There are few things on Android more useful than good floating apps. Because, honestly, how often have you been looking at something and needed to jot down a quick note but didn't want to leave the foreground app? Or how about those times when a calculator is clutch, but so is seeing the numbers you need to calculate? We've seen various apps that answer these quandaries before, but now there's a place to get a handful of mini-apps all in one place. It's appropriately called Tiny Apps, and consists of some of the most useful tools one could have atop other windows: notes, recorder, paint, music player, and calculator.
When you were in school, you were told you need to learn how to do math the hard way because "you won't always have a calculator on you". Well, while we now know that your math teacher was about as good at forward-thinking as the dude who said no one would ever need more than 640k of RAM, there has still always been the problem of more complex expressions, including using constants, fractions, exponents and whatnot. Well, while this app won't replace your education on how those concepts work, MyScript Calculator lets you draw your problems rather than type them, making it much easier to get answers to less-than-straightforward expressions.
OnLive, the company that has already revolutionized gaming is now gunning for making the same kind of splash in OS virtualization. And not just any OS virtualization, but Windows 7 in the cloud, for free - a set of words I never thought I'd write in the same sentence.
Something worth pointing out right off the bat is OnLive's "groundbreaking video compression technology" that is used to stream the Desktop cloud to your tablet. If there's one company that has figured out how to perfect streaming of full-screen media, it's definitely OnLive.
I was a bit skeptical at first, but after trying out every aspect of the app through a relatively slow, Spanish Vodafone HSPA+ hotspot here in Barcelona, I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed.
A little over a year ago, developer Doug Melton delighted us with Android emulators for three popular TI calculators - TI-83, TI-85, and TI-86. Nostalgic and surprisingly useful, they resonated with many of you, but, unfortunately, TI forced Doug to take them all down a short while after.
You see, Doug actually shipped them with the original ROMs included, which was great for one-click installations, but apparently not so great for intellectual property. Oh, and he did name them TI-83, TI-85, and TI-86 originally, giving Texas Instruments an even simpler reason to have the apps removed.
In addition to all of the above, TI-89, the king among TI calculators and one of my personal favorites, has never (to my knowledge) existed on Android.
One of the biggest features of the Galaxy Tab series (minus the OG Tab) is TouchWiz UX and its mini-app tray. In fact, it was difficult for me to get used to the Transformer Prime after having the Galaxy Tab 10.1 because I miss those little apps so much. For the uninitiated, mini-apps in Touchwiz UX are small "portable" applications that run in an independent window on top of the foreground application.
The TouchWiz UX mini-calculator
Of all the mini-apps, the calculator is among the most useful - who really wants to navigate away from the current application to use a full screen calculator (especially on a tablet)?
Sure, there are some excellent calculators in the Android Market, but do any of them make you hesitate for a minute when looking at them to figure out whether you are staring at a phone or a smaller version of your favorite Texas Instruments machine? Doug Melton's ports of the popular AlmostReal TI-83, TI-85, and TI-86 emulators to Android are so successful, most of your professors wouldn't even know the difference if they saw one of these on your desk. The buttons, the layout, the graphics, TI-BASIC program support - it's all there. Awesome.
I'm not sure whether Texas Instruments goes after emulators of its calculators, but I would download these ASAP if I were you.