Jul
8

Must Have Android Apps

Posted by Aaron West at 7:42 AM in Android, Mobile & Devices

In preparation of switching to Android next week I've been compiling a short list of must have applications. Some of these apps were mentioned in a Mashable article while others have been mentioned on Twitter, blogs, or elsewhere.

This list is a decent start but I need your help. What are your favorite Android apps? Which do you use every single day that you can't live without? Chime in by posting a comment after the break.

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This entry was posted by Aaron West on July 8, 2010 at 7:42 AM. It was filed in the following categories: Android, Mobile & Devices. It has been viewed 14411 times and has 19 comments.

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19 Responses to Must Have Android Apps

  1. Twitter (client from twitter)
    Flashlight ( have used it a few times)
    GPS Status
    Kindle
    Google Goggles
    Foursquare (if your into that sorta thing)
    Shazam
    google skymap
    Handcent SMS (native sms may be better now though)
    Adobe PDF reader
    bubble level
    stopwatch

  2. Google Gesture Search is pretty neat

  3. Personally I prefer AppBrain over App Aware.
    Twicca is my favourite of all the twitter clients.
    Barcode Scanner is surprisingly handy and hooks into a number of other apps
    I like Note Me for quick notes.
    My Tracks for tracking my cycle routes and associated stats.
    Thinking Space is a great mind mapper with cloud support and mindmap/xmind compatible.
    Oh and Bug Splat is great mindless fun :)

    I'll stop now.. (I did try to post links for you, but apparently I am a spammer ;) )

  4. @Joshua, @Darren, @Stephen - Thanks for the suggestions. Very much appreciated. I completely forgot to mention the Kindle app in my blog post (corrected), but it's definitely on my list.

    Stephen, I have my Akismet settings configured to flag users as spammers who post more than three hyperlinks. That's probably what triggered you.

  5. re:akismet - I have the same, so I wasn't at all offended and in fact was half expecting to get told to go away anyway. ;)

  6. Locale - it can turn things on/off based on your location. $9.99 app, but worth it. When I'm at home or work, it turns on wifi, when I'm not at either place, it turns off wifi. When I'm at work, vibrate only kicks in. When I'm not at home, the volume kicks up 100%.

  7. You need Bump, and if you ever have trouble sleeping, get Lightning Bug

  8. @Todd - I vaguely recall you mentioning Locale before. It sounds fantastic but expensive at 9.99$. Which begs the question; is there a way to try Android apps before you buy them? This is a shortcoming of the Apple App Store in that free apps must always be free. Having the ability to try apps for a set period of time before having to pony up cash is an overlooked feature in the mobile app space.

    @Steven B. - I have Bump on my iPhone and never use it. No one else has it or ever asks to share contact info with it so I figured it wasn't very popular. Do you find this to be true with Bump on Android?

  9. * Key Ring
    * OpenTable
    * Urbanspoon
    * NewsRob
    * Mustard
    * Libre Droid
    * Weather Widgets
    * Tricorder (not terribly useful, but cool if you're a Star Trek fan!)
    * Poke A Mole
    * Mazeoid
    * Break the Blocks

  10. @Aaron: Not that I'm aware of. Locale has been one of those, set and forget applications. It's always running and it just works. $9.99 isn't a lot considering that I was buying a lot of .99 cent apps on the iphone and now I'm finding stuff that is pretty much free. Not to mention that Locale has a plugin community, people are tapping into locale and building plugins for it. So, you could have an email sent somewhere the moment you came within the radius of being home, etc.

    The android market isn't priced like the iphone market is. iPhone market, you could find a lot of stuff that was .99 cents. Android market, I'm finding things I wouldn't mind trying out are $2 - $3. Unless there's a lite version, I don't know of any other way to try out apps.

  11. I think I've only run into two people who didn't have Bump on their Android. Of course, if I ever asked someone who wasn't in the Geek Realm to bump me their info, I'm sure I'd be regarded with a very suspicious look.

