Monday, November 21, 2011

50 Good Android Apps: Utilities, Games, Productivity

Android apps are plentiful – no doubt about it. So owners of Android devices aren't starved for choice when it comes to apps. Yet it is this sheer variety of apps that makes it difficult to select the best apps for your handheld. Hopefully this list of 50 good Android apps will help you find the most worthy apps – let the downloading begin.

Juggling more passwords than you can keep track of? This app may be just what you need. It's a secure password generator that securely syncs your passwords across all your browsers and devices and automatically fills forms on all sites. The app is free, but the service costs $1 per month.

2) Vlingo
Need to text, call, tweet or set your Facebook status and your hands are already occupied? That's no problem if you have Vlingo, which allows you to operate your Android phone with your voice. It even works with a wireless Bluetooth headset. Free.

Do you want or need your phone to change its behavior based on where you are? Look no further than this app. It can change your phone's ringer and ringtones—and a host of other settings as well—based on your location. Free.

Want more control over your SMS app? The highly configurable chompSMS app gives it to you in spades. You can alter the style of your chat bubbles, add themes, a passcode lock, signatures and lots more. There are even blacklisting and Quick Reply features. Free.

Carry your personal trainer in your pocket with this app, which uses GPS to help track your running, cycling and walking and even gives you audio feedback. It even syncs with a number of heart rate and cadence monitors. Paid: $3.99.

Sometimes finding a new television show, movie or music that's up your alley can be tricky. That's where this app comes in. GetGlue is a social network for entertainment. You can check-in to what you're watching, reading or listening to, get recommendations based on your likes and dislikes and see what your friends are into. Free.

Concerned about malware, viruses and SMS spam? Anti-Virus Pro is a comprehensive security suite for Android that can scan apps, files, settings and media in real time. Paid: $9.99.

8) PdaNet
Use USB Tether or Bluetooth DUN to connect your laptop to the Internet using your Android phone as a modem. You can use your phone to connect via 3G data, Wi-Fi and even VPN. Free and paid. The free version blocks access to secure Web sites. The premium version goes for $23.95.

Manage a library of PowerPoint presentations directly from your Android phone with this app. You can use the app to share the presentations via e-mail, blog, Twitter and Facebook, and you can also start or join Web meetings using it. Free.

Is the battery on your Android phone consistently running on empty? JuiceDefender can help you extend it! The app intelligently manages your mobile connectivity and other battery-sensitive components to ensure your phone runs as efficiently as possible. For example, the default mode switches your phone from battery-intensive 3G mode to the less-draining 2G mode when you're not actually using the phone, and it turns of the Wi-Fi radio if the charge goes below a certain level. The Advanced Mode allows you to tune the app's triggers based on your individual needs. Free.

11) Seesmic
This Twitter client integrates streams from Twitter, Facebook and even Chatter into a single client, allowing you to stay on top of all your messages from various sources. Unlike many clients, it supports multiple accounts, giving you the ability when composing a message to send it out via one of your accounts or all of them at once. You can also customize a large number of features. Free.

This app lets you securely access your computers—Windows or Mac—and all the files on them remotely from your phone. Never leave anything behind again. Paid: $29.99.

Turn your Android phone into a walkie-talkie with this app. It provides push to talk capabilities between Android phones without additional hardware and without using minutes. Communication is near instantaneous on 3G and 4G networks. Free.

This app allows you to scan documents with your phone's camera, convert it to PDF and e-mail the PDF to anyone. You can even upload the PDF to Google Docs. Paid: $2.98.

With this app, you can explore and manage the files on any Bluetooth-enabled device, receive files and send contacts. It's built on FTP and Object Push Profile (OPP). Free.

Want to stay up on the newest and hottest Flash games around? This app gives you free access to more than 300 games from the Kongregate community and fully integrates with your existing Kongregate Web account. Free.

Handcent SMS supercharges your texting with full support for SMS and MMS, group sending options and backup and restore features for SMS and MMS. Other features include the ability to customize your look with themes and SPAM filtering options. Free.

18) WolframAlpha
Access WolframAlpha's computational knowledge engine from your phone with this app. Also available for free via the WolframAlpha Web site, the app calculates the answers to complex mathematic and scientific problems in an instant. The app version adds a keyboard with all manner of mathematic and scientific symbols to make entering queries a snap. Paid: $1.99.

19) Evernote
This app allows you to log, index and search all manner of information, from notes to audio to photos. For instance, you can take a photo of a white board and Evernote will recognize the text in the photo, index it and then allow you to find it later by entering a search term from the information on the white board. It even synchs with the Web. Free.

20) EverPaper
EverPaper is a simple but excellent Instapaper client. It doesn't support folders yet, but it's under constant development. It also syncs with EverNote. Free.

21) Yelp
Yelp for Android determines your current location and then lets you search for nearby businesses, read reviews and so on. It also lets users filter by "Price," "Open Now," "Special Offers" and "Hot on Yelp." Free.

22) ActionComplete
ActionComplete is a robust task manager. It is built around projects you create, which are made up of individual actions that serve as milestones in the project. The app is based on the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology created by David Allen in his book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Free.

23) SMS Backup +
This app automatically backs up SMS, MMS and call log entries to a separate label in your Gmail account. Free.

24) Fusion Voicemail Plus
Centralize all your voicemail boxes, including mobile, home and office, on your Android phone with this app. It can receive and display FAXes too. Free.

