Monday, January 17, 2011

What android apps to use?

Sometimes friends and family ask what apps I recommend for their smartphones.  Renae and I have been using the Motorola Droid since the day it was released in 2009.  I have downloaded and played with a LOT of apps. Sometimes I have really good recommendations for apps to try out, and sometimes my mind goes blanks.

Over the weekend, I found Lifehacker's round-up of their best posts about android from 2010. I'd recommend any android user at least look through the first two posts on this list.

One of the new apps I discovered from those posts is AppBrain. AppBrain is primarily a way to find the best android apps in a way that is easier than browsing or searching the Android Market.  But it also provides ways to sort through apps you have installed on your phone and easier ways to install/uninstall apps, depending on your phone.

I've used AppBrain to assemble a list of apps that I would recommend to family and friends. Check it out below.  Or, see the entire list of every app I currently have installed on my phone

My most valuable apps
  • Barcode Scanner : I use this app all the time for scanning product barcodes and QR codes for looking up URLs.
  • Droidlight LED Flashlight : Renae convinced me that I would use this app. After downloading it, I can't believe that I went so long without it. I never need to look for a flashlight if I have my phone.
  • Cozi Family Organizer : We are using this app to coordinate our calendars and keep track of a single shared grocery shopping list.
  • Key Ring Reward Cards : I store all of my store membership/loyalty bar codes with this app. It includes a bar code scanner to help enter new codes. If you use this, turn the brightness on the screen way down so it can be scanned easily at the store.
  • Slacker Radio : I like slacker radio better than pandora because I can listen to stand-up comedy as well as music.
  • TWIDROYD PRO for Twitter : My preferred twitter client.
  • Springpad : Store notes, tasks, recipes and much more with this app.
  • Listen : Podcast player. Currently in beta, so expect bugs.
(8 total, 7 free (87%), 1 paid (12%), 8MB total size, $3.99 total price)

View this Android app list on AppBrain

Honorable mention apps
  • Shazam : Don't know what the tune is called that you're hearing on the radio? Use this app to try to figure it out.
  • My Tracks : Uses GPS on your phone to keep track of a route you have traveled. Useful for running, biking, or hiking.
  • Groupon : Sync with your groupon account.
  • AppBrain App Market : Better app browsing and management. I like this app more and more every day.
  • Google Goggles : Take a photo of an object and landmark and use google to help identify it.
  • Kindle for Android : Ebook reader. (I like the other ebook readers on Android, too.)
  • Google Reader : The really cool feature of this app is that you can use the volume buttons on the phone to quickly scroll through your feed items.
  • Blogaway : One of the better blogger clients for the android operating system.
  • Gmote 2.0 : Control your tunes playing on your desktop computer from your phone.
(9 total, 9 free (100%), 0 paid (0%), 12MB total size, $0 total price)

View this Android app list on AppBrain

Apps for nerds

  • Subsonic Music Streamer : I'm using this app to stream all of my mp3s from my home network to my phone. Love it!
  • Tuner - gStrings Free : This is a great little tuner app. (For music nerds.)
  • Comics : This app is a good comic book reader. It has an integrated store which works really well, too.
  • Virtual Recorder
  • MyBookDroid - books library : I use this app to keep track of my books and sync with
  • GeoBeagle: Geocaching : Do you like to go geocaching? This app helps you plan which caches to go looking for.
  • deciBel : This is a sound level meter. It is not calibrated for scientific use, but it's pretty good for relative sound level measurements.
  • Scientific Calculator : This is my favorite scientific calculator app.
(8 total, 8 free (100%), 0 paid (0%), 4MB total size, $0 total price)

View this Android app list on AppBrain

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