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Old 01-27-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
Alan_C
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Recommended basic set of apps for a newbie with an Arc?

Hi, this may be asking for trouble but as a newbie to Android (never even owned a smart phone) I really don't know anything about apps.

I have browsed the App Store for a few things like something for UK train times and tickets, something for the local weather forecast, etc. but been alternately rather overwhelmed by the number of offerings, or underwhelmed by the lack of support.

So, can anyone make a few recommendations as a starting point?

I *need* things like:
  • train times,
  • antivirus
  • an alternative app store and downloader/installer
I *want* things like:
  • TV catch - up for the main UK channels,
  • local weather,
  • radio stations (main UK ones and any really good English - language offerings from the rest of the World),
  • UK news,
  • a music player,
  • and maybe a video player as well?
  • Uk traffic alerts

What else should I think about?

I hope that, one day, we'll get mobile BBC iPlayer support, but meanwhile I've downloaded an old version of Flash Player (as suggested in forum) and learned how to use Firefox to access the desktop site for BBC iPlayer. Is there something similar I need to do to get access to the Met Office?

I'm ready for your suggestions!

Last edited by Alan_C; 01-27-2013 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Added new needs: AV, app store, traffic alerts
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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Does Train Times UK look like an option?

Then there are Met Office Weather Application and UK Weather Forecast

My approach is just to try out a range of applications till I find one that I like.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
Alan_C
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Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
Does Train Times UK look like an option?

Then there are Met Office Weather Application and UK Weather Forecast

My approach is just to try out a range of applications till I find one that I like.
Thanks Peter, but unfortunately Google App Store says the Met Office app and the Train Times UK app are not suitable for my device (Kobo Arc, Android 4.0.4). I love UK Weather, only I couldn't get it onto my home page (I had an issue where the launcher stopped every time I tried; after this prompt from you I've just tried again, in the hope that the recent system download has fixed it and yes! Job done!).
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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Hmm. I have a few UK specific apps on my smartphone you might like to look at. Not sure how they will work on an Arc though - sorry!

I like the National Rail Enquiries app best for train times. It not only lets you find times, and platform numbers, but you can track a live train when you're wondering where you are when sitting on the train in the dark and how long til you get home (I was scared getting home from Leeds in the pitch dark and snow a few weeks ago and this meant I could let my boyfriend know exactly where I was). It does have ads, but I think you can pay to get rid of them if you bother you.
Another one I like - pay though - is Rail planner live.

Uk News: I use this app on my phone all the time. It has a great widget for keeping half an eye on the news while I should be working.
This one will depend what paper you prefer of course, but I have Guardian Anywhere set up to download the sections of the guardian every day automatically at 7 am. That way I can take it with me and access whenever I like.

Weather: The Met office app Peter linked is supposed to be quite accurate, but it responds very slowly on my little phone -- your mileage may vary with an Arc though. I use Accuweather and have been very pleased with it. It is also on sale for a very cheap price at the moment.

For things like local weather and travel, I point my copy of Opera Mini at the web page I want and find it works ok. I have friends who also swear by the RAC traffic app.

I also second what PeterT says -- don't be afraid to try different apps til you find ones you like.

Last edited by Liesse; 01-27-2013 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan_C View Post
  • radio stations (main UK ones and any really good English - language offerings from the rest of the World),
  • UK news,
  • a music player,
  • and maybe a video player as well?
For radio, grab TuneIn Radio from http://apps.goodereader.com/android-...apps-3/?did=83

The lack of a GPS in the Arc causes it to be flagged as incompatible, but it works perfectly for me with just coarse (wi-fi) location detection. The app works perfectly for me, even correctly detecting the local stations (might not detect properly if you're the type to route things through proxies).

For UK news, there should be plenty of sources you can read through Google Currents. (if not, checking the various web sites you normally go to for news to see if they have apps is probably the best thing to do).

If the stock video player isn't good enough, you might try VLC Beta (from VideoLAN). It should also do you for music (though I'm lazy and stick with Google Music for the latter, since I don't need any special features beyond shuffle-all :P).
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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hi mate a couple of recommendations for you.
video MX Player
music Rocket Music Player although not my personal choice a good player that you can readily download.
radio as mentioned by JD, TuneIn follow the link provided.
given the tablets dependancy on wifi and no inbuilt gps alot of traffic apps are worthless unless you can tether to your phone. a phone with that capability will have its own inbuilt gps and data connection negating the need for a tablet. google maps and navigation have made my satnav obsolete. its frightening what phones can do now. the only benefit my tablet has is a larger screen for reading and viewing video ,other than that my phone is far more capable and faster.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Audio books: Mortplayer. Allows you to bookmark spots in an audio book for later.

Also, I find ES File Explorer quite handy. When you're connected to the same wifi network as your home PC, you can access the files on your PC (as long as the PC is on, of course). I think Astro File Manager can also do this.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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I'm a newbie so others might have better suggestions. HST, I use Aptoid app store as a alternate for gp. It has had everything I wanted but couldn't get from gp.

I also like BS player for video and win amp for music. I like kindle for the alt reading app too but I have a big collection of kindle books already. I like splashtop for remote access to my computer.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
Alan_C
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Originally Posted by Alan_C View Post
Thanks Peter, but unfortunately Google App Store says the Met Office app and the Train Times UK app are not suitable for my device (Kobo Arc, Android 4.0.4). <snip>.
I have since learned about "sideloading" and successfully installed an older version of the Met Office app (v. 1.0.9). It doesn't seem a whole lot better than UK Weather, and the lack of a widget is a pity - do you know what I might be missing from the newer version?

I also have Train Times UK v. 3.1.5

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
Alan_C
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Originally Posted by Liesse View Post
Hmm. I have a few UK specific apps on my smartphone you might like to look at. Not sure how they will work on an Arc though - sorry!
Thanks for your thoughts Liesse - very helpful! I've put UK News on my tablet and I'm comparing it with the BBC News app. I've only just got the Met Office app (an older version) as it has taken me until now to learn how to get it (!) and it doesn't seem that great compared with UK Weather, but again I'll give it some time.

Thanks again,

Alan
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