ringdroid – This app lets you edit songs on your SD card and turn them into ringtones! Very convenient sometimes. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Ringdroid/4698290702299742152
- AK Notepad – Nice, simple to use notepad app. Lots of features like notepad sharing. Very clean and easy. I love it. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/AK-Notepad/2386431742528505693
- HuffingtonPost – If you read Huffington Post, this app will speed up the process. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/HuffingtonPost.com/-1352347099754018748
- Calorie Counter – Another handy app for finding out the nutritional information in the foods you eat. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Calorie-Counter-by-FatSecret/2989617263493218652
- Paper Toss – Total time waster, I dig it. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Paper-Toss/-2697236727515844250
- ScanMedia – This app will force Android to scan it’s media for changes. This is handy if you upload a media file to your SD card and don’t want to wait for Android to figure that out and scan it! It’s especially handy if you move things around using a file manager. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/ScanMedia/6906929909313366811
- EStrongs File Explorer – I used to endorse Astro but have really started to like this one. The main reason being the network connectivity. EStrongs does a much better job of connecting to my Windows 7 machines. Astro’s SMB module just wouldn’t do it consistently. Also, if you’re in to colors, Estrongs has a nicer theme on it. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/EStrongs-File-Explorer/-2441608149393958602
Enjoy the apps and thanks for the suggestions last time!
At the end of 2008, I purchased a new 2009 Nissan Maxima. Up until that point, all of my vehicles had aftermarket audio systems in them. Some more radical than others, but always something other than stock. When I got the Maxima, I was too busy to care so I left the stock Bose system alone.
After some recent discussions with friends, i’ve started to feel the itch again. I’ve really started to miss the magnificent sound that I got from the audio system in my ’02 Accord. The Bose system in my Maxima is so flat sounding and the only adjustment options are Bass and Treble, and they tend to give it a really harsh sound when increased. It makes me miss the sound system in my Accord more and more every time I listen to it. What I don’t miss is not having a trunk any more! Fortunately for me, times have changed… Amplifiers are significantly smaller now, subwoofers take less airspace, and my Maxima has a nice wide opening between the wheel wells where I can put everything and still keep spare tire access and room for groceries.
With all that being said, i’ve decided to install a new system in my Maxima. Thanks to a little encouragement from my best friend, i’ve decided to go back to my roots and do the installation work myself. This should make for a fun summer project and will help me relieve some stress! I’ve purchased the first part of my audio equipment already. An Alpine CDA-117 leads the line up. I chose it for it’s superior audio quality and Alpine’s flexible AI-NET system that will let me chain processors, bluetooth, HD Radio, etc to the head unit. Signal processing duties will be performed by an Alpine PXA-H100, digitally connected via AI-NET to the CDA-117. I’ve got some Stinger RoadKill Expert to quiet the Maxima up a little and help with sound reflection inside of the door panels. Speaker wire is JL Audio 12awg copper wire. Power / Ground wires are JL Audio 4awg copper. Capacitor duties will be handled by my Phoenix Gold 15 Farad PowerCore. The cap is left over from my old system but it’s in perfect condition and I never had the first problem with it so I see no need to replace it.
Here’s a few pictures of the new equipment.
A comical note from my friend Trea … Bose is actually an acronym that stands for “Buy other stereo equpiment”. I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve had several friends recently take the Android plunge and ask me what apps that i’m using, so I decided to write them up in a list for everyone to enjoy and comment on. They’re listed in no particular order and I’ve provided a link to them in the doubleTwist app catalog so you can read a description and scan the QR code to install.
If you’re new to Android, this app is the first thing you need to install. With it, you can scan the square bar codes (QR codes) on the app pages and your Android device will fire right into the market and let you install the app. So simple! Check out the description and icon on the following page, then search the Android market on your device and load the one with the same icon. It’s free and it works.
- Barcode Scanner – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Barcode-Scanner/8684651697626048315
Once you’re ready with that, you’re going to need a good keyboard. I’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. Swype is the way to go. It’s currently in Beta right now so you won’t be able to get it from the Android market, but trust me when I tell you that it’s worth signing up for the Beta and replacing your old keyboard with the Swype one. Here’s the link to the developer’s site. Give Swype a week as your default input method and you won’t go back.
- Swype – http://www.swypeinc.com/
Now that you’re able to Swype and ready to barcode scan, check out the following links and load some apps!
