I’ve had my LG Optimus V for over a month now and been loving it. I especially love that it only costs $25 a month on Virgin Mobile for unlimited web and texts. The only issue is that occasionally, the data connection hangs and drains the battery quickly. I usually experience the problem when I’m traveling (the phone is powered off for the plane ride). Usually, pulling the battery does the trick. Apparently the folks at LG are working on a fix.
Over time, I’ve found there are some Android apps that you just can’t live without. Here’s my list of essential Android apps. Some of them I’ve downloaded, some of them were preloaded on the phone.
Amazon App Store: One of the first apps you should load up. Amazon has their own alternative to the Android Marketplace that comes with several advantages. For one, this app store is more tightly controlled so there’s less potential to get infected or malware apps. More importantly, Amazon has been offering a free app every day. Click here to get started.
Amazon MP3 (Cloud Player): The Amazon Cloud Player brings iTunes-like functionality to Android using Amazon’s MP3 store. The beauty is that you can chose to either play songs from local storage or streamed from the cloud. Detailed write-up here.
Angry Birds Rio: This app was free in the Amazon app store its first few days. In reality, it’s not free since it’s addictive and you pay with all of your free time. It’s only 99 cents now.
Pulse: A quick way to read all of the websites that are important to you. Pulse displays content from selected sites in a grid-like pattern allowing you to scroll up and down as well as left to right. It’s designed for a touchscreen device (its really awesome on the iPad). Pulse uses a sites’ RSS (really simple syndication) feed to pull in all of the latest posts from your favorite blogs and news sites. Best of all, it’s free. I can’t wait till this becomes available for the Mac.
Evernote: It’s your mobile filing cabinet or organizer. Evernote is a note taking app that organizes all of the information that really shouldn’t live in your calendar or email. You create a notebook for a subject. I have three: One for the blog, one for my suburban farming adventures and another for my consulting business. The cool thing about Evernote is that there are clients for every platform imaginable so its ubiquotous. Bye bye sticky notes!
Maps: Google Maps. You’ve seen it before, I used it a bit but then I discovered….
Places: A front-end to Google maps that finds the closest coffee shops, bars, restaurants, gas stations, attractions and ATMs. It’s great when you’re driving through unfamiliar territory.
Navigation: One of the advantages of Android over the iPhone is the inclusion of the no-charge Google Navigation. Google Navigation is a GPS for your phone. It’s a real GPS with a 3-D like display and spoken turn by turn driving instructions. The voices could be a little smoother. When the app is on, it relies on the phone’s GPS which sucks battery very quickly on the LG Optimus.
Quick Settings: I highlighted this in another post recently. The most important feature is that it allows you to turn your LG Optimus V into a mobile hotspot (see the bottom of the post).
ShootMe: This app lets you capture screenshots of whatever you are doing in Android and saves it to the SD card. This is especially important if you write blog posts about Android.
ShopSavvy: If you are out shopping, you need ShopSavvy. Utilizing the phone’s camera, you can scan in any UPC barcode. It will tell you what the item costs on-line as well as local brick and mortar locations. I was in Target recently and it stopped me from buying an All-In-One inkjet for my Mom’s new iPad. I realized the “sale” price was still higher from what I could get on-line (and it didn’t have Airprint).
What are your favorite Android apps?