It’s no secret that I love Android as a platform, and I favor Android phones over the iPhone. I did my Master’s Thesis on the G1, bought the Motorola Droid- the first Android phone available on Verizon, and recently upgraded to the HTC Droid Incredible. One of the reasons I like Android so much is because of the openness of the Market Place, and the ability to install non-market apps on your phone. Apps are very powerful for any platform because they make your phone more personal. Today I want to tell you about 10 Android apps that have made my life easier!
- Appbrain: This little app/online interface makes it incredibly easy to manage, transfer, and share your apps. You can install and uninstall apps en masse without having to do it from your phone. This makes app management very easy. On top of that, Appbrain is a great tool to use when switching Android phones, as your paid apps are saved, but not the free ones. It will also make app recommendations for you! (free)
- CalWidget: I like having my calendar right in front of me at all times. CalWidget is a simple widget that puts your calendars right on your homescreen. You can include whatever calendars you’d like (as long as they are somewhere on your phone), and you can change the appearance of the widget. Having my calendar at a glance is a big win for me. (free)
- Dropbox: As winner of my esteemed Favorite App/Website of 2010 award*, this definitely makes the cut for Android apps that make my life easier. It syncs with your Dropbox account for easy access to any files there, plus nice support for most common files (txt, pdf, images, etc). (free)
- Todo.txt Touch: If you’re familiar with Gina Trapani’s Todo.txt Project, this is the accompanying Android app. It’s really great and got me using todo.txt not only on Android, but on my computer as well. It requires a Dropbox account, but is a really nice way to manage your todo list. I highly recommend it! ($2.00, free from github)
- Paypal: Manage your Paypal account from your phone- send & receive payment, transfer to your bank account, and even “bump” money to other Paypal users who have the app. (free)
- Remote for iTunes: This great little app allows you to remotely control your iTunes library through a Wifi network. Play/Pause/Stop any music from iTunes, organized as it is on your computer. Control the volume with your phone volume. This is very helpful at night when I’m ready for bed and don’t feel like walking across the room to turn music on/off. ($4.99)
- Google Shopper: Scan in a book, CD, or barcode and get shopping results on it. This is awesome when I’m in a store ready to buy something and I was a price check from other websites or retailers, or even if I just want reviews on the product. (free)
- TV Show Favs: Input your favorite TV shows and it tells you when there are new episodes on. It also contains a full series list of each show so you can keep track of how much of the series you’ve. Plus, it has a home screen widget with a list of when the next 5 shows of yours will be on. (free)
- Watchdog Task Manager Lite: Task killers on Android are not a good thing because they kill every task, and then your phone uses a lot of battery life starting up the necessary tasks that were killed. Watchdog does not do that. You can kill certain tasks, but it’s main (and best) feature is that it keeps tabs on your running apps and tells you when any of them start to use too much memory. You can then kill that app. This is very helpful when it comes to saving battery life. (free)
- Shazam: You’ve probably been in this situation. A song is playing and you can’t remember who sings it. Or even worse, you hear a song you’ve never heard before and love it , but don’t know the name or artist. Enter Shazam. This app will listen to the song and tell you the name and artist, as well as give you an option to buy it from Amazon Mp3. I cannot tell you how much I love this app.
So these are the apps I use just about every day, that make my life considerably easier for whatever reason (be it productivity or entertainment). What Android apps make your life easier? Sound off in the comments!
*not really esteemed, nor is it a real award