Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New to Google Android? Grab these apps first!

Getting your first phone with the Google Android operating system is exciting and bewildering in equal measures – although the Android software is very intuitive a guiding hand can probably save you a lot of head-scratching.  All Android phones come with slightly different programs (apps/ applications) installed so don’t be alarmed if you already have some of the apps we recommend.

To get started on the Google Android Marketplace you’ll need an account, but we’re going to assume you’ve sorted that part before looking at this list!

The essential Android Apps (all free!)

Dolphin Browser
The internet browser that comes with Android is a little bit limited, installing Dolphin browser will give you web browsing facilities that you’re used to having, like tabs and the ability to refresh pages.

Advanced Task Killer
The battery on your Android phone will last a lot longer if you install this app.  Once installed running this app will give you the ability to shut down programs that you’re not using.  It sounds bizarre but Android doesn’t really close programs when you come out of them, it leaves them running so that you can open them again faster.

Google Maps
The chances are that your Android phone will already have Google Maps installed, but it’s worth getting the latest version to make sure you have all the cool new features like ‘Google Navigate’.  Google Navigate is getting better all the time, and if you’re brave you can use your Android phone and Google Navigate to replace the satellite navigation in your car!


The non-essential (but rather cool) Android Apps (all free!)

Wikitude World Browser 
This rather astounding app uses what’s known as an ‘augmented reality’ technology.  With this app running you can hold your phone in front of you and view information ‘pinned’ to the image of real world that your phone’s camera is picking up.  It sounds complex, but it’s very simple and very cool!

myPlayer 
If you’re in the UK you can use this app to watch content from the BBC iPlayer, myPlayer also gives you the ability to watch live TV and listen to live Radio.

Google Sky Map
Another great augmented reality app, point your phone at the sky and find out the names of the stars you see!


I’ve decided I’m going to stop the list at this point, there are so many thousands of Android Apps available that deciding which are ‘best’ is a bit subjective.  But the apps I’ve listed above should get you off to a flying start!