Can you believe it, back already for yet another round of some of our favorite Android applications. Finding them is the hard part, and using them is the fun part, so why not skip the hard, and jump into the fun as we take a look at some of our favorites for you this week.
Anndrew Vacca - YouMail Visual Voicemail Plus (Free)
If you're still using carrier-provided voicemail, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate your decisions. There are plenty of great visual voicemail apps on the market but none, in my opinion, work as flawlessly as YouMail. Once you configure your number to direct voicemails to your YouMail account (don't worry, it's novice friendly), messages will begin to appear in the app, which is clean and organized. Messages will remain in your account, accessible through youmail.com or on any device with YouMail installed, until you choose to delete them (storage isn't unlimited). From the app, you can delete or star messages, configure your greeting, and even forward voicemails as an MMS or email attachment. YouMail also offers transcription service that's free to try and starts at $4.99/month thereafter. Don't be afraid to make the transition, I promise YouMail won't bite. [Market Link]
Chris Parsons - Kids Proof Launcher (Free)
If you have kids at home and are like me -- you may from time to time let them play some games or watch some videos on your device. Aside from the mass destruction a child could cause to your device, you also run the risk of them calling, texting or whatever else you can imagine on your device. In an effort to stop that from happening, you could install Kids Proof Launcher. Essentially, it allows you to select which apps your kids can see and make use of. e.g.: Games, media etc all while blocking the calling and texting functions. The app is available under a fermium model, you get two game slots that can be permanent and visible to kids but if you wish to allow for access to more apps you'll need to update to the paid version. [Market Link]
Alex Dobie - Battery Calibration (Free)
If you're noticing slightly wonky battery performance compared to other users of the same model of phone, then it might be that your battery isn't properly calibrated. This can sometimes happen if you're a rooted user switching between various custom ROMs, or if you neglected to charge your battery all the way before playing with your new phone. NeMa's Battery Calibration app, which requires root access, allows you to wipe your phone's battery stats file and then repopulate it from scratch. You should do this with a fully-charged battery, and once it's done your phone will automatically generate new battery stats as you use your phone normally, hopefully resulting in a more efficient rate of discharge.
Using this app, I managed to get an extra 5 or so hours out of my rooted Optimus 3D with moderate usage, bringing it up to around 19 hours on a single charge. I've also had had good results manually recalibrating the battery stats on older devices, like my power-hungry HTC Desire. This isn't a sure-fire way to get better battery life, but if you're noticing any anomalies with battery performance, and have ruled out other possibilities like runaway apps, then battery recalibration is certainly worth a shot. The app is available for free from the Android Market, and requires root access in order to work. [Market Link]
Sean Brunett - Goodreads (Free)
Goodreads is a social networking site that allows you to share what you read, write reviews and get recommendations. If you’re a Goodreads member, you’re going to want to get this free Android app. With the app, you can search, rate and review books, write status updates which can be shared with Facebook and Twitter, use the built-in barcode scanner to scan books onto your digital shelves and browse through the 8 million titles to find your next read. It’s a fantastic app if you’re a big reader who enjoys sharing what books you like and discovering news ones. [Market Link]
Richard Devine - Alarm Clock Free (Free)
Harking right back to my (bad) old days running an iPhone, this was one of my most used apps. It's so simple. It just puts a big digital clock on your screen, which can also be used to set the phone alarm. Plug your phone in at night, pop it in a charging dock or in my case, prop it up against the bedside lamp, and presto! One bedside clock.
I like the app so much, because my day job sees me rock some pretty odd sleep patterns, and stay in a lot of hotels. Its always nice to know what time it is when I wake up without having to reach for my phone. There is a pro version available which allows you to change the colours, and play music from your phone to wake you up. The free one I find serves just fine. [Market Link]
Joshua Munoz - Stadium Weather (Free / $1.49)
It's football season. That means big stadiums, long days, and no voice when you go to work on Monday. Just about the worst thing that could happen to you is your stadium gets rained out or delayed. Fortunately, you can stay one step ahead with Stadium Weather. With current weather conditions and forecasts for game time, you'll always know what's coming, even up to a week in advance. Better yet, Stadium Weather doesn't just support football. If you're an baseball, soccer, or Canadian soccer fan, this app has you covered, too. If you never want to get caught in bad weather at a packed stadium far from home, Stadium Weather is for you. [Market Link]