25) Parcels
This handy app lets you track all your packages in one place. Carriers supported include: Apple, Fedex, UPS, UPS Mail Innovations,,,, DHL Express National (Germany), DHL (Germany), DPD Standard (Germany), GLS (Germany), Hermes, TNT, TNT International (Netherlands), TNT National (Netherlands), OnTrac Shipping, LaserShip, Posten (Norway), Post (Austria), Post (Switzerland), Posten (Sweden), USPS, DHL (USA), DHL Express (GB), Home Delivery Network (GB), Japan Post Int. Mail, CNE Express, Royal Mail, Spee-Dee Delivery (USA), Parcelforce. Free.

26) NewsRob
This is an excellent, plain but functional Google Reader client with built-in syncing for off-line reading. Free and paid. The free version features ads. NewsRob Pro goes for $7; it removes the ads and adds exclusive features for power users.

27) Read It Later
A simple, reliable tool that adds Instapaper to your sharing menu, so you can quickly tag articles as you browse. Free.

28) Astrid Task Todo List
Get yourself organized with this todo list app. It features tagging, timers, reminders, smart task sorting and even tracks partial progress. You can sync your todo list with Remember the Milk, which can sync with Gmail. Free.

29) Mint
Manage your money and keep track of your budget while on the move using Mint. It gives you up-to-date information on your accounts and lets you edit transaction info right on your phone. And it's password protected to make sure your information stays safe. Free.

30) GDocs for Android
This editor/viewer for Google Documents allows you to create, edit, view, import, export, send documents and sync them with your Google Docs account. Free.

31) QuickOffice Connect Mobile Suite
This Microsoft Office productivity suite for Android devices allows you to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with integrated access to multiple remote storage providers. Paid: $15.

32) Exchange for Android
This app offers Exchange/Outlook sync for your Android! It works with Exchange 2003/2007 and allows you to sync your e-mail, contacts and calendar. It's available for a free five-day trial. After that, a license costs $19.99.

33) Dropbox
Dropbox is a client for the Dropbox cloud-sharing file storage service. It makes it easy to get files onto your phone without explicit synching. You can add files to it from any of your computers and then access them from any other computer or phone.

34) Lookout
Want to protect your phone? Lookout does just about everything. It provides security against mobile viruses, malware and hackers, backs up your data and even locates your lost or stolen device on a map from the Web. And if you can't find it, you can use Lookout to make your phone "scream" or simply wipe out all the data on it.

35) RepliGo Reader
A PDF reader that can be used to view Gmail PDF attachments, online PDF documents or PDF files saved to your media card. It features a reading view that reformats pages into a single column, and offers support for embedded fonts, PDF bookmarks and text search. Paid: $4.95.

36) App Protector Pro
Want a little extra security for your Android phone? App Protector Pro allows you to password protect any application on your phone, including e-mail, SMS, photos and more. Paid: $1.99.

37) Memory Booster – RAM Optimizer
Keep your Android phone running at its fastest with this app. Memory Booster optimizes our phone's memory by recovering memory leaks, flushing temporary libraries and defragmenting your phone's memory. Free.

38) Dolphin Browser HD
Don't like the stock browser that came with your Android phone? The Dolphin Browser HD adds a boatload of features, including multiple tab viewing, full multitouch gestures, a thumbnail "flick" menu, gesture-based search and URLs, a YouTube downloader and browser extensions. Free.

39) handyCalc Calculator
The app adds just about every calculator function you can think of to your Android phone, allowing you to put your scientific calculator in the drawer forever. Free.

40) Fuze Meeting HD
Need an audio- or video-conferencing solution for your Android device? Look no further than this app from FuzeBox. You can invite schedule and start meetings, as well as invite attendees from your address book, and even upload PowerPoint decks, Word documents, PDFs, and HD movies and images from your device. The app is free but the conferencing service is not, though there is a free trial period.

41) News Republic
Are you a news junkie? Now your Android device can help you stay on top of all the breaking news with this app. Its feeds include many of the top news agencies, and it will organize relevant stories for you through its interactive interface. Free.

42) SlideScreen
This app replaces your traditional home screen with one that shows summary information for SMS, Gmail, phone calls, Calendar, Google Reader, Stocks and Twitter, making seeing all your important information at once a snap. Free.

43) MasterCard ATM Hunter
This highly useful app uses your phone's location to find the nearest ATMs. You can even sort according to criteria including: drive through, 24-hour service, wheel chair accessibility and surcharge fees. Free.

44) Gasbuddy – Find Cheap Gas
This app provides comprehensive, real-time gas prices in your area (US and Canada) with maps. Users who pitch in by reporting gas prices in their area can win free gas.

45) Nesoid Lite
This Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator allows you to play every NES game ever made right on your Android phone. You'll have to take responsibility for the legality of your ROMs. Free.

46) Angry Birds
It's one of the most popular mobile games around for a reason. Use physics to help the Angry Birds destroy the piggies that have stolen their eggs. Free.

This app from CBS Interactive turns your Android phone into a television. Use it to watch video, including full episodes, from CBS, The CW, CNET, ET, Showtime, CBS News, CBS Sports and more. Free.

48) Pandora
Start listening to free, personalized Internet radio on your Android. This app brings Pandora off your computer and puts it on your phone. It's fully integrated with Pandora on the Web. You can listen to all your existing stations and create new ones on your phone too. Free.

49) Slacker Radio
Want to create favorite radio stations and take them with you wherever you go? This app has you covered. While other apps—notably Pandora and—also allow you to create your own radio stations, Slacker Radio has the added capability of caching music on your device for whenever you have a data signal so that you still have access to your music when you're offline, like on the subway or a long flight. Free and Paid. The free version gives you access to music streaming, while the paid version gives access to off-line caching for $4.99 a month.

50) Twicca
Still hunting for a Twitter client for your Android phone? Twicca offers a massive number of features with a slick, minimalist UI. Users can add a series of plug-ins to customize Twicca to their own needs. Free.

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