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May 3, 2010

What Are Your Favorite Android Apps?

Even if tech blogs keep track of the number of apps in the Android Market, it's important to know that Android users can install applications from other sources. If Google decides that an application like Music Junk should be removed from the Market, you can install it from SlideME or from any other website.

There are many reasons why the number of Android apps is still small: Android Market is not available for all Android phones, paid apps are only available in a few countries, there's no official web interface and Google has rarely promoted Android Market. That's why I decided to share some of my favorite Android apps. I've only tested them using Google Nexus One, but they should work on other Android phones.

1. Quick Settings replaces a lot of widgets: it's the quickest way to turn off WiFi, to change brightness settings, to turn off auto rotation or turn on bluetooth.

2. NetCounter is a simple application that monitors network traffic for 3G and WiFi. It's useful if you don't have a mobile data plan or your traffic is limited.

3. AppBrain is a useful service that lets you find other great Android applications. It shows recommendations, applications that are suddenly popular and it also have a web interface.

4. Cubed is a music player with an innovative user interface. It's better looking than the stock music player and it's fun to use.

5. Spare Parts is an application from Android's SDK which shows a lot of interesting stats about your phone's battery and a summary of application usage. If you're wondering how much time your Android phone spent with screen on or you want to monitor the network traffic of an application, use Spare Parts.

6. Astro is one of the best Android file managers and it comes with a lot of nifty perks, including an image viewer and an archive viewer.

7. AK Notepad is a simple application for writing notes. You can add a note to your home screen, add a reminder or export it to a text file.

8. StopWatch provides a stop watch timer, a countdown timer and has a very simple user interface.

9. Ethereal Dialpad lets you "create flowing music with an expressive touch synthesizer". It's relaxing and you never get bored using it.

10. Seesmic is my favorite free Twitter client for Android. It has support for multiple accounts, background notifications and it has a great composing dialog.

11. Google Translate combines translation with a text-to-speech service. If you use voice input, you don't even have to type the text you want to translate.

12. Nexus One Torch - probably the best flashlight application for a rooted Nexus One.

What are your favorite Android applications?

Update: Matt Cutts also shared his favorite Android apps.


  1. The #1 app didn't even make your top 10: Advanced Task Killer is a must if you plan on your battery lasting more than a couple hours. Nice list otherwise.


  2. Mine ...
    - MyTracks - Always on when hiking or cycling, awesome.
    - Dolphin Browser - A simple way to separate browser profiles by using a separate browser
    - Tricorder - for just about everything, totally nifty & fun
    - Barcode Scanner - those QR codes are popping up everywhere it seems
    - PdaNet - simple tethering for Windows
    - Klaxon - my alarm clock, just works
    - RealCalc calculator
    - Google Sky Map - fun to demo :)
    - Pintail - for hopefully finding my phone again
    - Paranoid Android contact information app for the locking screen
    - Ultimate Stopwatch
    - FBReader for e-books

    For keeping the kids happy (ok, sometimes fun for me too :-)):
    - Zebra Paint (all time favorite)
    - Slide Puzzle
    - Tilt Lander
    - Abduction
    - Air Control
    - Finger Paint
    - Electrum Drum II & Musical Pro
    - Sketch-a-Etch

    Recently the kids have started looking at geocaching, so I installed all those apps too (+ compiled a connector for GeOrg), but I haven't found the best one to use yet :)

  3. One that I never see showing up on these lists is On Air, which turns your phone into an FTP, WebDAV, or AppleTalk server. It's a great way to move files between your phone and a computer.

