New and fresh Android apps of the week (September 7 issue)

September 7, 2012
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Via.Me

There are hundreds of social networking sites on the Internet and having to check each and every one that you’ve signed up for can be so tiring. Even when you’ve pared down your essential social networking sites to just Facebook and Twitter, it can still be a little overwhelming. Via.Me aims to centralize your social networking experience through one website and one app.

You might have heard of the via.me website, which allows you to post to both Facebook and Twitter. Now you can enjoy this same functionality on your Android device. The official Android app for was launched last September 4, giving people who are new to the service a chance to test it out themselves.

Sign in using either your Facebook or Twitter credentials and you’re all set. If you want to ring in the New Year with a video, a sound bite or a photo, you can record one or pick something from your gallery, write a caption, and you’re all set. Now your friends from both Facebook and Twitter can enjoy your New Year cheer.

Taking pictures with Via.Me is easy and you won’t need to go through another photo editing app because Via.Me comes with a number of filters for you to jazz up your photos.ย  Centralize your Facebook and Twitter experience with the Via.Me official Android app.

(We also did a more in-depth review of this app in our post entitled “Via.Me official Android app: Centralizing your Facebook and Twitter experience.”


Baby Album

If you’re a parent, there’s no doubt that you want to track your baby’s growth. Before the advent of smartphones, parents tracked babies’ progress in a huge assortment of ways. There’d be shoe boxes full of photos and video tapes of Baby’s Firsts. Other parents might have kept diaries and record books, as well, documenting whether baby’s first tooth made it moody or if its first haircut was a disaster. We want to be able to look back at baby’s development, but we can also go paperless by downloading Baby Album.

Upon launching the app, you’ll notice its clean baby blue theme. You’re immediately shown the calendar and the current date, but that isn’t all there is to the app. At the top, you can access graphs to track your baby’s weight, temperature, and height. The interface is easy to navigate and the first account you get access to will need your personal touch. Fill in your baby’s name, weight, height, and birthday so you can start monitoring it.

To prevent unauthorized people playing around with your baby’s stats, you can password-protect your baby’s account. Tap on a date and you can add things like photos, videos, notes, temperature, height, and weight. When you zoom out to the calendar, you can see tiny icons on the dates you added information to.

Because the app is free, it’s ad-supported but the ads only appeared at the bottom of the screen and don’t get in the way of using the app.

To get the most out of Baby Album, you can purchase the pro version. You can have unlimited baby users support in one Baby Album, as well as password protection for each baby account and settings for each user. If your baby is sick or about to be, you can also add Symptoms.


Verbalist

Now that we’ve gone paperless in tracking your baby’s development, let’s keep it up by doing away with grocery lists scribbled down on paper, even if it is scratch paper. There are a number of to-do apps on the Google Play Store, but Verbalist is worth taking a look at because it allows you to add items with only your voice. It’s powered by iSpeech and calls itself “eyes-free list management.”

Instead of manually typing things in, you can tell Verbalist what you want to add to your list. Verbalist is a great way to add things to your shopping list when you’re walking, when you’re driving, when you just can’t find the energy to type things or when you’re carrying your baby.

Verbalist doesn’t require you to sign up for anything. In fact, just launch the app and you’re good to go. To start adding items to your lists, hold down the button at the bottom of the screen. The app will then “Listen.” Simply say what you want to add to your list, such as “toothpaste” or “shampoo,” and release the button when you’re done speaking. iSpeech will then analyze what you’ve said and convert it to an item on your list. If you want to add more than one item, pause between each item you want added.

Don’t worry if Verbalist misunderstands and misinterprets your words. You can edit items and retype them. Verbalist, of course, supports manually adding items the good old-fashioned way (i.e., by typing).

The most obvious snag I ran into with Verbalist is that it can only recognize English words, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most English speaking users. I’m not sure how well Verbalist can analyze and recognize English words spoken with a thick accent or when the speaker slurs. It recognizes most English words but may have trouble recognizing uncommon words. I could never get it to add “Chippy,” unfortunately, so I had to retype it. Verbalist also occasionally force closes, sometimes after you’ve verbally added an item to your list, but otherwise does a good job.

Surprisingly, Verbalist is a free app that is not ad-supported.


PaperNote Pro – Note Everything

I am a note-taking fiend, I can’t help it. Whether it’s notes for class, ideas for articles for Android Authority, or just floating concepts I can work into my personal projects, note-taking apps definitely catch my attention. Apps like Evernote and SpringPad have their permanent place on my mobile device so whenever a note-taking app appears on the Google Play Store, I just have to check it out. With a name like PaperNote Pro – Note Everything, I couldn’t help checking out whether it was a paid app.

Surprisingly, it is not, but the “Pro” in its name isn’t exactly false advertising. Where some note-taking apps can be very simple to the point of not having enough features, PaperNote Pro looks like it could be a note-taker’s best friend. The app already gives you folders when you first launch it, covering almost every aspect of your life. You have folders like Home, Work, Movies, Ideas, Market, Lectures, Travel, and Reminders.

PaperNote Pro will certainly make you want to take notes at every opportunity. The interface is very clean and very sleek, sporting a rather professional grey and dark blue theme. PaperNote Pro doesn’t only have note-taking features. Swipe to the left and you can access the app’s built-in calculator. Swipe to the right and you can check the calendar.

You can make the classic text note but you can also make a Check List, record an Audio bite, take a Photo, or record a Video. I ran into a few snags, such as not being able to access the photos that I took using the app and the audio snippets being saved on my SD card and not directly accessible through the app, but hopefully the developers will squash these bugs in future updates.


SuperSmartPhone (Auto silence)

This isn’t the first time we’ve taken a look at settings managers and profile switchers but we always like trying out new apps that help us avoid tedious fiddling with our Android devices. SuperSmartPhone (Auto silence), like it says on the tin, can automatically silence your phone without you touching it.

Launch the app and create settings for just about anything. If you work Mondays to Fridays, you can check them off on the days of the week and indicate how you’d like your phone to behave. You can choose from Silence, Vibration, sound, Missed Calls (Sound), Missed Calls (Vibration), if you want your Wi-Fi or your Bluetooth On or Off and more. If you need to go to work at 8 AM, set the time, switch it to Silence, and hit save. Now, whenever you go to work at 8 AM, SuperSmartPhone will put your phone in silent mode. If you get home at around 6 PM, you can set another profile to activate so you won’t miss any calls because you forgot to fiddle with your settings.

Users might find SuperSmartPhone too lacking in the features department but personally I liked its simplicity and straightforwardness.

SuperSmartPhone is ad supported and you can find ads at the top of its screen. To get rid of the ads, you’ll need to either buy the ad-free version or invite the developer to coffee.


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