6.18.2013

c'mon get Appy (part II: Android)

Editor's Note: As we discussed last week, I started these entries soooo long ago. Lots has changed since I started the post but since I do have an Android device I use these apps more frequently. I have included resources for more information at bottom of the page.


I have an Android phone and have used these apps at various points. When comparing Apple and Android, there are a lot more free apps on the Android store, but they don't always work across platforms. So things like the Handwriting Without Tears app don't connect to my phone, so this is definitely a limited list. These are free unless otherwise noted.

Treatment Apps

Activity Timer Trial - this is essentially like the Time Timer, where you can watch the time disappear. You can customize the color of the timer and the length of the timer. I have the trial version of this, which only goes to 10 minutes, but I never really need to measure longer than that during a treatment anyway. My gripe with this is the same as with all Time Timers, that the kids sometimes fixate on watching the time disappear instead of whatever they are supposed to be doing.

Ultrachron Lite - this is a stopwatch and timer application that works well. The free version tracks a history of 10 times if you need to time several things in a row. 

Balance Ball - This game is really hard. You try to balance the ball between two clowns who are blowing on it. I can't make it longer than 10 seconds, so it's really too much for the kids.

Beautiful Bubbles - this is very simple and good for a little diversion if needed. Bubbles float around and you pop them. The free mode just allows you to pop the bubbles as you wish, and the challenge mode gives you points for popping the bubbles quickly and accurately. 

Double Balance! - this is another game that is deceptively hard. You are balancing one ball on a platform at the same time that you have to bounce a second ball off another platform. Moving the bounce platform causes the balance platform to move too. 

My First Tangrams Lite - Such a cute little app. It uses basic shapes and you drag them into the outline to form a creation like a butterfly or flower. Obviously there are a limited number of puzzles with the free version but it operates very well.

Tangram HD - This is the app that I use when I personally want to do Tangrams. It has multiple categories of puzzles and a large number of puzzles per category. The only issue is that you have to complete one puzzle before moving onto the next. 

Labyrinth Lite - This operates just like the old wooden labyrinth games. The nice feature is that you can connect this to a computer based account and make your own mazes.

Intellectual Education - This is a game with a little Japanese penguin that lets you choose matching or memory games. It's pretty cute and appeals to the kids.

Instant Heart Rate - I use this for myself, but if I worked in home health, I could see using this more in practice so that I could monitor vital signs. The app uses the camera to measure the heart rate and has been accurate for me more than 80% of the time. It offers you the option to save heart rates and a range of normal  values.

Memory Trainer - I love this app, and use it for myself. it allows you to do memory training exercises (games) in different categories: visualization, working memory, chunking, focus, spatial memory, and fluid intelligence. You can work up levels or choose a specific game to practice on. 

Relax Me - I haven't tried this out too much but it offers guided progressive muscle relaxation.

Black and White cards for the baby - This app allows you to pick a variety of black and white visual stimulation cards and choose time intervals, music, and movement for them. Apparently after a recent update they've started pushing more advertisements, I hadn't had this problem but I don't leave internet on all the time.

Classic Simon - exactly what you think it would be. I miss Simon.

Tactical Breather - this is a great app for relaxation and a bit of biofeedback. It gives visual cues for breathing- inhale/hold/exhale/hold all for 4 seconds each. I wish that you could customize the time frame because my kids can't really hold their breath that long and another program I use wants you to do inhalation for 4 seconds and exhalation for 6 seconds. But it is a simple and effective app.

Kids Preschool Puzzle Lite - Drag the pieces into the outlined slots to create the puzzle. Simple and cute.

MyChain widget - This is based on the Jerry Seinfeld concept of creating of chain of days that you met a goal.  The widget sits on your home screen and is labeled (briefly) for your goal. When you follow through, you touch it and it turns green and adds another number for that day. You also get a positive affirmation. Miss a day and it goes red and you start again. 

Other Apps

Due Today - I love this app, it is one of the only ones I have paid for ever. It's a very customizable to-do list based on the principles in Getting Things Done. Read my full opinion on this app on the AOTA Checking the Pulse blog.

A HIIT Interval Timer - This app is designed for exercise, and I used it for my Couch to 5K training. But you can label each time frame however you want. I could see where you could use this in the clinic, especially for work hardening patients, or if you had some kind of circuit training setup.

Days Left Widget - This is a cute little widget for your home screen that allows you to set a countdown to different events. You can pick a picture, color, and label for the countdown. On my "exercise" screen I had countdowns to the different races I was planning for, and on my "calendar" screen I had the countdown to my vacation.

Drive - I use Google Drive a lot. This gave me quick access on the phone to my documents and I could download the most frequent to view offline as well.

Google Voice - I have a google voice number that I use as my "work number" to give out to clients and then rings my cell phone. The widget for the phone allows me to switch easily from calling with my number to calling with my voice number, sending a text, and viewing messages. 

Pocket - One of the other apps I have actually paid for. This app used to be called Read It Later. It coordinates with a browser extension on my computer. When I am browsing articles, instead of pulling a TL;DR I can press the "read later" button and it will save it to my phone for when I have time. Does not work perfectly, can't do PDFs for example, but it is one of my favorites.

Speed Anatomy Lite - this is a cute little matching quiz on body parts and names. You can't customize which ones to test, but they do make specific ones for bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Kind of fun as a review, might be good for students.


Other helpful app resources:
AOTA 'Appy April series
AOTA list of OT related apps (members-only content)
Advance Magazine Speaking of Apps
Army OT Guy's Apps for mTBI

3 comments:

kaceyk said...

I feel like I hit the jackpot with your blog! I'm just starting my journey with OT, I'm currently an English teacher looking to apply to an OT grad program this year or next. Had my first observation of OT yesterday in pediatric outpatient, and fell in love! (Not surprising with my background.) Just want to say I am so grateful for blogs like yours on the web. So great to hear from someone in the field. I will be back often!

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Dr. Pullen said...

Thanks for the list. I think I'll have to look at some of these and see which ones add to my iPhone use in the office and at home. Good work.