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    MStrawder's Avatar
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    Top 5 Android Apps

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    The Android brand is growing everyday, along with the number of apps available for this open-source platform. The marketplace is up and running, along with other sites hosting apps for developers. Sifting through them can be quite an adventure, especially when you're looking for something very specific. I've rounded up a few that should fit easily into any app collection and hopefully help you get the most out of your device. I'll be looking for new and exciting apps weekly, so feel free to message me with any personal favorites.


    Doggcatcher : This app gives you one central place for all of your RSS/News feeds and Podcasts. It also includes an integrated audio player that playback any downloaded audio and create/manage playlists.

    It features:

    *Getting recommendations based on your feed subscriptions
    *Searching podcast and news directories
    *Importing from OPML
    *Streams audio over network (wifi/cell)
    *Battery friendly - can limits downloads based on network/power connections
    *Plus more...

    This app isn't free though. It carriers a price tag of $6.99, but has received rave reviews. It is purchasable from the Marketplace or from the developer at SnoggDoggler.

    IMEEM Mobile : A mobile extension of the popular IMEEM site, this app allows you listen to the music you like and the artists you love, without scanning the airwaves. Whether streaming over a Wi-Fi connection or over your data connection, this app delivers high-quality music to your Android device anytime, anywhere.

    With this app you can:

    * Create stations with free streaming music from your favorite artists
    * Stream the music you've uploaded
    * Discover new music through recommendations and features
    * Share your favorite songs with friends via email
    * Buy songs from Amazon MP3 with one click

    This app is totally free and only requires you to register at the IMEEM website. You can download it from your Android device here or just search for IMEEM on the Marketplace.


    Nimbuzz : This is newly released app on the Android platform, but has been available on the iPhone and Windows Mobile for some time now. This app is a social networking hub. It integrates all of the popular messaging platforms such as Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype, AIM, and others into one intuitive interface. Why pack your device with 3-4 messaging apps when this one can do all of them?

    This app features:

    * A smart buddy list layout displays information in an intelligent way, combining avatar and presence information in one, with community icon and resource information (if your buddy is online on the mobile or PC) in the same line.
    * A time sensitive UI that detects how long you press on a buddy’s name. A light touch opens their profile and a stronger touch instantly starts a new chat!
    * Home-screen notifications alert you on the home screen of activities such as incoming chats while Nimbuzz continues to run in the background.
    * Clickable URLs make for a multimedia rich chat experience so you can share YouTube videos and Wikipedia information during your chat. A browser window will open from which you can seamlessly switch back and forth to Nimbuzz.
    * Nimbuzz detects whenever you are out of range of your Wi-Fi connection, and if there isn’t a known Wi-Fi network available it connects you via 3G, and vice versa.
    * Unique to Android users is the fact that only Nimbuzz integrates Skype IM and local social networks such as Hyves in the Netherlands, StudiVZ from Germany, Gadu-Gadu from Poland, and Giovani from Italy.
    * Use the Phonebook to back up and restore your contacts. Contacts will be backed up online. Comes in handy when you have lost your mobile phone.

    The best feature of this messaging app? It's free. You can download the app here.


    WeatherBug : This popular weather app has been around on all the other major platforms for quite a while and is now available on Android too. A simple and easy to understand interface provides up to the minute forecasts along with detailed current conditions.

    This app also features:

    * Live neighborhood weather from over 8,000 weather stations in the U.S.
    * Current weather, forecast and NWS alerts for your GPS location.
    * "Always on" NWS weather alerts such as Tornado warnings even when the WeatherBug app is turned off.
    * 7-day forecast and hourly forecast.
    * Detailed radar and maps.
    * Check the weather on Google Maps by simply touching any area on the map for two (2) seconds.
    * Daily National Weather Outlook broadcast provided by WeatherBug meteorologists.
    * View snapshots and time-lapse animation from more than 2,000 weather cameras in the U.S.

    This application is also free and a must for anyone who regularly plans outings, spends a lot of time outdoors, or anyone who just wants the headsup on incoming weather. You can download the app here or just search for WeatherBug on the Marketplace.


    WHERE : Last, but certainly not least is WHERE. This app is a bundle of GPS features rolled into one. Utilizing your device's GPS receiver, WHERE can find local restaurants, gas stations, news, and even people. All with very detailed maps and directions.

