Last time I talked about my essential Android apps, this time I’ll try to come up with a general list of must-have apps, pointing only to those applications that we all need. What’s more I’ll divide the applications in few groups to make it easier for you to find the app you really need. Let’s roll, shall we?
The built-in Android browser is more than good enough for 95% of users. However, I believe that’s only because most folks haven’t tried out other options. The minute I downloaded Dolphin Browser HD, I fell in love with it. Its gestures and quick access to bookmarks and sidebar make it much more useful than the default option.
Similarly, those of you/us on a limited data plan may appreciate Opera Mini which compresses the pages prior to delivering them to you screen, saving you a ton of data along the way.
Social networking apps
This is a matter of personal preferences. For a start, I believe most people should have Twitter and Facebook clients installed. Now some power users may also want other tools like HootSuite or a third-party Twitter app. Plus, there’s LinkedIn for folks who like to keep up with their business contacts while on the go, Google+ for managing activities on Google’s social network, as well as location-based apps/services like Foursquare and Gowalla.
Mobile office client
If your Android smartphone doesn’t come with preloaded mobile office suite, you can choose between QuickOffice, Polaris, Documents To Go and Google’s own Google Docs. You won’t miss with any of these apps since they all allow you to create new and edit existing documents and spreadsheets while on the go.
RSS & News
Google Reader is probably the single most commonly used RSS reader on the planet. Its Android client is pretty decent and I use it daily. For keeping up with the “other” news, I rely on Pulse, which keeps growing like crazy.
When it comes to Podcasts, there’s Google’s Listen app that sings along Google Reader as well as some other paid options. I hear Sticher Radio is quickly getting traction but it does require a working mobile connection to work.
IM & VoIP
I merged these two in a single group since some IM clients allow VoIP calls and vice verse. I guess everyone should have Skype running on his/her phone, along with some multi-network IM client like IM+. What’s more, there’s Fring, Nimbuzz and Tru to name the few.
- Astro File Manager – free and easy to use file manager.
- Chrome to Phone – allows you to beam pages from the Chrome browser to your Android phone.
- ColorNote – super-simple note widget (in case something like this isn’t preinstalled on your phone).
- ConvertMe – free unit converter.
- Evernote – the best note-taking application/service.
- ezPDF – best PDF reader. It’s not free but it’s worth every penny.
- Flashlight – for phones that don’t come with the flashlight app.
- GTasks – Google Tasks widget.
- QuickPic – simple photo-editing tool.
- Shazam or SoundHound – for music discovery
- ScanLife – barcode scanning app.
- Smooth Calendar – super simple calendar widget.
- Touch Calendar – GCal-like calendar app.
Now do you think there’s some other app that’s a must-have for all Android users out there?