My current 5 favorite Android apps

I love my Android phone. (HTC Evo)  One of the things I love about the phone is that it is an internet-connected computer that is always in my pocket.  So when I’m stuck at the DMV for a couple of hours, I have something to entertain myself.  There are currently over 20,000 apps.  This post today is simply to share my favorite 5 with you.

  1. Appbrain – An app for managing your apps?  Yes.  The appbrain website is wonderful.  You can manage your apps from the full-sized screen of your computer.  The site has reviews and recommendations.  You can install and uninstall from there and just sync with your phone.  It is pretty much everything I could hope for in an app manager
  2. IMDB – In my previous post about my phone I complained about the lack of an IMDB app for Android, then a week later the official one came out.  It is exactly what you expect, and it is incredibly useful.  My only complaint is that search is not default on the home screen.
  3. Alchemy – So unbelievably addictive.  It is amazing how rewarding it is to open up a new icon.  Each one is like a little treat that makes you want to play more.
  4. Air Control Lite – In my opinion, the best game on Android.  It’s just landing planes without crashing them, but it is addictive and fun.
  5. Google maps – The GPS and turn-by-turn directions in Google maps are excellent and one of the reasons to get Android.  They work as well as any GPS I have ever used and come free with your phone.  What's not to like?

Bonus pick: Seesmic – I am a very regular Twitter user, and this is my favorite Twitter app.  It gives you icons for every tweet, previews pictures and informs you of @s.  It works wonderfully.

What I Learned from My First Minor League Game

Greer StadiumLast night I attended my first ever Minor league Baseball game with my church.  I went to Greer stadium in Nashville to see the (AAA) Sounds whip the New Orleans Zephyrs 10-1.  Since it was my first ever minor league game I learned some things and I thought I would share.

  • The Brewers have a potential star coming in Brendan Katin. He had 2 homers, including a grand slam and 7 RBIs
  • Minor league ball has a lot of non-baseball activity. There was literally some giveaway or some fan event in every half-inning
  • McDonald's gives away McDoubles like they are water
  • You want access to a baseball player? Minor league ball is the way to go
  • You want free stuff? Minor league  ball is the way to go.  Two members of our group got t-shirts (stuffed with coupons for McDoubles) and a third should have had a foul ball.
  • You can get A LOT of kettle corn for seven bucks
  • There are really no bad seats in a small baseball park
  • A 15 year old emergency poncho is in pretty much perfect condition provided it has never been taken out of the original plastic
  • The minor leagues will leave a pitcher in for a long time even if he is getting absolutely shelled
  • Everybody likes to watch a little kid dance
  • Technically you can use an Android phone for your fantasy draft, but it is not going to work very well

Review: HTC Evo

For quite some time I have wanted a smart phone, but I am fundamentally not an Apple fan.  (I truly hate iTunes, and I generally want to have options regarding how I deal with my media.)   So, for a host of reasons, I knew that the iPhone was not the choice for me. I have been wanting an Android phone, and when I heard about the Evo I knew it was the choice for me.  So I admit to a bit of bias before I begin this review.

The Evo is a smart phone built on Android and on the Sprint network, so I will review the hardware first, then my experience with Android, then Sprint.


Size – I know this is the first thing anyone notices about the Evo.  It is about twice as big as the phone I have been carrying for the last 3 years.  So it initially felt large in my hands.  But now that I am used to it, I don’t think about it.  If it were much bigger I would have issues.  But I am a grown man, there’s plenty of room for it in my pocket and I think the large screen helps me hit the right keys when typing.

Speed – It is quick.  I only notice lag in a couple of applications, they all open up quickly though.  I blame the applications rather than the phone.

The screen – is pretty much beautiful.  Admittedly, I haven’t seen the iPhone 4 yet, but the Evo has the prettiest screen I’ve ever seen on a phone.  When I showed it to my Granny the first thing she said was, “One thing about the phone, you can see it.”

The Camera – It has an 8 mp camera.  In good light it takes pictures at least as good as my Fuji finepix.  Also the shutter lag is almost non-existent after the camera is focused.  It has a good flash and is by far the best phone camera I’ve ever used.

Battery life – I did not expect much from the battery life on this phone, but it is so much worse than I expected.  I would describe it as abysmal.  With wi-fi and GPS turned on it won’t make it through a shift a work. (And I only work 6 hour shifts.)  I love the phone, but a charger is needed at work, in the car, and by the bed.  This phone is an addict for electricity.


Apps – I know the talking point that there are 200,000 apps in the Apple app store and only 20,000 android apps, but I’m satisfied.  I have not paid for any apps yet and there is a wide variety of free ones.  The Facebook app is not great, but I really like seismic for Twitter.  The only thing I can think of that I haven’t found is a tilt-shift app so I can make neat pics. Also as far as I know there is no IMDB app, and their site is not very friendly to super small browsers.

Integration – I love how android integrates with the social networks, and with my gmail contacts.  I did not have to import any settings from my old phone.  No need to move any numbers, because everyone from my Google contact list is available. (as is Facebook.)  Google voice integrates perfectly with android as well.  It’s like a dream how well that works.

Intuitiveness – I am not a n00b with computers. I am sure I am more advanced than the majority of the people who have this phone.  But there are a few things I have not figured out yet.  There are 6 home screens, I don’t know if it is possible to move them around or to delete one.  I would very much like to.  One of the home screens has bookmarks.  I have not figured out how to change any of those.  Otherwise, I find everything easy to do.


Customer service – The only cell phone company I have ever dealt with is AT&T/Cingular.  On a customer service level, Sprint is great compared to them.

Coverage – I know that coverage is unique to your area so I will just say that I am satisfied with the coverage.  It is not good at my house, but they are sending me a femtocell for free, so that should soon be remedied.

Speed – At home I have DSL (1.5 mb/s) Over the 3G network I can’t notice any diference while surfing the web, updating seismic, etc.  There is maybe a bit more latency, but the speed is adequate.  I haven’t used tethering or made any downloads but it seems acceptable.  I watched an episode of prizefight comparing the Evo with the Incredible streaming over 3G and it was perfectly acceptable.

Overall – I love my new phone.  I hope that was a thorough and not too technical review.