Until Skype gets its backside into gear and delivers a fully functioning app for Android, Fring is the easiest and most reliable way to make VoIP calls using your Skype Out account. Once you have logged into Fring and added your Skype details, you can access all the contacts on your phone - with a 'Call with Skype Out' option for each one. Call quality is rather metallic and prone to echo but connections are generally stable and, more importantly, it works over a Wi-Fi network.
Reg Rating 75%
More Info Fring
ALK CoPilot Live
We reviewed ALK's navigation app in September 2000, but recent improvements make it worth a revisit. The keyboard is now laid out in the Qwerty format, and the annoying hang-on-exit clash with HTC's Sense UI has been fixed. Yes, £27 is still good value for fully functioning turn-by-turn navigation as does the £20 a year subscription to the premium Live services, such as traffic information and fuel prices. In nearly six months of regular use CoPilot has never once steered us wrong and you can't ask for more.
Reg Rating 90%
More Info ALK
My Top Ten
Not being a social network victim and travelling more by public transport than car:
1. Task Manager (Wing Tseng). More sophisticated than ATK and has a handy widget to kill all background tasks.
2. BeebPlayer (David Johnston). No argument there. Top application, and free, too.
3. EStrongs File Explorer (EStrongs). Manipulate files on device, SD card and Windows shares.
4. WiFi Analyser (farproc). Does exactly what it says on the tin, and does it well.
5. Movies (Flixster). What's on, where its on, what time its on. Reviews (Rotten tomatoes) and previews.
6. National Rail (croworc). Train timetables and live times. A bit flaky but the only App available.
7. RealCalc (Brain Overspill). Excellent scientific calculator.
8. MyTracks (Google) Because I sometimes like to know where I've been.
9. BBC News (Jim Blackler). Convenient source of news. Headlines widget.
10. Tricorder (Moonblink). Because I'm a geek.
Nandroid backup. The importance of this facility cannot be stressed enough. It's got me out of a couple of tight holes.
Of course, this requires an unlocked bootloader. If you don't have one of these, please buy an iPhone and stop reading El Reg.
Re: Just shows what a rush job Android is
Quote: "Android's got a long way to go to catch up with iPhone, which has almost pushed me back to the Apple camp."
Get real! The iPhone didn't even have cut'n'paste, video recording, mms, etc etc until relatively recently. If anything is "rush job" it's the fruitphone's OS.
Really useful review, thanks.
Just confirmed once again that I have absolutely no need of a smartphone, whether Android or from the Blessed Jobs! I'll stick to a simple mobile phone (that can both make and receive phone calls and texts - brilliant!) and a real computer for any serious work. Saved me a fortune - ta!
would have been nice if for each product you had listed minimum android version. Us poor Hero users are still stuck in the dark ages of 1.5 waiting on HTC so no doubt some of those apps wont work.