Android App Review

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

A Long, Continually Running Android App Review

It’s only been a few weeks since I upgraded my phone to a Galaxy Nexus, but I’m already an app addict. I’ve tried out a number of different apps that offer the same service and made comparisons between this and that. I try to do some research on the apps before I download them. Read the reviews and consider how many people are using the app and the over comments. But even then, you can end up with an app that simply doesn’t do what you want it to do and you have to start over.

I’m a retired IT geek, but I’m by no means a professional software critic or reviewer. I simply know what I like and as a Mom with a busy schedule. I get to stay at home and write articles and books. So what I need may not be the same thing as what a professional workaholic requires.

So these are simply what I like and what I’ve learned about the apps that do what I need them to do. I should mention these are not in any particular order.

The Must Have Apps:
If you missed my first Nexus post, you didn’t see these must haves. So instead of sending someone back to that post; I’m simply going to duplicate these here to save some time and mouse clicks.

My best rating is 5 ☆☆☆☆☆s. The worst have no stars or only one ☆. And there are a few in between.

Flash Lights:
The most important App you need! A flash light. Seriously, it sounds funny but in addition to coming in real handy in an emergency, I’ve already used mine several times here in the house for little things, like plugging in the power cord in the power strip under my desk. It’s handy for Concerts too. But what made me want this first off the bat were the stories I remember hearing from people running down the stairs in the 1st Trade Center Tower on 9/11. You NEED

  • Brightest Flashlight Free by GoldenShores Technologies Brightest Flashlight by GoldenShores Technologies: -☆
    This WAS my favorite flash light app. Then they updated it. Now I strongly suggest you avoid this like the plague! It was bad enough that they added ads to the app, but in doing so, they also added code that infringes on your privacy. It sends data about you and where you are to 3rd party advertisers. That drains your battery like crazy. I used to have 5 stars for this app, now make that a negative 1!
  • Droidlight LED Flashlight by Motorola Mobility LLC. : ☆☆☆☆☆
    My new favorite flashlight app. It requires NO special permissions. It only requests access to your camera. Now don’t be concerned about this. After some investigation I discovered that in order for an app to control the LED on your phone, it has to “go through” the camera app. to turn the flash (the LED) on and off. Like other apps, it turns on the LED and displays a light bulb on the front. Tap the light bulb and the LED turns off, and the soft light blub remains.
  • File Managers:
    My phone came with a USB cord so I can connect it to my PC and use it as a storage device to transfer files back and forth. I do this mostly for pictures, but there are a few other things it’s come in handy for as well. Like transferring sound files to use as ringtones.
    There are limits to what your PCs file manager can do on your phone however. For instance, if you want to add a directory to your Pictures directory on your phone to organize images, you can’t do that with file manager. However…there’s an app for that. I did a lot of reading and searching to see what others use and what’s recommended. I didn’t try them all out, because everyone seems to recommend the same app.
    ES File Explorer File Manager by EStrongs Inc: ☆☆☆☆☆
    You can create directories, move files easily, select multiple files simultaneously, copy or delete and several other helpful things that you need a file manager to do.
  • Internet Radio:
    TuneIn: ☆☆☆☆☆
    I am a little biased about which radio app I went with here. I co-host The Ænigma Project
    on and their shows are available on TuneIn radio. Once I tried them out and compared them to a few other radio apps, I’m glad I picked TuneIn.
    From the moment I signed up I was suspect. They take your email address and search the internet for places you may have used the same email to signup for this or that. They gather more information about you so they can provide you “suggestions” for their services, subscriptions and ads. I really didn’t like that invasion of privacy and immediately killed the app.
  • WeatherBug by Earth Networks

    WeatherBug by Earth Networks

    WeatherBug by Earth Networks: ☆☆☆☆☆
    There are a lot of weather widgets out there. But I have used Weatherbug on my desktop for years. I love this app on the phone. WeatherBug weather widgets display live, local weather conditions, forecasts, severe weather alerts and it can be specific to your location. So if you’re driving down the road, you can bring this app up, look at the radar and see what you’re driving into..or away from.

