Saturday, June 15, 2013

Brain Jogging

Commuting is great. You have time to do things you wouldn't do in your spare time. Some people play games on the train, but since the last (fun) Angry Birds game was released a long time ago, and I put more time into Hill Climb Racing than a human should, I had to come up with alternatives.

One thing I do almost every single day is catching up on the latest news in the Android / tech world. Most blogs post the same stuff again and again, so I had to throw most of them out of my news feed. Again I had to find a time waster.

For very long rides on the train I prefer to read a book (thanks Amazon!), but for shorter rides I found a few alternatives:

Duolingo

I was skeptical at first, but learning a new language using Duolingo is actually real fun and incredibly easy! I'm currently learning Spanish. "Yo como una manzana"! :D That's about all I can say so far though...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo

Reading Trainer

This sounded a whole lot like a spammy scam app at first, but it turned out to be really interesting to use. I can't say if it really helps you to read faster, but the"challenges" are fun to play nonetheless.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.heku.readingtrainer

King Of Math

Some small calculations every now and then seriously helped speed up such tasks in every day situations. It's a shame this app looks so alien compared to the Android ecosystem.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.troubi.kingofmath

UnlockYourBrain

This is actually a really innovative idea, but it lacks good execution. The basic idea: unlock your phone by finishing small calculations. The only problem is that, because Android doesn't seem to support custom lockscreens by design, UnlockYourBrain sometimes takes a long time to show up. Sometimes it doesn't show up at all, sometimes the default lockscreen shows up, you unlock it and suddenly UnlockYourBrain pops up. Despite those minor annoyances, I've been using this app for a month or so now, and I plan to keep it. To be honest I skip the calculation about half of the time because it would slow down simple tasks like checking the clock or reading up on some messages.