Tested version: 2.6
Latest version: 3.8
Requires Android: from 1.6
As I’m writing this piece, a restless volcano in Iceland with an unpronounceable name, is spewing ash into the sky, leaving passengers all over the world stranded in airports. Volcanoes aren’t the only natural disasters making big headlines lately. The terrible events in Haiti have shown us just how devastating earthquakes can be. So I was immediately curious when I stumbled upon an app called “Earthquake” on the Market. Although it may sound like a game, this app could be a real shocker for many people out there.
Features & Use
I debated at length on whether to write a test report for this app. Frankly, the app itself isn’t able to do very much. So I’m sure that some you will get a bit upset at us reviewing a seemingly trivial app. I just simply find the app to be so interesting that I couldn’t resist the urge to share it with others. AndroidPIT isn’t just about introducing you to the latest technologically groundbreaking app. Our mission is also to give the smaller guys a chance to present themselves to a wider audience. I hope you understand where we’re coming from.
Earthquake basically boasts just one single function: show all earthquakes that happened in the last 24 hours across the world. All of this data is then compiled into a list and displayed using Google Maps with each quake’s exact location and magnitude. I was taken aback by the number of earthquakes shaking the earth every single day. Just in the last 24 hours, there were 32 (!!!) earthquakes, ranging anywhere from 3 to 5.6 on the Richter scale!
In your settings, you can adjust some features that help keep you informed on earthquakes:
- Auto refresh: Keeps you searching for earthquakes automatically. And trust me, it’ll rumble pretty often throughout the day.
- Refresh frequency: Set the frequency of your earthquake updates from every 15 minutes to once a day.
- Minimum magnitude: Set up the minimum magnitude level for displaying earthquakes.
- Notifications: Get notified about new earthquakes directly on your status bar.
- Within rumble range: Hear an alarm every time there’s an earthquake close enough for you to feel it.
- Vibrate: Your phone vibrates every time an earthquake above the minimum magnitude level occurs.
- Ringtone: Play a ringtone every time a new earthquake occurs.
- Use my location: Informs you of earthquakes in your immediate vicinity. This option sure does use up a lot of battery life. I would keep the feature turned off if I were you…
As I said, the app may not be the most useful thing for your phone. I know this might be a turn off to a lot of readers right off the bat :)
But it came as a real surprise to me just how many earthquakes happen every single day. From an educational standpoint, this app is a definite eye-opener. The west coast of the US appears to be the epicenter of earthquake activity on our planet. Earthquake made me realize just how fragile the globe really is. An earthquake, like the one in Haiti, could randomly occur at any moment in almost every corner of the world.
Screen & Controls
Earthquake doesn't have a lot of features - but then again, does it really need them? Everything is clear and understandable as it is. Personally, I was a bit disappointed to see all the main functions hidden behind the menu button. Not too big of an issue for most people, though. That's just a personal pet peeve of mine :)
Speed & Stability
Absolutely stable and reliable performance. Great stuff!
Earthquake is available for free from the Android Market.
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