  • Social Media:
    Of course if you use social media, you’ll want the Twitter and Facebook apps.
    SirEvil resists some of the latest technology and if I want to message him while I’m out, my only option is
    AIM. So I’ve added that too. What I like about AIM is that I don’t have to be logged in to receive an AIM message from him. So if he’s out on a business trip, and IMs me; I’ll still get the message as a text. I can reply to it, or I can login with AIM which is easier for him. Even though I received the message outside of AIM, it will tell him that I’m not available. Even though I am available.
  • RingDroid by RingDroid Team

    RingDroid by RingDroid Team

    Creating Ringtones from MP3:
    RingDroid: ☆☆☆☆☆
    There are two products that are recommended for creating your own ringtones. This one and one that runs on your pc. I tried the PC version program. I hated it!
    RingDroid is much easier to use and it’s right on your phone. You don’t have to worry about transferring files from your PC to your phone unless you want to. And if something goes wrong, you don’t have to go back to your pc try to fix it and transfer it again.
    After using RingDroid for a week, let me say I LOVE IT! I hooked my phone to my laptop and transferred some mp3 files I wanted to use for ringtones and notifications. But they aren’t showing up as compatible for the Nexus. Start up Ringdroid and open the MP3, save it with a new name as a ringtone OR a Notification and tada you have your favorite song on your new phone! (Thanks to the Folks on Galaxy Nexus for this tidbit!)

  • Network Signal/Speed Booster: ☆☆☆
    Being out in the country I’m stuck between two towers. One mile down the road in either direction and I have a great signal. But here at home, nothing. I tried Network Speed Booster by Brethrendm and it did absolutely nothing! This one is by Mcstealth and it still isn’t a big difference, but it has been enough that I can actually receive and make a call from home.

Nice To Have Apps:
I started making a long list apps I love! Which started to turn this post into a novel. So I’ve separated these out into their own post, so I can keep adding to them over time. Sort of a running Android App Review.

  • Moon Phases
    We like to keep track of the moon for various reasons. And there are many of these apps out there. We like to know some of the astronomical information to see if something is going on that’s worth getting the telescope out for. So we looked at a few of these. Now of course the number one thing to look for is – is the app accurate. After that, the options are up to what you want and need for your own purposes.
    Moon Phase Pro: ☆☆☆☆
    If you enjoy knowing what phase the moon is currently, this is a good app, with the most information, visual display and customization. It’s not free however, so prepare to pay .99.

    Moon Zodiac: ☆
    I had great hopes for this one because it’s the only one that links the Moon to its astrological house. The problem with that app; it’s calendar is not accurate. For instance the blue moon that occurred August 31, 2012, was listed in MoonZodiac as occurring on September 4th. Between the app and the Naval Observatory, I went with the Navy’s date 8/31. So I was very disappointed this app wasn’t accurate.
  • Astrological Apps:
    Along those same lines we looked for a few astrological apps to help us out when we do get the telescope out. Having one that provides longitude and latitude coordinates is especially helpful. Finding one that you can point your phone at the sky and say what is that? Well, that’s the cats meow. We found both in one app, but there are many of these to look at:
    SkyMap by Sky Map Devs: ☆☆☆☆☆
    This is the one we liked the best. It has everything, including pointing your phone at the sky and zooming in on the constellations, showing their names and telling you if it’s a star or a planet, such as Saturn. works day or night. Even though you can’t see the stars in the day, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
  • GhostRadar

    GhostRadar Legacy by SpudPickles

    Ghost Hunting With Your Phone
    EVP and EMF SmartPhone Apps

    If you’re into the Paranormal there are a lot of tools to choose from. My co-hosts on The Ænigma Project are both professional Ghost Hunters. We often talk about ghost hunting tools and I enlisted their help to find one for my new Nexus. This is the one we settled on.

    GhostRadar® Legacy
    by Spud Pickles: ☆☆☆☆☆
    I like this one so much I wrote an in-depth review on my professional blog: Ghost Hunting With Your Phone.

  • Webster’s Dictionary: ☆☆☆☆
    If you and your partner are smart people, you get into conversations about words. We typically don’t argue, but we do debate and having a dictionary handy has always been a must! Now I have one on my phone for those long car ride debates!
  • Word Games
    ScrabbleFinder: ☆☆☆☆
    If you play Words with Friends, you need this app for your phone!
    Words With Friends : ☆☆☆☆☆
    Ok I’m addicted! And I promise not to use it when I’m sitting in first class on a plane waiting for take off. My sympathies to Alec Baldwin.