    The app features:

    * Traffic Information
    * News
    * Local Weather
    * Restaurants and Reviews
    * Local Gas Prices
    * Nearby Theaters
    * Trip Planner

    This app is definitely one of the best out there for finding local happenings where (no pun intended) you are and navigating around when traveling. Another free application and worth the time to download. You can pick up the app from the developer here or from the Marketplace, here.





    The Android platform keeps seeing new apps pop-up everyday that utilize this OS' ability to deliver rich content and functionality. I sorted through quite a few apps to pick out the ones that I believe will give users a good mix of both of these. There are a lot of other great ones out there and I'll get those posted up too, but in the mean time, these should definitely help you enjoy your device a little bit more.
    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure" ~ Marianne Williamson
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    I figured you would have had Trapster on that list. I can't drive without it.

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    Also add Type Easy app this one works for those in need to send group text messages, with signature option versus the native messaging app that limits you on how many you can choose.
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    I'm with you on that. Trapster is truly a must-have when traveling.

    Quote Originally Posted by moses2628 View Post
    I figured you would have had Trapster on that list. I can't drive without it.
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    Thanks for introducing me to doggcatcher. I'm currently using Acast app and the UI is complicated.
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into those apps too and see if we can't get them up next round.
    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure" ~ Marianne Williamson
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    Look at shopsavvy too. Also u.s. traffic for those living in major cities.
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    Its so hard to nail it down to 5 apps. I do use 2 of your 5 "Where" and "Imeem". Great apps definitely in my top 5, but I'd have to say Gmote, Torrent Fu, and LukLuk player to round out my five!

    If you haven't tried the LukLuk Streaming Video player, go get it now! It has a great selection of high quality full length movies!! The streaming is flawless over wifi but I haven't tried 3g. Plus it plays the videos you have on your sd card. This is a must have app! FREE, but you have to register. It took like 5 seconds.
    Last edited by rdills; 08-14-2009 at 01:41 PM.
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    excellent list matt! makes me want an android device even more

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    You should make the jump Cherri!!! They are awesome!

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    Really wanted a list that hit several categories at once. Already working on lists that focus on things such as entertainment, productivity, etc.
    BlackBerry8900/4.6.1.231 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100

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    Great reviews!! I checked out Nimbuzz after reading your review. Its very nice. Its a keeper. Can't wait to see the next list. Good job.
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    There are a *LOT* better apps missing from that list.
    Here's (in my opinion) the list of must have apps (and I am making this list by going through my phone and picking out the ones that I use on a daily basis ... this will be a long list). I really hope this helps people find good apps. It took a lot of installs and uninstalls to find these apps among the many competitors:

    *) TouchDown (you either need exchange or you don't). If you do, there is NO alternative that's better. Not free, and worth every penny. I live by this, but that's because I need exchange at work.

    *) SMS Popup - MUST HAVE, should've been built-in. I don't know how something like this doesn't exists by default.

    *) My Battery Status - orange and black is the best free battery status/percent meter. It should've been built in. I tried 12 other ones (2 of which were paid) and this is the best one.

    *) Advanced Task Killer -- must have. Should've been built in. Most responsive developer I've ever emailed.

    *) Better keyboard -- I like it, a lot of other people say it's a must have. I wouldn't go that far, but it's by far better than the crappy keyboard that comes with the phone. (virtual keyboard that is)

    *) Weather Status (grey icon with weather thermometer) - $1 - puts temp in status bar. SHould've come by default with phone.

    *) App Manager (monster icon/face) -- must have. Backs up all your non paid apps to SD card. Option to restore versions too.

    *) Amazon - I love this app. I use it for almost everything I buy. Here's what happened 2 days ago: I needed toothbrush heads for my oralb b, and I ordered by typing 'oralb toothbrush' and clicking 2 buttons to have it delivered. This truly is easier than using your computer. Amazing product. It lets' you scan barcodes to find items or even take a picture and it analyzes the picture using image search. Really just must have on every phone.

    *) Spare Parts - let's you speed up animations and screen transitions, among other advanced options. Phone responds about 2x faster. THis is actually a product by google for developers. I use it only to set the screen animations+transitions to fastest.

    *) SPeed Dial (lightninng bolt one) - let's you create one touch buttons for calls, sms, email. Really must have for those 3-4 ppl you talk to /sms daily.

    *) Useful Switchers - one app with shortcuts to all the switches, + flashlight. There are good single button ones, but they take up too much screen space since you need at least 4-5 of them. This is the nicest replacement I could find for the single click ones that is still easy and tons of features, but all in one app.

