With Verizon’s first two Android Phone’s launching today – the Motorola Droid and the HTC Droid Eris – there will be PLENTY of Android newbs trying to soak up all the Android Application goodness they can. But with so many applications on the market now… where do they look?
Fear not. Five Phandroid team members did some good lookin’ out and hand picked 10 applications each that they think you’ll want to check out from Android Market. There are overlaps/duplications but I thought it would be relevant to allow them… if more than one has it in their list it MUST be good, right?
Without further adieu:
John Ashton Edgar
About Me: Behind the scenes button pusher for a group of technology websites. Love wine, food, fellowship, and Android be thy name. In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas. Follow me on Twitter @johnashtonedgar!
- Amazon – They have a slick app and almost always the best pricing on everything. Need I say more.
- Astro – Sad to say but Android has lacked a file manager thus far, this fits the bill.
- Backgrounds – There is no better place to get your wallpapers to customize your desktop, sorry iPhone.
- Google Sky Map – Because it’s just cool!
- Google Voice – All my telephone numbers can be run through and controlled with GV.
- My Account – This is a T-mobile app that lets you work with your account.
- Shazam – Ever wonder who sings that song. This does that flawlessly.
- Shopsavvy – Scan an items bar code and it will tell you where to find it online or locally (mapping it as well) with the best pricing. Way cool!
- TED – The best minds in the world give lectures on Technology, Entertainment and Design. Above all, the most informative app.
- Twidroid Pro – This is a pay app but the best twitter client for Android. (@johnashtonedgar)
Android History – Used G1, MyTouch 3G and have owned an Iphone.
- Pandora – (Free) The application works nearly flawlessly over 3G, EDGE and WiFi. The application incorporates your online account saving your stations and favorite songs. The Android version of this application allows you to do multiple things while the music plays, it truly is great.
- Facebook for Android – (Free) As a Facebook fiend there is no better option on an Android device then the Facebook for Android App. Update your status, post pictures, check out your friends profiles, make comments all from the comfort of your device. This is a must have if you have a Facebook account.
- Twidroid – (Free and Paid Versions) My experience is with the free version which has been fantastic. For me – who is a heavy user while not necessarily being a “power” user – it is perfect. There are push updates, I can make my tweets quickly and I think the interface is pretty straight forward. I also appreciate that the developers constantly update the application.
- FeedR – (Paid) As a fan of many different tech, sports and news pages/blogs I like to know I can gain access to all of the latest news with the click of one button. FeedR has a clean, basic layout, has many options to update on its own, or at my own leisure. Adding new pages is a snap and the pages load very quickly. If you need an RSS reader (with many other options) FeedR is your #1 option.
- Movies by Flixster – (Free) I consider myself a pretty big movie fan and I like to gain access not only to movie times/locations but also movie reviews from the critics and my friends. The newest version of this app ties into your Facebook account so that you can see what your friends have to say and vice versa, which is a cool feature. I can also track the movies I have seen and keep a list of those I want to see.
- Open Home – (Full & Paid) One of the best features of any Android Powered device is the ability to customize not only your “wallpaper” but also your icons, widgets and overall layout of your device. There are so many different themes and styles that just about every device can match its owners style and personality. Though there are other worthy options (Fresh Face to name one) my favorite and standby is Open Home.
- Sportstap – (Free) I am a huge sports fan and I happen to like different teams throughout the different leagues – sports taps allows me to be up to date with scores, stats and information with fast updates tailored to my interests. The navigation is simple and once you select your favorite teams Sportstap will do the rest.
- The Weather Channel – (Free) Its simple and straight forward but I can set a few important locations (home, work and other favorite cities) and I can always know what is coming up and will also be able to answer the question “What will the weather be like tomorrow?” The widget is plain but useful, and the “Weather Alerts” are also useful for when serious weather is heading my way.
- Shazam – (Free) Why? Even though I happen to have satellite radio in my car I still find myself forgetting that new catchy songs title when it comes time to download it. Shazam not only will keep a list of all the songs I tag it definitely is a “wow factor” application when you can use it with your friends at a store, mall, club when the music is playing and there is no way to get the title or the artist. This is an app you may not use every day, but I am happy every time I use it.n’t? Well now you can fix both of these issues with Visual Voicemail. The application is a bit boring looking, but ti is straight forward and it works as described.
- Wapedia – (Free) There are a few options out there when it comes to wiki-clients, however my favorite is Wapedia. The user interface (UI) is solid, articles load quickly. Likely more useful then simply “googling” a question or term.
About Me: I’m a huge sports fan especially football and the Vikings. I currently have an iPhone 3GS (don’t hate me and yes AT&T sucks) and I will be getting the Droid when it comes out. I love Android because you can customize it your way and there is still so much untapped potential with this platform.
- Twidroid – Simply put the best twitter application for Android. Comes in either a free version or pro version ($4.89).
