This is just a list of my favourite apps. I would recommend them to anyone. The list is by no means one which identifies the best apps out there (though some of them certainly fall into that category). Clicking on the app name will bring you to the web based Android Market for that app. Also I’ve selected only free apps, as I think the quality of free applications are very good.
So in no particular order:
- 3G Watchdog – This app tracks your network data usage. You can input your data limit and it will display statistics on your usage rate, when you’re likely to run out of free data at the current rate, and how much you should decrease your usage to remain within your limit. It’s becoming a popular trend for networks to label plans as coming with “unlimited” data when there is in fact a very defined and reachable limit in place, or to offer very small limits to customers on low cost plans. This app should help in avoiding extra over-the-limit data costs. It’s very easy to use and the widgets are informative and simple. Never had a problem with it.
- Irish Cabbage Lite – A very useful app that you can use to send your webtexts, whatever network you’re on. Again for people on lower cost plans with a lack of messaging allowance this is a great way to bump it up from your phone. You can set up multiple accounts from which to send, and sent messages appear in your regular messaging list. Since this uses your data connection I’ve noticed occasionally messages are slow to send, but retrying is as simple as hitting the send button again.
- Dropbox – This is possibly the most useful service I’ve ever gotten to grips with. I use it for college, SOSAD, and for personal use. Want an easy way to get stuff on your phone without hooking it up to the computer? Then stick the file in Dropbox and it’s almost instantly available on your phone. Music, pictures, office files, app .apk files anything you can think of. I use the free storage account and it’s perfect for me.
- ASTRO File Manager – Being able to root around in your SD card and chuck out the rubbish and see what’s even on there is a useful thing to be able to do. Android doesn’t really make it easy, but this app does. Also included is a back up utility, an image viewer and an application manager. This version is ad supported, but a PRO version in the market removes ads.
- FxCamera – There are plenty of camera apps similar to this out there. I prefer this one because it’s free, it doesn’t have a bazillion options to confuse the user, it works very well and it’s light on memory. The included effects are ToyCam, Polaroid, Fisheye, Symmetrical, Andy Warhol and a normal camera. There are specific colour and adjustment options within every category if you’re interested but the defaults give really nice results.
- Gmote 2.0 – Again there are a lot of similar apps to this on the Android Market. I only started using this recently and it works extremely well. And it’s free! Control your mouse pointer by using your handset screen as a touchpad, or use the built in music/video playback option. It essentially turns your phone into a fancy remote control. Gmote software will need to be installed on your computer for this to work. Once it’s there you can either use your home wifi connection, or just type your IP address into the Gmote Android app to get going.
- Tweetdeck – I’m going to go out on what I suspect to be a very strong limb here and suggest that this is the very best social networking app on the Android Market. I use it on my phone, in Chrome, and on my desktop. Seemlessly integrating your Facebook and Twitter feeds, displaying images within the app from most photo services, tweet lengthening with deck.ly, easy column management, the list of why it’s great goes on and on. There are some small irritations though: individual comments can not be liked (fb), when replying to a tweet to multiple people the second and subsequent people must be typed in manually (unlike the official Twitter app). Tweetdeck was recently acquired by Twitter, so let’s hope it stays as good as it is right now.
- WhatsApp Messenger – A complete messaging replacement app, using only your data connection. Videos, images and audio files can also be shared across this app. It’s really easy to use, and only needs your phone number to get going. I find it very fast to use, and messages are sent and received quickly. Although if your data connection is weak then that may be reflected in the service. It scans your contacts for other people using WhatsApp and immediately adds them to your WhatsApp contacts. My only gripe with it would be that everyone isn’t using it yet!
- Winamp – Music is an area in which Android is lesser when compared to iOS. Android hasn’t to date come with a great music player, users had to go find one. I’ve finally found one I really like with Winamp, after many trials, and when used in tandem with the desktop software the power of it is fully revealed. Wireless/wired sync, playlist importing, easy searching, a nice lock screen player and a couple of nice widgets to name but a few of the great features.
- Watchdog Task Manager Lite – I think we all know now that Task Killers on Android are a bad idea. Android is perfectly capable of shutting down memory hogging apps when needed, and the potential for people to ruin their phone, by being given such a powerful tool was mind boggling. Watchdog however is a different story. It monitors, quietly, your apps for excessive CPU usage. Above a usage percentage, which the user defines, you will be notified of any app that is chewing up your CPU. You can then stop that app, and that app only. A PRO version is also available in the Android Market with ads removed and additional features.