Android and iPhone Apps To Get You Through The Holidays

Looking for a new and entertaining app? Trying to pass the time until you get back home from school? Need something to do while your computer does stuff at work? Check out these apps! All are free on the iPhone and I’ve done by best to find the equivalent or a very similar one for Android. Let’s get started shall we?

Music

Stitcher Radio – I know you’re saying “not another radio app! grrrr”. But hear me out – the Stitcher app lets you listen to on demand radio streams (think xm radio), your favorite radio stations from around the world (it doesn’t seemingly have ALL but it has most of the stations I searched for), and you can use it to play your podcasts. The coolest feature though, which I wasn’t aware of when I downloaded, is that it also serves as a news source. When breaking news hits, Stitcher sends me a brief notification which I can click and listen to a radio clip of that news. These notifications aren’t sent very often, but they really are breaking news not some weirdo’s idea of important news. While I haven’t figured out how to customize these notifications, I find them cool.

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

Songkick – Ever wanted to know if your favorite artist had a concert coming up near you or a thousand miles away? Songkick searches the playlists on your phone then can provide info about concerts for those artists. It will remember any location you give it and let’s you add the concerts to a remember list. You can see where teh concert is (google map), get a link out to tickets and share the concert information with friends. Pretty cool idea – the only thing that would be better is if it allowed you to watch past concerts.

iPhone: Free
Android: Gigbeat uses the Songkick API and has very similar functions. Also Free

NPR Music – If you like music, you’ll love this app. It gives you complete access to all the features of NPR music – album previews, desk concerts, review articles, streams of the music podcasts, etc. The layout is pretty (same color scheme as website) and the functionality is superb. I was able to get a complete stream of one of the “First Listen” albums without interruption via my data plan and via wifi. You can play it in the background, so listening to a stream won’t interrupt that game of Angry Birds you’ve been working on. Can’t say enough good stuff about this application or the service NPR provides.

iPhone: Free
Android: Unavailable. You’re stuck with searching the NPR News app for the new music features, but they are all there. The NPR News app for Android was user made but I hope it won’t have to be that way for the music app. Hop to it NPR!

iScrob – Despite last.fm having an app and the desktop application supposedly being able to scrobble your tracks (let others know what you’re listening to via the last.fm site or app), it doesn’t work that way. Enter iScrob. Though you can’t control things like your EQ and occasionally the title of the track it shows you gets ahead of itself (it told me I was playing a track that in fact was the next one in the playlist), it does the trick, scrobbling directly from the app. It’s meant to be a replacement for the built in music app. Though iScrob is not available for Android, there are some really cool alternatives like Simple last.fm Scrobbler and Scrobble Droid (both free). [if it’s any consolation for the last 2 music apps not being available on Android, I must mention I’m jealous that there is a Jamendo Player app for Android, a link to a great site for indie music of all kinds. I’m partial to the electronic music available there. And the app isn’t available for iPhone].

iPhone: Free

Movies & TV

Fanhattan – Similar to IMDB but better laid out with cooler features, Fanhattan allows you to search through movies and tv shows to find out more about them, view a list of all the episodes, and link out to “watch now” via HuluPlus, iTunes, or Netflix. You can also view reviews, see what people are saying via social media (facebook and twitter), check out the soundtrack (and link out to purchase individual tracks), see apps related to the show/movie, find related items to purchase on amazon, and see similar movies or shows. Whew! That’s a lot of features!

iPhone: Free
Android: Supposedly in the works. IMDB, tv.com, Netflix and HuluPlus apps are the only alternatives right now.

Crackle – Similar to Fanhattan, Crackle lets you search movies and tv shows to find out plenty of information about them. What’s different? Crackle let’s you view these same movies and tv shows FOR FREE. Clearly, you can’t view the most recent tv shows or movies for free via an app, but it’s stuff you want to see and if you’re stuck listening to upset passengers in a greyhound station for hours on end, anything will do. Bring on those full episodes of Seinfeld!

