Bank ATM Finder

Free

Version: 1.3 Michael Quach

Short on cash in unfamiliar territory? Bank & ATM Finder uses your position to find the closest ATMs and bank branches, as well as offering search filters for other places to get cash advances, cash checks, purchase a money order, transfer money, or secure a payday loan. As long as you have your phone with you (and money in your checking account), you never need to worry about being stranded without cash again.

GET CASH FAST: Bank & ATM Finder returns a list of the cash machines closest to you, listed in order of proximity and labeled with both the machine's location and its distance from your current position.

MAP IT: When you select the bank location you want to get to, Bank & ATM Finder displays the address on a map. Choose the up arrow to launch Google Maps and get driving directions, send yourself a text message or email with a link to the map, or give the bank a call by pressing the phone icon.

Best App for Finding a Bathroom na

SitOrSquat

Free

Version: 1.2 Densebrain, Inc.

When you gotta go, you gotta go. But if you've ever tried finding a public restroom in downtown Boston, for example, you know you can end up holding it a long time without a little help. This app accesses the 73,000 restrooms, toilets, and bathrooms around the world users have registered and rated on the SitOrSquat.com wiki. Search for the closest cans to your location, or specify an address to find the right one for you.

WHEN NATURE CALLS: When the need to find a bathroom hits, choose My Location to get a map of the public toilets nearby. If you're planning a trip where the bathrooms are notoriously hard-to-find (or if your GPS can't find a signal), you can search by any address to get the same map.

TOILET DETAILS: Choose a possible restroom venue to learn more details, including the precise location of the bathroom in the building, the proprietor's phone number, and a website if the business has one. You'll also see user ratings that rank the toilet as clean ("sit") or dirty ("squat"). After your experience, you can share your own reviews at SitOrSquat.com, but you'll have to do it on the Web—that feature isn't offered in this version of the mobile app.

Weathe

Best Weather App

WeatherBug

Free / $1.99 Elite version Version: 2.2.79 WeatherBug Mobile

When you want a detailed weather report presented in an attractive interface, call on WeatherBug. You'll get current conditions, extended forecasts, maps, photos, and emergency weather alerts. For $1.99, the Elite version removes the ads and adds map layers, a location summary screen, a forecast widget, and a few other features; however, for all but the most weather obsessed, the free version provides as much information as you'd ever want to know.

CURRENT CONDITIONS: If you just want to know the current temperature, look on the left side of your status bar. Pull down the shade for a few more details, and select the notification to launch the full version of WeatherBug, with complete details of current conditions, including wind, humidity, dew point, pressure, and more. If there's a webcam in the area, you might also get to see a picture by pressing the camera icon.

WEEKLY FORECAST: Press the calendar icon at the bottom of the screen to get a summary view of the week ahead in weather. Choose any day to slide away the rest of the week and get the forecast for that particular day. Press the exclamation point for storm watches, wind advisories, and other emergency notifications; when issued, these will also appear in your status bar.

Weather Channel

The Weather Channel

Free

Version: 2.1.9 The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel app draws on data from Weather.com to offer pretty much the same features as WeatherBug, including current conditions, maps, and extended forecast. Its forecast goes a little further by showing 10 days into the future (WeatherBug shows a week of forecasts), and finer with an hourly forecast that WeatherBug lacks. But it does everything with so much less style (rigid layout, no animated transitions, etc.) that it makes weather look as boring as most people think it is.

WEATHER NOW: Putting function before form, the Weather Channel app provides all the detail you need for current conditions. The red box with the exclamation point indicates an emergency notification (in this case, a winter storm warning); just press it to get all the gory details.

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NEXT 10 DAYS: The Weather Channel's extended forecast goes three days further than WeatherBug's seven days, but weather forecasts for more than a week ahead don't tend to be very accurate anyway.

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Last updated 1/19/10 937 AM EST

Last updated 1/19/10 937 AM EST

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Best App for To-Do Lists

Astrid

Free

Version: 2.10.1 we <3 astrid

A handy to-do list, tracking system, and source of helpful reminders, Astrid is like having a completely reliable personal assistant in your pocket. Boost your productivity and actually get stuff done by recording and tagging action items, giving yourself deadlines, setting up alerts, and sticking to it. If you already use the online task-management service Remember the Milk, you'll be able to seamlessly sync your to-do lists with Astrid.