    Boggle: ☆☆☆☆
    If you are a word game player, you’ll love Boggle. I can’t give it a full 5 stars because it does crash from time to time. But in general I love playing this silly game.
  • ColorNote

    ColorNote by Notes

    NotePad Apps:
    There are a number of apps to help you keep notes. There are several apps recommended by other users on Galaxy Nexus and Android Everything. The top recommendations are
    Color Note by Notes: ☆☆☆☆☆
    Compared to the others, ColorNote is far out ahead of the others. It has everything from notes to checklists and a calendar for to dos. You can color coordinate your notes for family, work, play or whatever you choose
    EverNote: ☆
    I tried EverNote and immediately didn’t like it.
    Note Everything: ☆☆☆
    Note Everything seemed ok, until I saw Color Note
    OI Notepad: ☆☆☆
    OI Notepad is free, but it’s a bare minimum Note pad app. If you want nothing else, it’s great because it’s free.

  • Grizzy’s Friend: ☆☆☆☆☆
    If you have a cat, you need this app! Our 2 adult cats and 2 kittens LOVE playing with this. It’s fun to watch them and it’s great for getting the kittens settled down at night.
  • Aldiko Book Reader

    Aldiko Book Reader by Aldiko

    Book Readers:
    Aldiko : ☆☆☆☆☆
    I love this library app! I’m able to download text files from Gutenberg that are free and already in the public domain; and read them like a book in this little app. Other book readers try to charge me for the same books. No thanks! I love being able to set more than one bookmark. Keep notes about something in that bookmark and come back later to show someone or get information when I’m back at my desk. It’s great.

    Kindle: ☆☆☆
    Kindle is great if you want to pay for everything you read. I wanted to read the entire Wizard of Oz series which are all free from Gutenberg. Both Kindle and PlayBooks want to charge you over $10 for each book. No thanks. I was very disappointed.

    PlayBooks: ☆☆
    This one came with my phone. Like Kindle it favors the books you have to pay for and makes it a little harder to find the free books. That alone made me not like them.

  • Business Calendar by Appgenix Software

    Business Calendar by Appgenix Software

    Business Calendars:
    Once again there are a ton of these apps.
    Business Calendar: ☆☆☆☆
    I like it. it helps me keep track of my day, my sons schedule and important date. The only thing I don’t like about it is the very small print. I don’t mind reading it. But it makes it hard to clock on an apt and open it for review. It takes me 2 or 3 times to tap on the right line to open the one I want. Minor annoyance..but one I wish could be corrected somehow. Now I’m not sure about the other calendars, but this one I know will sync with your iGoogle calendar. If nothing else it makes me feel secure knowing that if something happens to my phone, I have a back up for my calendar on iGoogle. I don’t have to wait to get a new phone and restore the calendar from back up. It’s already up and running on my iGoogle account. That’s helpful I think.
    Quick Date:
    It was ok, but it’s not what I was looking for. Others may like it, but I was looking for a little more customization.

  • Compass Apps
    Recently we had an opportunity to watch the Antares Rocket launch from Wallops Island in Virginia. We needed to know the exact direction from our viewing position and Evil forgot his nautical compass. Well there’s an app for that! There are a lot of apps for that. Be careful though, some only display information in their home creators language. I found many for Chinese and Japanese that don’t have options to translate to English. Not all compass apps are accurate, so read the reviews others have left. I downloaded three apps and checked them out. Here’s what I found. 

    Compass by

    Compass by

    Compass by – ☆☆☆☆☆
    Works great on my Galaxy Nexus. We put this app up against my husbands nautical compass when we got home and it’s matched up in accuracy perfectly. It’s great whether you’re standing still in your backyard for star gazing, or on the move in the car driving down the road. I really like it. The free version has several themes that can be used, and there are more you can purchase. Frankly I’m a big fan of the wood/antique look one which is part of the free version. – The only thing I’d like to see added is for the latitude and longitude to be displayed under the address that’s displayed at the top of the screen. That’s very helpful when you’re star gazing.
    Smart Compass by Smart Tools Co. – ☆☆☆
    If you have Samsung Nexus anything, don’t bother. In its current state as of 04/2013 its erratic and not as accurate as Compass. It has some nice features, but it also has some that are rather annoying. Although you may turn the phone into portrait or landscape mode, the heading is fixed. I don’t want to read sideways. For me, it was kind of useless.
    Tiny Compass by Nikolay Ananiev – ☆☆☆☆
    No frills! Accurate within 10 feet. It lacks information that is provided by Compass by Catch. But if you’re looking for nothing but a compass where you can derive other information on your own, this would be the app for you. I like a little frill, so I wasn’t impressed with this one. But for what it is, it’s good.

