The latest update release from Google Android (1.5 a.k.a. Cupcake) included, among many other things, video recording capabilities. Google Android video apps are still emerging in the Android Market but there’s a handful of free ones that are very well developed. I’ve sifted through all the free Google Android video player apps and hundreds of Android photo apps, as well as Android audio applications to come up with a list of some of my favorite Google Android multimedia applications. This review excludes any previously examined Google Android apps so you might want to check out my past reviews of Google Android applications which includes GPS apps, a selection of some of the most expensive Android apps from the Google Android Market, the some of the most clever Android apps, productivity focused Android apps, several future Android applications, and a my first impressions of the T-Mobile G1 which includes a list of the best free Android apps.
Qik – Allows you to capture and stream live video to your own channel at Qik and share it with your friends. These videos are saved to your Qik account and Android phone for later playback. From there you can easily upload and share them on popular social media and video sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s also possible to record videos privately and not share them with everyone on the Qik website. Overall, I found the Qik Android application to work quite well on my T-Mobile G1. There was a slight delay in the video feed from my phone to the Qik website but that’s to be expected. Surprisingly the time delay was on the order of about 10 seconds! My only complaints regarding the Qik application is that the microphone volume stinks. I was very close to the mic when I recorded the video displayed below and yet you can barely hear what I’m saying even with volume set at maximum. The video quality could definitely use some improvements but that’s not Qik’s fault; the camera is the G1′s Achilles heel.
vRecorder – A voice recorder that offers the ability to auto record phone calls. This is one of the Android apps I’ve been waiting for. It’s particularly useful when you’re taking conference calls and if you need to refer back to your notes at a later time. The design needs some work but the app ultimately gets the job done by recording phone conversations up to 10 minutes in length. You can set a playback delay timer, auto messages, and auto record your incoming or outgoing calls if you want. The audio recording quality is decent but it can be much improved by simply using the speaker phone while talking with someone. Besides improving its looks, I’d like to see the developer add the ability to attach recordings to emails for easy sharing and archival purposes.
StumbleUpon Video – From the highly popular social media sharing site StumbleUpon, this Google Android video application permits you to stumble through the StumbleUpon’s video archives that are chocked full of great video entertainment. If you’ve got a few minutes to kill, it’s great for a good laugh. Here’s a few fun videos I found while stumbling the humor category via StumbleUpon video app.
PicSay – A great free image annotation and photo editing/sharing application that’s very simple and easy to use. All you have to do is select the objects you want to incorporate into the photo and drag them into position. You can further enhance your images by adding thought balloons, titles, text, props, altering color schemes and applying effects. The pro version of PicSay includes a plethora of additional features such as geotagging, color correction, picture cutouts, and many more effects and transforms to alter the look and feel of your photos.
PhotoFlux – A GPS based image viewer that pulls photos from Flickr that were taken within the nearby area of interest. The app is integrated with Google Maps so you can easily select and find the location of interest. You can zoom in and out of the map, browse images, and enlarge the photos to find out who the author is, the name of the image, and other relevant information.
Tickr – This is one of my favorite Google Android photo applications. You simply enter a search term and it pulls related photos from Flickr and displays them in a slow, vertical rolling feed that fits to the width of your T-Mobile G1 screen. It’s the perfect way to view photos as you don’t have to zoom in to view them. The photos load in queue so there’s very little to no waiting time for them to display as your scrolling through them.
PicPush – This handy dandy Google Android application enables you to automatically push photos to several popular photo sharing sites such as Flickr, Facebook, SmugMug, Picasa, Gallery, Shutterfly, and PhotoBucket. This is especially helpful when managing the storage space on your Android phone. My T-Mobile G1 has a 8GB flash card but it fills up pretty quickly nowadays with the new video capabilities and hundreds of photos I have stored away. The video below illustrates how the early version of PicPush operates but the new version with a more attractive user interface design should be deployed any day now.
A Online Radio – This is another Android app I’ve been waiting for. You can listen to streaming music via online radio channels but unfortunately, they don’t include local radio stations. In order to hear local radio stations, you need to install the app and navigate your Android browser to TheStreamCenter.com/pda. From there you can select your state and the radio station of your choice. The only caveat for this is that the app will only load MP3 based channels and is unable to play those that utilize WMP. It would be great if the developer of this Android app could find a workaround to load WMP channels.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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