STAY ON TASK: If you're looking for ways to get things done more effectively, it often helps to give yourself a deadline when you enter a new task. Better yet, set a goal for getting it done, set another drop-dead absolute deadline, and specify reminder alerts for each date. On the Basic screen, give your task a name, priority, and tags (such as "work" or "family").

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CHECK IT OFF YOUR LIST: Your dashboard allows you to see all of your tasks at a glance (or as many as possible; if you have a lot you might want to search by tag). This includes all their associated deadlines, tags, and priority levels. There's nothing more satisfying than crossing a completed task off your list!

Astrid: 4 Tasks

Book Flight

Finish Chapter 4

Renew Passport

Buy Bathing Suit

ActionComplete

Free

Version: 4.1.0 Borys Burnayev

Explicitly inspired by David Allen's productivity methodology outlined in Getting Things Done, ActionComplete manages your scheduled tasks much like Astrid. Create an action item, tag it, assign a priority (or "weight"), set your due date, and specify your alerts. Though it offers a few fields unavailable in Astrid, they feel a little superfluous when not connected to another system, and ActionComplete doesn't sync with third-party to-do lists.

TAKE ACTION: When you add a new action item to ActionComplete, you can assign it to people and a larger project. These options aren't offered in Astrid, though you could easily specify this sort of information with tags or notes.

KEEP YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT: By default, your dashboard displays all the actions you've assigned, but you can filter your results by searching for particular tags, people, places, projects, or due dates.

Best Dynamic Reconfiguration App

Locale

Version: 0.695 beta two forty four a.m. LLC

Is your favorite personal ringtone something you'd rather not have your officemates hear? Don't want your phone ringing at all while Lost is on? Once you've set conditions like these based on time, location, or the person who's calling, decide what you want to happen when those conditions are met. Just set your preferences once and Locale will manage them dynamically, automatically changing your settings based on your predefined criteria.

A SETTING FOR EVERY SITUATION: You know what you want your phone to do under different circumstances, so why not tell it to behave that way? Having your GPS active drains your battery quickly, so you might want to have it turn off when the battery gets below 15%. And you no longer have an excuse for having your phone ring during that weekly meeting.

WE HAVE A SITUATION HERE: For each situation, you can choose multiple conditions and settings. If you use Bluetooth only at work, you can have it turn on only when you're in the office. If you're usually busy during the day and need to work quietly, you can send all personal calls to voicemail from 9 to 5 or whenever you're actually in the office.

Best Metal Detector

Metal Detector

Free

Version: 1.2 Kurt Radwanski

This deceptively simple app does just one thing, but it does that one thing well, and that one thing is pretty darn cool. Using your Android phone's built-in compass as a magnetometer, Metal Detector does just what its name suggests. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of practical uses beyond finding the keys you dropped in the sand or the nail head you just painted over in the wall, but it's great for impressing friends at parties.

Download from Library of Wow! eBook <www.wowebook.com>

A QUICK SCAN: Because it does only one thing and has no extra options, Metal Detector gets right to work as soon as you launch it, scanning for any metal under the back of your phone. Move slowly over the area you're scanning and watch the progress bar as you get closer to finding what you're looking for.

PRECIOUS METAL: Accuracy varies, but if you move your phone slowly you're likely to detect most metals (though not aluminum or other metals without magnetic attraction). When the scan hits metal, the status bar goes completely red and your phone will vibrate. Show it off to a group of impressionable friends and it'll seem like magic.

Best App for Bird Watching iBird Explorer Pro

$29.99 Version: 1.0 Mitch Waite Group

Bird watchers and amateur ornithologists with Android phones no longer need to be jealous of their iPhone-carrying friends, who've already been using the app that Macworld awarded Best Reference App of 2009. The Android release of iBird Explorer is the same interactive field guide to nearly 1,000 birds of North America, featuring beautiful illustrations, photos, audio samples of bird calls, and plenty of facts to satisfy your curiosity about that bird you just spotted.

