Thursday, December 31, 2009

My List of Favorite Android Apps

So, as I promised, I'm writing a post about my favorite android apps. It's taken a while because I had to work on the photo post first. But here goes! Oh, and I've included links to the websites for the apps, if they were easy to find!

There are about 20, and they are all free apps, as I've only been willing to buy one app so far and that was the SNEsoid, a SNES Emulator, so I could play Final Fantasy III on my phone :)

First on the list is PandaHome. I recently discovered this one and I love it! It's a replacement for the home screen, allows you to have more than 3 and some of the themes have cute customization stuff that go with. It also cycles through so if you get to the end of the list of home screens, it starts at the beginning. But my absolutely most favoritest part is the docking bars! Really, I'm fine with 3 home screens and don't need more (though I take advantage of them using Panda) if I could just get a docking program that went with the home screen I'd be happy, though the themes can still be pretty cool. But the docking bars are awesome! There is one on each side so I've set one with the main programs such as the camera, messaging, phone and things like that and then I've made the other one my speed dial list! lol. I love it! So much easier than going into the program and hunting for a name or a picture!

It's after Christmas now but this one still bears mentioning for next year, Santa Live. It plays a new video clip of Santa every day and stores the list so you can watch them over and over. I don't know how many hours the girls were entertained this month by watching little clips of Santa! There are a variety of other kid's programs the girls really enjoy but this one tops the list!
Tied for third are two programs that I really like, one is Color Note, which gives you the option to "apply" colored sticky notes to your homescreen, and the other one is OI Shopping List, which I use for more than just shopping lists. I had been using the Color Note for shopping lists but with this one you can set it to look like a notepad with writing and when you click on it, it crosses it off :) I love that!

My favorite book reader so far is Aldiko. I love that it keeps your place in the book, even if you switch in between books, as long as it's left on your currently reading list, it keeps track of your last spot. It also pulls from a list of free books at It reads epub files so any you own you can put on the phone and import them into the program. It also has a day and night mode that makes it nice.

Next on my list of favorites is Astro File Manager. Android itself doesn't have a file manager program and Astro, while it's the only one I've tried out, works great for browsing through the fires and copying and pasting and moving files.

I don't particularly care for the standard android calendar widget. I solved that with CalWidget. It's a great Calendar Widget program that pulls from your google calendar and the calendar on your phone (just like the standard one) only it's a lot more customizable and show more information. That's one of the great things about android. It's so customizable. Don't like something? Replace it with something else!

My next favorite is a to-do list program. Can you tell what I use my phone for a lot? lol. It's called Astrid and it's a great program. Easy to use and great for a visual reminder. I use the widget to see at a glance what I need to get done.

Another program I like, though I haven't used much is Shop Savvy. You can scan barcodes of things you're looking at to buy and it tells you wher the best price is and how much it is. It can be quite fun to use!

Digital Recipe Sidekick is one that I like to store recipes in. I downloaded two others and this is the one I ended up liking the most. I don't really have much to say about it other than it works great and is relatively easy to input and find your recipes and that's just what I was looking for!

I've downloaded the official TV Guide app and another TV Guide but the one I have liked the most is USA TV Guide. Though you're suppose to be able to set your favorite channels and I haven't figured out how to do that yet. The official TV Guide was a pretty nice program but I didn't like the ads that popped up on start up. They were annoying and it didn't seem quite as user friendly. The other one that I'd downloaded didn't navigate well and I just had issues using it where the USA TV Guide (I love the big screen tv icon hee hee) has just seemed the most user friendly and easiest to use.

Next on the list is Where's My Droid? There was another program I tried the free version of, but it was a pain. This one on the other hand, the free version is great! And such a must-have for those of us who easily misplace our phones! What it does, is if you can't find your phone, you send a text message with a certain phrase and it turns the volume all the way up and the alarm on. (even from silent mode!). MUST HAVE!

