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Keep history alive with these Android apps

by Kristen Nicole

For some reason, current events seem more relevant when considered in history's context. Understand your world better, with some fun and useful history apps for Android. Games, encyclopedias and daily history bits are all delivered to your phone. And once history is made fun, you'll find it far more interesting.

Interactive

Decades is a combo game, where each level is themed as a different decade. The game itself has little to do with history -- it's a mix of Tetris and Wheel of Fortune -- building and matching cubes as you make your way through each level. At the very least, it's a colorful retrospective. The full version of this Android game will run you $2.99.

Album recollection is a most cultured characteristic of a well-versed historian. Keep up with 1970s Music Trivia, covering all the genres of the decade. This free Android game throws timed trivia questions about funk, disco and rock 'n' roll. There's an entire collection of music and movie trivia apps available from this developer.

Movies can offer great historic perspective, whether you're viewing a documentary or noting cinematic methods from past eras. IMDb is a searchable database for all the information you need, on just about every movie ever created. This free Android app lists cast and crew, biographies and photos from film sets, red carpet events and more.

Location

FactBook, by Urbian, is a mobile reference for the CIA World Fact Book, as well as the UN's public data and statistics. It has information broken down by country and region, as well as charts to see how the world's populations compare. Free, this Android app makes learning all about sharing as it’s easy to spread noteworthy stats among your friends.

Learn about historic markers as you pass them, with Georeader. The location-aware app searches nearby talking points, and reads them aloud. Free, this Android app's talking points are also user-generated, so it's kind of like a literal Foursquare “shout out” -- for history.

Get hands-on with history, and check out a local museum. The Museum Finder Android app is a specialty search tool that helps you do just that. Tapping Google-powered search, this free app includes museum details, like their hours, and one-click calling. Museums are filtered by categories, including fine art, natural history and children's.

On-demand

AP Today in History delivers daily news bites, spanning politics, celebrity birthdays and other significant events. This Android app makes learning fun, with tabs for each category it covers. A slide puzzle comes with this 99-cent app, scrambling a photo from the Associated Press' archives.

WikiDroid is an offline Wikipedia Reader, giving you instant access to saved articles (up to 28). Search for articles of interest, and save a few to your favorites. This free encyclopedia tool also lets you access your history of recently read items, and ups the ante with random articles.

History buffs often like to learn the history of words, too. The free Word of the Day widget puts your daily update right on your home screen. The words are interesting, and usually entice you to click for details. It's quick, and doesn't require a lot of effort -- the best way to learn!