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Android Phone Apps Worth Downloading

Nothing stirs up controversy like stating that some Android apps are more worthy than the 500,000-plus apps available at the Google Play Store. But Android experts certainly like the ones listed here.

AK Notepad

It’s odd, but for some reason, your Android phone may not come with a note-taking app. Some do, most don’t. Anyway, a good choice for an app to fill that void is AK Notepad: You can type or dictate short messages and memos, like shopping lists, frequent flyer numbers and other reminders.

Perhaps the most important note you can make is one containing your contact information. A note labeled In Case You Find This Phone can contain information about you in case you ever lose your phone and someone is decent enough to search it for my information.

CardStar

The handy CardStar app answers the question “Why do I have all these store-rewards cards?” They’re not credit cards — they’re marketing cards designed for customer loyalty programs. Rather than tote those cards around in your wallet or on your keychain, you can scan a card’s bar code using your phone and save the “card” on the phone.

After you store your loyalty cards in the phone, you simply run the CardStar app to summon the appropriate merchant. Show the checkout person your phone, or scan the bar code yourself. CardStar makes it easy.

Gesture search

The Gesture Search app provides a new way to find information on your phone. Rather than use a keyboard or dictate, you simply draw on the touchscreen the first letter of whatever you’re searching for.

Start the Google Search app to begin a search. Use your finger to draw a big letter on the screen. After you draw a letter, search results appear on the screen. You can continue drawing more letters to refine the search or touch a search result.

Gesture Search can find contacts, music, apps, and bookmarks in the Browser app.

Google Sky Map

Ever look up into the sky and say, “What the heck is that?” Unless it’s a bird, an airplane, a satellite, a UFO, or a superhero, Google Sky Map helps you find what it is. You may learn that a particularly bright star in the sky is, in fact, the planet Jupiter.

Google Sky Map app is elegant. It basically turns your Android phone into a window you can look through to identify objects in the night sky. Just start the app, and hold the phone up to the sky. Pan the phone to identify planets, stars, and constellations.

Google Sky Map promotes using the phone without touching its screen. For this reason, the screen goes blank after a spell, which is merely the phone’s power-saving mode. If you plan some extensive stargazing with Google Sky Map, consider resetting the screen time-out.

Movies

The Movies app is your phone’s gateway to Hollywood. It lists currently running films and films that are opening, and it has links to your local theaters with showtimes and other information. It’s also tied into the popular Rotten Tomatoes website for reviews and feedback. If you enjoy going to the movies, you’ll find the Movies app a valuable addition to any Android phone.

Voice Recorder

The typical Android phone has the hardware necessary to record your voice or other sounds. An app that can accomplish this task is Voice Recorder. It has an elegant and simple interface: Touch the big Record button to start recording. Make a note for yourself, or record a friend doing his Daffy Duck impression.

Previous recordings are stored in a list on the Voice Recorder main screen. Every recording is shown with its title, the date and time of the recording, and the recording duration.

Zedge

The Zedge app is a helpful resource for finding wallpapers and ringtones for your Android phone. It’s a sharing app, so you can access wallpapers and ringtones created by other Android phone users as well as share your own.

Zedge features an easy-to-use interface, plus lots of helpful information on what it does and how it works.

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