Ultimate Android Apps 2011

[This blog was originally posted on andrewmarklynch.blogspot.com]

Following is a list of essential apps for an Android phone, tried and tested extensively by me, a nerd. For non-nerd enjoyment.

All apps are FREE, except where stated. Android Market pages linked.

STOCK APP REPLACEMENTS
some of the native apps are slow or poorly designed. Here's to great 3rd party apps!

- Home Launcher - the GUI your phone runs on. essential replace.
   - for customisation, ADW Launcher 
   - for speed, Zeam Launcher

- SMS 
   - Cabbage Ultimate (€1) - use your network's webtexts and never pay for SMS again!

- Dialer 
   - Dialer One

- Mail 
   - Gmail

- Pictures Gallery 
   - QuickPic - a quicker way to view your pics on the phone

- Keyboard - SwiftKey (€3), or Swype
   - both are good, very different styles. using Swype at the moment, bit of a learning curve.

 - Apps Market 
   - AppBrain - a useful alternative to the Android Market for more app variety

- Web Browser - get rid of the stock browser, it's slow and rubbish
   - for customisation, Dolphin Browser   - for speed, Opera Mini

- Music Player - again, the stock app is a bit lacking
   - Winamp - really whips the llama's ass
   - Google Music - all music in the cloud, stream to your phone, or save for offline listening

- File Browser 
   - ES File Browser - this app does everything: Bluetooth transfers, file management, wirelessly access your computer, sync to Dropbox. can't believe it's free. it's even got a media player!

- Notes & Tasks
   - Evernote - great app that syncs notes with desktop
   - Astrid Tasks - a to-do app that reminds you with alarms, syncs to calendars, and more.

- Lock screen 
   - No Lock - turn off the lock screen. no more swiping every 5 mins.

CONNECTIVITY:
get the most out of your Android phone's Wi-fi. Goodbye Wires!

- Airdroid - wirelessly connect to Computer, transfer files through Internet browser on PC/Mac. simulates a nice GUI desktop, prettier than using ES File Browser.
- Dropbox
- Dropsnap (€2.80) - automatically uploads your pictures to a Dropbox folder
- Eircom WiFi Access - automatically connect to encrypted WEP Eircom networks
- Twonky Mobile (€2.12) - stream to Xbox, transfer files over WiFi to other phones, waayyy faster than Bluetooth
- Wifi Analyzer - detects nearby networks and lets you know their security level and location (which wall should I stand next to?)
- Viber - uses Wifi or mobile data to make free calls to other smartphones

MUSIC:
with SD cards of up to 32GB, why carry another music player?

 - Grooveshark App (€4) Grooveshark is on the way out, apparently. still a great app tho.
- TuneIn Radio - browse & listen to radio - live, local, and global
- gstrings Free - guitar tuner app
- Soundhound - listens to songs playing and identifies them
- PimpMyMusic - music file tagger
- Ringdroid - make ringtones out of your music files
- Doggcatcher - great little Podcast manager (€3.70 to buy)


SECURITY:
protect all your info, or lock phone if it's nicked

- Prey - used GPS to locate - and lock - your phone if stolen. can get the number of a sim card put into it after marked stolen, and text it to you.
 

TOOLS AND UTILITIES:
some other handy little apps

- Tiny Flashlight
- Barcode Scanner - scans barcodes and QR codes and looks em up
- Entertainment.ie app  - cinema, theatre, music listings
- App2SD - automatically moves apps to SD card to free space
- Disk Usage - tells you where your space is gone on the phone
- Documents to Go - open Word, PDF, Powerpoint
- Volume Control + - prevent phone changing volume accidentally when volume buttons pressed


SIMPLY GENIUS...

- Tasker (€4.50) - everything that makes open-source great, and Android superior to iPhone.

TechAndrew LynchComment