  • Listening To Music
    Getting your iTunes music on your Nexus is not an easy task! First off the music from iTunes is not in a compatible format for Android. They are competitors after all. You do know that Apple and Samsung have a big court battle over patents. It’s not likely that Apple is going to make iTunes compatible with any Android device.
    There are several recommended tools you can use to sync your iTunes music on your Nexus phone. But here are a few things I learned while trying to do this.
    GooglePlay: ☆☆☆
    The app is already on your phone, the trick is getting your music there. Again, if your music is in iTunes you have a problem. If you want to upload your music library to Google and then download it to your phone, you can get it there. But why should you have to upload your music to the internet to get it from your pc to your phone in the first place? Your phone came with a USB connection cord. Why is this so irritatingly difficult?!
    An update: I discovered that if you use File Manager (My Computer) on your pc and find the directory where you store your iTunes, you can simply copy them over to your phone and use GooglePlay to listen to them. You can see the name of the song in the file system, copy it to your music library on your phone and your done. If you want to change the file name given to the song by iTunes, you need to copy the song over first, and then you change the name. It won’t copy your play lists, but you can use GooglePlay to make a playlist on your phone.
    doubleTwist: ☆
    The most recommended tool is a pc program called doubleTwist. It looks like iTunes, imports your iTunes music, allows you to create new playlists or import your playlists from iTunes. Looks great…until…you try to move the music to your Nexus.
    For that you have to use their cloud to transfer the music through AirSync. You can’t simply plug your Nexus into your PC and transfer the music because doubleTwist won’t recognize it as a storage device. I’m paranoid when it comes to computers and information. I don’t tell the internet anything I don’t have to. So uploading my music to a cloud and then downloading it to my phone not only seems unnecessary, but dangerous. So that ain’t happening. For that 1 reason, I give doubleTwist a failing grade.
    Easy Phone Sync: ☆
    This one was recommended by other Android users. It seemed simple enough, download and install the pc application, download the phone app to synch up your music and you’re done. Nope…the phone app part of the equation isn’t compatible with Galaxy Nexus. Wonderful..NOT!
  • Fireplace of Love by Blue Crystal Web Design

    Fireplace of Love by Blue Crystal Web Design

    Warm Ambient Fireplace
    Fireplace for Love by Blue Crystal Web Design? ☆☆☆☆☆
    This one is .99 cents. But the dollar was worth it. The HD graphics are wonderful and the crackling sound is realistic and calming. You have to watch the flames horizontally, but that actually makes the fire more inviting. I like it.
    Ambient Fireplace by Infantry Company: ☆
    I didn’t like the graphics. They seemed grainy and the app kept crashing after 15min.
    Virtual Fireplace by APK Labs: ☆
    Some HTC devices are reporting problems with video. And it’s more fireplace than fire.

  • Sports Apps
    We are a sports loving household. And of course there are several apps to help you follow your favorite sports and teams.
    Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile – by Sprint: ☆☆☆☆☆
    12/2012 Update! I moved the new app from 4 stars to 5. They’ve fixed some issues and improved the interface.
    Version 3.2.121
    I love the Nascar App! And they’ve updated it here at the end of 2012. I like the changes so far. Now if you’re on Sprint the app is free to access on your phone. I’m not sure if it’s free on other service providers. I don’t think it would be, because they charge for membership on their website. I’m thinking if you’re on Sprint, you get it for free because it is after the Sprint Cup Series we’re accessing. Now a thing to know about the app. When you first get into the App you won’t be able to do it over wi-fi. The app needs to verify who you are through the Sprint network. So turn off wi-fi, or go outside where you have access to the Sprint towers and then start up your app. Once it’s verified; you’ll be able to access it over wi-fi.
    Speed Channel – by Fox Sports Interactive:

