Thursday, March 25, 2010

Android Apps....

I love my Droid phone. I think everyone should have one because it makes errands and staying connected so much easier. On the assumption that you will now be running right out to buy one of the magical devices because I told you to, here are a couple of bookish iPhone and Android Apps you will need. The first app has just been released by Overdrive. Overdrive is one of the leading providers of ebooks for libraries to purchase for checkout to patrons.  In case you were not aware, you can go to almost any public library and download audiobooks and ebooks for three weeks as a "checkout".  Until now this process has been a bit unwieldy and required you to tether your reader/mp3 player to your computer and then download to the computer and sync to your device.

Now you can download the Overdrive app to your smartphone, go to the Overdrive mobile website, select your public library of choice and log-in, select your books and then download them straight to your phone.  All-in-all, it works really well with the audio formats as long as you make sure you are downloading the correct file type.  It is still a little problematic for the ebook formats and Kindle is still not usable with this format although I believe Sony Reader has finally opened up their devices so they can be used this way.

The other app I really like is the WorldCat app.  WorldCat is a database of library databases. In other words, libraries all over the world dump updates of their entire online catalog into WorldCat's database several times a year.  The function of the WorldCat app is to show you which libraries own a specific title. This is handy in a town like Kansas City with multiple library systems when you need a book right away. All you do is search in WorldCat and it will tell you which different libraries own a book and it sorts them so the Missouri libraries are first, the Kansas libraries are second and then all other libraries in the country are listed in alphabetical order.  You can then link directly to the closest library to see if the book is on the shelf or checked out.

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