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Skeptical Science now an Android app

Posted on 19 July 2010 by John Cook

Skeptical Science is now available as a free Android app for anyone using an Android phone. When the iPhone app was first launched, there was an immediate chorus from Android users asking for an app for the Android phone. Shine Technologies, who developed the iPhone app for free (and are IMHO legends for their amazing generosity and passion for climate change) immediately started developing an Android version). The app is now completed. You can download it by going to the Android Market Place (or the Market icon as I see it on my phone). Search for Skeptical Science (or just "skeptic" should do it). Select Install then sit back while a wealth of climate science pours into your Android phone!

Here are some screenshots of the Android App on a HTC Desire phone. Note - all the pics link to higher-rez versions so click on any pic to get a closer look. The 3 skeptic parent categories (not happening, not us, not bad) display in the same manner as the iPhone app. Tapping on any category brings up a long list of skeptic arguments. You can also browse by the Top 10 arguments. The content is regularly updated so your phone receives new arguments and updates to existing ones.


Three parent categories
 
Lists all the different skeptic arguments
 
Top 10 skeptic arguments

As the app uses Android functionality, it works a little differently to the iPhone app. Click the Menu button (yes, an actual physical button - took a while for an iPhone user like myself to get used to this) to bring up options like Settings and Search. Selecting Search lets you instantly search all the skeptic arguments - this is the way I use the app to get straight to the argument I'm looking for.


Use Menu to bring up the Settings and Search options.
 
Use search to drill straight to a skeptic argument
 
Search results

One unique feature of the Android app (and a few iPhone users have asked for this) is the ability to enlarge the text. As you scroll up and down an argument, magnifying glass options appear at the bottom of the screen to enlarge or shrink the text. If you press the Menu button while looking at a skeptic argument, you get the options to copy the URL, share the URL with others (which I encourage everyone to do), open it in a browser or report this argument so we can keep track of which skeptic arguments are the most popular.


Select a skeptic argument for more details
 
Use the magnifying glass icons to increase/shrink the text
 
Click the Menu button while looking at an argument for a range of options

As with the iPhone app, tapping on any graph or diagram brings the diagram up in its own window, which you can rotate and zoom in for more detail.

 

Also, while writing this blog post, I only just realised you also can view the whole app in landscape - this feature is very welcome and not yet available in the iPhone app. One of the guys at Shine Tech who was developing the Android app confided that he thought this app worked better than the iPhone version. At first, I thought maybe this was a bit of iPhone vs Android competitiveness but now I've had a chance to use it more extensively, the Android version does have a few snazzy new features.

A few final notes: Apparently you can also download and install the app from AppBrain although as an Android newbie, I'm not quite sure how this works. Also, kudos to Skychazz who scooped me on my own app, tweeting about the Android app a few days ago. Shine actually uploaded the app late Friday but I've only managed to put together a blog post about it today. You snooze, you lose in the Twitter age.

And again, many thanks to Shine Technologies who have done incredible work on the iPhone app and Android app (and a third bit of software which is potentially even more exciting and near completion). They have done all this work for free, released all the apps for free, motivated purely by a passion for climate. They have made a hugely significant contribution to the effort to bring climate science to the public.

Skeptical Science QR Code. Click to enlarge. Use a QR code scanner
  1. Open your prefered QR code scanner (learn more about this).
  2. Point your phone camera at the QR code below and scan it (click the QR Code to enlarge).
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to proceed with the installation.

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Comments

Comments 1 to 20:

  1. Downloaded & installed (via AppBrain, using their QR code read with Barcode Scanner - don't you love modern technology?)

    Will definitely come in handy!
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    Response: Using the QR whoosy with the Barcode whatsits? For the sake of an Android newbie, don't suppose you could explain in a bit more detail this process? Is it a matter of following the AppBrain link while browsing on the Android phone?
  2. To use the QR code, install the Barcode Scanner app (free app in the Shopping category). Then go to the AppBrain Skeptical Science page and click on (QR, more) (next to Facebook, Twitter, etc.). A square with the matrix code will then be visible. Use Barcode Scanner to scan it, which will take you straight to the app. Install it, et voila!
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  3. Does any of those run on a Blueberry?
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  4. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
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  5. What Bioluminescence said! QR codes can make life much easier if you're trying to get a URL into your phone - save a bit of typing.
    Anyway, I've barely tried out the app, but it looks good so far - thanks to the folks at Shine! Their efforts are much appreciated.
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  6. Hurrah! Nice one :)
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  7. Great little app - love it. Well done, folks at Shine :)
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  8. Great app! Thanks!
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  9. Um, how do I know if my mobile can run this app ?
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    Response: If it's an Android phone, go to the Android Marketplace (or tap the Market icon) then search for 'skeptic'. If Skeptical Science comes up, click Install and you're on your way.

    If it's not an Android phone, you probably won't have the Market icon to choose from.
  10. I appreciate this. Downloaded it yesterday. Looks good!

    Quite frankly, I'm not sure when I'll use it in practice. I don't run into global warming contrarians too often in day-to-day life, and I bet the strong majority of those that might prompt me to use the app would probably dismiss it as a "warmist propaganda app". Oh well. It's nice to have the wealth of information at my fingertips anyways.
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  11. Thanks for the app!
    To follow up on the QR code: it's a way to quickly get to an app download by taking a picture of a barcode with the phone in your android device. There's a link to this app at Skeptical Science Android App. John, you might be a able to put the barcode image right on this page.
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    Response: Have added it above, thanks for the suggestion.
  12. I love this app almost as much as I love the website, thank you.

    @NewYorkJ (#10), I find the app useful for more than face-to-face battle with contrarians. I dip into it when I have downtime, to brush up on some of the arguments. The arguments are in brief form, but there is still enough detail for study.
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  13. Oh, I forgot to mention: the first time I downloaded the app, some of the topics appeared twice and some appeared to be missing. I think this was due to an interrupted download. I uninstalled and downloaded again, and that fixed the problem.
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  14. It's great to have all these arguments at my fingertips. The next time a climate change denier annoys me, I can actually pull the facts out of my pocket.

    The app is well designed, but here are two things I hope you can change:

    - It's very annoying that the app doesn't remember the text magnification: each time I open an article I must click again on the "magnify" icon to set the text at a size I can comfortably read.

    - It takes up a lot of space on the internal drive. There really should be an option to move it to the SD card.
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  15. Xoom advises unexpected stop each time shortcut is chosen.
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  16. the qr-code is not working. i tried it with qr droid. if i try to open the url from the qr code i get a 404 error.
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  17. Hi, the link on the right to the Nokia App just takes me to Nokia 'this product is no longer available'. I was wondering if that was a glitch or whether it has been withdrawn? Any chance its being revised and will become available again? Just bought a Nokia.
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  18. OK, first off, I am an old dog trying new tricks and thought I should finally download the app using a barcode scanner.

    The link to Droid apps doesn't work, but this link will:

    http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/qr+scanner

    I decided to download the QuickMark app. Doing this requires logging in with your Google or facebook account. OK, I used my facebook account.

    After that, it was very easy, and I soon realized that I didn't need to "expand" the barcode on this page.

    My phone squawked at me when it captured the barcode, which made it easier somehow.

    I think the app works very well!
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  19. Any chance of porting the app to Sailfish?

    https://sailfishos.org/

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  20. Just wanted to note this app is available from Google Play store.

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