This one is mostly just cuz. I always wondered how congested our wifi setting was. Wifi Analyzer lets you find out! It shows you how many are using that channel and the other channels so you can change your wifi channel setting to one with fewer users. Just cool.

I don't really have any complaints as far as the stock android browser goes, except that I never found a way to go forwards after you'd gone back a page. Well, I figured out how to do that with Dolphin Browser and not only that but it's got the pinch-zoom. Though to be completely honest, I'm not sure I actually like the pinch-zoom. Ah well, I've actually downloaded one called X-Scope Lite to try out to see if I like it better.

This one is for anyone who owns a droid, and hasn't bought the $30 multimedia dock. It's called Dock Runner and it puts you into the mulitmedia dock mode. Honestly I haven't used it much because even though it dims a lot at night, my husband prefers complete darkness to fall asleep and it's too bright for him.

Here's another I haven't got to use much but want to try out! Locale makes it so you can set your phone to specific settings depending on your location. It reads the location and then does all the changes for you. Next time I go to the movies I've got to change it to those settings!

Another just for fun app, though I could see being useful at times :) is Fake-A-Call. It allows you to set it to a certain time or time interval (like 5 mins) to pop-up saying you have a call. No more trying to get it to ring on your own. The screen even pops up as if you were getting a call and you can set it to say who's calling! Very devious ;)

Photoburst is picture/media viewer that has the slide motion. Unfortunately the stock gallery viewer doesn't :( I'm not sure how much I really care for photoburst but it's the best one I've found with the slide so for now, it's here to stay.

I LOVE tv. I do, it's a terrible, terrible flaw I have :) And I LOVE the website But it requires flash to watch tv on it :( Well, I found the program and it's got tv episodes to watch on your phone! Unfortunately it only had one that I like to watch (Medium) so it wasn't worth the space it was taking up to me, but it DID have a lot of other shows as well so for you other tv lovers out there, this is an app for you.

Last on the list is one I just barely found (this ones for you Sam!) called Ambling Book Player. I've got the lite version cuz it's all I've needed so far and the full version is a little bit pricey, but still tempting. Oh, what does it do? It's an ebook reader, only it reads the book to you :) Sam had recently asked me if there was one and I didn't know of any then so I had to try it out when I found it. So, the other day I LISTENED to Pride and Prejudice :) It was pretty cool!

Well, there you have it. Currently, my favorite 20 apps on android. Ask me again some time, with how frequently new apps are coming out, the list may change!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Week Photos

Sorry this has taken so long to get posted and edited!
So, here are a few of my favorite photos from the week of Christmas!

I tried to get some pictures of the girls in their Christmas dresses a few weeks before Christmas. I didn't have very good results, but here are the best ones I got!

The cute Charity! She cooperated with getting her picture taken.

Danielle refused to cooperate! If you could see her face, she's screaming. Oh well! Maybe next year we'll get a good one! We got some great shots of her smiling in the family pictures though, I'll post those later! (If you're lucky, lol)

Since we had to get rid of Angel, I had to post one of her and Charity for Charity to remember her by. She really was such a good dog for her.

Christmas in Delta! The girls had such a fun time!

Remember how I posted that Angel bit Spencer? Yeah, I really did mean bite. The picture didn't quite do his eye justice :(

Now we'll move on to more fun pictures!

Miriam taking a nap with Grandpa!

Christmas for 12!

Christmas Morning!!! Sorrry, I had pictures of everyone who was here, but I've only taken the time to post pics of my own family.

Laura and her kids getting ready to leave Saturday morning/afternoon :( We had to take some cousin pictures! (Danielle didn't want her picture taken, again)

And did you notice what we did to our hair!?! Cute, aren't we? :)

Our Gingerbread House! The girls and Michael made it Saturday night and they had LOTS and LOTS of fun with it! Ok, I was the "responsible" adult who helped! Charity Saturday night sleeping with her "Huggy" from Grandma!

And when Charity finally got the present she'd been waiting for! (All she wanted for Christmas was a big doll !) Grandpa Y had gotten it for her so she had to wait an extra couple of days to get it. Can you tell how excited she was? We missed the BIG grin!

