Today we'll be looking at ten of the best apps available for the Motorola Razr i. While the vast majority of the Android app store works fine on the phone's Intel processor, given its unique handling characteristics - extreme battery life, a good camera and an edge-to-edge display - some apps particularly suit the device.
Still, even if you have another Android phone I'm sure you'll still find some great Android apps inside. Let's have a look!
Chrome was one of the few apps that didn't work with the pre-release version of the Razr i that I had, but thankfully Google were quick to add x86 support to one of their best mobile apps. While Chrome doesn't have a speed advantage over the native browser, if you use Chrome on the desktop there's a convincing argument for using Chrome on your Razr i as well - all of your bookmarks and passwords will be synced across, and even open tabs on other computers and devices. The app also includes a very minor but incredibly useful feature - if you click a link that's next to another link, Chrome will magnify the area and ask you to confirm your choice. This eliminates a vast proportion of misclicks, saving you bags of time.
Pocket is a really nice way of reading web content on your Razr i. The basic idea is that the app stores stories that you've encountered on your travels online, whether on PC, another Android device or the Razr i itself, keeping them in an easy-to-read format that strips out superfluous styling information and gives you just the content you want in a nice and legible font. This works well in combination with both normal Chrome web browsing and RSS apps like Google Reader - if you ever encounter an article or website you find interesting but don't have the time to read immediately, then you can just add it to your Pocket via Android's Share functionality, where it'll be formatted and cached for your later enjoyment. This is brilliant when you don't have internet on your phone, as you'll have this wealth of articles that you can access without internet access.
The Razr i has a beautiful display, but the default wallpapers it comes with aren't to my liking. With an odd screen resolution as well (960 x 540), there aren't many wallpapers out there at the right size, so ensuring a non-stretched and well fitting background of the appropriate size can be difficult if you don't know where to look. The best place to start is an app (and website) called Wallbase, which has a vast compendium of wallpapers, all neatly tagged and categorised for easy searching. xus
Anoc is one of those speciality applications that is amazing if you're the target audience, but not worth even trying if you're not. Engineering students will probably need this the most, as Anoc provides a way of running code from Matlab / Octave on your phone, all the way from writing the code to running it and seeing all the nifty graphs that you've produced. It seems that the compatibility isn't perfect, but it's a worthwhile intermediary step below the full PC experience.
EA always produces glamourous if fairly pedestrian titles for mobile devices, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a typical adaption for the publishing giant. The game looks beautiful and has fairly fast and furious racing, with cops and competitors both trying to take you out. The game is a nice complement to the game on the PC or console, as it'll let you see the current 'Most Wanted' standings across your list of friends, although sadly there's little direct influence you have. I'd have rated this higher, but the game really pushes you towards micro-transactions which is a bit much for a game that already costs nearly a fiver.
Xbox SmartGlass is a must-have app if you've got an Xbox 360. The idea is that your Android phone and your 360 can communicate, allowing you to use your phone or tablet as a controller. This works in quite a literal sense - in that you can navigate the 360's interface using the Razr i's touch controls, use your phone's software keyboard instead of the dreadful one on the 360, and even control Internet Explorer or the music player - but it also allows for more clever uses. For example, you can use it with Netflix to see what characters are in a certain scene. You could use it with games, allowing it to show supplementary information in the same way as the Wii U controller. It's an excellent application of the second screen phenomenon - if you've got your phone with you when you're playing your Xbox, you may as well use it for something clever!
Pulse is a clever news reader app, providing an easy to use interface to top stories across the web. If you don't have a lot of Google Reader RSS subscriptions and you don't randomly browse and Pocket articles to read later, Pulse is an excellent option for finding new reading material no matter what your interests. The default selection is a strong one, with logical categories for finding stories you'd be interested in. The UI works great on tablets, too!
I frickin' love Lapse It Pro - it's a time lapse photography app that take pictures periodically, according to settings you choose, then renders them into a video and uploads it to YouTube, music optional. It's particularly well suited to the Razr i - not only is the camera solid, the long battery life of the phone allows it to take photos for a longer period than most other smartphones on a market. That means you can take hour-long shoots without plugging the Razr i into charge - quite useful if you're on the side of a mountain somewhere.
2. Smartactions - Free
This is a bit of a cheat selection, as this app comes on the phone - but seriously, it is one of the most useful and practical apps I've ever seen. The app is essentially a list of pairings between triggers and actions. For example, you might have actions like turning off wireless, Bluetooth and GPS triggered whenever the battery gets below 25%. Or you could automatically turn on your wireless and set your phone on silent during your office hours. As well as allowing for clever custom setups, the app also provides you with solid examples based on your usage patterns, quickly becoming invaluable. This is app is already installed and ready to go on your Razr i, so you may as well use it!
For whatever reason, I cannot stop playing this game. Rovio (of Angry Birds fame) did well here, creating a game that is simple to learn and almost impossible to put down. The basic idea is that on each small level, there's a pig and multiple objective locations to get to. Using a selection of parts, you have to create a mechanical contraption that'll both protect and transport the pig as you try to accomplish the level's objective. The rapid prototyping and refinement to your vehicle's design encourages creative play, with multiple objectives to ensure that you'll never not be able to get passed a level, but you'll always have to think hard to pick up all the objectives. A tip top game, and one that looks excellent on the Razr i's edge-to-edge display.
So there we have it - I hope you found that helpful! Be sure to let me know what you think of the selections in the comments below, and feel free to share any smartphone apps that you find helpful, whether you've got a Razr i or not. Thanks for reading and have a great evening.