If you’re in the market for a brand-new smartphone–or if you feel that you haven’t fully taken advantage of your current one–finding great apps is the last piece of the puzzle. The sheer number of apps available on the market can be daunting, but our package of essentials should be more than enough to get you started.
You can easily find the following apps by searching in the Android Market. You’ll need to have an account there, and the apps may cost a dollar or two. Before you buy, read the minimum requirements for each app to confirm that it will run on your phone. Remember that downloading apps counts against your monthly data-usage limit. And for the latest app reviews, be sure to visit our Android App Guide.
Beluga The easy-to-use Beluga group text service allows friends to join conversations, coordinate activities, and update their locations on a map, making this app a perfect tool for organizing group gatherings in new places.
Imo Have tons of friends? Do they all use different instant messaging services? No problem: Imo eliminates the hassle by allowing you to sign in to the most popular instant messengers all at the same time.
Productivity and Security
Bump: Pass information easily from one smartphone to another with Bump. When two devices both running the app are physically “bumped” together, the selected content transfers over, even if one is an iPhone and the other is an Android-based handset.
Dropbox If you use Dropbox on your desktop PC, you already know that it’s the easiest way to sync files across multiple systems. With Dropbox for your mobile device, you can quickly move files from your PC to your phone without having to plug your handset into the computer.
Gmote Through this app, you can move the cursor on your PC or Mac by using the phone’s touchscreen. It’s the perfect way to open or close windows on your desktop or laptop computer when it’s sitting across the room.
Lookout Mobile Security More than just antivirus software for your phone, Lookout allows you to back up your device to its servers; you can even use it to locate your lost or stolen phone. Lookout keeps your phone safe from malware, as well, scanning apps as they install to your phone, and constantly updating itself so that it can block new threats.
Springpad With Springpad you can create to-do lists, and set reminders for yourself to increase your productivity. In addition, you can “bookmark” books, movies, or other items that have yet to be released so that you can remember to buy them later.
News and Information
Pulse One of the best-looking RSS readers out there, Pulse even imports Google Reader feeds so you don’t have to build the mobile reader from scratch. You can separate feeds by category, and post interesting stories to Facebook or Twitter from the app.
Taptu An aggregated newsreader that looks great and is easy to use, Taptu allows you to pick and choose which news items to read, as well as to mark interesting stories for later. The app works well even in areas with bad reception, so you can almost always get to your news.
Google Music The new Google Music service may be in beta right now, but it is by far the best and easiest way to get all of your music on your Android phone. Using the Google Music desktop client, you can upload all of your music files and playlists to Google’s cloud storage. Then, with the Google Music app for Android, you can stream all of your stored music directly to your handset. A word of warning, though: Streaming a lot of music to your phone can burn through your data plan like crazy, so be sure to use a Wi-Fi connection instead, whenever possible.
Netflix Just grab some popcorn and settle in: Now you can watch David Bowie’s Labyrinth (or other guilty pleasures) on the bus, in the airport, or anywhere, over and over again! Note that streaming is available on select versions of Android only.
Pandora When it comes to Internet radio, Pandora is the leader. The app helps you discover new music by creating radio stations based on your favorite artists or songs, and it homes in on your tastes by learning from the thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs that you assign to the songs it selects.
No related posts.