Editor’s note: This is the last of a two-part series.
Droid, iPhone and iPad apps are great for business and even better for having fun. In fact, don’t be surprised if the apps in today’s column become some of your favorites.
At our recent Awesome Females in Real Estate conference, Cary Sylvester, the executive director of technology for Keller Williams, led a great session, "There’s an App for That: Technology Tools to Drive Your Business." In my previous column I discussed some of the best business-based apps. Today’s column focuses on some fun entertainment and utility apps that can be quite handy.
Entertainment apps (all apps are available on Apple and Android, unless noted)
1. Pandora Radio
Are you tired of listening to the same old songs on the radio or on your iPod? If so, Pandora Radio allows you to personalize your own radio station with the kinds of music you like. Pandora Radio streams your favorite genres directly to your phone. You can also save your favorites forming your own "stations" dedicated to the genres you enjoy.
2. Reader apps
In addition to iBooks on Apple products, you can also download reader apps from Kindle as well as Barnes & Noble. These apps allow you to carry your books, magazines and newspapers from device to device. For example, if you own a Nook (the Barnes & Noble reader) and you install the Nook app, you will be able to pick up where you left off on your Nook book on your iPad or iPhone. These simple apps make reading on multiple devices a breeze.
Scvngr is a game that allows users to interact with places they are visiting. You can use Scvngr for fun, but an even better use is to help clients get acquainted with the local area. You can also use Scvngr to have clients or agents check in at various homes on a progressive open house. They earn points at each stop. Those who visit all the stops on the Scvngr game become eligible to win prizes.
This app tells you just the right time to step out of a movie and not miss anything important.
Have you ever been in a new area and needed to find the nearest gas station or ATM? If so, Around Me is a location-based app that displays nearby businesses and other amenities. If you need to reach the business by phone, you can do so in a single click.
6. Google Navigation (Android only)
Turn your Android system into a full navigation system, complete with turn-by-turn guidance. Since this application uses Google Maps, you can choose to navigate with the satellite or street view.
7. Notes to Store (iPad)
This application has received rave reviews from users. "Notes to Store" allows you to create multiple multimedia notebooks on the iPad, each with unlimited pages. You can type in text or write notes with your finger.
The app also allows you to customize the fonts, including the size and color. You can "paint" with the brush and adjustable colors. You can also cut and paste pictures and other documents to and from your other Mac programs without having to sign up for a Web service.
This is a handwriting app that allows you to take notes as if you were writing on paper. You can email or print the results.
9. Dragon Dictation (Apple only)
This app allows you to compose text or email with your voice. You can also post what you dictate to Facebook and Twitter. The editing feature suggests words when the program doesn’t understand what you say. It also supports multiple languages.
10. iHandy Level
Turn your phone into a level to tell if pictures, floors, or walls are straight.
11. Flashlight and DroidLight
If you have ever been stuck in a vacant house with no power, not to worry. Both of these applications can serve as a flashlight, saving you the hassle of having to carry one with you.
12. 3G Watchdog (Android) and My Data Use Pro (Apple)
Both of these tools warn you when you are approaching your limit on your data plan as well as forecasting your monthly usage based upon your current use.
13. Red Laser
This is a terrific app that accurately scans bar codes and lets you do comparative shopping through Google to find the best deals. You can also share apps, links and contacts easily.
This travel organizer puts your plans on your mobile device no matter where you booked your trip. It will gather all trip information from your inbox and allow you to schedule notifications about your trip.
15. Lookout Mobile Security (Android only)
Unlike Apple that controls all apps that it sells through its App Store, Android is based upon an "open source" platform. As a result, Android is much more vulnerable to viruses, malware, spyware and phishing scams. Lookout Mobile Security scans incoming communications for potential problems, backs up and stores your contacts, and scans downloads and apps before installation.
Do you have other apps that you love? If so, please share them in the comments section.