Inspector Gadget would be proud if he could see how far mobile technology has come and the innovations that have come with it. Just when you think they have figured out every conceivable function for certain hardware somebody comes along with something that makes you go “Oh”. Due to the less restricted nature of Android devices these innovations are gradually shifting to being Android first and everything else second. Whatever Android device you have as long as the GPS and Digital compass work you can avail of these great apps.
I have a habit of signing up for closed betas and promptly forgetting all about it. This did not happen with Ingress. When I finally received the email a month after I applied I grabbed my Galaxy SII and logged in straight away. The premise for Ingress is quite simple yet it is a gaming experience unlike any other. It mixes the basic elements of a scavenger hunt with your phones GPS, slaps a story about “a mysterious energy that may be controlling us” on it and hey presto! You have a game which allows you to actually meet the other players online IRL when you both go for the same energy or portal in the same location in your City. If you don’t have it already then chances are you are going to have to wait a while longer as it is still in closed beta.
This feature started off its life as a rudimentary app on Cydia on jailbroken iPhones. It utilized the digital compass built into earlier iPhones and Androids alike. Today there are literally hundreds of Metal Detector apps available. I am a skeptic of course and didn’t believe it could have any practical purpose in the real world…until I lost my keys in the snowy winter darkness. Suffice to say that the range isn’t huge but I certainly would have found my keys without them. You can download the most popular Metal Detector App here.
Sometimes technology may seem to take a step back. When I first heard of Voxer and it’s purpose I was unsure of it. It is Push-to-Talk app. Voicemail on steroids, if you will. It became abundantly clear to me that it is actually quite practical after just a day or two of extensive playing with it—- research. If you are driving or otherwise indisposed and you want to send a message to someone it can be a nuisance to type, especially on a touch screen device. With it’s one touch record and send function I have completely replaced text-based messaging on my phone now. It is great if you remember something that you forgot to say to somebody and you know they are busy and can’t get back to you until later. Have a go, it’s free after all.