    I was very disappointed in the SpeedTV app. I was hoping to see live video of Nascar events, but I was very disappointed in the content they provide; or rather the lack of content. Which is somewhat surprising since it’s created by Fox Sports Interactive. They made such a good app for NFL, NHL etc.
    Fox Sports Mobile – by Fox Sports Interactive: ☆☆☆
    12/2012 Update: Version 1.5-494 : dropped my rating from 5 to 3 stars.
    After checking out the individual sports apps, like NFL by the NFL, or NHL by the NHL; you start adding a lot of apps if you’re a sports fan. Then I noticed the Fox Sports app and it has it all. You can customize your favorite sports and your favorite teams in those sports that you want to follow. It’s great for when we want to watch a Nascar race, but the Redskins or Panthers are playing at the same time. I toss up the field view and watch the ball move up and down the field, keep track of the scores and plays and still know how the home team is doing.
    – One of the best things about this app was that you could display the scores for all the teams playing and keep up with your picks for that day. Their update disabled that (either on purpose or by accident). Now if you want to see the scores for the day, you have to access the individual games. That loss in functionality really ruined this app.
    NFL ’12 – by NFL: ☆☆
    12/2012 Update: A new version and another drop in rating. It would be nice if the images they provide on their app page is actually what you get. But it’s not. That alone irritated me. They also suggest you can view the app in both landscape and upright mode. You can’t; it’s upright only. They also only allow you to choose one team as your favorite. Say what? Really disappointed with the upgrade. So much so I uninstalled this one.
    Yahoo! Sportacular – by Yahoo! Inc: ☆☆☆☆
    The functionality I lost with FOX Sports, I found in Yahoo! Sportacular. One additional thing they have that I like, you can pick your favorite teams (as in more than one), and then you can view info about those chosen teams all on one screen. I liked that a great deal because we have 3 favorites in our house. They also provide you with the ability to see all current scores on the same screen. AND you can switch between upright and landscape; or set which one you always want it to be. So you if you want upright, but you set your phone down in landscape it will stay in upright. I like that a lot, because I want to see as much as possible, and plug my phone into the charger at the same time (which I do on a little stand I made that holds the phone on its side). I really like this one! And it covers more than football, which is great too. The only thing it lacks is a Nascar section. But with the Nascar app; I don’t really need that here anyway.
  • Timers & Stopwatches
    I have a 9 year old. A boy. Which means we have time outs. It doesn’t matter where we are, if he needs a time out, he gets one. So having a timer on my phone is great. Now you can use the calendar to set an event and keep track of the time outs. But come on that’s a little over kill. You can use your clock to set an alarm. To me it’s the same thing as the calendar. I simply want to set a timer and in 2 minutes it notifies me he’s out of time out. I found an app that has both a timer and stop watch and it seems pretty nice. But if I’m going to have a timer, how about one that I can use for other things. Like cooking. It would be nice to have more than one timer going and I found that too.
    Stop Watch by Chronus: ☆☆☆☆☆
    I like this stop watch because it will keep track of several lap times and its color coded so it’s easy to use when I’m taking my walks around the track or the neighborhood block.
    Kitchen Timer by Roberto Leinardi: ☆☆☆☆☆
    This lets me set 3 timers at once. Great for cooking! But it also lets me set and save timer events. So I can set an event for Time outs and simply click that to put the kid in his time out. I also love the alarm that sounds – it’s a rooster crowing. But you can customize your own alarm sound. Something other timers didn’t provide.
    Stopwatch & Timer+ by Jupiter Apps: ☆☆☆
    This one is a two in one app and it’s representative of the other apps that have both a stop watch and timer. They spend a lot of time on the stopwatch part, and not so much on the timer part. So I don’t care for them. So it’s going to depend on what you’re looking for. I want more of a timer than a stop watch so I really like Kitchen Timer best.
  • Pedometers
    It dawned on me today as I walking, I wonder if there’s an app for that? Well of course there is! Pedometers rely on GPS tracking, so if you don’t like the satellites knowing where you are, these aren’t going to do much for you. I tried out three different apps as I was walking and looked at two more when I got home. Since I didn’t try the two I checked out from home, I’ll have to hold off on their review for now.

