Spotify – Free for app; other charges apply
Music is always changing and with the majority of us listening to whatever that is new, why own music? It goes out of date quickly, regardless of the DRM. Spotify have cleverly though out a solution. You can stream all the music you could possibly want for a monthly subscription of £9.99 if you want to use this on your mobile phone. There is a free desktop application, which is supported via advertising, so if you can get an invite for the free version by all means try it out. Spotify performs the best on the Android system as well, compared to the iPhone version as Android has multitasking so you can listen to music while browsing the web. And we save the best till last; you have offline mode allowing you to use Spotify wherever you are in the world and not worry about expensive roaming fees. The app is free to download; but you must have a Spotify Premium account, that costs £9.99, to be able to login in and use it.
Layar – Free for app; in app purchases available
Although this is available for iPhone as well, we still give in second place in our top ten. Why? This application is one of the best applications out there. It uses your phone GPS to show tweets regarding this location, flickr pictures that have been geo-tagged and a whole lot more in a 3D sort of view with your camera as the background. It also has fast food places and other areas of interest mapped. This is classed as an Augmented Reality app. Clearly this relies on your phone having GPS, and more importantly a good, accurate GPS to give a good experience. The app is free and you can get a lot of free ‘layers’ (layers are like separate overlays. A twitter layer will show tweets about your current location etc) and some paid for ones are available as well. We think you should try this app out, because at the very least it is fun and might tell you something important as well.
Seesmic – Free
If you use twitter on a regular basis, this app is for you. Despite twitters own official app launching recently, Seesmic offers the most, in terms of features and ease of use. It offers support for multiple accounts, which seems to be popular on Twitter. It also offers a home screen widget that will show to latest tweets, right on your home screen. The design is nice and sleek, not to forget very professional. This app is a must have for people who use twitter daily and blows the competition, including the official app, out of the water.
Facebook – Free
The Facebook app for android isn’t as fully fledged as, for example, the iPhone app but it does help make the app simple and minimal, which is the complete opposite of the Facebook website. Recent updates have provided Android users the ability to ‘inbox’ people at long last, but you still cannot chat with people through the chat section of the site. Indeed the closest to that is ‘inboxing’ each other constantly.
3G Watchdog – Free
This app isn’t as much about having fun as being useful. No network in the UK offers a truly unlimited data plan and with Vodafone having a cap of just 500MB where if you go over you are charged extra, not keeping track of your data could very well be a costly experience. You enter your data allowance into this app and then this app will place a icon in the taskbar which will be green if you are not approaching your limit, yellow if you should be careful as you are approaching your limit and red if you are just about to or have gone over your allowance. Although this app won’t impress your mates, it really is essential when networks have limited ‘unlimited’ data plans. And it is free, so why not install it?
Robo Defense – Both Free and Paid app available. Paid app costs $2.99
Android phones aren’t like Blackberries; they are designed with fun and business in mind. This tower defence game is widely regarded as the best tower defence game on the android market. The game has well over 100 levels in the paid version and is guaranteed to keep you glued for hours similar to how every iPhone user is addicted to Doodle Jump; every android user should be addicted to Robo Defense. Finally the game has achievements which are similar to Xbox 360 achievements whereby you complete levels doing things in a different way such as no guns etc. This adds to the total play time you can get out of this game.
Google – Free
You might be wondering why Google has its own app for searching, when it is on the web and therefore could be accessible through the built in web browser. The main reason for this app is the ability to ‘voice search’ whereby you say “Hotels in New York” and it will search for that in Google. Our tests showed this was very accurate despite not needing to do any voice training. Furthermore it presents the results in a mobile friendly view so we could see the maps in Google maps quickly without awkwardly navigating round the site.
Locale – $9.99
Now this app is a pricey one but once you start using it you will find it hard to stop using it. It uses your phones built in GPS to control the basic functions of the phone. For example you can set it to go on vibrate when you get to work and then back to normal when you have finished work. This will all happen automatically and compared with setting the ringer etc, manually there will be no embarrassing moments when you forget to turn off your ring tone etc. It can also control features like Wi-Fi so you can set your phone to switch to your homes Wi-Fi when you get home to prevent racking up a huge data bill. Well worth the money.
Barcode Scanner – Free
For all you money saving people out there, this app is well suited to you. You can scan various product barcodes and see if you are getting the best price by comparing the item from various merchants via its product search. It also goes further allowing you to do a Google search on the item you scanned. This could be useful when choosing home cinema equipment for example, as you can read reviews online and potentially prevent regretting that purchase.
Task Manager – Free
Although running multiple apps at the same time can be very useful; with Spotify for instance, your phone can and will run out of memory if you start running too many apps, similar to when you run a lot of programs on your computer at once, and your phone will become slow and sluggish. To solve this download this app. It features a desktop widget that shows you how much memory you are using at any given time. And of course you can close applications within Task Manager to free up memory for more apps.
What is your favourite Android App? Let us know via the comments section below.