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Meet the Members: Darren Reed (@PurpleMania)

by Shara Karasic

Darren Reed of Mankato, Minnesota, has done 24 app reviews and created lists of apps to make your home screens pretty and apps for great abs. He’s a Droid junkie, so keep an eye on his app collection.

1. Tell us about yourself - where you live, your job, things you like to do.

Where to start... I'm originally from a tiny town in Northern Minnesota, but I moved to Southern Minnesota (Mankato) in 1994 to finish my bachelor’s degree in education at Mankato State University. I have been in the non-profit industry almost exclusively. I am advocate for chemical and mental health and am nearly finished with a master’s degree in mental health counseling. Currently, I work as the Volunteer and Training Coordinator at a local RCO (Recovery Community Organization). I am also active in youth sports.  I coach youth baseball and football. My hobbies include family, fishing, camping, exercise, cooking, watching Minnesota sports teams ESPECIALLY THE VIKINGS!!!, and I enjoy being a tech geek.

2. Which Android device or devices do you own? Why did you choose Android? How do you customize your device?

I own the Droid Incredible. I became a Droid junkie before I even owned one. While in grad school I started a job at Verizon Wireless. In the early days the phones at Verizon were no comparison to the iPhone, and although we kept hearing rumors of the iPhone coming to Verizon we had to wait and use the Verizon best alternative the HTC Touch. When the Android phones launched I got to play, review and learn everything about them; by the time the iPhone was confirmed as coming to Verizon it no longer mattered. The Droid is better! I customize my device as much as possible (without rooting). I use a customized launcher (Launcher Pro) and of course customized it to my liking. Have different ringtones and SMS notifications for each of my frequent  contacts. I use folder applications, Beautiful Widgets, etc. to polish my display!

3. Do you root or not? If you root, why?

I don't -- yet! I always rooted with my non-Droid HTC’s (touch, touch pro), however, I am not as proficient yet with this, so I am waiting to get my next Droid to practice on this one; that way if I brick it I know I have another phone.

4. Is there a particular category of apps that interests you the most?

Yes! I love gaming apps (Words With Friends is my favorite) love the puzzle gamesSudoku, etc. I’m a huge fan of widget apps. I want to be able to quickly and efficiently view upcoming tasks, appointments etc... I also use fitness apps daily. Absolutely love the JEFIT app.

5. What are your top apps and why?

Jorte – Love the ease of use and great widget.

JEFIT – This may be the most important to me. This app is a workout wonder. It helps track (and keep you on track) your fitness routines. If you are not sure how to do a lift, it will show you an animated demo to get the lift just right!

MyFitnessPal – This app takes your workouts and converts them into calories burned.  You can also enter foods you have eaten (it has cataloged every food known to man I think) and it adds those calories to your diary and give you an accurate report of your dietary status.

Astrid Tasks – Love the way this little app keeps me on task (by humorously nagging me to do it).

Places – Love, this app! Not only does it list the places that are nearest to you, you get reviews from people (not just the columnists).

Google Maps – I used to have Tom Tom and used it religiously, now I use my phone and it works just as well and even gives my a color phone of what my destination looks like!

6. Give an example of a time an app was truly useful to you.

Places – I was recently in Connecticut on business. I had no idea where the good restaurants were; got some advice from a colleague and took a cab only to find they were shut down for renovations… No problem; just pulled up Places and it told me of all the restaurants in my (walking) area and gave me what people said about each place and I headed on my way!

7. What other AndroidApps.com member do you admire the most and why?

Recently it has been Mandroid3. I really like meditative music and apps and found some really great apps thanks to his reviews.

8. Do you have a Twitter account you’d like to share?

You can follow me on Twitter at purplemania56.

9. Anything else you'd like to share with the Appolicious audience?

You are already paying a lot of money for your data service so use it! Don’t be afraid to explore and download, you can always uninstall.

Check out PurpleMania's app library here