Noteworthy Android applications

I recently asked my Twitter followers what their favorite Android application was. I got a lot of replies and I was happily surprised by the wide variety of apps mentioned. I often mention apps and games I like on Twitter but this little experiment convinced me it would be nice to do the same on this blog and spend more time to talk about each app. Don’t expect full reviews or ratings, just thoughts about applications and games I enjoy using or I find useful. I will probably talk about some apps I found about thanks to your awesome replies to my Twitter question.

To open this new series of articles, I would like to start by showing you my home screen. I use an unmodified version of “stock” Android running on a NexusOne (and I won’t tell you which version I am running.)

My Android home screen

Among these various applications and games, the ones I use the most these days are Gmail, Talk and TweetDeck. Since I work at Google the first two are hardly surprising. I was using the official Twitter application until I saw so many people recommend TweetDeck yesterday. Aside from a few bugs and a couple of minor gripes I really like it so far.

33 Responses to “Noteworthy Android applications”

  1. Murtaza K says:

    Doodle Droid is the best painting app available on Android market, the most awesome feature of it is the use of different type of brushes and transparency effects you can apply to the brushes.

  2. Murtaza K says:

    Sorry for double posting, but i actually am first to comment, yay! All the above apps are indeed noteworthy, i was actually looking for some good Android games, this surely helped me.

  3. Matt Oakes says:

    “and I won’t tell you which version I am running”

    Is it by any chance something like a small man which tastes very much of ginger?

  4. Romain Guy says:

    @Matt, I could also be messing with you :)

  5. Paddy says:

    I’m surprised that ChromeToPhone doesn’t make that list, its proven very popular since launch.
    I’m glad some of Android’s more than capable lomo photo apps feature. I’d be a fan of FxCamera, but Vignette and Retro are great too

  6. Matt Oakes says:

    I suppose you could be. You cruel man :P

  7. Romain Guy says:

    @Paddy: I use ChromeToPhone all the time, but I don’t need its shortcut on my home screen.

  8. Murtaza K says:

    @Romain Guy: What about Camera360?

  9. Romain Guy says:

    A great app but I’m not using it.

  10. Murtaza K says:

    Ok, by the way whats that Emily GUY?

  11. Romain Guy says:

    It’s a contact shortcut.

  12. Lekky says:

    Is that stock launcher too? No adw/launcher pro I guess?

  13. Romain Guy says:

    It’s the default Launcher. I tried other Launcher apps and some are really cool but they always do too much for me :)

  14. Adam says:

    I don’t understand why people use Tweetdeck instead of Seesmic, Touiteur or Tweetcaster. These are much better apps.

  15. Lekky says:

    No twicca either, surely the best, as long as you don’t need multi account features :p

  16. Milind says:

    Some apps on my phone are KeyRing, Launcher Pro, Awesome Drop, Shelves, My Movies Light, AdFree, Handcent SMS, EStrongs File Explorer, TOP, No Lock, Gesture Search, Bar Control, Kee Pass Droid, Dolphin Browser HD, Wireless Tether, AK Notepad, Startup Cleaner, Barcode Scanner, Market Enabler, Flikie Wallpapers HD, Bar Control, Shop Savvy, DropBox and AppManager.

    The Vibrant has really good multimedia apps. Finally on par or better than iPhone.

    It’s tough to point to a favorite app. But I install Bar Control and Gesture Search, AK Notepad, AppManager and Launcher Pro first when I get a new phone or ROM.

    I recently discovered Fast Web Installer and App Brain. This is what the Market should have been from Day 1. It’s made discovery and installation an absolute breeze.

  17. appel says:

    I’d also use the stock launcher if it wasn’t for its scroll behavior, too much friction, in the app drawer. :)

    Also, you’re the first person I’ve seen that actually use the built-in calendar widget instead of something more agenda like.

  18. Andrew Sapperstein says:

    IMDB app. Ever since it came out, it’s been on my first home screen. No better way to end debates about who that actor is than doing a quick search for whatever’s on.