    Accupedo Pedometer

    Accupedo Pedometer – by Corusen ☆☆☆☆☆
    Like most apps, there’s a free version and pro paid version ($3.99). I have the free version. It tracks your steps all day, but you can set a specific time for it to automatically turn on and off so it doesn’t use up your battery. You can also simply start it up and push the start button. It can show you how far you’ve walked, calories used based on some info you give it in the settings and what sold me is that it keeps a record of your walks. I like that. And for those of you who have to share everything; it also has an interface to share your results on FB. You can also chart your steps over the course of time to see what days you didn’t do a lot of walking vs days when you did. If you’re only using it for a morning walk like I am, that could be useful to see if there’s a pattern to your walking exercise. There are also reviews of this one in the Washington Post and the LA Times. It tops both their lists for pedometers.
    Walking Tracker
    – By Barabanov ☆
    I didn’t like this one at all. It started with a map of the world and said pick your destination. Really? I tried zooming in to pick the location of where I was “walking to”, and all that did was enlarge the map image. It didn’t zoom into the map. I tried some of the other options, but everything seemed based on this starting map and I decided this was useless and uninstalled it.
    Walk Me – By Oskari Anttalainen
    This one is supposed to be a lot like Accupedo, but its biggest problem is that it’s not accurate. I watched it count my steps and distance for a short period of time during my walk. It was obvious from the get go that it’s not up to par. When I got home and checked the reviews, I discovered I wasn’t the only one with that problem. Also there’s no way to turn it off. So it’s always using your battery. Not good.

  • Entertainment / Channels
    HBOGO – By Home Box Office Inc. ☆☆☆☆☆
    If you have HBO at home on your Cable/Dish service, you need this app on your phone! You have access to everything HBO! I was able to catch up on missed episodes of my favorite HBO series shows. I was able to watch all of the episodes of “Game of Thrones”. I wanted to watch the series, but missed the first few episodes and that ruined it for me, so I didn’t watch any. With this app, I can watch from the beginning, in order any time I have time! I LOVE THAT! Oh and Thrones is a great series! Down load the app, login to your cable/dish provider and that’s all there is to it.
    CNN – by CNN ☆☆☆☆
    If you like CNN you may like this app. You have access to some content via mobile that you don’t get on their website. I don’t like some of the features on the app, but it’s better than nothing. And it has been interesting to see what’s going on in the world when you’re out and about…or waiting at the DMV!
  • Screen Savers
    I have been looking for a screen saver app that will display MY photos while my phone is plugged in and charging. I had few requirements for this, yet this didn’t seem that easy to find. I wanted to select multiple directories from my phone’s file system. I wanted the images to rotate either in portrait or landscape. I didn’t want to “set wallpaper” and then see all the icons on top of my pictures. I wanted something that would allow me to use my live wall paper of choice and only use the “screen saver” when I’m home, plugged in and don’t have to worry about draining the battery. Now how hard is this?
    I found several live wall papers that offer this functionality. But none of them worked well on my Nexus. Then I struck gold!

    Photo Slides (Photo Frame)Photo Slides (Photo Frame) by Softick Ltd. – ☆☆☆☆
    Yes, that’s 6 stars..I like it that much!
    There are 2 versions as usual; the free version and the “donation” version which is $1. And NO Ads, even in the free version.
    Frankly the free version does absolutely everything I need it to do, so there’s no big need to spend a buck. But if you’ve got an extra buck, you might as well get the whole kit and kaboodle. Now you can pick the color of the background, the color of your clock or if you want a clock display at all. The app will allow you to size your images, you can use zoom or “fit to screen”.  Another plus in my book. I want to see the whole picture no matter how I’m holding my phone. Don’t crop it, simply let me see it. This is something many of the popular “wall papers” couldn’t seem to do. What I like most about this app is that I can set it to automatically start up when the phone is plugged in and charging. All phone features are available, I receive notifications such as alarms, email, messages. It’s not intrusive, it doesn’t take over the phone, and I truly love it! It’s a great digital frame app!
    Update: In a recent update they have provided an option to display the status bar of your phone while the screen saver is running. I really like this, because some of my alerts for news or weather don’t take over the phone, they display as an icon in the status bar. So I really like this update…especially since it’s one I suggested!
    QuickPic by
    This is a nice picture package, but it’s not what I was looking for. It provides a slideshow for images, but not as a screen saver. It’s nice for editing pictures, setting wall paper images and so on. But that’s not what I was looking for.
    Now if Live Wall Paper is what you’re looking for to display your photos, there are many out there.
    Photo FX Live Wallpaper by androidslide – ☆
    I didn’t like it! First, it’s not what I was looking for. Second it you have to pay for it to get most of the options you’d want to use. I really don’t like apps that do that. And it says it provides a slide show, but it does so in the back ground as wall paper. I don’t call that a slide show.
    MultiPicture Life Wallpaper by lllllT – ☆
    I can’t tell you much about this one. I installed it, set the preferences and all it did was display the background color I had selected. Nothing more.
  • WallPaper / Animated or “Live” Wallpaper
    There are many animated or interactive wallpapers to choose from. There seems to be a new animated wallpaper app being released every day. So check them out. There are some very good free ones and many that are very low-cost. Here are a few that I like. First check your phone to see what it has installed from the get go. My phone came with several Live wallpapers.

