It doesn’t get as much coverage as the iPhone App Store, but Android Marketplace is starting to pick up a head of steam with an ever-increasing number of excellent and useful apps on an ever-increasing number of handsets. In this post, I’ve picked 5 out of my top 10 so far:
By far the best Android app for Twitter on Android, especially if you start off using the very limited HTC Peep app that comes pre-installed on the G2. It’s core functionality is excellent, and it has useful features such as threaded DMs, easy & non-awful retweeting, and synchronised saved searches. If you go Pro, there are fancy bits like integrated bit.ly support and colour themes for an extra £3.20 (roughly, the price is in euro), but there’s plenty in the free version to meet the needs of average Twitter user.
Does what it says on the tin; turns off any apps that you don’t need, windows taskmanager-style, to have running anymore to preserve your very precious battery life. Be careful what you turn off – if you don’t know what it is then leave it alone, as you may end up accidentally crashing TouchFlo or something equally important. There’s a lot of discussion on the usefulness of task manager apps and while Android is fairly hot on knowing when or how to close apps, TasKiller is useful for killing crashed apps and completely closing certain apps.
Cobviously a no-brainer on Android – Maps, Mail, Search come pre-installed and have saved my life on numerous occasions. GChat is also on there but I find I don’t use IM that much as I hate data input on a touchscreen.
Once your Android phone gets stolen (as mine just did), it will dawn on you in the most sickening way that with one swipe of their finger, the scally now in possession of your handset has complete access to your life. LockMe adds in an extra layer of protection once you wake up your phone, requiring you to enter a pre-programmed pattern of your choosing (connecting dots) to unlock it. The pleasantly surprising part is that its free, I would normally expect to have to shell out for a security app.
If you don’t know what Shazam is by now, you need to check it out – its made for anyone who has ever frustrated trying to remember the name of a song. Turn on your Shazam app, have it pick up a piece of the offending tune, and it’ll spit back out the song name and the artist. It has all the social sharing options you might expect, but its best used for settling debates or cheating in the music round of your local pub quiz (not that I would ever advocate that).
I’ll be back soon with Part Two.