My Android Apps

Most of my readers know that I’m a huge Android fan and love my Android! One of the threads I always reply to is ‘what are your favorite android apps?’ Well today I find out that AppBrain (one of my favorite apps) allows me to share my list of Android apps right here!

Tomorrow I plan to head to the store to upgrade my phone from the HTC Eris (which I have loved) to the Droid X (which is much more of a powerhouse). If I change this list of apps much, I’ll let you know! If you share your list, feel free to share the link in the comments here so others can see what you have installed. And if you think I’m missing something essential, let me know!

 

 

 

 

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Do I need an ebook reader?

There seem to be two schools of thought on the ebook reader front. The first is “I love my books I don’t need a computer to read them” and the other is “Woo Hoo! How did I live without this?”

I am in limbo between the two and so I figured I’d go through the back and forth I keep hearing in my head and let my trusted colleagues push me one way or the other.

First, I am in love with my books – the fact that my boxes of books took up like half of our moving truck is a testament to that. On the other hand I’m a total techie and love gadgets. I can see the practical uses for an ebook reader when it comes to non fiction titles, but do I really need it for my fiction titles? Then I think, do I want an ebook reader or a tablet (aka iPad or Android tablet). I know that the ebook reader has the eInk and is readable in all kinds of light, and the tablet isn’t, but the tablet can do a lot more for me than just let me read books. There’s also the fact that I travel all of the time and have to decide what books to bring based on how much they weigh instead of what I really want to read.

As you can see I’m a bit scattered in my thoughts on this and I’d love to hear what you all think of the devices you have – or don’t have!

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Got me a Poken

So the folks here at PLAN learned about Poken from Helen Blowers who learned about it at the UGame, ULearn conference in Delft. A Poken is basically a little 4 fingered USB character that stores your virtual business card. You then go to Poken.com and enter in your contact info and when you ‘high 4′ (remember it’s 4 fingered) your friend’s Poken you exchange business cards.

So, as a gift for speaking today I got me my Poken – but as cool as this is – it’s only useful if more people start using Poken – so spread the word and maybe at the next library conference we can all ‘high 4′ :)

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Thoughts on the Blackberry Storm

BlackBerry Storm
Image by StrebKR via Flickr

A few months ago I made the leap from plain old cell phone to smart phone. Being a Verizon customer (and not wanting to switch to AT&T) I chose the Blackberry Storm. It seems about time to write up a mini-review and see if any of my readers have some tips I haven’t found elsewhere.

Things I like:

  1. Touch screen: I love the feeling of clicking when I push down on the screen
  2. Screen size: The screen is a nice size and makes it easy enough to read emails and participate in chat sessions
  3. Blackberry Messenger: I don’t pay for texting – so I love the Blackberry Messenger – it allows me to pseudo text with my husband
  4. Generally being connected: I just love that I’m connected wherever I go :)

Things I don’t like:

  1. The battery life could be better, but I hear that’s the case with any smart phone
  2. The apps store is a bit hard to search
  3. and my number one complaint that I hope someone can give me a tip about is the memory!

Let me explain my issues with memory. My Storm came with 1 GB onboard memory and an 8 GB memory card. That’s 9 GB of memory. Of which only 128 MB are devoted to apps!!! That means once I installed my chat, Facebook, Flickr, Google Sync, Google Maps, Twitter and Where I was done – I now have 5 MB left in memory space and many more apps that would be useful for me to have. I have read all of the support sites and forums and they all say the same, you can’t install apps on the memory card and you can’t change the allocation of onboard memory to allow for 1 GB for apps and all other media on the memory card.

Can someone please explain to me the thinking behind this?? It has been a long time since 128 MB was a lot of space … a long long long time. Why the heck would the Blackberry people think this was a good idea? How is memory allocated on the iPhone? How is it done on other smart phones?

Overall I’m happy with my new phone and love having the ability to chat and email while stuck on long trips without taking out my laptop – I just wish there was some way to install more apps so that I could be even more productive.

This review was prompted by this post at drunkencomputing with a list of must-have apps for the Storm.

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I soooo need one of these

Normally I don’t advertise products I’m emailed about – but I have to write about this nifty gadget because I could have sooooo used it last night when I was doing my research. The BookMarker is a pen, postit holder, bookmark and book strap!!

Never lose your place again, and never lose your bookmark! BookMarker™ is super thin, so it fits easily in your book to mark your page WITHOUT breaking your book binding. The design includes a nifty strap that wraps around your book to keep the BookMarker™ in place and keep your book closed… how cool is that?!

I just need it to be a highlighter too and I’m all set. Learn more here.

Tiny Inkless Printer

zink

Oh neat!! This little printer costs less than most wireless printers and fits in your purse.

The Dell Wasabi PZ310™ ultra-mobile ZINK™ printer enables wireless, ink-free on-the-go photo printing and sharing. The Wasabi creates 2″x3″ wallet-size, full-color ZINK™ prints in under a minute. Compatible with Bluetooth-enabled* camera phones, digital cameras and mobile PCs, the Wasabi makes the perfect travel companion for capturing and sharing moments, anytime, anywhere.

Learn more about ZINK™ (Zero Ink) technologies.

Fujifilm Best Point & Shoot Digital Camera

Yippee!! I just read that J.D. Power and Associates has released their list of the best digital cameras on the market and the Fujifilm Finepix S Series won the point & shoot category. Why am I happy about that? Well, it’s just one more reason to get the camera I’ve had on my wish list since Michael told me how cool it was :)

I love my Fujifilm FinePix E900, but I’m ready for an upgrade :)

Kindling My Interest

I wrote about Amazon Kindle last week and thought that it sounded like a neat tool. Since then I’ve read many reviews from colleagues and experts and I’m still not sure where I stand. I do have to say that Mary’s post has pushed me more toward the pro side than any other.

I’m trying out an AMAZON KINDLE. Love it.

It’s clearly designed by people who READ. Delightful to read the newspaper, magazines, books, your own documents. You can read for hours comfortably. In fact, I believe that in many scenarios, I’d PREFER this, yes you read that right, I’d prefer the KINDLE to a real book or magazine. That surprises me, even though I was looking for the convenience of an ebook reader (dozens or hundreds of titles), I always expected to say, “of course the paper book is a better reading experience.” That may be changing. This not only rivals the paper experience, it surpasses it in many ways. It’s EASIER to hold than a hardback, easier to turn pages with one hand than a paperback or newspaper, and that’s all before the extra features.

Yes, I know about the DRM and privacy complaints, and I hear you. But you don’t have to use Amazon as your source of content. I’ve emailed myself open documents that I want to read (10 cents a document). I’ve also gone to manybooks.net to get a bunch of mobipocket (or .txt) titles for free and transferred by cable – free. No tracking of my reading there.

Sounds like a pretty darn cool toy – my only problem is the price – I’m not sure I want to pay $400 for a tool to allow me to read books and then buy the book as well – when I could just buy the book for $15 … in short, this is a technology I’m going to keep my eyes on and will probably give in to once its price lowers just a bit :)

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