Our Christmas Week

I'm planning on writing a blog about my favorite apps on the android market, but that's gonna have to wait for now cuz I need to update about our Christmas week!

So our present (Renell, Laura, Kevin, Roy, Dennis and I) to Mom and Dad this year was Laura and her kids coming up for Christmas. Her husband was going to be away working so he couldn't come or get to spend much of that time with them. So we all pooled the money to get them here. Mom and Dad loved their presents!

On Monday I waited and waited for Laura to get here. She was suppose to be here around 1 but left late and didn't make it here until 6! I kept having to give Mom excuses as to what was taking me so long to leave! We had this clever little plan for keeping it a surprise, I was going up to get help working on a quilt I was making for Dennis' dad and then she couldn't mail off their box of stuff yet cuz I was bringing some stuff to add to it... :) It was all a clever little ruse, I thought!

So, after they got here, we drove up to Mom and Dad's. They were so excited to see them! Mom apparently had figured it out early that afternoon and had gotten confirmation from Michael when she asked him straight out, so she wasn't surprised but still happy. Dad had no clue and you could tell he LOVED his surprise!

But that's when something bad/sad happened :( Right after we got there, Charity's dog Angel bit Laura's little boy Spencer in the face, barely missing his left eye. She'd shown aggression towards other kids and had recently started nipping at Danielle. We'd been considering returning her for that very reason but Charity was so attached to her (and she was SUCH a good dog with her) that we hadn't done it. That was the last warning we needed though and we returned her to the rescue we got her from the next night. I took Charity with us so she could hold Angel on the way there and get to say goodbye to her. But Charity ended up falling asleep on the drive. I found it hard for me to say goodbye though, so it was probably for the best. I hadn't realized just how attached to her I had become. So, it was a sad few days :( Charity didn't realize that night after she'd woken up that Angel was gone but the next morning she came to me asking for Angel because she couldn't find her and I had to tell her then that Angel was gone, that we'd taken her back the night before. She was really sad :( I had to hold her for quite a while after that. Poor girl.

Earlier that Tuesday day (now onto some fun stuff!) the kids had lots and lots of fun playing in the snow! We ended up going down town to get the kids some real gloves because their hands were frozen, but they still wanted to play! Laura's daughter Aurora wanted to walk, so Laura took her three kids and Charity and walked to the store! (it's only a couple of blocks) I hadn't taken shoes for being outside in the snow so I drove me, Danielle and Mom and Dad to the store! It was a good thing, Danielle and Miriam both fell asleep while we were at the store! And then Spencer had been throwing a fit so he got a timeout in the van, but that was before the others were taken outside so he couldn't wake them up! Aurora wanted to walk home again but Laura was freezing so I went and dropped everyone else off at home and then went back and picked them up!

On Wednesday, while we were doing some last minute shopping, Laura talked me into letting Charity go look at some Border Collie/Lab mix puppies near Preston that we'd seen advertised for free at the store the day before. Well, guess who found a puppy she loved. And guess who got suckered into it... Yup, I let Charity get a puppy. I'm thinking it was probably a little too soon but it has made Charity so happy. Although now we're having to deal with a couple of puppies around here. Atleast they haven't managed to chew anything up yet!

So, Laura was hoping Kevin would let her have a puppy (sorry Laura if Kevin reads this!) so she got a puppy too. He ended up saying no way, so Michael decided he wanted a puppy, he's still waiting to hear from his Mom if he can have him or not though. Dennis says there is no way we are keeping him. The guy said we could take him back if she wasn't going to keep so what on earth are we still doing with him? lol. Oh yeah, waiting for Renell to decide! lol. So that was is named Cocoa cuz he's got a light dusting of brown on his black coat. And we named our puppy Dusty :) Charity wanted to name him Pal though but in the end Mommy and Daddy won. Though, now I'm not sure it was the best pick, lol. I'm great at making decisions :)

