I’ve been an Android user for some 8 months now, and I’ve tried out dozens if not hundreds of apps on my Samsung Galaxy S. The open-source nature of the android provides almost limitless possibilities on the one hand, but a fair amount of bugginess on the other. Here are the apps I believe every android user should have after testing them and using them myself.
With android on the rise, the Google OS has already overtaken RIM’s BB and Apple’s iPhone, and is poised to take 45% of the smartphone market share by 2016
1- Mobile Guard
To enjoy the full-potential of your android OS, you have to be in constant control of every aspect, from what apps are running, to how you’re battery is being used up, to how the files are managed, software is maintained and your network and data consumption. This app does all that, and more!
Besides being an amazing app killer (the best I’ve used), Mobile Guard is also a quick and easy uninstaller, for the buggy apps you need to get rid of. So, it helps you shave off the apps that are running without you knowing. It also allows you to set your GPRS data limit, and helps you keep track of it in realtime, so you know if you could attach that 1.5 mb photo or not… NetQin have even managed to cram in a file manager, that helps you delete, create and organize folders and files on your mobile. The widget is beautiful too, with a simple “optimize” button that you customize beforehand to speed up your phone’s performance, and buttons to turn on/off your WIFI, GPRS and Bluetooth!
Definite 5/5. It does everything you need, and is absolutely free
2- Opera Mini
I live in Lebanon, the country with the world’s worst and most expensive internet, so I count kilobytes and not megabytes when I’m keeping track of my data plan limit. That’s why, I use Opera Mini for Android. This beautiful browser has all the features you need, but offers you the fastest, least data-consuming mobile internet surfing. It renders the images on its own servers, and sends a watered-down version to your mobile, sparing you the time and kilobytes. What’s awesome too is that when you hit “back” or “forward”, you don’t need to wait for the page to reload… So, this needs to be your mobile browser on Android, love it!
I also use it to access Facebook, cause their app is super-sluggish on Lebanese internet connections =(
I give Opera Mini a 5/5 for speed, reliability and simplicity
Tweetdeck encompasses anything you need to tweet photos, locations, videos, shorten urls, deck.ly long-tweet support, very customizable notifications and in-app previews of images and embedded media.
What’s cool is that you can also integrate your Foursquare account, and Facebook. I’d recommend you dont use Facebook on TweetDeck, notification over-load, especially if your timeline is active and your FB notifications are too much.
So, I give TweetDeck a 4.5/5, cause no “reply all” option yet
I club a lot, and listen to a lot of good, and bad, music. The technology gods have given us the ability to find out any song’s name and artist, to either glorify, bash, or just download illegally from somewhere!
For this, I use Shazam Encore. Why the “Encore”, well, the Shazam guys decided they’re gonna be greedy and charge 5$ if you want to tag more than 5 songs/month, which I think is absurd. To by-pass this annoyance, just go to http://www.4shared.com from your Android’s browser, and punch in: “Shazam Encore.apk” download, save, and voila! Fully functional paid app, for free, with no rooting or other jail-break-ish procedures needed.
Simply tap on the blue screen when the app is open, and let the app “listen” to the song. It will then match it and save it as a “tag” with full details about the song, genre, artist, remix, etc. It also has a cool widget which shows you a “tag stream” from users near you.
I’ll give it a 4/5, cause it doesn’t always get it right the first time, and gets remixes mixed up!
This nifty app is pure Google genius. Your phone has eyes, can read, compute and even solve sudokus using your phone’s camera. If the person you just met’s name is too long, simply Google Goggle it, and it will be scanned, analyzed and become savable as a contact with a tap!
Goggles can also search the terms you scanned, or if it’s a famous painting or piece of art, identify it. It can also work in-sync with your GPS, to identify restaurants and link you to their Google Map entries or wikipedia pages. The app can also scan barcodes and QR codes, but I wouldn’t recommend you use it for that, instead, use the next app in line.
Recently, with Android’s Froyo OS 2.2, it can even solve Sudoku puzzles!
I’ll give the goggles a solid 4/5, cause even though the art and venue features don’t work, the text analysis works charmingly and has proven itself very useful.
If you’re wondering what that code on the right side is, it’s a QR code (Quick Response Code). It can contain your choice of information and/or commands for your mobile. You just scan it with your camera, and it either gives you some text, redirects you to a webpage, or makes the information savable as a contact. It is much, much faster than Google Goggles and better than its iOS counterpart. I loved using it, and believe it will one day replace business cards…
I’ll give it a 5/5 for doing its job perfectly and swiftly
If you use WordPress for your website like me, WordPress apps usually suck. The iOS one on my iPad is virtually useless, and most importantly, does not show you stats! The android app though is surprisingly fast and includes everything you need to moderate comments, create complete posts (several posts, especially Fashals, were posted here by my Android app) and most feed your addiction with stats =P
I give this a shiny 5/5 for being so awesome
This app recently gained voice! You can now speak Spanish into it, and it’ll translate it by voice into English, then reply to your Spaniard friend in English, and it’ll talk Spanish for you! For now, this feature is still in Beta, but soon, more languages will be added!
Apart from that, it is a perfect translation app, dictionary and thesaurus. It’s fast, not glitchy, and provides an audible pronunciation of the word (so you never have to argue with anyone over how to pronounce “develop” or “police”)
I give this app 5/5 because it allows you to speak any language, literally!
My favorite mobile game… You need to combine marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti to build elaborate structures to get to your destination. Watch out for the frogs though. Endless fun, but use 4shared.com to download the full version with all the levels!
It definitely gets a full score of 5/5
We all juggle between desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets and a million other devices. Unfortunately, USBs never contain everything we need, and for handicaps in certain devices, like no USB port in Apple’s iPad, storage devices aren’t the answer. Dropbox is a simple-to-use cloud-based storage area, where you can “drop” files such as photos, text and even programs and reopen them from any other device which also has dropbox. It is also perfect for sharing files too big to be attached on Gmail (+25 MB)
It is sometimes unresponsive and you cannot cancel an upload, so, it gets a 3.5/5 from me
I hope this helps! And please feel free to add any apps you think I should’ve mentioned too!