Star Trek Apps for Android: Turn Your Android into A Tricorder
Boldly Going Where No Droid has Gone Before…
Star Trek, the infamous 1960’s television show about Captain James T. Kirk-human-and Mr. Spock-Vulcan-set in the 24th century that
spawned the dawn of a new generation of Sci-if fans, started an imagination revolution for television. With unbelievable futuristic scenarios and a good deal of humor, this show spawned Trekkies everywhere and a host of sequels, including The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, 10 Star Trek movies and a Star Trek “prequel.” With a long history of television under its belt, and a host of handsets that look as if they came right out of a Star Trek movie or series (flip cell phones), isn’t it fitting that Star Trek now has a new platform to conquer? Check out the five best Trekkie apps for Android as well as some interesting extras.
The Android Tricorder (4 out of 5)
In the original Star Trek series and movies, the characters walked around with Tricorders and started one of the greatest trends ever, scanning everything-something most people, especially retailers, cannot live without. Now, Android users can turn their smartphone handsets into Tricorders and mimic their favorite characters. This Star Trek Android app is available at the Android Market for those who have Android 1.6 or newer by visiting market://search?q=pname:org.hermit.tricorder on your Android phone or scanning the QR-see, you can’t get away from scanning something these days.
Probably one of the coolest features of the Tricorder app, developed by Moonblink, is that it translates the current date into a working Star Date
on the top left of the display, according to a Georgian translation of the dates. This convention is the same as the 2009 Star Trek movie used. Today’s date, for example, would translate to Star Date 2010.289 because it is the 289th day of September 27 2010 (as the day of this writing). It could certainly become confusing attempting to translate the date back to the conventional dating system, but it is a fun feature nonetheless.
The rest of the graphics incorporate the Android phone’s functions into a graphical data chart. For example, the readout of cellular signal availability and strength is presented as graphical data in terms of Wi-Fi and 3G. “Grav” represents the total available signal while other labels are present, standing in for displaying GPS and compass readouts, among others. An electron and proton readout accompanies a read out of the sun’s energy with graphical data of solar flares as well as sun spot photos and total energy readouts. The telltale Tricorder beeps and other audio are made real by using the Android’s default sounds. In fact, this Android app’s sound effects seem so real that die-hard Trekkie Android users cannot tell the difference.
Blow Things up with Your Android Phaser (3 out of 5)
What’s even better than having a working Tricorder to scan things with? I’ll give you a hint, what’s the one thing guys love more than dating? Blowing things up, that’s what. Now all those Trekkie fans who love to blow things up can do so with
their Android phones! Well, not really, but it is certainly a novel idea, is it not? The Virtual Phaser for Android 1.5 or newer, available by pointing your Android device’s browser to “market://details?id=ix.com.android.VirtualPhaser” or by scanning the QR code on the left, is is free to download and use compliments of its publisher, Andro IX.
While this Star Trek Android app does not physically transform your Android smartphone into a Phaser, it will certainly light up and sound like it did. It pictures red and green Phaser lights that really seem to power up and beam out from the phone in addition to having a Phaser overload setting in which the phone will “self destruct” if activated. The audio sounds like real Star Trek Phasers do, loud. While the graphics could be a bit better and a real laser emitting from the Phone would be a great addition for future versions of this app, it is nonetheless plain and simple useless fun; just what us Android Trekkies need for a bit of escapism.
Learn Klingon with Your Android (3 out of 5)
What Trekkie article covering Star Trek Android apps would be complete without some reference to Klingons? While Klingons are a made up
race of aliens, they were the most popular-so popular in fact that an entire language was made up and added to an official Alien language dictionary and thousands of people all over the world speak the language. Published by RandomAndroidApps.com and available in the Entertainment section of the Android Market for $0.99, the Klingon Word of the Day application teaches Klingon from your Android phone one word at a time.
It starts by showing a Klingon word, then underneath it comes the “Terrain.” Below that is the meaning of the word in the “Federation Standard,” which is the official meaning of the word according to the united Federation of Planets. Below the English meaning is a place for notes and a “Reference” of the Klingon word. The screen is black and red, the official Klingon colors, however, this color combination makes it difficult to see the words on the display, a downfall of the app and evidenced by the screen shot to the left, Nevertheless, this application for Android was just released in August 2010, so it is bound to have some bugs. However, it is one of the simplest and most useful Trekkie apps yet.
Star Trek “Fans” (3 out of 5)
This Star Trek Android app is the app that ends all others. Offering everything a fan of Star Trek could want on their Android device, This
application is free and available from Playdame on the Android Market or by scanning the QR code on the left. Additionally, users can visit the AndroidZoom website to enter an email address and receive a direct link
to point a device’s browser to download the application.
The best thing about this app for Android is that it continuously updates the device with new Star Trek information. From photos and soundtracks to links and videos and even other Trekkie apps for your Android smartphone, this community Fan based Android application is just for Trekkies who are jonesing for new Star Trek information. One thing to keep in mind; however, is that all of the information sent to the Android device is from the public domain, as the fans do not have any affiliations with Star Trek or own any of its copyrights.
Trekkie Wallpapers, Icons & Ringtones for Android (4 out of 5)
Star Trek Sounds & Ringtones
These must be some of the greatest sounding Star Trek ringtones and sound effects ever. With over 250,000 downloads since the app was published by SoundDroid in April 2010, it is one of the more popular Star Trek Android apps. It is available free by pointing your Android phone to market://search?q=pname:com.soundroid2012.startrek or by scanning the HR code on the right. Simply pressing and holding a sound name and clicking the “Save” option when the dialogue box appears will allow the user to use the sound effects and ring tones for more than just a ringing phone. to make it sound as if the Trekkie is indeed on the Enterprise, the sound effects can also be used for notifications and alarms as well. User can also apply the chosen sound by default using the settings menu options.
Star Trek Wallpapers by Hero Planet
Some of the more popular Star Trek wallpaper packs dress up the Android OS quite nicely and this one, published by Hero Planet matches decently with the icons mentioned below. With over 50,000 downloads since it was published in July 2010, this free wallpaper pack offers numerous wallpapers for any Android device. This pack includes designs in 3D and other features such as sharing, zoom mode and the ability to install the wallpapers to an SD card on a device with Android’s Froyo 2.2 installed. All the available features are accessible through the settings menu including the ability to change or reset the wallpapers to default. Download this Star Trek Wallpaper pack by scanning the QR code on the left or by visiting Android Zoom and receiving a direct link.
The GDE Star Trek Icon Pack
This is another of those (almost) useless applications for Android that does nothing-but make the icons look better; what Android
smartphone wouldn’t look great with Star Trek icons to push? PushingPixels, a developer who also makes some other great themes, publishes the Star trek and other great icon packs. They are available free with the QR code on the right or by visiting AndroidZoom for a direct download code.
The GDE Star Trek Icon Pack features 32 separate icons including prominent elements used throughout the Star Trek series’. Included are Com badges, Phasers, the various star ships (Voyager, the Enterprises), Deep Space Nine and more. To use the icon pack, choose an icon from the home screen to turn into a Star Trek icon. Press it until the dialogue box appears and press the “Edit Properties” option. Then, choose the option “Select from Icon Pack.” Press the Grey “GDE” bar and choose from the list of Star Trek icons. Repeat the step for each icon you want to Trekkify. Simple! Now you can transform your phone into an Android Star Trek communicator.
Live Long and Prosper, or as the Klingons write it, YIn nI’ je nenchoH!