Must Have Apps for Android
Since becoming an Android fan/user, I try to keep up to date with some of the best applications on the Android Market (or applications I know aren’t going to damage my phone that are not on the Android Market). I come across articles including “MUST HAVE!” Android applications that I completely disagree with and laugh at, and I come across articles that peak my curiosity. In most cases, I come across articles that seem thrown together quickly and don’t recommend great applications. I figured I would share with you Android users out there my list of application favourites to date (December 2010).
* A recommendation list has also been provided below from Zac Ryan below.
AndExplorer – This is a great application for exploring the files on your phone. You can move, copy, delete files all from this one spot. It’s a great tool for people who like to keep an eye on what’s being stored on their phones or SD card behind the scenes.
Advanced Task Killer Free- Found in the Android Market, this is a good task killer application and if you’re a WhatsApp (instant messaging program, see further below) user, it seems to be one of the application terminators you can use with the program. I’m not sure why WhatsApp had a problem with my previous task killer, but it did. It likes this one, though. They’re pals.
WeatherEye- I use this application for my forecast needs. I’m not going to say this one is the best, but it’s better than the default. I tried Weatherbug (free) back when I first started using my Android device. It was alright. Chances are it’s much better now. I’m not too bothered by WeatherEye, though. I can store multiple places I’d like to keep track of (great for road trips, etc.) and the widget isn’t an eyesore.
My Battery – Great battery tool that, once engaged, places an icon up top in the toolbar. Instead of guessing how much juice you have left in your battery, it gives you the percentage whenever you swipe your toolbar downward. It’s great and I don’t think it takes up too much space up at the top at all. I prefer knowing exactly how much time I have left before I have to start recharging again.
Yelp or Poynt- Both great “what’s in my area” tools. You can search for restaurants nearby, shopping, etc. I don’t generally use either because it’s not often I’m trying to figure out what’s around me, but if you travel often – this would be a great tool for you in order to find something quickly. Be aware that not everything is listed. Yelp has a bigger database and is growing every day, Poynt is newer (but still great and I’m sure will become Yelp’s rival if it isn’t already). Poynt can also be downloaded for your BlackBerry (I’m sure Yelp can, too). My boyfriend uses Poynt and quite likes it. I think. I like Yelp online because it’s kind of like a little critique community. Had a bad experience at a restaurant? Tell everyone about it. Had a great one? The best form of advertising for a company is word of mouth.
SyncMyPix- This application syncs pictures from your Facebook friends, matches names to what you have in your phone, and creates profile images in your contact list. Unfortunately, I have been running into some problems with this program as of late as it’s been connecting *some* pictures incorrectly. This is fine. I’m not too bothered by it. If one of you know a better program to use for this kind of thing, I would be interested in trying it out. Other than that, it’s a pretty good application for what it is.
Do you use a different e-mail application than what you were first provided with? I use the GMail application. I don’t use the default Mail application because I think it looks like crap. GMail on the other hand looks great, it’s easy to use, and it’s all I need. I can connect both of my accounts in one place without any problems. I don’t need anything fancy. For those of you who do, you won’t find a suggestion here because I don’t think people need anything else. Your best bet is to ask around or look for the top downloaded E-mail application in the Android Market.
HandcentSMS- This is my text messaging application. This, by far, has been the best application I’ve used. I enjoyed chompSMS, but this application is better. I found chompSMS to be more glitchy than I would have liked and it crashed a lot. Handcent easily refreshes itself and you don’t have to restart every single time you lose the keyboard functionality. Just exit the keyboard and try to retype – always works. You can download fontpacks, just like with chompSMS, and customize it to look how you want. There’s tons of options. I definitely recommend this program if you don’t like the simple default program provided. Some people do, though. So, to each their own!
Springpad – This is an excellent note/memo/task service. It syncs up with your account on their website and stores all sorts of things. Find a product you can’t buy just yet but refuse to forget? List it in here. Honestly, this program is great for anything you need to remember. You can set reminders, deadlines, etc. Great application, easy to use and visually pretty to look at. Free, too!
Vignette – This is another application that has a free and paid version. It’s a camera application. I have tried both and they are awesome. Vignette gives you all sorts of different customizable options for your photos. I have a lot of fun with it.