I had planned on going home Wednesday night cuz Dennis didn't have to work on Thursday. (I loved paid holidays!) But Dad wanted us to wait until Thursday so I decided I could wait but I wanted to leave early on Thursday! I should have known better. Laura needed to get Miriam's hair cut so after everyone was finally dressed (around 10), we went out to Mom's friends house and she cut Miriam's hair, then Laura's hair, lol. I don't think it was layered as much as Laura wanted but it's hard to beat a free hair cut! You'd think we'd be able to go right back, pack up the van and get out of there! Nope! We really just lounged around all morning and didn't do much otherwise so we didn't manage to get out of there until after 2! We were going to stop at Logan's Heroes for Laura's once or twice a year visit but they were closed for the Holidays so Laura will have to wait until next time! So, we ended up going through a drive through to get something to eat cuz we were all hungry and then headed on our way.

Mom had packed Lasagna for us to take to have for Christmas Eve dinner and we got there just about the time we needed to put it in the oven, but Dad called and said he had just stopped at Del Taco (we'd gotten seperated before) and was grabbing a couple dozen 50cent tacos for dinner. lol, we still cooked the small lasagna but I think only Dennis ended up having any after all the tacos! lol. We've decided Dad must not have wanted Lasagna cuz everytime we tried to eat it, he had a different idea! lol.

Christmas Eve just flew by in a flash and before we knew it, it was time to put kids to bed and get ready for Santa to come. They get so excited it's hard for them to fall asleep, don't they? We finally got them to bed and made all of our preparations though. It was a lot of fun! Michael had been adopted by Toys for Tots that year and they must have spent at least a couple hundred dollars on him, he had so many presents! Almost half of them were his! lol. And we had to hide them all when we got his help throwing up stuff after it was all set up!

Then Christmas morning dawned bright and early, or not so early. lol, I don't have early risers at anytime except when I don't want them to! So, I was the first one up at 7, but it turned out Aurora and Miriam were up as well, so the three of us had to wait until everyone else was up! We ended up waking Charity and Danielle between 8 and 8:30! It was a fun Christmas morning, all the kids loved their presents, though Aurora kept asking when it was her turn again! We open one present at a time so I kept handing them out and had to make sure Michael got a present every so often more than anyone else! lol. They all got some good presents that they loved and spent the rest of the day playing with their new toys!

Laura and I, well, the night before we'd bought us some hair dye, so we spent that afternoon coloring our hair :) It was a lot of fun! And I really like the color, though what a change! I wanted to get Tiffany to come over to help us and to hang out for a little while but Dennis reminded me that it was Christmas and I shouldn't interrupt their holiday. We found out the other night that Tiffany wanted to come over and see me but that Karl wouldn't let her either cuz he didn't want her to interrupt our holiday! lol. Great minds think alike :)

We also played games all afternoon and that was a lot of fun as well, there were no new games for us this year but we played The Train Game I got last year and then we also played Settler's a couple of times. Dad was so proud cuz he won the most! We had a lot of fun! But all too quickly the day ended and it was time for bed. :( Laura had been planning on leaving early Saturday morning, but then she told me she decided to leave later in the day and stop at her in-laws Saturday night (they're about halfway between right now) so we got to spend some more time together Saturday morning! But once again no one was in a hurry to do anything so she left a couple hours later than planned!

But it was a good visit, Mom and Dad got to see Laura and her kids (and boy did Grandpa having fun spoiling them!) Aurora and Charity had lots of fun playing together! lol, although they really frustrated each other at times because Aurora expected Charity to be on her level and Charity expected Aurora to be on her level! lol (They're a little over a year apart, Charity being the younger of the two, though Charity is the bigger of the 2!) They did have a lot of fun though! Poor Spencer being the only boy, oh no, he actually wasn't because Michael was there, and Michael was great at entertaining the kids and played with Spencer quite a bit. It was cute watching Michael play with them when he did. And then Miriam and Danielle had fun with each other, someone their own size! lol, or closer to it!

