More Free Interesting Apps for Android / Droid owner to amuse and amaze: artificial horizon, improved calendar, and more

Motorola Droid
Motorola Droid

Introduction

Motorola Droid (and most Android based phones) constantly surprise me, mainly because the development of software is open source, and people just keep improving upon the old stuff, or come up with new ways to use the existing stuff. Here are a couple more discoveries I would like to share with you, and yes, these are all free.

Agenda, and Calendar Pad

While Google Calendar is sync-ed with the Android built-in Calendar app, the app is very limited in function and view, and generally, just look bad. App developers are out to improve upon it, and two of the best are Agenda, and Calendar Pad. Both are available free in the Android Market.

Agenda is an app and a set of widgets The largest sized widget, at "4x4", will take up the whole screen. It actually allows you to select specific Google Calendars you wish to view. Say if you want to display personal calendar on one widget, and business calendar in another widget, no problem! You can even pick font sizes, colors, and so on.

Calendar Pad on the other hand, concentrates on the Week and Month Views. It also has a selection of widgets you can place on the desktop It can give you a weekly view of the entire week, or even squeeze the whole month into a 4x3 widget. However, it doesn't allow you to pick specific calendars. It also has problems resizing itself to landscape mode (horizontal).

If you need a good overview of upcoming events, and tight integration with Google Calendar (add reminders, etc.) pick Agenda. if you are more interested in a calendar, pick Calendar Pad. However, Agenda is certain the more polished and more functional of the two.

Battle of the note-takers

One of the odd omissions from Droid's built-in library is inability to take notes, and here are four programs to remedy the situation. They each brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table. The candidates are: AK Notepad, Remindme, 3banana, and Evernote. 

AK Notepad is about as simple as you can get: it even LOOKS like a notepad, and only do text notes. If you need to jot down a few things, this should be what you need.

Remindme adds the ability to set timer or alarm to the note. If you need a reminder on where you parked, and when to feed the parking meter, that is what you need.

3banana is more visual, in that it allows you to make visual notes. Use the camera to take a picture, and it will record the local address (with help from the GPS and Google Maps) with the picture, and let you add text notes. if you need to record your physical locations, like a travelogue, this would be great.

Evernote is a do-everything type of note-taker, as it let you do text notes, audio notes, video notes, and attack other files to the note. Furthermore, it also syncs with an online database, so you can easily retrieve the stuff over the web, or on any other Internet-connected computer running Evernote software. The free account you can get from Evernote.com is adequate for home use, and you can always pay for more. If you need a central inbox for your notes, Evernote should be on your candidate list.

I didn't know my phone can do that...

Here are some oddball functions that your Droid can perform, great for party tricks.

Metal Detector -- yes, the app is called Metal Detector, and it's not a fake app. Sensitivity is not that good, and you need to do a little exploration to find where exactly the magnetometer is in your phone, but it DOES work.

Artificial Horizon -- those who fly, or played with flight-simulators, know what an artificial horizon is: it shows you your heading, pitch, and attitude along all three axis. But did you know your Droid can do that too? Download an app called "New Horizon" and try it. It's a little twitchy, but it does work.

Compass -- if artificial horizon is too complicated or twitchy for you, just use the compass. Download it and give it a spin.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy these little discoveries I made in the Android Market. While these work on the Droid, they should work on most Android phones running Android 1.6 or later. Stay tuned for a game review hub on Android next.

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