Saturday, July 10, 2010

Must-have Android apps

android-logo A few months ago I traded in my Windows Mobile phone for an Android device. From the research I did back then, going over to the Android platform seemed like the most natural thing to do, given my requirements. And I haven’t regretted it since.

Sporting a fantastic user interface, spiffy response, plenty of great apps that can be downloaded and installed over the air, and the ability to synchronize all of my contacts and calendar information with the Google cloud makes it a very compelling proposition indeed. I’m also pretty happy with the capabilities and features on my Samsung i7500 Galaxy (5PM camera, LED flash, WiFi, Accelerometer, GPS, 3.2-inch AMOLED screen et al), though support is a different issue altogether—Samsung seems to have completely forgotten about this phone in their firmware update strategy. Be that as it may, Android is a great platform and one that I think I’ll be with for a while. Going by the industry and consumer support, and the strides they’re making with each release, Android is certainly in it for the long run.

I’ve tried out numerous apps from their store—some great, some that I disposed of not long after using them. So in no particular order (and in debatable classification), here are the ones that are on my phone to stay:


Shazam: Undoubtedly cool: can’t recall the name of that song on the radio? Shazam it!
Layar: A great augmented reality browser—you’ve got to use it to experience it
FxCamera: Fun image effects with your camera phone
Google Sky: Totally awesome—point your phone at a star and it pulls up info on it!
Foursquare: The social networking app that’s making waves—especially useful if you’re a party animal/pub crawler/foodie
Facebook: If you have a Facebook account (what? you don’t??) you’ll need this on your phone
10001 Cocktails: ‘nuff said
Barcode scanner: Works with most barcodes—fun to show off with
Yes, it is. Loads of laughs, and with timed release!
Schottgunn: A fun, senseless shotgun simulation app
AK-47: Like Schottgunn: a fun, senseless AK-47 app
Tesla sparks: Touch the screen and see groovy tesla sparks. Pointless. Fun.
The Schwartz Unsheathed: The glory of the Jedi light sabre in your Android phone—complete with cool sound effects!
Air horn: Great for waking up your colleague dozing off in the next cubicle at 3PM!


Fring: A VOIP telephony app that connects to MSN, Google, Skype etc
K9 Mail e-mail client: A pretty feature packed and capable POP/SMTP mail client
AK Notepad: Great notepad/reminder application
Voice Recorder: Turns your Android into a dictaphone
Thesaurus: Never be at a loss for words
Wapedia: Wikipedia on your phone


SlideIT: An excellent, intuitive alternative to Android’s default on-screen keyboard
Wifi Static: Switch Wi-Fi profiles, along with your phones’ IP configuration
Locale: Auto-switch features of your phone (ringer, Wi-Fi, bluetooth etc) based on your location
Astro file manager: Must, must have file manager
Opera Mini 5 Beta: An Android port of the browser you know and love
Dolphin browser:
A pretty cool browser; try it and you might like it
Ringdroid: Intuitively slice MP3s files right on your phone, then save them as ringtones!
Google Translate: Very handy if you’re travelling, or want to impress your better half with a pseudo-knowledge of French of Spanish
Photoshop for Android: A very scaled-down version of the bloatware imaging app we all know and love. No, it’s actually pretty nice.
MyBackup: Backup all of your Android’s data—great when flashing your phone
Android Agenda Widget: A neat widget that puts important calendar entries right up there on your home screen


Poke-a-mole: Totally fun and very addictive
Trap: A very neat, and very addictive game—hard to explain, easy to get the hang of. Try it!
Hit the Penguin: If you’ve played the online Flash version, you’ll love this one
Abducted: Nice time-killer, uses your phone’s tilt sensor
Replica Island: Great 2D-side scrolling adventure game with neat graphics
Throttle copter: A fun side-scrolling ‘copter game
Paper toss: My favorite!
Chess: Uses a pretty challenging engine
Pinball: Yep, a classic way to kill time
Labyrynth Lite: A fun maze game that uses your phone’s tilt sensor


vinit said...

is there any way to watch videos (on your home lan) directly via wifi without some sort of transcoding/streaming server app? this functionality is now the *only* reason why i can't switch over from winmo...!

Ronit Bhat said...

Hello...I own a HTC Hero. I needed to know if you rooted your phone...Does it help?...Can I run apps off the SD Card?Also...Do you know anyone who can do it for me?I don't trust myself with the phone...

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