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

Wigglehop – Do you actually want to get up and go see some movies at the theater? Then Wigglehop is your app of choice. Find theaters near you, movies that are playing near you, then the times they are playing. When you’re done, invite others to come watch with you via facebook, twitter, email or SMS (or take this time to get a breather from the family and sneak out the house…watch out for the legos your cousin leaves down as burglar alarms). You can choose multiple theaters to search, which is cool because you have a larger range of movie start times to pick from.

iPhone: Free
Android: Unavailable but the top movie app for Android is still Fandango (which has the added perk of buying tickets from the app and a lot more bells and whistles than Wigglehop)

Shopping

Goodzer/Milo Local Shopping – These apps are combined in this review because of their similarity. Both Goodzer and Milo Local Shopping apps let you find the product you want on local shelves. That 50mm Sony A-mount lens you were looking for? What about a bottle of Lubriderm lotion? Just type it in the search and see the search tell you where to get it and how much it costs. Milo let’s you scan barcodes to make the process easier and allows you to buy and pick up from the app (with select stores). Goodzer let’s you search internet stores too. Especially as there is a push to shop local, these apps (or ones like Etsy) can help you do so.

iPhone: Goodzer – Free Milo – Free
Android: Goodzer РUnavailable  Milo РFree

Scoutmob – Have you ever been looking for a discount or coupon for a new restaurant or an old favorite? Need a good review from someone that’s been there? Scoutmob fits the bill. Available currently for several major cities and coming soon to more, Scoutmob adds a deal a day and each has an expiration that’s at least a few weeks away (most are a few months) so no rush to spend it. There are some really good deals, like 50% off a sushi place or buy one get one. And each has a review so you don’t have to go searching for it yourself. Excellent app.

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

Google Shopper – The new Google Shopper app is an easy way to find items you want to purchase. It also allows you to search for deals near you (discounts at restaurants!) and to keep track of your Google Offers and ones you’ve purchased. Not that we have to have another shopping app, but Google Offers is certainly something to keep track of as it expands.

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

Social Productivity

Pinterest – The latest internet craze is Pinterest. Find things you like on the internet or upload your own images of cool signs, recipes, actions, decorations, etc. The possibilities are endless with Pinterest. You can see what others post, comment on others posts, and share all the posts with others on Pinterest and those not on Pinterest. It took me a few days to get an invite to join, but until then the app is still functional to view what people are pinning. Definitely something you could do to pass the time until the game is on.

iPhone: Free
Android: Free (from AppGeyser)

Evernote Food – If you already use Evernote, this brand new add on app allows you to save meals, recipes, etc with photos, descriptions, locations and more. You can share any post via facebook, twitter or email. All notes can be tagged like any other post in Evernote and are saved in whatever notebook you want to save them to (default is main notebook). You can take photos from directly within the app and save to your camera roll. Not sure how using this app will affect regular upload limits from Evernote. Right now, it’s only available for iPhone (along with a slew of other new add on apps including some that would be helpful for students), but hopefully like the regular Evernote app will soon be available for Android. If you’re an Android user, you can save the same info by making a new note in the Evernote app – this specialty app only adds what I’ll call aesthetic value.

iPhone: Free

Sports

Team Stream by Bleacher Report – This app gives you constant notifications on your favorite teams and sports (if you want them) and allows you to see scores and such. Similar to the ESPN Scorecenter app, but I like that I get more news than I do with the ESPN app.

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

Bowl Bound 2011 – ESPN has once again made an app to help you keep up with all 80,000 bowl games. Get the latest news and updates as the bowl season begins.

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

You Got Skills!

ACBL Club Finder – Traveling and want to find a bridge game near you? Been out of the game and want to get a refresher and maybe find a good partner? Look no further. The official ACBL club finder app helps you find all of that and more. It only finds sanctioned games and clubs, so if you’re looking for Aunt Cleo’s club that doesn’t play ACBL then it probably won’t show up. Now if we could only get a good free bridge game app that runs from your phone not the internet….

iPhone: Free
Android: Free

Skyview Free – Android 1, iPhone 0. It’s always been simple to use an Android phone to look at constellations in the night sky. iPhones, nope. Skyview Free not only allows you to search the sky when you’re outside, you can do it from inside too! Using the technology in your phone, it helps pinpoint where you are in relation to the constellations. If you move your phone around you can see the constellations in the sky. Made me giggle.

iPhone: Free

Now that I’ve listed well over a dozen apps, I’d love to know which apps you’re relying on to get through the holiday season. Let me know what you think of these in the comments and, if you’re an Android user, definitely let me know if you find the Android apps have just as much functionality as the iPhone ones. If I’ve missed some that are compatible, I know you’ll sound off!

Join us next time for a new to-do topic (at least one we haven’t touched on in a while). Until then, happy downloading!

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1 Comments

  1. Cool! My holiday time can be more colorful now.