10 best Android apps
With more than 70,000 apps in the Android Market it can be hard to find the really good stuff
With more than 70,000 apps in the Android Market it can be hard to find the really good stuff. Here’s our pick of the 10 apps every Android user should own.
It’s important to keep some of the information you store on your smartphone locker away. With Secrets - an app straight from Google – you can do exactly that. It stores passwords, credit card logins, PIN numbers and other information, all securely protected and easy to back up as well.
Documents To Go
A must-have for anyone looking to use their phone in the workplace. Giving your Android device the ability to view and edit Word and Excel documents while retaining the formatting is essential for any business user, and Documents To Go – already well established on other mobile platforms – is the best offering around by a margin.
The best notetaking application for mobile devices bar none. 3banana adds shortcuts to the context-sensitive long press action in many apps, enabling you to clip content from web pages or emails into notes. It also integrates with your camera app, meaning that you can take a photo then add a caption or note to remember why you were taking it in the first place. A home screen widget only adds to the fun.
If your phone comes without the basic ability to read PDF documents then your ability to use it for true productivity is hindered. Thanks to Adobe you can add this functionality with the new official Adobe Reader app. It’s nicely designed, with plenty of usability flourishes including support for multitouch, although can be a little slow when handling large or complex files.
With fast data connections and as much storage as you need on a memory card an Android phone makes for an ideal multimedia device. BeyondPod is an app for downloading audio and video podcasts. It’s a fully featured tool that enables to manage which podcasts you download, how and when. Grab them automatically as new ones are released or get them manually, and then use the built-in player to play them. There’s also a handy widget giving you instant access to your content without needing to access the full app.
One of the best ways to show off the capabilities of your phone. Point SkyMap towards the sky and it shows you which stars, planets or constellations you are looking at. Of minimal practical value, apart from to a niche audience, but you’ll marvel at what it does nonetheless.
RSS feeds are an easy way to keep up to date with the latest posts on your favourite sites without needing to check each site individually. FeedR is a classy app designed for this purpose. It can manage countless feeds, and update them on a schedule that suits your usage. Stories can be viewed within the app, or opened in the browser for the full web experience.
One of the strengths of the Android system is the way you can customise it any way you want, even so far as completely replacing the home screens. With HelixLauncher you can replace your existing launcher with up to seven new home screens, add new widgets and even tweak the layout of the screens so you can fit five app and shortcut icons on a single row. A delight for tweakers.
It’s big – so make sure you have enough memory on your device to squeeze it in – but it is also undeniably impressive. Essentially the same app you get on your desktop, with a spectacular 3D view of the world, Google Earth on Android is enhanced with a full multi-touch experience. An amazing example of what a modern smartphone is capable of.
SkyFire shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the built-in Android web browser (although it can be set as your default browser), but as a companion for it. SkyFire’s big strength is its ability to play web video from virtually any site, with a handy notification icon jumping out every time you open a page with supported content on it.
Got a favourite not listed here? Let us know in the comments below.
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