Must-have Android apps
We've got a list of 10 apps that will make your life easier and more fun.
Tue, Nov 02, 2010 at 03:04 PM
You need the best Android apps to go with your best Android phone, don’t you? Well, we have the rundown on the 10 must-have Android apps to install on your phone.
We selected a range of apps, from games to budget tools to helping you get around the city in the hopes that this will serve as good first step into the Android app world
You’re busy with a huge to-do list. Managing this can be a real pain, but Astrid and its octopus mascot have you covered. With Astrid, you can set deadlines, tag the items on your list, color-code them and even remove big events from your list until they’re closer to happening so they don’t clutter up your more day-to-day activities. Read more: weloveastrid.com
Like Astrid, Mint is a great way to organize your life. If Astrid manages your daily to-do, Mint helps manages your finances. With password-protected locks on all the accounts you put into it, Mint allows you to create spending goals, compare month to month and how much you’re spending on what types of activities (groceries, bills, dining out, etc.). Read more: mint.com/features/android/
Shazam (Basic version: free, full version: $5)
Despite being available on a number of other types of phones, your life really isn’t complete without Shazam. Boot up this app when you hear a song or piece of music playing, and Shazam will identify the music for you, give you artist information, and the option to purchase the song.
On Android, the app comes with a free seven-day trial of its full version Encore that allows for unlimited identifying of music. After the trial ends, you’re limited to identifying five songs a month unless you purchase Encore for a one time fee. Read more: shazam.com
WordWise (Basic version: free, full version: 99 cents)
Inspired by Scrabble, WordWise is a competitive crossword game you can play on your Android device. It works roughly the same as Scrabble, although there are enough differences to avoid a lawsuit. Using a Google account, you can play against someone you know (provided you have their account name) or play a game with a stranger who also has the app loaded on their phone.
The free version of WordWise allows you to have active games going at a time, with ads. The pro version allows you to have up to 100 active games, and contains no ads. Read more: appbrain.com
Billed as a “Reality Browser,” Layar uses your phone’s camera and GPS to determine where you are and compares that information to data from sites like Wikipedia and Yelp! to give you recommendations on where to eat, sites to visit, or even houses for sale.
You’ll access each layer you want (food, information, etc) from a menu and the app will bring the data to you through your phone with small pop-up windows on your screen.
Layar is only as good as the databases it pulls from, however, so sometimes the information can be a barebones depending on how much information is available. But as more people make this sort of information available on the Web, Layar’s use should grow. Read more: Layar.com
We’re always on the look out for the best deals, and ShopSavvy helps you make sure you’re getting a good one. With the app open, you’ll scan a product’s bar code. The app will then run the barcode through its database and price compare all the listings it finds, including local stores and on-line retailers. The app will also allow you to make wishlists and keeps a history of the products you’ve scanned for future reference. Read more: ShopSavvy
Color Flashlight (Free)
We already all use our phones as a flashlight, like when we’re trying to unlock a door at night or when the power goes out. Sometimes your phone just isn’t enough though, and that’s where this app comes in handy. Loading the app will set your phone’s brightness up to nearly the max, won’t power down the light so long as the app is loaded so there’s no need to keep pushing a button to keep your screen on.
The app comes with a variety of features, including a variety of colors as well as features that mimic strobe lights, disco balls, and a candle for those romantic outings. Read more: Color Flashlight
Dolphin Browser (Free)
So you already have an Internet browser built into your phone, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck using it. Dolphin Browser is the best alternative for your mobile browsing experience. Excellent pinch-and-zoom response, tabbed browsing, and bookmark importing make it a must. With the latest update, the menu gets uncluttered so the entire screen is devoted to your browsing experience. Best of all though: the browser will download YouTube videos to your SD card so you can watch them at your leisure. Read more: Review at CNet.com
Talk to Me Classic (Free)
Instead of lugging around an English-to-[insert language here] dictionary, download Talk to Me Classic. This translating app will take spoken English and translate it into a variety of languages. While the app only works with spoken English, it can also translate other languages, say French into Spanish, by typing the words into the app directly. The translation isn’t always perfect (what electronic translating service is?), but it’ll be within the ballpark. Read more: flaviuapps.com
One of the best healthcare apps on the Android Market, Epocrates is a drug reference app. It allows access to thousands of drugs, both brand and generic types, and supplies information on drug interactions, prices, pictures of the meds and safety information. The app is constantly updated with the latest information, making it useful for patients, doctors and pharmacists alike. Read more: Epocrates.com
Have some other recommendations for must-have Android apps? Leave them in the comments below!