  12. Here are a few that I use:

    * Where : I don't see this mentioned above, but is extremely useful in finding places of interest in your proximity.
    * Barcode Scanner : Among the obvious use, this app can create barcodes with embedded information(contact info for example) which allows other Barcode Scanner users to easily scan the barcode and have that information on their phone in seconds.
    * Astro : great file manager and allows you to backup applications and restore them in a pinch. The only downside is that once you restore the apps, marketplace will not check for updates on those apps any longer. Maybe I missed something.
    * Advanced Task Killer : funny how this thing will 'kill' itself
    * HowTo : I think that's the name of it. Tons of HowTo videos and I love to learn, so there you go.
    * Evernote
    * Pandora
    * CalWidget : This is an agenda widget that shows you calendar events that are coming up.

  13. If you administer any servers, I'd add WYSE PocketCloud for RDP/VNC and ConnectBot for SSH/Telnet. Network Discovery is also a handy tool.

  14. I love Evernote. The new IMDb app is great for getting info on movies along with showtimes. WikiMobile is a handy way to look stuff up on Wikipedia. Of course, the Google Maps with Navigation to get turn-by-turn directions is awesome. I use StreamFurious a lot to listen to internet radio. KeyRing is neat to store frequent-buyer cards, although it's sort of hit-and-miss whether the store will be able to use it. Kayak is awesome for travel. Power Manager allows me to actually use the phone for awhile before the battery dies. Oh, and Gmote, which allows me to remote-control a desktop or laptop computer from my phone, is great, but I don't know if you can use it with a Mac.

  15. Adam

    I thought it was pretty well known, but the Android marketplace allows a 24 hour refund on anything you buy from it, just uninstall it again within 24 hours and they don't charge you.

  16. Adam

    Just some feedback on a couple of apps...

    Advanced (or any other) task killer - you really don't need one of these, Android is designed to keep as much in memory as it can, unused memory is wasted memory. It used to be a bit crap at shifting memory around pre 1.6, so task killers were used to force close apps, but memory management's got a lot better since then and I think using them with 2.1+ will generally make things slower.

    More info on how Android manages low memory situations :
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=6...

    Linpack - people seem to be hung up on linpack scores, but they really are irrelevant to day to day use and only give you an idea of the pure number crunching ability of the cpu. Handy if you are overclocking but that's about it. My phones linpack scores have hardly changed across 1.5-2.1 but the phones much more responsive and 'feels' quicker now.

  17. Adam

    oops, forgot to list some apps :)

    3banana - great notes app with google sync
    Astro - File manager
    Barcode Scanner - scan QR/barcodes to download apps, follow links etc
    DiskUsage - give you a nice visual tree of what's taking up SDcard space
    Google Googles - visual search
    Google Listen - podcast catcher
    Mixing - prefer it to the standard media player & it has a kinda basic 'genius' functionality
    MyTracks - record trip data via GPS & synch to gMaps.
    Nimbuzz - universal IM client
    SleepTimer - turns your media player off after X minutes
    System Panel - system monitoring & logging
    Ted Mobile - TED talks on the go
    Titanium Backup - backup & restore your apps
    Y5 battery saver - very clever, turns your wifi on/off when it senses you are in a known wifi area based on the mobile cells around you. Bit like a 'locale lite'

    And a couple that you need root to run...

    aNetShare/Wireless Tether - lets you use your phone as a wireless modem
    MinFreeManager - tweak your low memory settings & get rid of the app killers (yeah, ok, I'm a little biased here as I made it :)
    Overclock widget - over (or under) clock your cpu

  18. J.B.D.

    A lot of these are excellent, but readers may have some interest in these - one is a paid app (Touchdown):
    Where
    Better Alarm (get additional free fontpacks)
    Mabilo Wallpapers
    Toggle Screen Timeout
    Touchdown for corporate e-mail - Exchange and no outrageous Telecom connectivity charge (cha-ching)
    ColorNote
    Convertpad
    Executive Assistant Free
    Executive Assistant Pop/IMAP Lib
    Mobile Defense
    Ring Toggle Widget
    Shorten

  19. J.B.D

    J.B.D. again...recently updated to Froyo and some new apps to mention:

    Vlingo Voice (like beter than Google Voice update)
    AudioManager
    AT&T Code Scanner
    MySettings
    StopWatch (Toggle Screen Timeout - no Froyo update)
    Chrome to Phone
    World Newspapers
    Bing

    Enjoy!