Non-game Android Apps Recommendations Catch-All

What is a Social Messaging App?

A mobile social messaging app is designed to circumvent the need to use SMS text messaging by piggybacking a user’s data connection to offer an Instant Messenger-like experience. Along with a nice design/UX, apps offer features such as syncing with the phone’s address book, the ability to send images directly from the phone’s camera roll to any contact, location sharing, real-time feed back when a recipient is typing, and group messaging.

Viber
Talk (Google)
Messenger (also Google)
WhatsApp
LINE (from Japan)
Messenger (Facebook)
WeChat (from China)
Skype
ChatON (Samsung's default social messenger)
Yahoo Messenger
GroupMe
LiveProfile
Kik
Tango (most of my US contacts use this)

I've checked out TextPlus as well. Its chief advantage is allowing you to text out to contacts in the US or Canada for free even if they don't have the app installed. Useless for me, but probably useful for some of you American and Canadian folks. It's not as feature-rich, or as efficient as the others on this list, but it works well enough.

Looking for an app to use for recording bits of audio (poetry, short stories, maybe even bits of music). Suggestions?

Pocket Casts for Android has been updated. I'm pretty sure it's a complete rewrite, and Beautiful Pixels considers it the best looking podcatcher on any platform.

I've installed it, and while it seems to be lacking in some features that BeyondPod provides me, I need to poke around some more and I'll update once I do. One big feature is that it integrates variable speed playback, all other Android podcatchers require you to buy a $5 third-party plugin.

General Crespin wrote:

Pocket Casts for Android has been updated. I'm pretty sure it's a complete rewrite, and Beautiful Pixels considers it the best looking podcatcher on any platform.

I've installed it, and while it seems to be lacking in some features that BeyondPod provides me, I need to poke around some more and I'll update once I do. One big feature is that it integrates variable speed playback, all other Android podcatchers require you to buy a $5 third-party plugin.

Soooo happy that it finally has variable playback speeds...

General Crespin wrote:

Pocket Casts for Android has been updated. I'm pretty sure it's a complete rewrite, and Beautiful Pixels considers it the best looking podcatcher on any platform.

I've installed it, and while it seems to be lacking in some features that BeyondPod provides me, I need to poke around some more and I'll update once I do. One big feature is that it integrates variable speed playback, all other Android podcatchers require you to buy a $5 third-party plugin.

I updated to v4.0 last night and it's definitely pretty.

However, I just read the review over at The Verge and this part has me a bit annoyed...

Additionally, the older versions of Pocket Casts let you access previous episodes of a show, but the new version lacks that feature.

Granted, I don't do this all the time or anything, but it's kinda nice to have if you want to load up a bunch of episodes of something for an upcoming trip. Just an odd decision on their part. I also haven't been able to find a "Remove All" function like the old app had. I actually use my old iPod Nano for most of my Podcast listening, but Pocket Casts still updates, so I use the "Remove All" feature quite a bit when I've already downloaded it to my iPod. Removing them individually is kinda annoying, but perhaps I just missed the menu option to do that.

Still, definitely a pretty app!

Update: A big change for me was the loss of the Pocket Casts widget. As in, I installed the update, and it was gone. Can't add it back. In the grand scheme of things, it's something I can probably live with, but still...major difference...

Yeah, as soon as I read you can't access old episodes of a show, I decided not to try Pocket Casts. DoggCatcher still rules my world.

Downloading older episodes: returning in an update today (link)

Widget: coming soon(tm) (link)

jollyeskimo wrote:

Soooo happy that it finally has variable playback speeds...

It did have variable playback before. You just had to use it with Presto, just like Doggcatcher.

Guess I need to reinstall Pocket Cast and see if it's stable now. I really liked it before, but it was constantly crashing so I had to switch to Doggcatcher.

MannishBoy wrote:
jollyeskimo wrote:

Soooo happy that it finally has variable playback speeds...

It did have variable playback before. You just had to use it with Presto, just like Doggcatcher.

Guess I need to reinstall Pocket Cast and see if it's stable now. I really liked it before, but it was constantly crashing so I had to switch to Doggcatcher.

Native variable speed is what I meant I guess. I paid for Pocket Casts on iOS already and was slightly sad to see that I had to pay for a third party addon to get the same functionality on Android when I switched over (and paid for Pocket Casts a second time).

jollyeskimo wrote:

Downloading older episodes: returning in an update today (link)

Widget: coming soon(tm) (link)

Good things...but I got that update and I still can't figure out how to see old episodes.

Anyone else figure this out?

ilduce620 wrote:
jollyeskimo wrote:

Downloading older episodes: returning in an update today (link)

Widget: coming soon(tm) (link)

Good things...but I got that update and I still can't figure out how to see old episodes.

