A few weeks ago I published a blog entry entitled "20 Essential Apps for Educators" that listed what I felt were the top 20 apps for educational use. Today I'd like to add two more apps that I've found in the last few weeks.
New App #1: Go Launcher Ex
One of my biggest complaints about the Kindle Fire when I first got it was the homescreen. I felt like the turnstile that was used to scroll through previously viewed items took up WAY more space than it needed. And I missed the ability to have Android "widgets" placed on my home screen.
But with the Go Launcher Ex program a Kindle Fire user can setup his or her user interface more like an Android tablet or cell phone. Like most cell phones, there are five possible screens to scroll through, with the middle screen being the "Home" screen.
Using Go Launcher Ex, here's what my home screen now looks like:
Notice how I have widgets for my Touchdown program that display on the screen both my unopened emails (in the example above I didn't have any) and my upcoming appointments. I also have my most often used apps on the screen, and I'm better able to organize my other apps (placing utility programs on one page and games on the next.
I will say this, though: I miss the old home screen. For as much as I had complained about it before to other people, I guess I'd gotten used to it. It was unique. Now I feel like I'm just holding an oversized smart phone in my hand.
The old home screen isn't gone, though. It's called "Kindle Launcher" and is in with the other apps (and I placed it as the bottom left most icon on my home screen, sort of like the Windows "Start" button). If I go into the application settings and go to Go Launcher Ex and clear the default settings, the situation will reverse, and the Kindle Launcher will once again become the homescreen and Go Launcher EX will be just another app in the list of apps.
I'm going to leave the Kindle the way it is for now, though, and I'll decide after a few weeks of use which I like better.
You can download the Go Launcher EX program by clicking this link.
New App#2: Prezi Player for the Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire is an Android device, and Prezi's don't work on Android devices. Except that one guy has found a workaround. It's a bit clunky and involves the installation of actually TWO different programs, but it doesn't require rooting the Kindle Fire. I'll be honest, though: it's a little trickier than anything I've recommended before, including sideloading apps. Directions can be found on this page.