- Yelp – This app allows you to search a directory of businesses to find nearby restaurants, entertainment, etc. You can read reviews as well as “check in” at various locations. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Yelp/-8428439410233946704
- Foursquare – The same basic thing as Yelp except the reviews are not nearly as good and the directory is littered with useless stuff like people’s houses. Foursquare is also more about the social game aspect than actually finding good places to go. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Foursquare/2242381791158486847
- Layar – This app let’s you look through your phone and it overlays businesses, restaurants, real estate, etc. It’s more or less like having an information readout built into your eye. Pretty neat! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Layar-Reality-Browser/-5492439195135970260
- Urbanspoon – Similar to Yelp/Foursquare but focused on food and has a nifty interface. Great for finding local places if you’re not really sure what you’re in the mood for. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Urbanspoon/5770309968564102810
- Movies – Flixster’s movie app. Find movies, buy tickets. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Movies/3803559356039407742
- Fandango – Fandango’s version of a movie app. Find movies, buy tickets. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Fandango-Movies/-8503835660650838916
- Shopper – Google’s shopping app. Find items by bar code or by taking a picture of them and then compare prices. A little limited on what it will recognize at this point, but neat! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Shopper/9021953638086515981
- Shazam – Ever wonder what song is playing in the background? Shazam can help you find it. Just let the phone listen to the song and Shazam will find out what it is and save a tag for you so you can go get it later. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Shazam/9078283276958955682
- Tapatalk – If you read a lot of forums, check out Tapatalk! It formats the forum in a more mobile device friendly way. Unfortunately it requires that the forum owner install some software, but it’s free for them and a lot of forums have it now. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Tapatalk-Forum-App-(Demo)/5172159749994684569
- Astro File Manager – Manage the files on your Android device without having to plug the USB in! Very convenient for making small changes and such. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/ASTRO-File-Manager/3521322703668947709
- Astro Bluetooth – Adds Bluetoooth support to Astro so you can move files around to other Bluetooth devices – http://apps.doubletwist.com/ASTRO-Bluetooth-Module/-2665954802189038548
- Astro SMB Module – Adds SMB support to Astro so you can browse Windows files shares. Very handy for moving files back and forth to your PC without plugging in the USB. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/ASTRO-SMB-Module/-4297525784532731675
- Microsoft Tag Reader – QR codes can be limited and stop working well when a lot of data is encoded in them. Microsoft Tags pick up where QR left off. They’re used widely on the Xbox sites and such so it’s handy to have this app to decode them. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Microsoft-Tag-Reader/7572172615153708714
- Parcels – Track packages from various shipping companies. You can also label them. Very convenient if you’re expecting a package and don’t like to be chained to your PC for tracking updates. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Parcels/-3066158123332380186
- Bump – Swap contacts, photos, and other information just by bumping phones! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Bump/-8864954203326452993
- WordWise Free – It’s like Scrabble and you can play against your friends remotely. Very cool. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/WordWise-Free/-871152393333584378
- Fring – Video chat and IM client similar to Qik but without the monthly bill. Kind of useless if you don’t have a front facing camera. The client is also compatible with iPhone Fring so you can chat with iPhone 4 users as well. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/fring—free-video-calls%2C-IM/7265829848860942341
- WordPress – A nice app for connecting to WordPress blogs (like this one) – Read comments, posts, etc – http://apps.doubletwist.com/WordPress/2060168375811358412
- My Tracks – Records movements, speeds, elevation changes and creates custom Google Maps and Documents to share with your friends. Now you can record your walks, jogs, bike rides, etc and track your performance. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/My-Tracks/5619948915145980006
- K-9 Mail – A mail client built off of the stock Android mail app. Very nice feature set. It adds a lot of the features that the stock client lacks. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/K-9-Mail/-2319226184818340004
- Sound Manager – Adjust all of the Android volume settings at once. It also has scheduling so you can have the phone automatically adjust volumes based on times and such! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Sound-Manager/-7202281942786502586
- Google Earth – Browse the world from the palm of your hand. Very neat! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Google-Earth/8735095210975905124
- PayPal – Manage your PayPal account from this handy app – http://apps.doubletwist.com/PayPal/1717242335864165550
- IMDb – Browse IMDb without the hassle of using the browser – http://apps.doubletwist.com/IMDb-Movies-%26amp%3B-TV/6013565622762873534
- Adobe Reader – Adobe’s official PDF reader for the Android platform – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Adobe%C2%AE-Reader%C2%AE/-1935143053349851793
