I’m a new Android owner, and someone who makes a living helping people make excellent use of technology for learning. I also am finding many excellent apps to help make your daily commute and road trips both quicker and more fun. Enjoy!
Have a Droid or iPhone? Google’s got your back. The best driving and satellite maps, along with Street View, and now free turn by turn directions. It’s fast, free, and can’t be beat. Hope no one reading this owns stock in Garmin, etc. This app is a better replacement with quicker GPS updates and re-routing if you miss a turn.
The Great Land Grab
Makes every long journey a pleasure. Quick, simple to learn, also suits short trips or daily play. Use your GPS for real fun by car, bus, or foot. Claim land by clicking on it, then enjoy its defense by earning $ over time, buying spots, and more. Google Maps navigates, Foursquare (below) lets you explore your city, this TGLG apps lets you own it!
Foursquare — Best City Guide
You’re mobile, right? When you walk into a restaurant, bar, or any other place you’ll be hanging out inside for more than a few minutes, load FourSquare and “check in” to earn points, and show all your friends where you are. If others check in, they can see you as well. Great way to show everyone where you are, and even make new friends. Check in at a location more than anyone else and become it’s MAYOR! Yea, I said Mayor. Addicting.
Leave your CDs and iPod MP3 player at home. Last.fm will stream music from the Internet right to your phone, for free. You’ll discover new artists, enjoy your favorites, and more. Best of all, if your car has an input jack, just plug your phone into your stereo and crank the volume! Same with the next app…
Similar to Last.fm, free streaming music right to your phone. I find better scrobbling/tracks on Last.fm, but my brother in law swears by Pandora’s Lady Gaga mix and match channel. Forgive him, he’s a little metrosexual. 😉
Heard about AR? No? Here’s how it works. You land in a new town/business area. Load Layar. It fires up your camera. You point it at nearby businesses, and select a Layer to overlay over the live image. Layers will put icons/push pins on local kinds of businesses, gas stations, bars, book stores, etc. There are dozens of layers that will show you, in real time, what’s around you, and how far away it is from you. You can even overlay Twitter users who are nearby, FourSquare users, and more. New layers come out often; keep up to date!
Best weather app on your phone; even puts the local temp right in your update line at the top of your main screen. Get live radar images, 10 day forecast, and more.
Car Locator TRIAL
Park your car in a new location, fire this up, store its location, then use your phone’s GPS to get back to your car. No fuss, no muss, no problem. Never lose your car location’s again, especially when traveling.
The red dot shows your current GPS location. It follows you in real time. The emanating red lines show the Virtual Radar alert zone. The alert zone is directional, and dynamically narrows and elongates as your speed increases. Icons animate while the corresponding audio alert is played. Real time traffic and incident alerts can also be enabled. The green, yellow, and red lines in the image below indicate fast, medium, and slow traffic conditions. You can click and add the location of a speed trap, red light camera, and more. Keep it running in the background while using Google Maps and you’ll hear audio alerts when coming up on enforcement areas or red light camera. Cool.
WHERE Android App bundles many of the location based app capabilities all in one place… and for FREE! Find gas prices, Yellow Pages information, news headlines, movie show times, ZipCar finder, traffic and more. Imagine Gasbot, one of the weather apps, the YellowBook app, Movie Finder, and Handstand (for news) all wrapped up in one. Sometimes I find myself using just this particularly if I’m looking for a restaurant and need gas at the same time.