I’ve now been using Android for over a year so I think its about time I put together a list of the Android Apps that I have found to be the most useful so far. I’m not big on games, so the list is made up of productivity apps and those that do the most to improve day-to-day usage. All of them are free apart from Klaxon, which has a demo version available if you want to try before you buy. I’ve linked each App to its profile on Androlib and past blog posts where possible.
1. WordPress – The WordPress app has just had an update released and is better than ever for Android. You get pretty much the same functionality as the full online version. You are able to view comments, posts, pages and stats. You can setup multiple blogs to post to and have the ability to add photos and videos to a post. It comes in very handy if you are away from a computer for a few days but still have access to the internet on your device and will be even better once Android tablets become available.
2. Google Maps Navigation – This is essentially Google’s own satellite navigation software and works quite well considering its free. You can give it spoken directions provided you are using Android 1.6 or higher. You can find all the demo videos you need here.
3. WiFi Buddy – I recently upgraded my HTC Hero from Android 1.5 to 2.1. On Android 1.5, you have the option to sleep the WiFi connection when the screen turns off. By default, on 2.1 you are only given the option to sleep the connection after 15 mins, never when plugged in, or Never, which isn’t great if you want to save on battery. With WiFi buddy you can edit the setting so that the Wifi sleeps when the screen turns off. It also provides more detailed WiFi settings than the defaults in Android.
4. Evernote – Blog Post Probably the best note-taking App around. Once you create a note using your phone, it is uploaded to an online account and therefore backed-up for future use. You are able to take written notes, a photo note or voice note. See the Android pictured above with the Evernote elephant.
5. BBC News There are a few BBC News apps available, but I find this version by Jim Blackler the best. You are given a variety of feeds to choose from, including World News, UK News, Front Page and Most Popular.
6. Swype – Blog Post Swype has only recently been released for Android and is now available to download and install for free. It is a new form of text input and having tried and tested it I can say that it is just as quick, if not quicker, than traditional touch text input on a touchscreen device. You will need Android 1.6 or higher for it to work. It will be coming as a standard input option one new devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S, but you are able to download it for older handsets, completely free.
7. Klaxon Alarm – This is my preferred alarm clock application available for Android. Although there are other free Apps, I have found them to be not as reliable as Klaxon. The premium version (which is only about £1.50) allows you to set multiple alarms, use music files as ringtones and has a good snooze feature. It can also display a desk clock, which displays your phones charge as a percentage when charging.
8. NetCounter – Blog Post This is a very simplistic app and not particularly pretty, but does exactly what you need it to and is a must have if you have a data limit on your tariff. NetCounter displays the amount of data your phone has used for both 3G and WiFi connections. You can also configure it to alert you once a certain amount of data has been used, helping you to avoid any extra chargers for going over your data limit.
10. RingDroid – This isn’t an essential app, but useful for editing music files to use as a ringtone. Perfect if you like the chorus from a song that has a long intro.
N.B: Another App that I have come across that may be useful to some is Locale 2, which allows you to change the language on your device.
If you’ve got any suggestions for useful Apps, please post them in the comments to this post.