Best Android Apps
by Mike Hendrickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Best Android Apps / 978-1-449-38255-1
My husband has had an Android phone for over a year now, and he follows the available apps pretty closely; I, on the other hand, am about to move from a Blackberry to a Android, so I was delighted to have the chance to review this book on behalf of the publisher.
I'm first delighted to announce that even though my husband predicted that he'd already have or know about all these "best" Android apps, we found quite a few even in the first chapter that he didn't know about - and was intrigued enough to read more. Of course, with this sort of book, time marches on and threatens to make the material "out of date" quickly, but we were pleased to note that several of the apps mentioned as being the best in their category were ones that he already has been using and enjoys immensely - such as the ones for email management, task tracking, and application killing - so there was some nice validation there, knowing that the book knew what it was talking about.
For the newbies, such as myself and my parents (who are also moving to Android phones), there is a wonderful amount of information here. The authors have gone to a lot of trouble to pick the best apps in various categories - such as security and app scheduling and phone ring customization - and they careful explain the pros and limitations of each app, along with helpful screenshots. One way in which this book stood out as being more valuable than, say, just doing the research yourself was in the way that many apps performed functions that I would not have even thought of myself, but which I immediately wanted - for instance, an app to store all your reward cards' barcodes so you don't have to lug them all in your wallet all the time!
If I have any complaints about this book, it would be that perhaps the organization of the material is not entirely perfect. Several reviewers have already mentioned that the app-codes in the back of the book would make more sense placed with the app description; I also noted that once or twice an app in a later category (like "Business Management") would gently overlap with an earlier app (like "Overall Best in Category") and I'd wish the two apps were grouped together to better compare the pros and cons. Indeed, maybe a big table of what app does what would have been valuable, but that might have been too ambitious.
Overall, we found this book to be extremely helpful. Between my parents and I and my husband, we wrote a list of apps we wanted from this book, and the list ended up being several pages long, with several of the apps being things that we would not have thought of on our own. I do recommend this book heartily, and I hope that they continue to update the edition as more apps are released on the marketplace.
NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through NetGalley.
~ Ana Mardoll
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