Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Android App Experience So Far

John Marine | 11/27/2012 02:24:00 PM | | | |
I am still new to Android. For this blog post, this is a brief overview of my Android app experience so far. My Android-powered device is the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6- which runs on Android 2.3.6 (better known as the "Gingerbread" interface). I've downloaded a number of apps and customized my device as much as I could. Let me share with you what I've gotten to do in experiencing Android. Please note that I could be discussing some of these items in future blog posts.

--- My Android App Experience So Far ---

All apps featured here are all free. While I won't link to them from here, you at least know what to look for as you search around online.

Android Browsing.

One thing I didn't know about Android's stock browser is that it is essentially the same browser as Apple's Safari browser. If you use Blogger/Blogspot, you may use the option to not let the service track your own page views to your own blog. The browser you are using and its version are listed. The next two sentences are only for you all familiar with FEEDJIT. I visited someone else's blog and saw the FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed. My hit to the blog shown up as a Safari browser running on Linux.

I want to review apps on "John's Blog Space." For the meanwhile, I want to say that besides the stock browser, I use Opera Mobile. I've had some bad experiences with Firefox for Android and eventually deleted it. While I haven't deleted this browser, I haven't used the Dolphin browser much. I am not too satisfied with the Dolphin Browser.

So if you're looking for a different browsing experience than the stock Android browser, I've been most happy using Opera Mobile.

Android Music.

My Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 is a portable media player. So it shouldn't disappoint on the music front.

My music experience with Android has been pretty good. The stock music player is okay, but you can really do better. I have downloaded and installed Winamp for Android, jetAudio for Android, Google Music, and MODo among others. All of these are free, but there are paid versions for WinAmp and jetAudio.

• WinAmp for Android
One thing I was disappointed in was that while my device could play WAV files, very few of my WAV files were actually played back. That was my first disappointment when I tried to listen to WAV files in WinAmp. So I took some of my favorite WAV files and converted them to OGG format. WinAmp for Android is great for playing back most of your favorite songs as well as in listening to the lovely online radio stations on SHOUTcast. You have to pay to be able to use the equalizer settings and enhance your listening experience. Sound quality is still very solid regardless. I also mostly use WinAmp to sort songs by individual playlists.

• jetAudio for Android
jetAudio was a program I used on my computer to listen to music when I didn't want to use WinAmp. I actually wanted to use a program to listen to module music and tracker music for Android. So I was delighted to know that jetAudio could play such songs. Really, I found myself using jetAudio for Android more than Android WinAmp. The version I use is the Basic version.

Even as the "Basic" version, it does a great job playing most of the same formats WinAmp for Android can play. Only gripe is that it isn't very good with WMA format media. I even like how you could look for music based on folders- something WinAmp for Android can't do. It can track material both on your device and on your microSD card (granted your device has one).

I would recommend you get this program if you listen to a lot of music on your Android device. The only thing I recommend is that you be careful not to accidentally tap on any of the advertisements by accident when putting your device in your pocket or anything.

• Google Music
Really, I don't use this program much at all. I haven't had too much success or joy enjoying music with this program. I do love the carousel effect when trying to browse through your songs.

• MODo
You might have seen me make mention to MODo. Well, MODo is a media player that plays back native formats of certain game music. This is so you can enjoy playing back classic game tunes from certain formats. The range includes formats in NSF (NES music), SPC (Super NES music), GBS (Game Boy music), VGZ (Genesis/Megadrive music), and module and tracker music formats. I think it also plays Amiga and Commodore 64 music as well, but I don't have any files that I've tested with it. Unfortunately, it doesn't play back RSN files (SNES music). You could find native game music if you look around online from sites like Zophar's Domain.

• Other Programs...
Only other audio material I use is the iHeartRadio app and a program called Podcast Addict. I use the iHeartRadio mostly to listen to online radio. The most common station I listen to is the Club Phusion channel. Podcast Addict is used by me to keep up with some of the podcasts I listen to. Two podcasts I usually listen to are those of "Trance Around the World" and the "Global DJ Broadcast." Podcasts are handled much better with this program than I have had when I was using my SanDisk Sansa Fuze.

Other Programs...

I've used a host of other programs. These are among some of the many:

• ESPN ScoreCenter is what I use to follow up on lots of scores and highlights of various sports.

• Barcode Scanner is what I use to scan UPC codes and QR images. I've had more success with the latter than I have with UPCs, though.

• I use the YouTube app to fool around on YouTube. I haven't yet used YouTube to make a mobile upload of a video. I also check up on certain released videos with this app.

• As a user of Facebook and Twitter, I use both Facebook for Android and Twitter for Android to keep tabs on the latest from my friends and followers.

• Using My Files is a great way to access some of my files stored on my device. What is great is how I could pick a certain item and choose what program I want to run to complete any sort of action. Great program.

This has all been a basic overview of my Android app experience. I am not too much interested in anything good that has to be paid for. But if I was interested in any paid material for Android, it would be that Beautiful Widgets thing.

One thing I am learning in using a touchscreen device is to be careful and be mindful of the pressure I put to try to scroll or make input. I usually think my device only responds to my own fingers pressing down on the capacitive buttons or the touchscreen itself. However, even the cord from my headphones or earbuds is just enough to qualify as a press on the touchscreen. I am still fairly new to all of this stuff. It's just live and learn.

As of this post, I am considering a new theme to "John's Blog Space." Not sure about the layout of JBS, but I may go with a new header design. My blogs have headers to them, even if they are not visible above the fold. You'll see what I come up with if and when I do complete everything. For now... thank you for reading!

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