Six “Useless” Android Apps You Need Today

This post is guest written by Ann Fleming, a freelance writer for andgeeks.com and bbgeeks.com. She has a knack for clarifying the more complex side of technology and how to use it for the average person. When she’s not obsessed with the newest gadget, Ann is chasing her young son around the house or hiking nearby Camelback Peak.

Most reviews and roundups nowadays focus on necessary apps that help you with your productivity such as Dropbox and Evernote — two of my favorite services by the way. But this post is more about the seemingly useless apps that I found myself using and appreciating. In no particular order they are outlined below.


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RunPee

I’m a huge super hero movie fan so imagine my delight that The Avenger’s, the Amazing Spiderman and Dark Knight Rises came out this year. I took my son to see each of these and during every one – on entirely different occasions — he had to go to the bathroom no less than three times. It was after seeing these movies that I stumbled onto this app that I now have downloaded to my Android. The idea, in a nutshell, is simple – the app tells you when the best time to run to the bathroom is so that you don’t miss an important part of the movie.

RunPee's best bladder relieving times

RunPee’s best bladder relieving times

Coin Flip

This one is just ridiculous, I admit, but I find myself using it when my son and I are having a cheerful debate. Your phone simulates flipping the coin, with full sound effects included. Despite how entertaining it is, I surely don’t use it for serious parental decision making, I’m not that bad.

Carr Matey it!

As a long time Seinfeld lover, this app reminds me of The Parking Garage episode in which the crew is at the mall and cannot remember where they parked the car. This has happened to me more times than I can count. I walk out of Target and I just can’t seem to find my own car. The app guides you to your car using a compass or walking directions.

Carr Matey it! will also be handy the next time I go to the airport. If I’ve lost my car at Target, you can only imagine how much fun it would be to remember where I parked at the airport!

Carr Matey's pirate-inspired interface

Carr Matey’s pirate-inspired interface

Useless Facts

I’ve always been fond of useless facts, they can often give you something to talk about when you’ve got nothing better. My best friend can answer every question on Jeopardy, but if there was a show on useless information, I’d surely win that hands down. This app helps me learn more random information and find more weird yet interesting discussion topics.

Where’s My Droid

In all honesty, I’ve not needed this app much because I’m obsessed with my phone – there I said it. But it has come in handy for many others, such as my mom, who constantly misplaces her phone. The most impressive and helpful function of this app kicks in when your phone is on silent while lost – you can use another phone to text a special message that will raise the ringer volume all the way up so you can hear it.

PaperKarma

I hoard paper. From books to post-it notes to to-do-lists, you name it, I have it in piles. But I’ve been working on eliminating all the paper piles on my desk. To that end, I decided to start with my mail/bills because junk mail is at an all-time high these days. All you need to do is take a photo of the junk mail you want to stop and the app contacts the mailer to have you removed from their mailing list. It’s that easy. Now if they would stop calling my cell phone like they’re supposed too, that would be super fantastic but that’s another story entirely.

PaperKarma's spam stopping requests

PaperKarma’s spam stopping requests

I had to work hard to limit this list of “useless” apps. I could have included a lot more because there’s just something about free and niche apps that gets me every time, akin to downloading free Kindle books all the time even when I’m not quite sure I’ll ever read them. However, I’m trying to be more productive, so I had to restrain my indulgence to apps that still hold a certain value.

Did you have a seemingly useless app that you’ve found to be helpful? Or are you strictly geared towards productive and purposeful apps?


  • http://www.marklaflamme.com Mark LaFlamme

    RunPee. Classic. Thankfully, it’s not what I feared it might be.
    Good list. Where’s My Droid actually has some impressive features, though I’ve switched to Cerberus, myself. But I digress. I gotta pee and this seems like a good time to do it.

  • Lady Di

    The only one I’ve ever heard of is Where’s My DROID. I paid for it and have never has to use it as I too am a clingon too my phone. And now having Lookout with the screaming feature, which I need to test, it seems even more “useless”. Great read.

  • Louis

    It is a shame how eagerly some of these apps take over my privacy! Read the terms Before installing. Eg the useless Facts is imo unacceptable.

  • steve

    Shydial. When you call someone and it goes directly to the answer machine.

  • Gordon

    So let’s see.
    Globe. It’s just a 3d picture of the earth that you can manipulate.
    Earthquake alert, displays up to the minute info about earthquakes.
    Space Junk lite. A star chart and also shows you what’s floating around above your head.

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