- Sportstap – A good-looking interface and a bundled widget make it easy to follow your favorite teams. (free)
- Pandora – You can’t really beat free music so enjoy it. (free)
- USA Today – The easiest way to get the latest news around the globe. (free)
- Shazam – I’m never good with remembering artists names or song titles. This app will come in handy more then you think. (free)
- WeatherBug – Wondering if you’re going to need an umbrella today? WeatherBug will let you know. (free)
- Where – If you travel a lot this might be your go to app. It will help you find a good meal, some good coffee, and will help you avoid traffic. (free)
- Movies by Flixster – Want to know what’s playing at the local theater? If not download it so you can kill some time by watching the latest trailers. (free)
- NBA game time lite (free) – It’s great to see professional sports leagues get on the Android fun. Now if ESPN could get off their ass and gives us a fantasy football app. (free)
- Open Home – Tired of your homescreen? Open Home allows you to customize fonts, colors, icons and much more. (not sure of the price)
My name is Breon Nagy and I’ve recently been drafted to write reviews for apps. I’m a self-proclaimed Android fanboy and others have called me a “mobile power users”. I love testing new apps and currently beta test several popular Android apps. My first Android phone was a T-Mobile G1 and I’ve since graduated to an HTC Hero on Sprint. I had a chance to test drive the Droid last week and I was rather impressed. Here’s a list of my MUST HAVE apps:
- Twidroid (FREE/€3.39 Pro) – Twidroid is a feature rich Twitter client. The Pro version allows for multiple accounts, Bit.ly URL shortening, and video upload. Both versions include sending and receiving tweets, @replies, direct messages as well as picture uploading and URL shortening (via several services). It has full search functionality and you can save searches too!
- Astro File Manager (FREE) – Astro is a file management tool that allows you to browse/cut/copy/delete files on your SD card (and read/copy files on the phone memory :). They’ve recently introduced other features such as an application manager and process manager.
- G-Backup (FREE Trial/$4.95 Full) – G-Backup will automatically upload ALL of your SMS, MMS, Pictures, Videos, and your Call Log to your Gmail account. It will sort them into whatever Gmail labels you specify. This is a great way to go back in time to find an old text message or a picture that you deleted off of your SD card.
- Handcent SMS (FREE) – Handcent is an alternative to using the stock Messaging app. It allows you to send and receive SMS and MMS messages. It’s real beauty is in the customization. You can skin the app to look like other messaging apps (*cough* iphone/hero *cough*) as well as change the color scheme of all OR individual conversations.
- Hi AIM (FREE) – The Droid that I tested did not have the stock Instant Messaging client on installed (it may ship with the final build). Hi AIM is a simple AOL instant messaging client that includes some customization. One unique feature is it allows you to set buddy online/offline notifications. (note: there are other IM clients that also aggregate Yahoo/MSN/Skype/etc services)
- Taskiller (FREE/€0.70 Full) – Taskiller is a task manager that allows you to see all of the running apps and processes on your phone. You can kill apps/processes individually or all at once. There is an “ignore” list that will prevent your favorite apps from being killed with the “kill all” button.
- Light Racer 3D (FREE Basic/$2.99 Full) – “Futuristic motorcycles race to the death in a 3D arena”…need I say more? If you’re a fan of a certain ’80s movie that rhymes with Fron, then you’ll love this. If you’re not a fan of said movie, you’ll love it anyway. This is by far the best 3D game on the Market and it works great on the Droid.
- Foursquare – Foursquare is an addictive location based game. You sign up for an account at http://foursquare.com. When you go places, you check in to them. Restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, whatever! If your favorite venue isn’t on the list, you can add it for MORE points.
- Open Home (FREE/$3.99 Full) – Open Home is a Home replacement. It gives you up to 7 home screens (versus stock 3) as well as the ability to customize the look and feel of the app tray, fonts, and icons via themes on the Market.
- Ustream Broadcaster (FREE) – Broadcast yourself live from your mobile phone! Or you can record videos to your SD card for later upload. Ustream also allows you to broadcast from your computer as well. A great service.
About Me: Here are the apps I use often.
- Shazam – Being a Dj you have to stay current and play stuff that gets people moving. Shazam hears a sample of the song through your phone and tries to recognize the Artist, Name of the song, and Album.
- FML by Evan Charlton – This program logs onto Fmylife.com and picks up peoples comments. If you ever have a bad day all you have to do is open this app and laugh your ass off. The app also lets you forward the comments via text and email. It also lets you comment.
- TasKiller – having the G1 had a lot of perks, but memory was not one of them. With 192mb of Ram one needs all the memory one can get so the phone does not lag. TasKiller terminates any undesired program. (EDITOR NOTE: Your Motorola DROID has this by default in Android 2.0 in the settings)
- SportsTap – is a sports app that keeps you updated with sporting scores. It also lets you select which teams you want to get scores from and how often.
- iMusic – searches blogs and free music site to stream or download songs. It also reads what type of music you like and builds categories with top 50 and top 100.
- NubiNews– organizes a collection of news and information sites under one app and lets you switch from site to site without using the browser.
- Flashlight – I know kind of weak, but its been very helpful in clubs, late at night and in the dark.
- Healthy Recipes – has 5 different categories one can choose from. You can also type in which dish you’ll like to make and it will give you healthy alternatives as how to cook that meal.
- My Account – is a T-Mobile app that lets the user see how many minutes he or she has spent, also texts users when they are about to go over their minutes and texts. You can also pay your bill as well as see your payment history. Lastly, it also controls the phone’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Data Roaming, GPS and Screen Brightness.
- TV.com –is an app that connects to CBS and CBS owned channels and programming (Showtime, the CW, cnet.com, the insider, etc…). The program does not just stream previews, but full episodes of popular shows. Missed Dexter, well not anyone. You can stream through Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity.
So there you have it… a good selection of applications to start downloading and testing out, recommended by your friendly Phandroid experts. And remember… next time you feel lost in the Andoid World, tap your heels together three times… “There’s no place like Phandroid. There’s no place like Phandroid. There’s no place like Phandroid.”
Thanks to John, David, Raji, Breon and Rob for their work on this article!