Today’s smartphones come with incredible visual displays and solid built-in audio systems. Reading content or streaming video from a smartphone has never been easier or more pleasurable. This is particularly true of our LG 930, with its big screen size, high-resolution and high-definition images. That’s why this month I’m pleased to recommend two apps that take advantage of a smartphone’s audio-visual potential. The first app is Kindle, an app that gives you access to a million ebooks from the Amazon Kindle Store—and more, including newspapers and magazines. My second app this month is Flixster. If you’re a movie nut, like me, I think you’ll love this app. Flixster is a one-stop shop for movie fans and buffs.
Kindle: Available on Android.
I don’t know about you, but I like to read and do a lot of my “time-out” reading during the summer. It took a while for me to adjust to reading ebooks but the results are in and I love ebooks. Fortunately, Amazon’s Kindle Store has over a million books to choose from, not to mention a long list of magazines and newspapers.
But did you know you don’t have to own a Kindle device to access the Kindle Store or take advantage of the many benefits of owning a Kindle? Instead, you can use your Android smartphone by simply downloading and adding the Kindle for Android app.
You don’t even have to buy anything. Not only is the app free, but you can choose from thousands of free ebooks, such as Pride & Prejudice or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In addition, you can check out ebooks from your local library, where such service is supported, and have them delivered wirelessly to your smartphone.
However, if you decide you want to shop and buy, well, that’s very easy and convenient to do as well. You can search the Kindle Store by categories, for example, New York Times Best Sellers. You get to sample the first chapter of a book for free before deciding to purchase. And you can even customize your reading experience: make the font size larger or the screen brighter or give the screen a different background color.
The Kindle app has a built-in dictionary that allows you to look up words instantly. It also comes with “Whispersync” technology, which saves and synchronizes your bookmarks, notes, and highlights across your devices. When you’re on the go and crave something to read, don’t forget to use your smartphone. It’s not just a mobile phone, it’s a mobile library.
Flixster: Available on Android.
For me, summer is also “blockbuster” time at the movies. That’s why my second recommended app of the month is Flixster. I love this app and I’m not alone. PCMag.com lists it as one of the 40 Best Free Android apps; not to be outdone PCWorld.com calls it “A terrific app for learning about what movies are playing.”
What can you do with Flixster? Plenty. You can browse the top box office movies, as well as see which movies are opening soon. If you find one you like, you can check out when and where it’s playing in your neighborhood. In some cases, you can even buy tickets for a show. No more sifting through your local newspaper or looking up a website. Now you can find the most convenient movie show times on your smartphone.
Not sure which movie to see? No problem. Flixster gives you immediate access to film reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, a leading source of reliable film comments. You get high-quality trailers, previews of coming attractions. You can create your own must-see list, as well as rate and review movies you’ve seen. You can find out when a movie will be released on DVD. And if you subscribe to Netflix, Flixster enables you to view and manage your Neflix account.
With Flickster, you can stream and download full-length movies. They’ll even let you download your first movie for free! Remember, if you elect to download a movie, make sure to use a local Wi-Fi connection to avoid draining data from your cell phone plan.
In short, Flixster is the #1 app for movie-goers and movie-lovers, with reviews, trailers, show-times and more. Flixster … It’s free. And it’s coming to a smartphone near you.
Whether you plan to do more reading or movie-watching this summer (or both), I encourage you to download the Kindle and Flixster apps. They’re amazing, useful, fun and free. Until next time, remember the apps and may your summer be filled with entertaining books and movies.