Owning an Android device means that you’ll try out a large number of applications over time. Sometimes there are so many that writing a single post for each and every one of them doesn’t really make sense – so we’re introducing a new series of posts that will showcase a few applications at once. This first iteration looks at a few South African centred applications, either developed locally, or targeting the local market.
Probably one of the first applications to come out of South Africa, BatteryFu by local developer Toby Kurien helps you get more out of your device’s battery by periodically toggling mobile data (or Wi-Fi) – so your device is only connected and checking your accounts for a short period of time. A novel idea, and one that apparently works very well.
Lean and fast (see download size!)
APNdroid support (use if data is not switching off)
Widget: tap icon to toggle, tap text to config
Data while screen is on, with screen off delay
Data while charger is plugged in
3rd party app support (using intents)
Travel mode (wifi off)
Another application developed by Toby, the official Computicket application gives you access to South Africa’s biggest ticket provider in the palm of your hand. A pleasant interface enables you to browse, and search with a minimum of fuss, through all events on the Computicket system. You can also make bookings right from the application itself. Very handy.
Galactic Striker (Free / Ad-supported) Skillpod Media is another South African dev outfit with quite a few (impressive) games in the Android Market. We picked Galactic Striker, because it looks good while being quite a lot of fun. It’s a lot like a modern, 3D, top-down R-Type with elements of Space Invaders and Asteroids thrown in – all backed by a pretty interesting comic book storyline. News24 (Free)
News24 is one of South Africa’s biggest digital news sources, and their excellent Android application allows you to easily consume breaking news on the go. The application offers easy navigation via tabbed categories, a 7-day weather forecast, and a widget for your home screen. The application will also appeal to your inner photojournalist by allowing you to submit pictures from your phone directly to News24. Garmap for Mobile (Subscription)
Yes, we now have Google Navigation in South Africa, but the maps aren’t always as up to date as they should be. Garmap is one of the most experienced players in the South African navigation space, and their (very accurate) maps have lived on Garmin devices for years. Garmap for Mobile brings their maps to Android smartphones via a very capable navigation application with some interesting features:
3D maps and turn by turn voice prompts
Automatic updates of the latest map data
Detailed restaurant and accommodation guides and booking
Computicket event guide and booking
Local business and Wikipedia search
Share locations and routes via SMS, Twitter, Facebook and e-mail
Follow me feature: friends can track your position as you travel
Speed camera alerts
Trip reports – no more paper logbooks!
Although the application is free, there is a subscription fee of R99 for 12 months (which is a special running at the moment). Also note that the maps aren’t stored on your device, as the application makes use of mobile data to download map tiles along your route, as well as other data, like points of interest. Wedding Plandroid (Free)
Wedding Plandroid is Richard Marsh‘s first foray into Android development, and we think it’s gone quite well. The Market description sums up the goal of the application quite nicely:
Wedding Plandroid is a lightweight app specifically designed to help brides and grooms plan for their big day. It allows users to manage their wedding budget, track their progress on a timeline of wedding orientated tasks, keep track of their vendors, as well as manage their guest list.
We’re looking forward to see what Richard’s next application is going to be. POCiT Mobile (Free)
POCiT is an online payment service that allows you to manage (and pay for) a plethora of bills and prepaid services. Their Android application allows you to access this service directly from your phone. With POCiT “All your bills are in one place; you know who to pay, how much and by when and you know the right payment will go to the right place”. It aint pretty, but it works. Sharenet (Free)
The Sharenet application is a simple, quick way to keep your eye on Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) share prices, graphs and news. It also provides international indicies and forex quotes. Simple, straightforward, effective.
There are a few other applications that we’ve already covered over at ZADroid.com that deserve another mention: Supersport.com, Powertime and the FNB Mobile Banking app. It really is great to see South African developers getting on board with Android. Albert is a developer, gadget geek, and all-round nice guy. He‘s passionate about Android, and writes for ZADroid, a new blog that covers Android in South Africa. However, anything shiny and sufficiently technologically advanced puts a smile on his face. Above and beyond that, Albert loves the web and the technologies that drive it, good design, and original ideas.