Here’s a more up to date list featuring some of the best apps you must get on your Android phone. All of them are free in the Android Market. Some of them also have a freemium paid version. What’s good is that many of these you will use daily, but some of them will just sit on your phone and do what its supposed to do.

(update: Nov 21 - has been offline for some time - but is now around again - but try for these apps)

Subjectively, I’ve missed out the social network sites and the streaming music apps - I do that from home - or the in the case of music streaming - none of the apps currently work when your underground.

Do you want to disagree with what’s here or have your own list? Let me know -

1. WiSync Manage your data sync settings for the Android - this is important if you are not on an unlimited data plan or you want things to only happen on wifi. WiSync allows you to control the background sync settings for your phone.

What I think is the WiSync should go a step further - I’d love to talk to them about how this can help when you travel. Already you can turn off any sync when not on wifi, but what about the option to allow sync on your home 3G network but not on any overseas 3G networks. Roaming settings are something to sync/think about too. It now also comes with ‘Locale plugin’ a feature I’ve not worked out what it is yet.

Get it here.

2. Wefi Wefi is an app to manage the connection to wifi hotspots around you - it automatically shuffles through all the nearest hotspots to find out which ones are open and have internet access or need to go through a login process. This is good as many hotspots seem to be open, but when you connect, they don’t work. Team this up with Wisync and you got a killer combo.

I also suggest you go to your phone wifi settings and allow wifi to remain on when connected to the power supply. This way, any emails or other updates (news) are downloaded when you’re sleeping and your phone is charging.

Get it here.

  1. Itube Status

Seems this has been removed 🙁

4. Twidroid Twitter on your phone - its free and the most popular in the market. You can see why with all the features that are crammed in. I suggest you turn off the vibration and don’t set it to fetch all your tweets, or you’ll be playing with your phone constantly.

Get it here.

5. Barcode Scanner Now the team at Google even love this app - combine the power of a barcode scanner with a Google search and you have a price check tool, an Amazon search solution or maybe you can use another app like Anobii and catalogue all your books.

Get it here

6. Advanced Task Manager This app seems to have matured in its development and settled down in the last month. There probably are other ‘app killer’ apps around - but this has a great feature in that you can control what apps to kill. It used to have an auto kill all feature which ran every 2 hours, I’m glad to see that has gone as it usually meant my music or some other app would stop working just as I was in the middle of using it.

Get it here

7. NewsRob NewsRob was one of the first apps I installed -NewsRob works with Google Reader as there is no official Google Reader Android app - its as configurable as you like in terms of how often to check, how many articles to store and settings for wifi / 3G network access.

It crashed on me once and sent an email back to the support team. The next morning I had an email from someone saying they were looking into my bug. I got a follow up email a few days later saying my problem would be fixed in the next release. Great service with a Smile.

I also suggest you go to your phone wifi settings and allow wifi to remain on when connected to the power supply. This way, any emails or other updates (news) are downloaded when you’re sleeping and your phone is charging.

Get it here:

Here’s two apps to show your friends

8. Compass You can’t get lost with a compass on your phone (did’t you know it was magnetised) - right?

Now what does E 68 mean?

Get it here:

9. BeebPlayer (only in the UK) Everyone’s favourite Granny had to have an Android app - its probably one of the best apps I’ve seen that was not made by the BBC’s iPlayer team. I guess history will tell if the app continues to work or be developed - or if the Beeb will turn off 3rd party access to its content.

Apparently this app only works with the Vodafone or 3 UK sims - but I’ve had success as well using this on O2.

10. Robo Defense Free One last app that will give you days and days of fun - or months and months as it turns out. The free version has 10 difficulty settings but only one level - its also the most simple with only 3 towers and 3 upgrades.  It’s by far the best executed tower defence strategy game.

Get it here:

There are a number of things I’d like to see better apps for - After rooting my phone with the Cyanogen build - I can -

  • take screenshots

  • use email from an  Outlook Exchange app

I’ve noted few issues with the Android Market and I’ll blog about differences in app stores soon.

Damien Saunders

Tags: Android, apps, Google, phone

Read more from my blog for an introduction and quick tips on developing in Hugo or UCTD.

Meet the author

Photo for Damien Saunders
Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.
Find our more about me.