    In other news, this post is again making me seriously reconsider my Twitter holdout…

  19. Mohamed Mansour says:

    @Romain and others, How do you read your feeds? That is one thing I am lacking on my NexusOne, I can’t find a comfortable solution :s I use the News Weather widget a lot.

  20. Dan Yankowsky says:

    I think it’s interesting that a) you don’t use many widgets and b) you mostly keep the top and bottom rows clear across your home screens. I don’t know why these are interesting, but they jumped out at me.

    Personally, I find Jeff Sharkey’s weather widget to be really useful. Somebody else has probably made a better one, but this one works really well for me. (My G1 is still on 1.6).

  21. ambarish says:

    I am surprised you don’t have Gesture Search on your list. Once I got that, I stopped bothering with putting apps on my home screen. Now use less than 2 screens on my NexusOne – and the 2nd one is for games when I want to waste time. Here are 2 links of mine – relevant to this topic:

  22. Taha says:

    How did you take the screenshots? Through ADB?

    And I already use most of those apps, good selections :-p

    BTW, Can you convince whoever is responsible to just put the Google “stock” Apps on the Market? I love that Calendar widget, but Samsung in all their infinite wisdom decided to make their own calendar app with no widget. The ones available on the Market are either ugly or just give way more info than I need (i just want to know my next upcoming appointment at a glance).

  23. geeknik says:

    I use Feedr to read my news feeds on my phone. Has 2 way sync with Google Reader and lots of other options. One of my better Android investments. =)

  24. Futon says:

    I noticed that your “Power Control Widget” looks a little odd. If you look closely at the bottom you’ll see that the green (on indicators) are curled at the left for the middle items. That should be the on indicator the left most item. It looks like the center 9-patch is not being used for that.

    What’s up with that? I just checked my nexus one that runs FRF91 and it looks fine.

  25. appel says:

    @Mohamed I just use the mobile version of Google Reader. Haven’t found any app that works better. Never felt any need to read offline, 3g is available basically everywhere anyways where I live.

  26. alvinp says:

    @Futon Not only that. There is no notification bar on top despite it being the unmodified stock launcher.
    I guess we are seeing gingerbread :)

  27. Idolhands says:

    Multicon is a nice space saver that gives homescreens a slick look; you potentially block less background as well. You can have a dozen apps or direct dials on 1/4 of a screen.
    My EVO just got rebooted. Starting from scratch again, so these suggestions are nice. Why restart? I was told that app killers and Lookout/anivirus apps are like viruses to a 2.2. I couldn’t use anything but the phone. Beware!
    Like: paper toss, waze

  28. RajF says:

    I use a set of widgets (which can act as shortcuts to the applications themselves) and application shortcuts on the main menu.
    The list of widgets:
    1> facebook
    2> twitter for android
    3> pandora
    4> power Control
    5> Pure calendar widget (It gives a nice agenda view of the calendar). I wish the default android calendar had an option.
    6> Catch Notes (for a quick scribble)
    7> Mint
    8> Android weather app

    The set of app icon shortcuts I have are:
    1> GMail
    2> EMail
    3> Clock
    4> Talk
    5> Music
    6> Camera
    7> Navigation
    8> Market

    I have used a lot of launchers available in the market, and have come back to the default launcher everytime (dont know why!).
    Except for the above apps, I dont use the others to the extent that I find a need to place them on the home screen…

  29. FiRa says:

    Nope… He has clearly mentioned that its running on Nexus One… (Which means I get the updates to Gingerbread ! Yay !)
    And yes, the absence of notification bar in the screen shot, kind of aligns with the early snapshots that had appeared on the internet long time back in which the notification bar was hidden for some reason..
    Now we know why…
    The notification bar in Gingerbread probably behaves like in WP7, where it appears only when notifications are present…
    But I dont see any major “visual” changes (atleast on the homescreen) I was expecting to see with Gingerbread… :)