Apps on belief

Okay, here’s another quick one – though I’m hoping you’ll give some input into this one too.

A few months ago, I acquired my first smart-phone. I had resisted it in much the way I once resisted getting a mobile phone at all. And, like the mobile phone, I think I’d now feel quite bereft without it.

Anyway, for this post, I thought I’d ask you three about apps. That is, if you have a smartphone – an iPhone, Android phone, a Blackberry, or (shudder) a Windows phone – what apps have you installed that relate to belief, unbelief, ethics, skepticism, or any of the other themes that this blog addresses?

Here’s my list.

Well, lists. I’ve grouped them by general categories. You may notice that I, a natural Scot by heritage, lean toward free apps. So it won’t cost you any money to try these out if you haven’t already.


  • xkcd Browser – Because you’ve got to have some fun.
  • Overdrive Media Console – The public library here has an awesome collection of electronic books and downloadable audio books, many of them targeted toward this app.
  • Freading – Another library/book-reading app, less used but interesting in its own right.


  • Algeo Calculator, Addi – These are two mathy apps, different takes on beefed-up scientific calculators for Android.
  • Talk Origins – An app for surfing offline through all the responses to creationist arguments from the excellent Talk Origins website.
  • Skeptical Science – A comparable app addressing the claims of climate change denialists.
  • Galaxy Zoo – A citizen-science app where you get to help classify galaxies in a pseudo-game-like environment. From the folks at Galaxy Zoo.
  • Google Sky – An adaptation of Google Sky for Android. This nice little app helps me identify celestial landmarks. It uses the phone’s internal gyros and compass to show exactly what stars and planets should be visible in whatever direction you point the phone.


  • Cadre Bible – Good old KJV. It was very useful recently when I was leafing through some literature a nice Jehovah’s Witness left me. (I’m still waiting for them to return so I can go over it with them. I made lots of notes!)
  • Quran Android – A visually pleasant rendition of the Quran, with English translation. I confess that I still haven’t made it past the first surah, but at least it’s there waiting.

So … any others that you’ve found? Do you use any of these on a different platform? If so, please share links and your thoughts.



4 Responses to “Apps on belief”

  1. Philip Says:

    Some of these I rarely use or are on only for satisfying of debates/etc, but some are near daily-use:

    Just seconding from your list, I’ll have to co check out some of the others:

    Google Sky Map
    KJV Bible – Useful during conversation and friendly debates

    Personal and social media data management:

    OpenTable – good interface into the site if you use them for finding available restaurants or reservations App (Meetup, Rendezvous) – If you attend local meetups of any kinds, highly useful for day-of information in particular and checking-in
    IMDb – Just a good interface into the site
    Xabber – Jabber chat client, mostly needed for work/professional interaction
    K-9 Mail – works far better for me than the shipped android mail client (connecting to IMAP servers)
    Google Voice – since my calls and voicemail are all via a gvoice number

    For fun:

    Crosswords – a good crossword app from Stand Alone
    B&N Nook – e-reader
    Remote – control laptop iTunes from phone

    Highly useful when travelling:

    FilghtView – Flight tracking, also useful when people are flying in to visit you
    RailBandit – Really good public transportation route and schedule tool

    Lookups, databases, tools and smartphone management:

    password manager (pick one of: 1Pass, Lastpass) – You use a different password on every site you visit, right? How do you remember all of them?
    Instant Area Code – getting a call from a number not in your address book? This will help by showing you where the call is from based on the area code before the 2nd ring
    Speed Test – test network connection from the phone
    ES File Explorer – file manager for what is on the smartphone
    Shazam – it really is useful to discover what a song playing is
    Barcode Scanner+ (and the Plugin and/or QRDroid) – Make sure to get a QR/barcode scanner that shows you the info before acting on it so you don’t auto-visit a malicious URL, great for comparison shopping (scan code on something then perform an immediate web price check)
    aCar – milage and maintenance tracker for your vehicle
    OI Shopping List – Just a basic tool
    Netflix – Just a decent interface into the site – interface into cellartracker wine inventory, I realize this will probably be less useful to most, but it also does use the barcode scanner plugin to manage inventory

    Periodic Table App (Periodic Droid, Periodic Table,
    Marine Compass – Just what it says
    ConvertPad – unit conversion
    Package Tracking (FedEx, UPS Mobile)
    Translate (app for Google Translate)
    Weather Underground and Radar Now! – to augment the vendor-supplied weather tools with better radar maps/etc
    Constitution – Useful during conversation and friendly debates

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