WhatsApp- This is an instant messaging software you can download online (I’m not sure if it’s on the Android Market yet, this is the only application on my phone that isn’t from the Android Market). There is a small fee to pay (I think I paid US $1.99 or possibly less for a year subscription, yet miraculously I am set until 2013), but it’s worth it if you want a way to communicate with your BlackBerry and iPhone using friends. It’s full of different emoticons to use (you could probably hold a conversation with a friend using just these images, which I sometimes do for a laugh) and it’s also very iPhone-esque when it comes to appearance. I like it.
BeejiveIM- I recently downloaded and paid $5.00 (give or take) for this application because it provides the opportunity to keep all of your Instant Messaging contacts in one place. If you are like me and you have accounts with Windows Live/MSN, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber, Google Talk, Facebook IM, etc. this might appeal to you. It’s customizable (you can select colour schemes and display options) and very easy to use and set up. You can set a status for all accounts and you can leave it running in the background. Apparently, it doesn’t use up too much of your battery, but I’ll believe that when I notice it. Anything Android is a huge energy hog when it comes to the battery.
TweetDeck or Twidroyd Pro- Twitter apps. I use both of these because I am trying to figure out which I like best. Both are fantastic. Recently, I have been more prone to pull up my TweetDeck application than my Twidroyd application. TweetDeck is free, Twidroyd Pro is not. There is a Twidroyd free version out there on the market somewhere. I prefer paying for the full service of an application as long as it’s decently priced.
What do you use for Facebook access? I use the website: touch.facebook.com The Facebook for Android application is getting better, but I still prefer the web version over any application. I’m not a huge Facebook fan. I don’t keep up to date with everyone’s updates. I have far too many people on my list for me to add my account to TweetDeck because, quite honestly, I prefer Twitter updates to Facebook friend updates. Most of the updates I see on Facebook are ridiculous, not that Twitter can be any better. There are a few friends’ Facebook profiles I like to creep once in a while because of the interesting links they end up posting majority of the time, but I can gawk at those all I want using the computer or the mobile website. For those of you who prefer having a Facebook application – Facebook for Android is the way to go.
Wapedia – AWESOME Wiki finder. It searches EVERYTHING. I love it. Free.
Google Listen- I use this for downloading and listening to podcasts. There could be a better program out there but this one works for me.
Google Maps – Enough said. Another great Google app to have is Google Sky Maps. Very cool. You’ll see what I mean if you download it. Google Goggles it’s pretty sweet, too, but I don’t use it often enough to have it on my phone.
Abduction: World Attack! – Paid game (there is also a free demo to try). Hilarious. Simple. Awesome. You’re a cow. Some aliens came to Earth and kidnapped your friends. You have to make your way up into the sky to the ship to save them. Many levels. Entertaining. Can be pretty hard at times, but once you get the hang of it, I assure you an addiction. Happy Friend Catching! I’m not huge on games, but I like finding one I genuinely enjoy. I’m usually a Word Game type of person.
WordPress for Android- Are you a WordPress user? WordPress released a free application for Android a while ago and it just keeps getting better and better. I don’t generally use it to post to my website, but I do use it to keep track of comments, reply to comments, edit entries, and keep an eye on my stats.
I have other applications that I use frequently, but I think this is a great list to start. If you’re new to the Android OS, welcome aboard! I hope you love it as much as I do. If you’re not new to Android, I encourage you to leave feedback or suggestions for new applications. Let’s keep people informed about what’s awesome and what’s not. I also encourage people that disagree with me to leave a comment. If you can introduce me to something better, I am more than willing to try it out.
Keyring , stores all of your loyalty cards on your phone. “I like my wallet light,” he says!
Movies and Shazam – “If you like movies and music that is. I use both frequently.”
cab4me – Find a cab anywhere app.
Cribbage Pro – Free Cribbage Game.
TD Banking App – Self explanitory.
Urbanspoon – Kind of like Yelp that I mentioned earlier – this application has an option to use it as a “restaurant slot machine”, shake your phone and it’ll settle on a nearby restaurant for you to check out!
Sportstap – This application claims to be your “Ultimate Mobile Sports Portal”. Must have for sports fans!
Ringdroid – Creates ringtones from any song.
Kik Messenger – “KIK Messenger is far senior to Whatsapp especially when talking to people on bb,” he says.
We were also informed by @sonyabean that Kik Messenger is, unfortunately, being sued by RIM – read about it here . Total bummer.