phone_swirl1A short round up on some of the hot applications that are available this week. The first is something I should really think about getting hold of. Paragon Software Group have recently made available a set of dictionaries for use with your Android device. These include French bilingual dictionaries from HARRAP to the world famous Oxford dictionaries from Oxford University Press. For example, ‘Oxford for Android’ offers comprehensive dictionary databases utilizing the SlovoEd application engine from Paragon Software (SHDD). This offers great searching and translation options and its well worth a look if you feel, like me, you could benefit from a mobile dictionary.

Over at the official Google Mobile Blog, the Google Mobile Team have spent some of their valuable time cranking out ‘Places Directory’, allowing you to browse nearby places in categories like Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Hotels and Banks. This application complements searching via Google maps, which we all know offers you a topographical representation of where a place is on a map, relative to your location. However, sometimes it is not always clear what you should be searching for (e.g. bank or ATM) and this is where ‘Places Directory’ steps in. After making a search within the appropriate category, you will see distance and directions to the destination, and if you tap on the listing, it will show ratings and photos. Fear not, as you can also bring up your trusty Google Maps and view it there as well. ‘Places Directory’ is available for download now at the Android Market.

Rounding things off is a neat little application Privus Mobile called Caller ID. To put it simply, Privus Mobile identifies, by name, up to 95% of callers who aren’t already in your phone’s contact list. Now available for American Android users, after receiving a call, you can quickly and easily save Privus Mobile’s contact information to your phonebook with the press of a button, and decide what you want to do with the call (e.g. pick up or divert).

“As more and more people replace their landline phone with their smartphone, more and more solicitors, telemarketers and creditors are replacing their landline contact lists with cell phone number lists. While one could simply not answer the phone, the risk of missing an emergency phone call is just too high when it’s the only way to get in touch with you,” said Greg Smith, Privus Mobile’s president. “Privus Mobile gives Android users a way to switch from their landlines without sacrificing the features they’ve come to know and depend on like Caller ID.”

We like the look of this application, so take a look at the video after the jump and let us know your thoughts.

James Tromans
Contributing editor of, based in the U.K.