- AutomateIt: automate your Android device
- Graffiti for Android: write, don’t type!
- ImgurDice: bored? Find random images on the web’s favorite image host
About Android Apps of the Day
Android has over 450,000 apps. With so many apps out there, app discovery (aka finding new and useful apps) is extremely difficult. With our Android Apps of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three apps, allowing our readers to discover new apps, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to dotTech to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]
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Apps for August 22, 2012
Are you tired of telling your device to do the same thing over and over whenever something happens? With AutomateIt, you won’t have to: you can set your device to do almost anything every time you get a text message, a radio turns on or off, you use an NFC tag, or almost anything else.
AutomateIt is quite comprehensive. If your phone does almost anything detectable, you can have some other task happen. Let’s say you’ve set up a rule that runs when you unplug your device. With AutomateIt, you can have your device automatically turn WiFi off, so that you’re reading to run out the door at a moment’s notice. You could also turn on your ringer while you’re leaving.
Unfortunately, even the experience above would require the Pro version. The Pro version brings in two main features besides the removal of ads: compound triggers, and compound actions. Compound triggers are triggers, much like the unplugging trigger or the receiving an SMS from a specific contact trigger, but instead of only letting you use one trigger, you can set up AND/OR rules for multiple triggers. Compound actions are actions, such as disabling WiFi, except allow you to execute multiple actions at once. You could have your phone turn off mobile data, WiFi, and Bluetooth all at the same time so long as you’re out of a specific area and you’re not plugged in.
If you’re looking to save battery or simply make your life more convenient, AutomateIt is a nice tool to automate your phone and your life, and can do almost anything you put your mind to. If you’re not into AutomateIt, but are looking for a similar tool, the much more expensive Tasker can do the same type of things, but with more actions and triggers. Overall, AutomateIt is a great tool for making your life easier.
Price: Free with $1.60 Pro version
Version discovered: v1.22.0
Requires: Android 2.2+
Download size: 2.2MB
Typing is so 1999. If you remember the old Graffiti system from old Palm Pilots, you’ll remember
fondly how much fun you had writing on your device. No more typing on a tiny, 2-inch keyboard! Graffiti is a unique and so-far unmatched approach to handwriting recognition, and due to its custom alphabet, is incredibly accurate.
Graffiti is different from a normal keyboard, or even from normal handwriting recognition. With normal handwriting recognition, you have to draw from left to right, and you run out of room after just a few letters. Graffiti instead takes a letter-by-letter approach: just draw each letter individually. Letters are to be drawn in the large, left-hand box, while numbers should be relegated to the right hand box. You can also draw special characters in the left hand box.
Graffiti requires you to relearn the alphabet, but it’s not hard at all. If in doubt, you can simply guess on a character, as they’re all based off of the Latin alphabet we all know so well. However, if you feel like digging in and really using Graffiti to its full potential, you can look at its integrated help screen by swiping up. It has a small graphic that covers the entire alphabet so you can check on your letters.
If you’re looking for a unique keyboard for your device, Graffiti certainly fills in that void. It’s a testament to Android’s versatility: there’s ways to replace just about everything, and the entire concept of a keyboard is certainly one of them. It’s actually quite fast and easy to use, and has a great recognition algorithm.
Version discovered: v2.0.6
Requires: Android 1.6+
Download size: 4.1MB
ImgurDice is probably one of the weirdest apps we’ve featured on Android Apps of the Day. Based on the odd game of going to the Imgur photo and image sharing site and adding random letters to see what images you come up with, ImgurDice is a very odd way to pass time.
ImgurDice is incredibly simple. First, you open the app. If you don’t like the entirely random image that it loads, you can press the refresh button in the upper right hand corner. If you do like the image, you can either download it or share it using the two other buttons in the whole app.
That’s essentially everything ImgurDice does. It enables you to look at, share, and download random images from the world’s awesomest image sharing site. I’ve gotten video game screen shots, corgi photos, and some very odd GIFs, but so far nothing incredibly interesting. Be warned that Imgur does host images that are “NSFW”, or “not safe for work”. Images loaded on ImgurDice have a chance of containing nudity or gore.
ImgurDice is a very odd and pretty much useless app. However, it’s still enough to satisfy one’s boredom, and it has shown me how much people on the internet are obsessed with both YuGiOh and GIFs of Japanese game shows. It’s free, and contains some very odd content.
Version discovered: v1.1
Requires: Android 2.3+
Download size: 545KB
dotTechies: We have tested all the apps listed above. However, Android Apps of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new apps. Always use your best judgement when downloading apps, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing paid apps, if applicable.