Quick reviews of two very useful Android productivity apps - Volume Widget and CB - Commercial Break

Because games are developed for Smartphones at a clip of  73 gazillion to one over productivity apps, I often jump at the chance to download and check out any new Android (or iPhone) application that may make my life easier or help resolve some issue. Here are a couple of simple apps which deliver big on their claims. Sure, they're simple claims, but they do deliver.

Volume Widget

The Volume Widget allows you to adjust any of your volume options from one convenient location. Your music, your ringtone, your alarm, your voice, etc.

So, why is that useful when you can adjust each of those when in that particular mode (adjust the call volume while in a call, ring volume when the phone rings, your music while it's playing)? Well, I'll tell you why with a real-life scenario:

Let's say that when you go to bed at night you like to make one last play in Words With Friends before going to sleep. And let's also say that your wife is lying right next to you, already asleep. Having forgotten to turn off the volume option in the game, as soon as you open the main screen you are attacked by loud, and apparently annoying music and sound effects, which blasts out causing your wife to say, "Excuse me darling, but I believe you neglected to reduce your volume prior to playing the game." Okay, those weren't her exact words. Her actual comment included phrases like "you inconsiderate piece of..." You get the idea.

So now, I have acquired the habit of immediately opening the Volume Widget and reducing the Music volume before even opening other apps.

Very useful and considerate app.

CB - Commercial Break

If you spend any time at all watching television (sports fans especially), the Android CB (Commercial Break) app will help you get get a few errands done, while the network is running what seems like an endless number of commercial messages. This Android app is the epitome of simplicity and really does help you take out the garbage, make a sandwich, even run to the store while trying to catch the big game.

Simply download the app, open it, enter your city or zip code, select a channel and you will be notified each time a commercial break is over, alerting you to get your butt back in front of the big screen.

You can also schedule future notifications for upcoming network sports broadcasts, which also reminds you that the game is on.

I'm sure that they are expanding the number of networks included in the app, still many complain that it doesn't include their country or cable system. Oh shut up. Download the app, check it out. If it doesn't fit into your life: UNINSTALL. If it does fit into your life, it is pretty useful and has motivated me, more than once, to get off my butt during breaks and do something.


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