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.

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.

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

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)

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.

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


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

TechAndrew LynchComment