Yet again, I'm posting another list because our readers tend to read lists; It's like cutting up your food into manageable pieces, making it easier to devour. Or perhaps many other blogs on the web have yielded great results after posting "Top 10 this" and "5 ways to do that". I know that I would always feel more inclined to read something already having the impression that it's not ten pages of rambling.
Random Randy's Daily Driver Android Apps
- Android Pro Widgets - This is a widget package PACKED full of widgets to put on your Android home screen. I mainly keep this one around because of the "sense-like" calendar with it's transparency, keeping my favorite wallpapers visible, while allowing me to keep an eye on my overloaded calendar . APW is not just limited to a calendar widget, however. In addition to the calendar widget, you the get People, Bookmark, Agenda, Messaging, Facebook, and Twitter widgets; These are all in the free version. Grab it free in the Android Market.
- Chomp (The App Search Engine) - I like to think of Chomp as a trending Twitter topic viewer for apps in the Android Market. I personally like the "Free Apps of the Day" link within this app. Usually, I'll have no problem downloading a couple dozen free apps of the day so that I can sample them all without going broke. Chomp is free and it's right here in the Android Market.
- ColorNote - Sure there are note apps out there that are far more advanced than this one; I've tried probably just about every one of them. I always end up going back to this note app because of it's simplicity, polish, and usefulness. I personally use it for daily To-do lists. I've also found myself using it for a shopping list, as well as a memo. I find that syncing to my SD card is much more reliable than syncing to the cloud as a first resort. After this app syncs to my sd card, I then sync that SD card's directory to my dropbox account - invincible! This one is free as well. Grab it.
- Dropbox - Cloud storage that I can access from any of my computers or mobile devices, cross platform. Free for Android. Get it here.
- Fancy Widgets - There is a free version, but I purchased the paid version because it allows a fully-functional 4X1 screen widget that packs a Flip-style Clock, Animated Weather, date and more. I'm usually not the person for flashy apps: I usually want an app that is dry looking, with only necessary features. Weather conditions are something I like to keep an eye on and, with colorful animations, it's easy to get an idea of the current weather with a quick glance. There is a free version in the android market and it's still very useful, just not as flashy and customizable - Here.
- Google Reader - The recent layout updates for for the online version of Google Reader seemed to turn a large number of people into red hens. I actually liked the design changes because I know that google has lately been centralizing their look to be uniform across many devices/products. The Android version of Google Reader did not change much over time compared to other google apps (in my opinion) and I'm happy about that. I love the simplicity of the Google Reader app in that, when I "Mark Items as Read" they sync up with the online version as they should. I also LOVE the "Reader Unread" widget available for any of my reader feeds. With this widget, whenever some news rolls in, the little ticker widget on my desktop (feed-specific) updates in real time. Here is the Android market link for Google Reader - obviously free.
- Hi-Q Mp3 Recorder - In my opinion, this is still undoubtedly the best Mp3 Recorder for android. The audio quality/encoding is optimal. My slow, slow phone has no problem recording live sound and encoding it to mp3 (to various bitrates) on the fly. I even wrote an app review for Hi-Q Mp3 Recorder back in 2010 over at This Green Machine. I prefer the paid version of this app as it allows you to record longer than 10 minutes. The free version is only limited to 10 minutes recording time. Either way, try before you buy with the free (lite) version here.
- MyFitnessPal - I've tried over a dozen Calorie Counting apps and I end up coming back to this one. It's free and can keep a total of your daily calories when you either scan the product's bar code, or input the food type manually. It launches quick, and syncs well to the cloud. You can weigh in whenever you feel like it without it nagging you. Here's the link.
- Quick Profiles - Create your own sound profiles and swap between them fast. I can be using just about any application and the moment hits where i'm required to silence my phone immediately. I can just pull down the notification area and tap on my profile of choice. There are even a few non-sound extras that you can include in each profile. For instance, my "Mute" profile can also Turn off Wi-Fi and dim my screen. I also have a "Loud" profile where those features are reactivated - all from just one tap. Grab Quick Profiles from the Android Market here.
- Google Voice - I cannot think of a reason one would not find this product/app useful. I absolutely rely on this app. From being able to send texts from my Actual phone number FROM my computer, to being able to ring all of my phones when somebody calls my Actual phone number, this is a productivity booster. First, I suggest reading my post about Google Voice, or you could just sign up for a free number now.
- Google + - Though still relatively new, I'm learning to use this more every day. It's reliable, the Android app already runs laps around Facebook's official app (FB for Android sucks more every day), and we're not limited to 140 chars like on Twitter. Sure, all of the big celebrities are on Twitter, and. . .I don't care. Twitter is cool, but I like G+ better! Google Plus has infinite content - the people that are known in search technology make it easy to find anything on their own social network. I don't know why Google did not invent this sooner. Here is the Android Google+ App. I generally do not lean toward iOS products, but I hear their Google+ app is almost up there with the Android version - pretty cool.
My daily driver apps change from day to day, but the ones listed above are pretty much always on my phone. With so many great free apps available in the Android Market, it only feels natural for me to get a taste for all that I can. Thanks for reading and I hope that I have provided some useful information for you today. Oh, and I almost forgot - GMAIL! By far, this is my most-useful Android App, as well as an overall Google Product.