After playing around with my fair share of Android devices before taking the plunge and getting myself a Nexus One, I’ve become quite familiar with a lot of apps on offer in Android’s Market.
Although the Market doesn’t house as many apps as Apple’s App Store, around 20,000 compared to over 100,000, there’s still a plethora of applications available for Android that would never see the light of day on the App Store, many of which are included in my list of essential applications for Google Android devices.
Android’s a great mobile phone OS, particularly on some of the recent handsets like the HTC Desire, but it’s still not perfect. Luckily for us, Google don’t exhibit the same amount of control over their Market as Apple does on the App Store, which allows for some great applications to further improve your Android mobile phone that you couldn’t do with your iPhone 3GS…
1. chompSMS (Text Messaging)
However functional it may be, Android’s default messaging application doesn’t look great… This is where chompSMS comes in, not only giving you iPhone like bubbles for your messages, but also allowing you to customise the way they look. You can change fonts throughout the application and the colour of the bubbles. It may not be revolutionary, and it’s most probably a rip off the iPhone’s messaging app, but hey, it looks good!
2. SMS Popup (Text Messaging)
Although you’re notified of new messages in the notification bar on Android, I missed new messages popping up on the screen with a short preview of the message and various options without having to dive in to the messaging app. SMS Popup stays out of the way until it’s required, and offers a subtle interface that’s simple and easy to get around when you receive a message…
3. ASTRO (File Manager)
ASTRO is one of them indispensable apps I couldn’t live without. I use it every day without realising it as it helps me navigate through all of the files stored on the SD card and compliments the next app on the list very well…
4. WebSharing (File Transfer)
WebSharing allows you to transfer files from your computer to your phone over a wi-fi connection. Not only is it incredibly fast, but the full version ($2.99) supports the transfer of music, photo and video files as well as multiple upload.
5. TasKiller (Task Manager)
TasKiller may be the most essential utility I have on my Nexus One… Not only can I see exactly what’s running on my phone, but I can make sure there’s nothing draining the battery or using data in the background that I don’t need… TasKiller Free is more than capable of these routine tasks, but if you want some extra options the full version is available for a mere €0,70.
6. Documents To Go (Office Docs)
Despite being the most expensive application on my list, with a price tag of $14.99, Documents To Go is a great application for anyone wanting to work with documents, spreadsheets and even presentations on the go. You can also view PDF’s which is a nice touch, although if Google decided to release a docs app for Android, I wouldn’t say no…
7. FotMob (Live Football Scores)
FotMob is an absolutely brilliant application for any football fan. After choosing what leagues you wish to stay informed on, you’ll receive live notifications as they happen and can view the latest news and live league tables too. It’s available for free with ads, or £1.99 ad-free.
8. GameBoid (Gameboy Emulator)
Apart from knowing that this would never hit the AppStore, GameBoid makes a damn good GameBoy Advance emulator too… Available for $3.99 on the Market, you can play every ROM under the sun all day long and laugh at all those people with iPhones at the other side of the room… Mario anybody? Hell, why don’t you just get the GameBoy Colour, NES, SNES, Sega Genesis and Sega Master System emulators from the same developer while you’re at it? You know you want to!
9. Beautiful Widgets (Cool Looking Home Screen Stuff)
Beautiful Widgets really help spice up my home screen on the Nexus One… Not only does it offer great widgets to quickly turn on and off your WiFi, Bluetooth and other means of connectivity, but it also gives you a great clock and weather widget that’s not only functional, but looks great too!
10. Train Times UK (Formerly called National Rail)
I regularly use national rail services to get about the UK, and the National Rail app simplifies the whole process a lot…You can search for services, find out when your train is due and even receive live updates so you know whether your train is on time or not – this one’s definitely worth paying for!
11. SpeedForge 3D (Wipeout-Style Game)
Who said you couldn’t do a little bit of light gaming on Android? SpeedForge 3D is one of the best 3D games available on the platform and available for just €1.99. The accelerometer based controls take a little getting used to, but it definitely shows the potential of gaming on Android in the future!
Image Source – Android Zoom