Feb 21, 2010

How To: Sync to Facebook

Have tons of friends on Facebook? Well, you aren't alone! Another great feature on Android phones is the ability to Sync your contacts with your Facebook account.

How To (from the Nexus One):
1. From you Home Screen, press the Menu button
2. Choose Accounts & Sync Settings
3. Add Account from the button at the bottom
4. Choose FaceBook and enter your login information
5. Make sure that the Sync Button to the right of the Facebook account is green

I sync it once and then turn it off, so that it isn't always updating or looking for new data. When you go to contacts you should see your Facebook friends added. For contacts you already had on your phone that are also on Facebook, you should now see the Facebook Profile Photo as the Contact Photo.

Now how cool is that?

SMS Popup Review

If you are a previous iPhone user you will love SMS Popup! It makes sure you don't miss any SMS messages on your Android phone. Instead of them only showing up in your status bar, they pop up on your active screen very similar to how how they do on the iPhone. You can also reply directly from the pop up, see a photo the contact sending the message and delete the message.

The setup menu has tons of options to only you to control how the messages appear. The developer is also very interactive with users of the app on his personal blog (see below). My only issue is that is still shows up in your status bar and will have to cleared separately.

Price: Free
Phone Tested On: Nexus One

Feb 11, 2010

BabyBump App Review

If you or your partner are pregnant and have an Android phone, you need BabyBump. Its a great little app that helps you document your pregnancy and its progress. Enter in your Due Date or LMP, and you are set to go! I was a big fan of BabyCenter.com when I was pregnant, and this app reminds me of that experience. BabyBump gives you weekly updates on your baby's progress, size and what it may look like. There is input for daily journal entries, weight, stomach circumference, photos. It is a great way to document this very special time in your life!

There are also some cool features for when you get closer to your due date, such as a Kick Counter and Contraction Timer. It is also integrated with Social Media sites Twitter and Facebook, and you can email Journal Entries and Contractions to anyone you want. They have a great support site at http://www.alt12.com/support which is unusual for an Android App. BabyBump is also available for the iPhone and PalmPre.

Price: $2.99
Phone Tested On: G1

disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this program to review

Feb 9, 2010

Google Waves Invites

Looking to get in on the latest and greatest with Google Wave? I have 15 invites to give away today. Leave me a comment or retweet this post and I'll set you up!

The makers of The Rescue of Ginger that I recently reviewed where written up on the official Google Wave blog. Read their story to find out how they use Wave to run their business from separate continents.

Feb 8, 2010

Totemo App Review

This is a great little game and while fun for adults, while being completely appropriate for children too. How rare is that? Its difficult enough you have to stop and think, but easy enough you don't give up. The free version has 12 levels and the paid version has over 60 levels.

The game has a professional feel to it, that honestly a lot of free Android apps are missing. One of the best time killer games on the Android so far! Tip: you can drag your finger along a line of dots or touch them individually.

Totemo is from the developers at Hexage, which have several other great games I recommend. Totemo is also available on the iPhone.

Price: Free/1.50GPB
Phones tested on: Nexus One

Listen App Reivew

Music and podcast management is one of the areas that Android is easily outshined by iPhone. I don't really understand why someone (Hello, Amazon! Are you listening?) hasn't stepped up and claimed the Android Music market. Manage our music and podcasts, and we will buy our music from you! It's simple. While I am still trying to decide on my music app, Listen is my podcast app.

Listen is a Google app to manage and listen to podcasts. Technically it is a Google Labs product, which basically means it is in beta... in other words it may be buggy. It also means if it isn't successful, Google may dump it.

I found it easy to use, find and subscribe to the podcasts I was looking for. Want a podcast that isn't listed? Simply choose ADD from the menu and type in the URL. You can simply listen to a podcast or Subscribe. If you pause it, Listen remembers where you left off.

My husband complains that it doesn't have the latest podcasts for Cranky Geeks. Apparently it only goes 10 or so podcasts. Others report its just plain buggy. But they told us that up front, so remember that. If you are having trouble I suggest going to Settings and tweak the setup there.

Price: Free
Phones test on: Nexus One

Feb 7, 2010

Google Maps App Review

The standard Google Maps have some great new features I thought I would demo. I was really impressed with this and think it will all come in very useful:

* Ability to press on the map and the get the exact address
* Find businesses near that location
* Bring up detailed information on business nearby, including phone number, reviews, website and more.
* Drop a STAR on the map so you can easily find the location later (OMG, the number of times I wanted to do this on my iPhone!!)

What is your favorite feature of the Maps update, I'd love to know?

Feb 5, 2010

Nexus One Multi-touch/Pinch to Zoom in Native Apps

I am so excited that I got the Nexus One OTA (Over the Air) update last night! Here a I demo Multitouch or (Pinch to Zoom) in the native browser and maps programs.

Feb 3, 2010

Seesmic App Review

There are lots of choices for twitter Apps on Android, and as an avid tweeter, this was an important choice for me. I have found Seesmic to be a professionally developed App, yet free and easy to use. There is also a desktop and Blackberry version.

You can do pretty much everything from Seesmic that you can do directly from twitter, plus more. Want to post a tweet you saw to Facebook, text or email? No problem. Upload photos and video from your Android are easy too. Downside of Seesmic? It can't handle multiple twitter accounts and it takes a few taps to get the Compose screen. But for now, it is my twitter App of choice.

Update: Seesmic has added support for multiple accounts in a new update. Now I love Seesmic unconditionally!

Price: Free
Phones tested on: Nexus One

Feb 1, 2010

Barcode Scanner App Review

The name Barcode Scanner says it all! But if you are new to the power of the smartphone, you may not realize that this is a must have App. First, you will have noticed here at the Android Mom I include the QR barcode for each App I review. Why? If you have Barcode Scanner on your Android, all you have to do is scan my review and it takes you directly to the Android Market's page for that app.

Great, right? Well, there's more. Use Barcode Scanner on any UPC, the identification barcode on most all products, and it will look it up in Google's Shopping search and give you the price at several outlets. Use it while shopping to see if your store has the best price. It isn't always right, as these codes are not always unique. It thought my box of Kleenex was a Dora the Explorer Backpack. But when it works, which is most of the time, it works really great.

Price: Free
Phone tested on: Nexus One, G1