Here are the Android Apps that I currently love. It’s not a complete list, but it’s a pretty good start.
Music and sound apps
- Subsonic: stream music from your home computer to your phone
- Listen: save and play podcasts like This Week in Google
- Tuner – gStrings: a great guitar tuner
- Pandora Radio: stream customized music based on artists you like
- RingDroid: Make a ringtone or alarm out of any sound you record
- Voice Recorder: Record audio and mail it to yourself
- Shazam: Identify any song you hear
Apps for when you’re traveling
- TripIt: keep track of trips and plane flights for upcoming travel
- Google Translate: translate tons of languages into tons of other languages. You can also do voice-recognition-to-text for English, then translate. This app will even do text-to-speech (voice synthesis) in many languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, and German.
- Yelp: Find great restaurants nearby. Pro tip: scan the reviews to discover good dishes to order.
- Compass: also handy when you’re traveling
- Twitter: official Twitter app for Android. This app can take empty/missing pictures in your contacts and populate your contacts’ pictures with their Twitter profile pictures, which is nice.
- Seesmic: another fantastic Twitter app for Android
- Google Buzz widget: an easy way to post to Buzz from your phone. By the way, I’ve noticed myself using Buzz more and more recently. When I started on Twitter, it took me several months to warm to the service. I think the same principle applies to Buzz. Buzz fills a nice niche between Twitter (microblogging) and regular blogging. It’s great when you want to throw out one quick idea, but you need more than 140 characters.
Cool demos / showing off
- Google Skymap: move your phone to see where stars are. Like augmented reality for the sky.
- Tricorder: shows all the different sensor readings of your phone. Includes accelerometer and tilt sensors, GPS and lat/lon, wifi, cell phone strength, compass, acoustic data–even solar activity.
- Metal Detector: an app that detects metal. I still don’t know how it works (maybe it uses the magnetometer sensor that allows the compass), but it actually does work on many types of metal
- Google Earth: most of the eye candy of Google Earth, but on your phone
- LED Scroller: enter a message and your phone turns into a faux LED scrolling sign. Kinda low-tech, but impresses people more than I expected.
- Hypnotic Spiral: makes a swirling spiral that you can control
- The Schwartz Unsheathed: a light sword that makes cool sounds as you move your phone.
Signal strength apps
- Wifi Analyzer: walk around and see a dynamic graph of wifi signal strength. Great for picking the right place to sit in an airport or cafe to get the best wifi signal
- Antennas: shows a Google map with nearby antennas on it. Good for monitoring your phone’s signal strength
- RF Signal Tracker (two versions, Donut and Eclair): another app to measure cell phone tower signal strength
QR Code and Barcode apps
- Key Ring: scan your loyalty and other membership cards (e.g. Safeway, or your gym). Then use this app instead of carrying a bunch of membership cards around. I wish my phone could replace everything in my wallet.
- App Referrer: shows all your installed apps. Click on an application and it will generate a large QR barcode on your screen that your friend can scan to install the same app.
- Barcode Scanner: scan barcodes and QR codes. Very handy to install applications and visit urls. Note that the “Barcode Scanner” app (like App Referrer) can also show QR codes for applications — just press the options button. Can also show QR codes for contacts, bookmarks, and the clipboard.
Core apps / misc
- My Tracks: records where you go using GPS and lets you upload a “track” to Google Maps
- Navigation: get turn-by-turn directions as you drive
- Movies: check movie times and see ratings from critics vs. audiences
- Wheres My Droid: If you lose your phone and it’s in silent mode, this app will help you find your phone. I’ve tried Mobile Defense and that’s also very nice.
- WordPress: Upload images and blog from your phone
- Amazon.com: mobile shopping, plus add things to your Amazon wishlist
- Shopper: Google app to scan barcodes and show product search results
- BBC News: see the latest in world news. This is an unofficial widget.
- News and Weather: customizable news, plus this app shows weather in your current location. Wish I could enter 3-4 cities and flick between weather reports though.
- Weather: see the weather in multiple cities
- Google Finance: check stock prices and news
- Google Maps: see where you are
Google also offers a lot of mobile apps, but I just wanted to highlight my favorite applications.
Would also like to add few more which you can find easily in the Android Market for free -
- Strobe lights
- Advanced Task Killer [ very important app ]
- Fx Camera
- Air Horn
- ThinkFree Office
Okay, those are my favorite Android apps, but what did I miss? Which Android Apps do you love?
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