got smartphone?

Friday, September 23, 2011
My last contract with my cell phone provider expired at the beginning of this month and I decided it was time to upgrade my phone as well. Previous to the contract expiring, I hadn't planned to upgrade to a smartphone seeing as all I did with my phone was talk and text. Somehow, in the days leading up to the end of the contract, I changed my mind. I was moving from an old Sony Ericsson, with which I had no problems, so I decided to stay with Sony. I came home with an Xperia Arc. I know, welcome to the 21st century.

So far, so good and I've been busy plugging it full of apps. I went app crazy in the first couple of days but a couple of weeks later sat down and weeded through them, deleting nearly half of them. I'm sure I still have some deleting to do but as it is now, my phone is populated only with apps that I use regularly or that will be used in the right time and place. Some are Android-specific and some work with the iPhone as well. Some are fun, some are essential, and some are just very, very handy.

In the category of "Fun", I'm loving the Paper Camera app, which can transform photos from plain with painting and cartoon effects. There is a sketch effect, comic book, half tone, and several more. It turned this picture

into this

With a bit more tweaking (maybe softer lines), I'd like to print it out and frame it. Paper Camera is listed on some websites as costing up to $2, however it appears in the Market for free.

Other fun apps include SoundHound, a music recognition app; Goodreads; Catch Notes; and Google Sky Map.

In the budgeting/money-spending category, I'm loving the YNAB app to take my budget program out and about with me; Grocery King to help track prices and create lists for multiple stores; and Christmas Gift Planner, a simple little program which keeps track of money budgeted and spent per giftee as well as the overall total spent.

I'm using Jorte for a calendar and loving it as well. It syncs beautifully with both my Google calendar and my boyfriend's so I'm always aware of appointments and important dates no matter where the information has been entered. There are several different calander view options as well. And for those To Do lists, I'm using Do It (Tomorrow), a simple program with two lists - Today and Tomorrow. A simple press of the screen and tasks for today are moved to tomorrow's list; when tomorrow rolls around the next morning, those put-off tasks are back on the Today list.

I'm constantly finding new apps to love. Some replace my existing ones and some fit right in with those I already have. I'm just waiting for a Pinterest app for Android. When that happens, I'll be a happy girl


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