    Water – ☆☆☆☆
    One of my favorites is called Water. I’m not sure if you can get this by itself as I can’t find it on GooglePlay. But it’s a nice view of a slowly moving stream with fall leaves gently floating by. There aren’t many options for this one. But it’s nice all the same.
    Snowfall – by Kittehface Software ☆☆☆☆☆
    This one comes in a free and a low-cost paid version. You can select light, medium or blizzard snowfall. You can put winter holiday lights on the trees, you can add an aura borealis for nighttime and you can watch Santa and his sleigh fly across the screen.

    Autumn Live – by Sound of Source ☆☆☆☆☆
    If you like fall leaves falling, you’ll like this one. There’s a free version and a Pro paid version. I have the Pro version. You can choose from various scenes looking over a lake with colorful trees in the background. When you swipe between screens, you see more of the scene. One includes a sign post that allows you to customize its writing. I like that. The best part though comes when you shake your phone and shake the leaves off the tree. It’s fun playing with that!

    Spring Live Wallpaper – by Lion18T
    This is a lot like the Autumn wallpaper. You’ll find cherry blossoms falling from a grove of pink trees. Like other live wallpapers there are various settings to customize the view to your liking. And like the motion of the leaves in fall, this is sensitive to touch for the falling blossoms.
    aniPet Aquarium – by aniFree ☆☆☆☆☆
    1.99 This one is so beautiful it was worth paying for it. There is a free version, but you can do so much more with the purchased version. You set the scene and the fish you want in the tank. You can also set options for caring for the fish. If you feed them or not. If you don’t do they live or not. It’s a lot of fun!

    Summer Meadows – by SoundofSource ☆☆☆☆☆
    I really like the wallpaper these guys make! This one displays an ancient castle and beautiful river with stunning fall mountain background. There’s a sign to customize again, and the wallpaper transitions through the day to sunset, night, and sunrise. It’s really relaxing and peaceful.
    Sweet Heart – by GO Launcher Dev Team ☆☆☆☆☆
    A Lovely Live Wallpaper – I really like this wall paper. It’s great for Valentines Day with some very beautiful backgrounds. And for any time of the year, you can put your own picture on the background and let the hearts of love fly.
    Shamrock Live Wallpaper – by 1473labs ☆☆☆☆☆
    Fun wallpaper for March, Celts and anyone who likes the Luck of the Shamrock on their phone. Some nice background images to choose from. Set the number of clovers and fireflies to float across your screen. Along with a special gold 4 leaf clover! I like it!
  • Voice Operation Apps
    So you’re looking for Siri for Android. Well there are quite a few of these. The biggest advice I can offer here is to look for an app that is built for your country. An app for the U.S. may not work well for German. Try them out, but don’t be surprised if they can’t understand you.
    My main purpose for a voice operation app was to satisfy my 10 year old who uses my phone to help with homework. I located an Android forum with a discussion thread on this very topic and quite a number of people recommended Skyvi.
    Skyvi by BlueTornado ☆☆
    I’m only giving Skyvi 2 stars for now, because we haven’t used her extensively yet. So this may change.
    She has a pleasant voice, similar to Siri. She does everything Siri does and she’s pretty funny sometimes too. My biggest issue is that she overrides all the other phone sounds I have set and have gotten used to. That simply will not do. That one issue caused me to uninstall the app..

I’m sure we’ll have more to add. But we’ve had a great deal of fun so far. I’ve added some tid-bits for how to use certain apps and features. I guess these are more for me to keep track of things, but maybe they’ll help someone else too.

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