Mr4 handles the PaintPro app on kid mode with ease.

I haven’t owned a smart phone before. My husband has an iPhone, but I’ve barely touched it in the grand scheme of things, so the amount of apps available for the Desire is totally mind-blowing for me. I’m only game to install free apps so far on the Desire. I just can’t bring myself to install ones that cost actual real money, no matter who is paying for it. It’s the same mindset that stops me buying designer shoes, no matter how much I lust after them.

But I have managed to install and play with quite a few apps and games from the Market. This post is a discussion of the apps I’ve used on the Desire so far.

For me, apps fall into the following categories:

  • Useful work-related apps
  • Social media/communication apps
  • Other useful apps
  • Games for me
  • Games for Mr4

Useful work-related apps

I haven’t actually been at work this week due to a sick Mr4, so this is just conjecture of work-related usefulness at this stage.

  • Metronome – Not sure how much use this will actually get since I have a real old fashioned metronome, an inbuilt metronome in my digital piano and the piano I have access to at school also has one inbuilt, however, it’s simple and reasonably effective. The only major problem is the only way to change tempo is by manipulating a scroll-bar, which isn’t extremely accurate. I cannot for the life of me get it to set at 120bpm, no matter what I do.
  • Sight Read – This would be good for people whose music reading skills aren’t fantastic. I find the Guitar Tab setting a bit of a challenge, but the piano setting is ridiculously easy for me. Would I use it in lessons with my students? Maybe, but the way this battery gets chewed down, it’s probably not worth it.
  • ChordBot Demo – This app has actually got me experimenting more with chord progressions. I know that when I compose, I tend to stick to simple chords unless I really push myself to change some of them up to added note chords. I don’t think it’s something that I’ll actively use at work, but it’s definitely something useful for work-related activities.
  • Note 2 Self – This app enables writing a memo and then emailing it to yourself. Since Gmail works so well on the phone, I think I might as well just email myself instead of going through this app. Seems like double handling to me. I will give it until next week when I am back at work and see if it actually is useful.

Social media/communication apps

  • Twitter for Android – I installed this straight away, not realising that Peep was the pre-loaded Twitter app for the Desire. I don’t know whether it’s because I used this first and don’t like change or if it’s just better, but I use it almost solely for Tweeting from the Desire.
  • WordPress – I have linked the app up with this blog but haven’t been game to use it yet. Long blog posts probably aren’t that efficient with a touch screen. I might try a very short blog post using the app in the next few days.

Other useful apps

  • Run Keeper – I’ve installed this simply because I already knew about it through my husband (@smperris on Twitter), who uses it to keep track of his exercise. I haven’t used it yet but anticipate that it will be useful.
  • StopWatch – I installed this before finding the inbuilt stopwatch function. I will probably uninstall this. The only thing it has over the inbuilt stopwatch is the fact it has a “lap” function, which isn’t useful for me.

Games for me

I’m no gamer, but I do enjoy the occasional game as a wind-down activity.

  • Classic Tetris – This game is so difficult with a touch screen. I’m actually not convinced it’s enjoyable because it’s so frustrating.
  • Crystallight Free – I like tower defense games. This one is ok, but frustrating as there’s a real lack of information about what the items are worth.
  • OpenSudoku – Highly addictive and very simple to play with the touch-screen interface.
  • Robo Defense Free – Another tower defense game. I’m not entirely fussed with the gameplay, though it’s easy enough to get a grasp of it with the touch screen.

Games for Mr4

  • Doodle Kids – It keeps Mr4 amused for a while, though the lack of control over what is actually drawn isn’t very stimulating for him. It has an auto child lock to prevent navigating into other areas.
  • Paint Pro – Very similar to Doodle Kids, except there is some choice and control. I’ve only had Mr4 use it on Kid Mode so far, though, which essentially makes it the same program as Doodle Kids.
  • Paper Toss – Mr4 has played this on my husband’s iPhone. We haven’t used it on the Desire yet.
  • Preschool Learning Free – I’m thinking about getting the full version of this one because it’s aimed exactly at Mr4’s level. Tracing the letters is excellent practice for him. There’s a few different activities to do within the one program.
  • Toy Story Memory – Mr4 loves Toy Story and picked the game up very easily. He could play this for ages. And does.

I’m still trying to navigate my way around the Market in order to find other apps that would be useful for us, but for now, this is what we’ve got.