- WiFinder – Locate and connect to WiFi hotspots. Much easier than going into settings and all of that. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/WiFinder/-1003813077939557751
- IM+ Lite – Very nice IM client for Android. Lots of options and protocols supported – http://apps.doubletwist.com/IM%2B-Lite/-250213690496941545
- FlightStats Lite – Track flights from the convenience of an app – http://apps.doubletwist.com/FlightStats-Lite-for-Android/-7065009727566998176
- Engadget – A convenient way to catch up on your favorite gadget site! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Engadget/5256348713963807342
- OpenTable – Find restaurants and make reservations online – http://apps.doubletwist.com/OpenTable/-7021538021013229553
- Pocket Agent – If you have State Farm insurance, this app will allow you to make claims, get assistance, etc. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Pocket-Agent/-7080433943161957637
- Battery Widget (HTC) – Monitor the battery of your phone from this handy desktop widget – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Battery-Widget/4393210931049278918
- Mobile Banking – Convenient access into your Bank of America account – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Mobile-Banking/-8693904818618931351
- Amazon.com – Amazon.com search and purchase tool. Very nice if you’re an Amazon fan – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Amazon.com/1451235214243631243
- Shoryuken – One of my favorite toy apps. You move the phone, it makes street fighter noises. Selectable characters and an on screen “moves list”. Very fun if you played Street Fighter back in the day. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Shoryuken/4454830978903503607
- Google Maps – Find locations, business, restaurants, etc, then get directions to them! Very nice mapping app from Google – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Google-Maps/-3632499760052616472
- Google Goggles – Search Google by pictures. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Google-Goggles/7122374109537329528
- The Weather Channel – The official weather app of weather.com. Nice radar views and such. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/The-Weather-Channel/-6750316753266307112
- Compass – Everybody needs a compass sometimes! – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Compass/-4451580330297319367
- doubleTwist Player – A nice upgrade to the stock Android media player. Includes last.fm scrobbling, cover art downloading, etc. Works well when used with the doubleTwist desktop application. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/doubleTwist-Player/-3242011087289649748
- Pandora – One of the best free internet radio options. Build your own stations and customize them to play only what you want, then have it recommend more of the same type of music for you to check out. Very nice. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Pandora-Radio/4924458746518977325
- eBay – Manage your eBay account from your mobile. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/eBay/-3564758678792161604
- Handcent SMS – A MUST HAVE app to replace the stock Android SMS client. If you don’t like the text messaging in Android, this is the answer. Very customizable too. Instructions to replace the stock SMS client with this one are on the Handcent site – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Handcent-SMS/8114420675433515351
- Documents to Go – View Excel and Word files with ease. This thing was great on the Palm and it’s back with a vengeance on Android. There is a paid version that does PDF and PowerPoint as well as let you edit. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Documents-To-Go-2.0-Main-App/2978032577393184508
- Mint.com – If you use Mint.com for financial tracking and planning, this app is for you. It connects to your Mint.com account and lets you manage it from Android with ease. - http://apps.doubletwist.com/Mint.com-Personal-Finance/-4416547265345152262
- Last.FM – Your own personal radio station, now on your phone. Last.FM is one of the original projects to create custom radio stations for people to get only the music they want. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Last.fm—Personal-Radio/3347146850818170505
- Advanced Task Killer – I still don’t believe you need a task killer in Android if you manage your apps properly, but this one is very popular and I have a lot of friends that use it. It’s simple but it works and it’s free. – http://apps.doubletwist.com/Advanced-Task-Killer/6460596612060981171
- SystemPanel Lite – This is a handy app for killing an app if you have to. Unlike most task managers, it shows cached applications in a separate list so you know what you need to kill and what you need not bother with. There is a paid version which also does app install/uninstalll and system usage history – http://apps.doubletwist.com/SystemPanelLite-Task-Manager/2059222314703525083
I hope you enjoy these apps as much as I have. Feel free to comment on them or make recommendations of your own.
Special Thanks to House of The Faculty for providing me with some updates and several of these apps.
It is with great sadness that I write this post. Jon and Melissa Simmons (Owners of Boston Aqua Farms) daughter was recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and is undergoing treatment. Jon and Missy have been friends of mine for the better part of a decade and they need all of the support we can give them right now.
The treatment plan is 2 years long and the bills are very high, The family has to travel about an hour to Boston twice a week for checkups and to receive treatments. To help pay the growing list of bills, Missy is making bracelets to sell to anyone that is willing to buy them. These are simple beaded bracelets but they are made with love and care and hope for Rylee’s future.