Monday, July 4, 2011

More explorations around the Galaxy

I am suffering from a severe case of Appitis. Instead of becoming familiar with those apps I already have on my Galaxy Tab I continue to download and test new ones.

Since I last wrote on this topic I've read a post by Banai Feldstein, My gTablet -or- Adventures of a New Android OS User, on her experiences I hope that she continues to document them. I have also exchanged a couple of emails with the other Galaxy Girls, Shelley and Tanya, in which we touched on a few apps. I am now following both and social media on Twitter and, from their posts, have found a few other apps to try. I am finding that The Galaxy Tab blog  tells more about new hardware releases than  about how current owners get the most from their gadgets even though it states "We strive to deliver to Galaxy Tab fans insightful and resourceful posts". This blog is on my RSS hit list.

I have organised the pages on my tablet into some semblance of order. On the first page I have those things I want close at hand.: Battery Life widget (so I know when to plug in, Calendar, Camera, Contacts, Facebook, Gdocsnote, Gmail, Google+, Google Reader, Google SearchPhone, a couple of browsers (deciding which to keep),Settings, Tweetcaster (Twitter app) and Weather. I am still on the lookout for a better calendar app for this and guess that I'll have to pay to get one.

The second page has a number of handy tools that include: Alarm clock, Amazon Kindle app (no need for an ebook reader), Convert Units (temperatures, weights, measures etc), Currency Converter, Dropbox and Sugarsync, Juice Defender (helps prolong battery life), a barcode reader, a couple of GPS apps (don't know which to use yet), QR Droid, Skype, Voice Recorder and World Clock. I tried Skype out with my daughter the other day, we were sitting in the same room with our Galaxys and talking on Skype (no video for our OS), it amused the grandkids to see us playing with our gadgets.

Page three is for news and reference and has the apps for local and overseas newpapers and news services, Wikipedia, and telephone directories.

Genealogy and games are on page four. I only have two genealogy specific apps to date: BillionGraves that I am anxious to try at a local cemetery when the sun comes out (Shelley from Twigs of Yore tells me that I must let Billion Graves know the names of those cemeteries that I intend to vist a few days before I head off) and FamilyBee that I found useful at my local family history society on the weekend. As for other fun my daughter introduced me to the Wordz game last week and since then I have spent way too much time trying to beat my best score. From recommendations on Twitter I have also added Jewels, Red Stone and TicTacToe ready for my next trip on a plane.

I use page five to park those apps that I have yet to test as well as those that came with the gadget from Telstra and that I will never use.

The newest app I have is Google+. I prefer the desktop app to the one on Android but  I don't think I will have too much difficulty sharing with the people in my genealogy circles when I find them on Google+. The main issue at the moment is, that because there is a limited number of users, I don't have many people with whom I can collaborate.

I hope that the Skype app, that worked well at close quarters,  will function well in free wifi zones when I next travel overseas so that I can make cheap calls home to the family. 

My one failure this week was when trying to make a video on the device. I am a demon in that, I don't refer to instructions, I expect everything to be intuitive. I selected the camera, chose video mode and presses the button that I thought would record. Nothing happened. While I think of it I'll go and learn how to do that right now.

I'm hoping to hook up with more genealogists on Android - I'd love some comments from you.


Shelley Crawford said...

I think I've finally settled on the Dolphin HD browser (free). I've also added Angel Camera (free) for the ability to silence that dreadful shutter sound on "normal" quality shots and because it has a very good macro mode. I've yet to test out whether "normal" is adequate to snap a page from a book, or a microfilm screen.

Kylie Willison said...

I use Family Bee on my Android phone and I take pictures of documents or books with the built in camera app. I only use Family Bee when I don't have my laptop with me or Internet available.

I would be lost without the calendar because that's my appointment diary. I installed Google Reader but haven't used it yet.

For entertainment- music, videos and Audible's app for audio books.

I love the Android OS but then I guess I'm a bit biased as I already use the Linux OS on my computer.

Kylie :-)


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