Discovering the Best Android Apps

andoird appsI’m a proud EVO 4G owner. I’ve had it for just over 2 months now and I love it. It’s allowed me to be much productive when I’m away from my office.

Of the few complaints I have about being a ‘Droid is the lack of solid information about the best apps. The Android Market website is lacking at best. It doesn’t make me want to download any apps and can make the most useful ones hard to find.

All of the apps I have now are recommendations from friends – which is the best/most trusted source for this kind of information. But I don’t like having to constantly ask people and be asked what apps I use the most.

In the spirit of sharing, here’s my list of apps that I have right now on my phone:

  • Bump – I find this more useful for sharing images and apps than contact info. The biggest downside so far is that I rarely run into someone that I want to exchange contact info with that also has this app downloaded.
  • Dropbox – this is on my “can;t live without” list. This is an awesome way to share files.
  • Evernote – people rave about this one. I use it to notate things I don;t want to forget, but haven’t become a rabid user yet.
  • Finance – perfect for keeping an eye on the stock market. Needless to say it integrate perfectly with my Google Finance portfolios.
  • Foursquare – not 100% convinced this will always be on the list. I’m still in test mode.
  • Fring – it’s downloaded and ready to use. None of my friends have it, so I’m still waiting to use it.
  • Google Sky Map – very cool app. Would be even more cool if it weren’t foggy in San Diego every single night.
  • Yahoo! Messenger – I use Yahoo! IM a lot in my office. This works well for getting in touch with international colleagues. I refuse to spend money on texting people with international phone numbers.
  • Open Spot – I can see the potential value in this, but I don’t live in a crowded metropolitan city, so I’m not the ideal user.
  • OpenTable – the best way to make a dinner reservation.
  • Pandora – perfect way to listen to the exact music I want.
  • ScoreCenter – the easiest way to keep up with my hometown teams.
  • Seesmic – the best Twitter app for Android that I’ve used yet. I’m still waiting for Tweetdeck to give a damn.
  • Shazam – I use this all the time to find songs I want to put on my iPod.
  • Google Voice – I’m easing my way into this one. Right now I’m using it to screen calls and have custom voicemails for groups within my contacts.
  • Waze – a real-time crowdsourced traffic app. I love this concept and I’m doing my best to help these guys through their BETA phase. I think this has tons of promise.
  • Zillow – what better way to find out what practically any house is worth.

How does this compare to your list? What am I missing? I would love to get your feedback in the comment section below.

6 thoughts on “Discovering the Best Android Apps”

  1. Games: Air Control, best addicting game on the market yet.
    Health: Droid Fit, you can write your own workout schedules and record everything you do on a workout before, during or after.
    Also of course you need Cardio Trainer. Best all around take my big phone with me running app. My mytouch slide can fit handy in one of the old iphone carriers. Tracks in real time your distance and running times. Good for bikes and rollerblading.
    Something you probably should use. Google Translator. It helped me get out of some sticky situation at the markets overseas. It reads what you type in english in german, spanish and about 50 more languages.
    USAA app for mobile banking is great. Feel comfortable using it while it asks you for your pin, so it is really secure.

  2. I agree with Pandora, Google Sky, Seesmic, ESPN Score Center, and Shazam. Definite must-haves.

    I've been wanting to try Bump, but like you said, I have yet to find anyone who has a compatible phone.

    Coming from BlackBerry, I really appreciate the great browser on my Verizon HTC Incredible. What a huge improvement. I know that's not an application, but it's the best thing about this phone.

    My other faves are:

    BarCode Scanner – you can scan the bar code for just about anything and it tells you what it is and the best prices in the area for it. You can also use it to download applications you find on the computer just by “scanning” the screen.

    RadarNow – Obviously, as a meteorology student and all-around weather geek, this is a great one for me. It allows me to zoom in to wherever I am and track storms with real-time radar. I can see this being pretty useless in southern CA.

    Google Maps/Navigation – Again, coming from BlackBerry, had no choice but to pay $10 per month for GPS navigation through VZW Navigator if I wanted it. Love that this is free and perfectly accurate.

    NFL Mobile – highlights and clips of games, as well as news from favorite teams

  3. I can't believe I forgot to mention Barcode Scanner. That is a great one. Thanks!

    RadarNow seems like fun. But you're right. I don't need it here in SoCal. Is that just for storms? What do you use for all-around weather predictions?

    Great call also on the Navigation. I really love the way it's integrated with Google Maps. How are GPS devices going to compete?

  4. Mystic –

    Thanks so much for your input!

    I'm going to give Air Control a try. I haven't tried too many games yet.

    Cardio Trainer sounds useful, but I can't imagine ever carrying my EVO with me while I run. It's too cumbersome.

    And I've been meaning to try the USAA app out. Sounds awesome.

  5. RadarNow isn't just for storms…shows the radar in the area anytime. I like it because it's better than the stock radar that comes with most weather programs, and also because it works with the phone's GPS. So if I'm out watching storms in another state, it will still pinpoint exactly where I am and show what's going on around that spot. For regular weather forecasts, so far I like the HTC one that came with my phone the best. It has fun graphics; if it is raining, it will show raindrops on m home screen and a windshield wiper will sweep across the screen and clear them off. I also like the free verson of WeatherBug…that's a solid program on any smartphone, and it also will alert you of severe weather watches/warnings.

    I also have one called Earthquake that might be more useful to you. Today this crazy alarm went off on my phone and I had no clue what it was. Turns out it was an earthquake in California. I'm pretty sure by the time an earthquake alert comes to your phone, you're pretty aware of the ground shaking around you…I don't know. I had to turn off the alerts – clearly unnecessary unless your are a serious geophysicist.

  6. I'm going to download RadarNow. Sounds awesome.

    As for the earthquakes, there should be a Foursquare-like app that allows you to check-in as soon as you feel it. Obviously it tracks your location. That way you get a crowdsourced rating of a quake. Good idea, right?


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