FOR THE BIRDS: Search by bird name, habitat, range, shape, size, and more to find the bird you're trying to identify. Each bird page features a stunning illustration and navigation to learn more about the species. If you find something close to the right bird but not quite, you might find what you're looking for in the Similar category.

HOME ON THE RANGE: Each bird detail page includes navigation to a range map of the bird's natural habitat. Chances are, if you're on the east coast and only California is highlighted, you've got the wrong bird. You'll also be able to hear a sample of the bird's song, view photos, and get plenty of detailed facts, from its physical characteristics to its diet and behavior.

Best Augmented Reality App

Layar Reality Browser

Free

Version: 2.0 Layar

If you thought a heads-up display that layers real-time information over the reality you're already seeing was reserved for science fiction, you haven't seen Layar. Hold the phone in front of you like a camera, select the layer to display, and watch the nearby places and objects map onto the very environment around you. Give the things in your world name tags to find businesses, people, places, or anything you'd otherwise miss with your eyes only.

LAYER YOUR WORLD: Choose from local, featured, or popular layers, or search for just the right layer for your situation. Once the layer is mapped over your reality, specify your search. Here I'm searching for pizza within a five-mile radius of my current location.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: Using the phone as a viewfinder for your surroundings, check out the search results in front of you. Here we see the pizza places within a short drive of my house. Looks like most of them are straight ahead, but I think I'll turn around because there's a pizza joint behind me too.

Best Entertainment Apps

Wherever you are, if you find yourself alone and in need of entertainment, you'll likely reach for your Android phone. This chapter will help you turn your phone into a portable entertainment center: a single device in the palm of your hand to store, access, play, edit, and share your media with others.

Film buffs will find movies, theaters, showtimes, and reviews for the latest flicks in the same place you check your Netflix queue and share DVD reviews with friends. For couch potatoes, there are apps for TV listings for your local area and even for watching TV on your phone.

Of course your phone is an MP3 player, but it can be so much more. You'll find slick apps for playing music and video, from your own library or from streaming radio and YouTube. If you aren't content to just consume, other apps will help you create and distribute your own media, from recording audio and launching podcasts to streaming live video to a captive audience online. Finally, you'll learn to take better photos and edit them like a pro. How's that for a rich media entertainment experience with Android?

Movies

Best App for Film Buffs

Movies

Free

Version: 2.3.0 Flixster, Inc.

Film buffs rejoice! The Movies app for Android gives you everything you need to know in one place: DVD reviews, theater showtimes, current box office news, movie trailers, and whatever comments you and your friends have already shared about the movies you love (or hate). Share ratings with your friends through Facebook, read reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, organize your Netflix queue, buy tickets to the theater...if it has to do with movies, you can do it here.

BOX OFFICE: Check out all the latest box office news, from what's opening this Friday to the best moneymakers of the week. If you see something that looks interesting, click the movie poster to watch the trailer.

LOCAL THEATERS: Itching to go see a movie? Select the Theaters tab to get a complete list of theaters in your area, sorted by proximity to your current location. Choose a theater to see the address, phone number, and complete listing of showtimes. You can even buy tickets from within the app via movietickets.com.

NETFLIX QUEUE: If you have a Netflix subscription, you'll love the way the Movies app integrates your queue. See what you're waiting for, reorder the list, add or remove movies, and remind yourself why you added a particular movie by getting photos, synopses, trailers, and more.

MOVIES I'VE RATED: By connecting your Facebook account to the Movies app, you can share your ratings with friends and see how your contacts have rated the movies you're checking out.

Fandango Movies

Free

Version: 1.0.4 Fandango

If you're only interested in the movies currently playing in the theater, Fandango Movies is a great app. As with the Movies app, you can get reviews, showtimes, trailers, and box office reports, and you can even purchase tickets. But if you also watch a lot of movies at home, you'll miss the DVD features (particularly the Netflix integration) of Movies. And if you rely on your Facebook friends for ratings and reviews, you'll need to check out their walls, because Fandango doesn't talk to Facebook like the Movies app does.

I Best App for Watching TV

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