  4. I'm a fan of previously mentioned Astro, AppBrain, ATK, Seesmic, Abduction!, RealCalc, & Google Sky Maps, my other favorites are in no particular order:
    * Filkie Wallpapers HD (just discovered that app today!)
    * Speedx 3D
    * Helix Launcher -- for Droid & N1 users who have home screen envy of SenseUI
    * Movies by Flixster
    * Camera Pro -- replacement for Camera app
    * Sound Manager -- one stop volume control app
    * gTasks -- Task list that syncs with Google Tasks (could be a lot better but it's the only app I know that does this)
    * Transdroid -- remote control for bittorrent
    * Compass
    * JuiceDefender with UltimateJuice -- increased my battery life per charge by a good 50%

  5. Oh yeah, I like Transdroid, too. I also like LEDs Hack (requires root), which turns off all lights on the Nexus One while it's plugged in, and SleepTime, which closes an app of your choice after a set period of time (good for listening to Pandora, Listen, etc., when I go to sleep).

  6. Everyone looking for a geocaching app should install C:Geo! The best one so far!

  7. Anyone have any recommendations on any Apps that are great for lost/stolen phones? Like remote logging out of accounts, remote killing, locating via GPS, etc?

  8. @Jase Barone

    you should check out the first people to download it will have it free for life

  9. I have absolutely squeezed my G1 for as much as it can without bringing it to its knees:

    @fynali (on twtr)

  10. The Android App I use most is 3Banana for notes/logs. Synchs with Internet site (uses Google account login) and has an open interface - if you make your own apps and need a log/notebook function you can easily integrate with 3Banana.

  11. Searchify is great - it lets you do things like wikipedia search and unit conversion from the android search box.

  12. My favorite application: Jewels, nice when you have some spare time :)

  13. MyTracks and Google skymap are my top favourites.

  14. I fly every week. One app that has helped me keep updated on delays is Air Traffic Control Status US.

  15. I think you are missing part of the point. We need recognizable names for companies who develop, so we can trust downloading the application, or some kind of user group who gives opinions about applications, about how secure they are, how much they value your privacy, ... . And no, user comments is not enough. An average user comment would not give the kind of information required for deciding about installing an application. This is part of what names of big companies do, you know you can trust them, at least you know who they are.

    How can I trust an application written by some unknown entity, which is not vetted by any trust-worthy authority? I can not go and check who is who and what they do for each application I install. The general user feedback is not good enough for this purpose. An ordinary user needs some kind of professional advice about what can install safely. At least the developers of applications should be clearly known, thus if something goes wrong, say the application is a spyware, you can go after them.

    The freedom for developers is good, but absence of any kind of vetting by professionals is not.

    And still, I think that Google needs to find a way to share revenue with developers, say some kind of in application advertising. Otherwise it will take much longer to get applications of quality we see on Apple's market. The opensource community will catch up, but it will take much longer, and I don't think this is something Android can afford in competition with iPhone. At the end, what is important for end users is their experience with the applications, not having a opensource OS or that Nexus One has a much better hardware.

  16. I see that some of your favorite apps are on my list as well. I have divided my list to the already installed apps, utilities and other software.

    This is my list:

  17. My husband and I Just got our Evos a week ago, so we haven't even scratched the service. Here's my list thus far but may change when I realize I probably don't use most of that crap;)

    + Vignette - I'm a photographer and was blown away by the effects of this inexpensive app
    + GTasks - LOVE
    + gReader for the blogs I read
    + Ringtones
    + Advance Task Killer
    + Bubble - I commented to my husband after installing this that we don't even need anything else other than our phones anymore
    + Unit Converter - great for cooking/sewing
    + FlickrFree - use daily
    + Our Groceries - let's me sync lists with my husband's phone list and he adds thing as he thinks of them without having to remind me....AWESOME!
    + TiKL/Touch to Talk - husband has a fetish for flashlights and walkie/talkies so this is getting used a lot along with the next app
    + LED Flashlight - uses the camera flash as a flashlight
    + ColorNote Notepad
    + Misc stuff: Calorie Counter, BMI/BMR calculators,

  18. My favorite app is called "What's For Lunch?". It's on Android. It's an app that will find a random restaurant based on your GPS but the funiest thing is the monkey video that has a background including Charlie Sheen, Howard Stern, and Jersey Shore. Hilarious!

  19. Whats your favorite Android App,
    Come and post your favorite and most useful android app!

  20. You missed ShowMeMore (naked scanner) :)