10 free Android apps for staying in the know
Owning an Android smartphone means never having to say 'I don't know'
Computerworld - The promise of a smartphone is that you have the world's knowledge at your fingertips anywhere you go. Since Google is committed to organizing the world's knowledge, it seems only natural that its Android operating system, now available in dozens of smartphones and other devices worldwide, would excel at bringing you that information.
But you may not always find Android's built-in tools to be the best means of discovering what you need to know. Here, then, are several free applications, all available in the Android Market, that slice and dice the world of information in more personal or sophisticated ways, so that you're never at a loss when you absolutely have to know something right now.
[Don't have an Android phone? Many of the apps listed here are also available for the iPhone. For other smartphone platforms, check out 10 must-have free BlackBerry apps, 10 essential BlackBerry apps for travel or 10 must-have free Palm webOS apps.]
Learn how to do just about anything with Howcast's short, fun video instructions. Topics range from how to name a business to how to poach a salmon, each with an approximately two-minute streaming video explaining what to do. If you're in a situation where watching a video would be awkward, tap the menu to get a text transcription.
You can search for particular topics or view all the available lessons by category. Or, if you're just in a learning mood, shake your phone and Howcast will serve up a random video on how to separate an egg, how to tie a noose knot, how to jump-start your car, how to bleach your hair, how to photograph landscapes, how to use a drill, how to throw a princess party, how to clean a furnace filter, how to take dogs camping, how to hit a baseball to the opposite field...
Every year, the world's brightest and most creative minds assemble at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, where they are asked to speak for no more than 18 minutes about whatever interests them the most.
Since the event's inception in 1984, business leaders, academics, scientists, philanthropists and other brilliant thinkers -- including the likes of Bill Gates, Malcolm Gladwell, Peter Gabriel, Jane Goodall and Al Gore (and that's just a sampling of the G's!) -- have answered TED's call, sharing their insights about the world we live in. TED has been so successful that it has spurred spin-off conferences under the name TEDx all over the world.
MotherApp's TED Mobile application puts these great thinkers in the palm of your hand, allowing you to browse more than 700 TED Talks arranged by theme or by tag, or to search by keywords. Their short length means you can get a little deep thinking in bite-size pieces whenever you have a few moments to spare.
Travelers, people doing business overseas and the just plain curious will find a wealth of information about every country in the world in FactBook, a version of the CIA's World Factbook Web site adapted for the Android by Urbian Inc. Updated regularly, the CIA World Factbook profiles each country, giving an overview of its political system, economy, demographics, customs, geography and climate -- all invaluable information for building affinity with new clients in foreign counties you know very little about.
All this information is stored in the FactBook app so you don't have to be online to access it; the data is refreshed twice a year from the World Factbook site, according to the developer. Each entry in the app includes a button that opens the relevant page in Wikipedia for even more information, but for most questions, FactBook offers more than enough information.
- Review: 5 video editing apps for Android
- Malware-infected Android apps spike in the Google Play store
- Nokia plans forked Android smartphone for Barcelona unveiling
- LG G Flex deep-dive review: The curious case of the curved phone
- Xperia Z1S deep-dive review: A stylish phone with power and panache
- Low-end smartphone battle forces Nokia to Android
- Moto G real-world review: The best budget phone money can buy
- Google escalates offensive against Office with Android 'KitKat'
- Galaxy Note 3 deep-dive review: A plus-sized phone with perks and quirks
- LG G2 deep-dive review: Extraordinary hardware in an ordinary phone
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Performance Management: The Mobile App Development Playbook This comprehensive 16 page Forrester Research, Inc. report, authored by Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, details a number of valuable, commonly...
- New Problems Require Innovative Solutions The mobile market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2015
- Getting Agnostic about Mobile Devices The idea of being able to interact with customers, prospects, and stay attuned to competitive pressures is not new, but the velocity at...
- Review: Box beats Dropbox - and all the rest - for business Box trumps Dropbox, Engyte, Citrix ShareFile, EMC Syncplicity, and OwnCloud with rich mix of file sync, file sharing, user management, deep reporting and...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Mobile Apps White Papers |
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more