Monday, February 27, 2012

App Review for Android: Dogg Catcher

One of my favorite things recently has been using the app for my Droid Bionic called Dogg Catcher.  You will have to pay $5.99 (or so) for it, but I feel it is really worth it. I've upgraded my phone and thankfully Google or Verizon automatically transferred it to my new phone (which did not happen with Dragon's T9 mobile text-to-speech app which I haven't found very useful, but to be fair I haven't spent much time using it). And just so you know I am pretty much against paying for apps- I would say fugal, but others would say cheap. I actually had a conversation with a one-use friend who recommended it. (Damn, what was the term Ed Norton used in "Fight Club" to describe people you meet once and have a conversation with and then never see or talk to again- like everything else you get when you travel that is single-use.)

What it does: Dogg Catcher allows you to track and download to your phone articles, videos, and podcasts from the web to your mobile phone.  You can then review them on your phone at a later time.

One of the things I loved to do was go to the library and take out audio books and listen to them while driving.  I found it so much better then listening to the same six songs played over and over again that are played on the radio. Of course, now I don't have the free time to go to the library.  I have also looked into audible.com and I refuse $15 for an electronic file especially when I will most likely listen once and I can get most at the library for free.  I agree with an article I read on cracked.com about the term Forced ARTifical Scarcity (FARTS)- most of prices we pay are determined by general opinion.  Prices would have to drop to around 5 bucks before I start buying audio files even though I waste money in other strange ways.

Now I can keep up on a number of podcasts and videos and review them while traveling, whether it is driving, flying, or riding the train.

Here are a few of the podcasts I really enjoy (all free once you pay the app fee):

  1. SciFri: Science Friday Audio Podcast: weekly show covering diverse topics in science
  2. Freakonomics Radio: from the authors of the book
  3. TEDtalks: videos from TED.com which I have blogged about before, TED- ideas worth spreading
  4. Stuff You Missed in History Class
  5. Stuff You Should know
  6. Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena
  7. Stuff from the Future
Now there is also two feeds from YouTube, but I haven't had luck on figuring out how to download specific YouTube videos for review without a 4G connection. [Update: I checked and youtube only allows streaming] Again when traveling I sometimes lose connection and YouTube videos will stop.  When the connection drops many time I have to start at the very beginning.  It is a big advantage being able to download the entire video and to not be at the mercy of an connection.  Especially on a fly when there is no connection available.

I really feel this helps because I get so much information on science, current events and history.  I recommend it to you as well.
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