Favorite Android Apps
This past Friday, I bought the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and I absolutely love it. The new Honeycomb interface looks amazing, and is quite an improvement over what’s available on my Nexus S with Gingerbread. I love that the back, home, and task switching buttons are now rendered on the screen instead of having hardware buttons, and combining those buttons into the notification and status bar means you don’t even lose screen space compared to previous versions. The new application switcher looks really nice, but does seem to have some odd behaviors, like not showing the browser that I just switched away from, or seemingly choosing at random whether to display the list from the top instead of from the bottom where you would expect.
There are a lot of applications that don’t yet take advantage of what’s offered by the Honeycomb APIs, but still tend to work really well. It mainly depends on how well the author designed the application to scale with the user’s screen size and density. An example of doing it wrong is the official Facebook app; it’s still usable mind you, but it certainly looks dumb in process, showing the main menu as a large grid of tiny icons with massive amounts of whitespace between them. It would have gone a long way if they had simply scaled the images to fill the screen.
I’ve been meaning to write about some of my most cherished apps, and seeing them in new form has given me an even better reason to get to it. Some of them really only work well on a phone, and others have only gotten better than ever when given a tablet form factor to call their own. So in no particular order, here are my favorite apps for Android. All prices are rounded up from Market estimates at time of writing, and all screenshots are taken from my devices:
Open Source talk on Podcast 17
On Saturday, I appeared as a guest host on Podcast 17, for the interview portion of episode #128, to talk about the benefits and challenges of creating open source modifications for Valve’s Source engine, the power behind their classic Half Life 2 series. It got rather sidetracked from the original plan of discussion, and ran longer than expected, but there was some interesting discussion, and great insight from former Valve contractor Tony Sergi.
If you work on the Source engine, or are looking to run or join open source mod projects, I highly recommend you take the time to listen in.
For multiple reasons, I’ve decided to move away from using my LeetCode.net domain for my online identity and begin using NoSwap.com instead. I will be slowing moving over my sites and applications, and will make sure to set up 301 permanent redirects or other forwarding methods as necessary to make sure nothing gets orphaned for the forseeable future.
As for the actual reasoning behind the move, it stems from multiple issues I had with the old domain, such as:
Being able to pronounce my email address and domain to the general public without having to always spell it out and make sure they catch that there are two e’s in the domain.
Switching at the same time from jreese@ to john@ for my address also means I don’t have to worry about people misspelling my last name, which happens so much even my own family still gets it wrong on a regular basis.
Not having to explain what “leet” is, or getting remarks about it being a juvenile choice due to the stigma of “leetspeak”.
It’s a short .com domain, so that people will get it right every time; I’ve had people assume I actually meant leetcode.com, without confirming it before sending a doomed message…
Anyways, in the off chance that you’re a sentient being, and actually reading this, if you happen to catch an error or gap in my redirection efforts, please drop a line to john@ this domain.
I’ve just reached the 1000 commit milestone as recorded by my Ohloh profile. By far, most of them are related to my work on the MantisBT project and associated plugins.
Now if only I could find a job local to Cincinnati… If you are interested in hiring me, or know someone who’s looking for an open source developer, take a look at my resume.
- Six by four
- Eight by three
- Twelve by two
- Six past legal
- Three past drinking
- One before cheap insurance
- Space Shuttle Discovery
- SLR cameras