Anyone else figure this out?

Go to the podcast grid view, click a podcast, and you should see the list of episodes.

MannishBoy wrote:

Go to the podcast grid view, click a podcast, and you should see the list of episodes.

Thanks!

Some of the episodes show up, but not many. Like, I see yesterday's Giant Bombcast, but nothing before that.

It's a start, but unless I'm missing something, it doesn't show as many as before...

ilduce620 wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Go to the podcast grid view, click a podcast, and you should see the list of episodes.

Thanks!

Some of the episodes show up, but not many. Like, I see yesterday's Giant Bombcast, but nothing before that.

It's a start, but unless I'm missing something, it doesn't show as many as before...

I see tons of Bombcasts.

MannishBoy wrote:

I see tons of Bombcasts.

Well...what the heck...

The Pocket Casts update pushed me to buy it instead of dealing with the mounting annoyances of Listen and Antenna Pod.

MannishBoy wrote:
ilduce620 wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Go to the podcast grid view, click a podcast, and you should see the list of episodes.

Thanks!

Some of the episodes show up, but not many. Like, I see yesterday's Giant Bombcast, but nothing before that.

It's a start, but unless I'm missing something, it doesn't show as many as before...

I see tons of Bombcasts.

I just got another update this morning that finally provided me with a "Show Older Episodes" button under each podcast subscription. It appears to "think" for a long time, though, so I think it's still a bit buggy (perhaps it's just my HTC One X that's still running ICS...dammit...).

But, the button's there, finally! Progress!

Pocket Cast just got a widget. But it's big. I was hoping for a 1x1.

BreechLoad wrote:

Pocket Cast just got a widget. But it's big. I was hoping for a 1x1.

What the hell is up with their update schedule?! Is there a reason they released 4.0 a few days ago, and then are releasing the important features for it in the subsequent days? I guess I understand bug fixes coming out as a slow trickle, but if they were intending on releasing the "access to old episodes" update, followed by the widget update, why not just wait a few days until all that was ready before sending 4.0 out the door?

Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining. They're all good features. I just wonder if there is some strategy that they and other developers use when rolling out important features to their app. Just seems odd to me.

Maybe they're just responding to consumer demand in a rapid fashion?

What's the use of a 1x1 widget? It's always seemed kind of useless to me.

LarryC wrote:

What's the use of a 1x1 widget? It's always seemed kind of useless to me.

I have one that's a toggle for my volume/vibrate/silence; it works great at that size.

TigerBill wrote:
LarryC wrote:

What's the use of a 1x1 widget? It's always seemed kind of useless to me.

I have one that's a toggle for my volume/vibrate/silence; it works great at that size.

I use them for toggles, too. Brightness, volume, airplane mode, desk clock mode, etc.

The Quick Settings panel in 4.2 as modified by CyanogenMod is pretty much the best thing ever for all of that.

CannibalCrowley wrote:

Maybe they're just responding to consumer demand in a rapid fashion?

That, and making jokes in patch notes.

IMAGE(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-bltdMM1CHO0/UTOz_LF28II/AAAAAAAAQZM/q_HXlXlF2EA/s640/Screenshot_2013-03-03-15-31-33.png)

jollyeskimo wrote:
CannibalCrowley wrote:

Maybe they're just responding to consumer demand in a rapid fashion?

That, and making jokes in patch notes.

I've always had good luck contacting the devs of Pocket Casts. They helped me when I was trying to import my Doggcatcher OPML file the other day (although their suggestions didn't work until I played around a bit more).

Still haven't switched back, but I put it on the Nexus 7 to test before switching the phone back from Doggcatcher.

LarryC wrote:

What's the use of a 1x1 widget? It's always seemed kind of useless to me.

The one I use for BeyondBod, just just a play/pause button. The headset on my bionic cuts out a lot for me, so I frequently have to get things playing again.

I miss when the wifi widget actually turned the wifi on and off.

You know, instead of just bringing up the wifi menu and making me tap yet another thing to turn the wifi on or off.

I'm still feeling pretty angry about this stupid 4.0 update.

Thin_J wrote:

I miss when the wifi widget actually turned the wifi on and off.

You know, instead of just bringing up the wifi menu and making me tap yet another thing to turn the wifi on or off.

I'm still feeling pretty angry about this stupid 4.0 update.

4.2.2 allows for short presses to bring up the wifi menu and long presses to toggle wifi on/off, which feels the exact opposite of how it should be set up: a single press should toggle it, and a long press should bring up the menu.
how often are you adding new wifi hotspots? I have two at home and one at work.

Hmm, my 4.1.1 ROM has a toggle bar in the notification pulldown that's an instant on/off. I guess that's an add-on.