Sunday, May 15, 2011

Android Apps I Use

     My friend, Lisa, suggested I blog about the android apps I use and why.  I must tell you that I'm addicted to apps on my phone. Recently I had over 90 apps, but have since cleared out some that I don't use only to find more.  I like to play with different apps for the same thing until I decide on ones I like over all, but many times it's hard to find what I need and I'm seriously considering learning how to create my own apps for my purposes.  I only choose FREE apps, because there is no sense in spending money when you can find a free app that is just as good or better.

    First, I'd like to share with you the apps that I use that are geared more toward the nature of this blog, health and fitness. Actually, I found one app, Noom Weight Loss, which is a combination of 3 in 1.  With Noom you can track your weight and see your progress. You can set a workout schedule and track your calories burned using Cardio Trainer, which includes a pedometer and the ability to share your exercises and calories burned on Facebook.  And you can log your meals with Calorific by taking a photo and selecting the portion sizes to guesstimate your calorie intake.  It's not completely accurate, but it does help you think about your food choices. I also like True Food Network Center For Food Safety shopping guide.  It includes lists of brands that contain no GMO ingredients as well as contact information for companies that do use GMO ingredients if you would like to take action. CPR-Choking and First Aid are two great apps for emergencies with step by step instructions on what to do.  This is handy in case the children need to use it since they have not taken CPR or First Aid courses yet.

     I absolutely must have a Bible on my phone and I use YouVersion Bible, which allows you to choose what translation and to search for scriptures, use bookmarks, set reading plans, and take notes. I also use Daily Bible, which has a daily verse, daily plan, devotions and more. Each morning I give my students the daily verse to memorize for merits in school.  Our church even created an app for android called COTM, which is great for keeping up with news and watching services right on the phone. You could even use the mobile giving option to pay your tithe, we haven't played with that feature yet. I love the Bible Trivia game and have used it on long road trips with the kids. Remember Me is a Bible verse memory app to help you commit God's Word to your heart.

     Because I am a teacher, I try to find many educational apps that will be helpful for my students. This is probably the area I have the most apps.  Here's the list I keep just for them: 50 States, Algebra Tutor, Brain Genius, Google Sky Map, Kaka Flashcards (allows you to create your own flashcards on the phone), L&M Guitar (includes a metronome, guitar tuner, chord guide, and even links to youtube video lessons), Math Maiac, Math Tricks Lite, Memory Trainer, Music Sheet (helps you practice reading notes), Paint Joy (for creating animated art work), SBMX (Sketchbook for drawing), Sight Word Flash Cards, Speed Anatomy, The Periodic Table, The US Presidents, Ultrachron Lite (which is a timer and stopwatch- I use this daily with the kids), as well as a few fun thinking games like Blow Up and Slice It. I also have an app called Behavior Status which allows me to enter in all of the student's names, I can set up different classes, which isn't necessary for me right now. When I click on a student's name I can select red, yellow, or green from the stop light which will bring up the current time and allow me to add notes.  I can pull up the student's history and even email the parents. I also plan to use Glympse to share our location with parents when we are out on field trips.

     One great app for our family is Cozi, which allows me to share a calendar, grocery lists, and to do lists with my hubby.  I love that it emails the calendar for the week and that updates can be made on my phone or on the computer in real time. If we were both out shopping at different stores we can cross off items from the grocery lists as we get them and the other person can see it crossed off as well so we wouldn't double up on purchases. There is also the ability to keep a journal by jotting down notes and even taking photos. This is an AMAZING tool and I highly recommend it.  We also use Family GPS Tracker for when we are out and about in different placed.  It includes a panic button that will send a phone call, email, and a text message to your emergency contacts. It also includes a check in button to notify your family members that you have arrived at your destination safely. This is helpful late at night when Brandon is on his way home from work. Sometimes I worry when it seems it's taking longer than it should. I can see right where he's at through the GPS tracker.

     A few fun games I like to play are the different Angry Birds, Jewels Deluxe, Ninjump, Roller (it's like the ticket redemption game, Skii Ball), Words With Friends (my name on WWF is Sparklykttn if you would like to play with me), and YooNinja, as well as the games I have for my students to play. I also have Opera Mini for internet, Facebook, TweetCaster for Twitter, Youtube, Gmail, PicSay Pro for editing photos, and CamScanner for scanning photos and documents. ShopKick is one of my favorite apps. I don't really know why I like it so much, but it's kind of fun.  With ShopKick you can earn kick points for "logging in" to different stores, sometimes they have scavenger hunts to find things and scan them in the stores for more points.  You can trade in your points for different rewards.  I also like Animated Weather, for up to date weather forecast and the graphics are awesome! A few more random apps are: Antivirus Free, App 2 SD Free, Apps Organizer, Elixir, Hebrew Calendar, and Amazon Appstore,

     Of course my phone came preloaded with many apps that I cannot remove even though I don't use them, but some are useful. As you can see, I have a LOT of apps and not enough space for more. However, If I could create an app, I would make one that would allow me to keep track of my students by taking attendance, tracking test scores, tracking behavior, as well as keeping notes and emergency info on each one of them all in one app. I hope this information has been helpful to some of you.  Tell me, what apps can you just not live without?


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