    *) Car Mode - click to make all calls go to speaker. Good fix for the crappy speaker button location. Makes it easy to use while in the car driving.

    *) ASTRO - file system reader, image viewer. really must have. some small bugs in display, but really must have and much better functionality than competitors.

    *) AndroZip - if you need one program that unzips/zips everything (tar, gz, bz, zip, etc...)

    *) Barcode scanner -- scan QR barcodes from androlib.com (making life easier) to install apps from the app store (you can literally scan your computer screen while browsing androlib.com) It also does items and prices.
    **) I also keep 'Compare everything' around

    *) DocumentsToGo (free version) -- must have for office and excel viewing. Wish the PDF portion was free. I just can't justify paying for this given that I get 1 PDF a month.

    *) Gmote -- amazing and uncomparable. Full control of PC/Mac/Linux and stream video+audio to device. Uses wifi.

    *) ITweet! ($3 - not free, but by far the best twitter client. I've tried 7 free ones so far -- installed twiterdroid and the other popular (name escapes me now) one 2-3 times because I kept giving them a shot and hating them). Twidgit lite is just not for me bc it slows down the phone, but I do like it. iTweet is fast, full of features, VERY clean and well designed.

    *) Simple Weather (yellow sun with one cloud for icon) is the simplest NO widgit weather. You open and it lists weather.

    *) Locale -- I keep this running on the phone 24/7. It let's you do something based on events. Ex: if battery is bellow or above "blah", do "blah". I use it to silence my phone between hours, and turn of syncing if the battery is too low. It can use GPS, twitter, email, etc...

    *) Voice Recorder - gmail icon one - best quality, most features.

    *) Video Player (green icon with play) - best one

    *) Movies (popcorn icon) is the best movie finder. One thing it lacks is "purchase tickets" option

    *) NewsRob is the BEST RSS client (if you have google reader feeds).

    *) Task List (blue open book) simple and best i've found
    **) I have astrid, but I haven't used it. Supposetly it's great.

    *) NoteEverything is the best notepad/draw/stuff app

    *) IRC radio - very good irc client and option to hear everything that others say (uses text to speech library)

    *) ConnectBot -- amazing SSH client.

    *) gStrings - best instrument tuner i've ever seen. In no way perfect sound, but the most amazing i've ever seen.

    *) Key Ring (blue background, the others are not as good) - let's you scan your keytag cards (Shaws, CVS, etc...)


    GAMES I really like:
    * Cestos - online play, very simple and repetitive, but I like it.
    * Robo defense is a GREAT game -- takes strategy. I hated it at first and even un-installed it.
    * SlidePuzzle -- i enjoy this game
    * Wordup is fun

    Now I have a few more apps, but I just listed the ones that I am constantly using. I have another 10-15 that are there just sitting most of the time. Ex: dictionary, bible one,
    Last edited by ventz; 08-26-2009 at 01:27 AM.

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    Oh just to add for anyone "making the jump". I was VERY skeptical. I had the 8320 and loved it, and then swore by the 8900. I got the G1 first, had it for 2 days, and then returned it (terrible battery, felt clunky, although liked physical keyboard), and then purchased the myTouch.

    Anyway, so now I have the my touch. The apps are really where it's at. It's like having a linux system -- it's in no way perfect, but all the free products and customizations make it what it is. The apps store is uber crap for the blackberry, and crapy apps are expensive. I think 95% of the apps on Android are free and simply rock. We are talking about REAL apps -- that feel like they are worth money, and still are free. I still haven't seen (other than TouchDown) apps that are more than $3-4.

    It took me a good week to get use to this system. At first i even didn't like it since hte mail is so perfect on the blackberry. If you have to send over 200+ emails a day -- stick with a blackberry, or keep one around in addition. THe mail *IS* better on the blackberry, but everything else is not.

    The browser is fantastic on this phone. 100% (minus flash and flash support comes out Oct. of this year) like the OS X Safari browser (i think it's using webkit which is used on the iphone). I love that I can stream movies straight from the web (mp4, 3gp).

    With all the apps, I have replaced my laptop for everything except long emails.

    Conclusion -- get the phone. (if you send tons of emails, keep the blackberry too since something about a real keyboard is still nicer)

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    Nice list ventz, downloaded Speed dial and its freaking nice.
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