Laura wants us to go down there in March during her spring break, we'll have to wait and see for sure, although there won't be a lot of spring breaks left when we can since our spring breaks happen at different times and Charity will start preschool next fall and then be in kindergarten after that. Where does the time go!?! So, we'll see, plus she wants us to take her a surprise...

Dad suggested Dennis and I run away Saturday afternoon while they watched the kids but it never worked out and they were quite a handful that night anyway. So, Sunday morning we hid in our room and read the book we'd been reading while they watched the kids! We had ended up finding subs for Sunday, Saturday night, cuz we thought we were going out of town, so we took advantage of it even though we ended up not going anywhere. We all had another lazy day.

Monday was nice. Mom and Dad watched the kids for us that afternoon while we went to the movies. We went and saw Avatar, it was a pretty good movie, I compare it to Pocahontas :) But then all that afternoon I was soooo tired. Going to a movie in the middle of the afternoon, especially a long one, does that for me! Dad had gone into Salt Lake while we were gone and he ended up bringing a chicen back for dinner. So, we had chicken and potatos and then it was time for them to be off. Though, their coming back on Thursday so they can watch the girls on New Year's Day while Dennis takes me on another date! Yay! This one will be lunch and maybe a movie! I'm hoping for Tucanos, but I think he has something else in mind.

Wow, I can't believe the New Year is just about to arrive. This one has gone so quickly! It's been a terrible year for some of our friends and I really hope the new one is better for them! This year, overall, has been good to us, and I hope for many more good ones!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update on books

Apparently I spoke to soon. I got into looking into the books more and realized there were some major editing problems. :( Apparenty the pdfs are in columns, just like the book, but the conversion process doesn't recognize the column and jumped between it. I'll let you know if I find a way to fix it :( But as of right now, it's not really usable for that reason. I was so excited about it...

I've found some programs to use to help edit it to make it convert correcty but they are going to take some time and work so I won't be able to work on that until after Christmas. In the meantime, maybe I'll see if there is a way to suggest on the website to make an epub format and let someone else do the work :) And maybe it'll be done before I get around to it, probaby not but it would be cool.

More Droid stuff...

So, at in their Gospel Library they have a link to pdf documents of the Bible and the Tripe Combination (Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price & Doctrine and Covenants) but also The Ensign and The Friend and their other pubications. Well, pdfs are sort of a pain to read on a phone because (and I guess it's the same with some book readers) you can't bookmark your place and have to remember where you were and navigate around by page number and stuff.

On Android there is a program called Aldiko which is an e-book reader where it keeps track of your last spot and you can put in bookmarks to easily go back to a certain spot, and it has an easy to use table of contents. So, while I was looking around the Aldiko site I found in their FAQs that there is a program called Calibre that can convert pdfs to epubs (which is what Aldiko uses) so I've downloaded Calibre and have converted the Holy Bible and the Triple Combination from the church's website over to epub files. It seems there is a little issue with the formatting in the beginning of The Bible so far (I haven't had much time to look at it) so I might try to fix that. They're also such large files they take a little while to open so I might seperate them out a bit or something. If anyone would like a copy, let me know! I think each month I'm going to do the same thing with The Friend and The Ensign. I haven't converted any of those over yet to see how it goes but I will be within the next few days.

Have I mentioned I love my phone?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too busy playing with my Droid

Sorry I haven't been around or posting much lately. I haven't been using my droid to post and since I've got it I spend very little time on the computer. Lol, now that I have constant access to facebook, I'm on it a lot less as well. That has made Dennis happy atleast.

In other news we are looking forward to Christmas. Most of the Christmas shopping is done and the girls are very excited. Almost every day, Charity tries to convince me that it's Christmas. Soon enough it will be. And they both love wrapping presents. My visiting teacher brought by an advent calendar the first of the month and the girls have really enjoyed that, though Charity got a hold of it one day and ate a bunch of the chocolates.

Well, it's a bit crazy around here trying to finish everything up for Christmas and get everything done. I'll try to post again soon!