My top Android apps

Since getting my Android powered mobile phone last year, I haven’t looked back not once. I know that iPhone users sneer at Android powered smartphones, but that’s just because of the threat that Android is to their “fashion accessory”. Anyway, to avoid an all out “iPhone v Android” shouting match, let me move swiftly on…

I love everything about the Android platform and I can say for sure that it has definitely become an integral part in my day-to-day communications and is one of my best tools for productivity.

Below is a list of my top 12 Android apps that I use on a daily basis (at this point in time):

GMailGoogle Mail – I run Google Apps on several of my domains, so I have several Gmail accounts that I need to check on a daily basis. The Gmail app is my top Android app as I can access all my Gmail accounts under one convenient control panel.

I know that you can now do the same by enabling multiple sign-in on your Google profile, but as I don’t have a netbook (yet!) my smartphone is my handy communications hub for managing mails from my different domains.

Google Talk Google Talk – Again, another of my top apps. It’s my messaging system of choice as most of my colleagues, family and friends use Google Talk which means that I can “chat” to them at any time.

My family and friends are in in South Africa, so with this app I am able to send my sister a quick “Howzit going?” message while on the train, just as easily as I can ask my SEO mentor mate out in Weybridge, Surrey for some help with a .htaccess command.

Google ReaderGoogle Reader – This is my commute “newspaper” of choice on the way to the office in the mornings. There’s a lot of talk around at the moment about RSS being dead (which sparked a small Twitter war) and supposedly killed off by Twitter.

I’m not going to get involved in the above topic, instead all I am going to say is that I heart Google Reader for the fresh content that it serves me 24/7. I’ve been using it for several years and should RSS feeds be killed off, I’d be pretty miffed.

DropboxDropbox – My Dropbox folder is my “memory stick” in the cloud. All the contents of my Dropbox are available for viewing on my smartphone and I can even stream music and movies in my Dropbox straight to my Android.

The synchronisation of my data between all my registered PC’s and my smartphone ensure I have full-time access to all of my most important files – even when I’m “on the go”.

TweetCasterTweetCaster – Accessing Twitter has never been easier on your Android. TweetCaster supports multiple accounts, URL shortening, picture sharing, @replies, re-tweets and DM’s.

Another app which I use very frequently and which I would find difficult to be without. I’ve also used Seesmic for this purpose, but had a few problems with it on my Android 2.1 operating system, so I stuck with TweetCaster.

EvernoteEvernote – Evernote turns your Android phone into an extension of your brain. This award-winning app lets you remember and recall anything that happens in your life.

From notes to ideas to snapshots to recordings, put everything into Evernote and watch as it all instantly synchronises from your phone to the Web to your PC.

TumblrTumblr – With little or no fanfare, this application has appeared with handy tools for posting photos, links and more to your Tumblr. You can take pictures and record audio and video for your posts from within the app, which makes for a very real-time blogging experience that lends itself well to the mobile device.

In addition to posting, you can also access your dashboard to read, like and reblog the posts of those you follow. We’re seeing some Twitter integration, as well; you can choose to tweet about your posts as you go.

LinkedInLinkedIn“Staying connected to your professional network is one of the most important activities we offer on the new LinkedIn Android app” say LinkedIn. This app was released in late December 2010 as a Beta version, but even as a Beta, I’ve not had any issues using it at all – but still use the web-based version on my smartphones browser way more…

It’s still quite a basic app and I’m hoping upcoming versions will be introducing Group Management tools and a LinkedIn mailbox access facility – two features I use a lot as I manage a couple of Groups on this popular professional social  network.

StumbleUponStumbleUpon – Mobile social bookmarking. Great! Love it! I stumble quite a lots of URL’s to my StumbleUpon profile via the bookmarklet on my smartphone. At the same time I get to Stumble new sites related to the interests specified in my StumbleUpon account.

If I ever need my bookmarks (and I’ve found out that I have), they’re easily accessible to me anywhere.

WordPressWordPress – The thing about this app is that it works perfectly fine for some WordPress blogs that I configure on it but not others. However, even though that is the case for me specifically, I am able to moderate some of our companies site comments directly via this app which helps me get down to clearing some of tasks in my daily work schedule. It also allows for adding blog posts and pages, although I don’t use it for that at this point in time.

I also find it useful for creating draft blog posts which I can edit (i.e. add graphics, etc) once I’m sat at my desk. I’m hoping that the developers make it a bit more advanced in future versions.

Advanced Task KillerAdvanced Task Killer – This app allows me to stop running background processes or apps in memory. I don’t use it very often, but every now and again when my kids get hold of my phone and open up multiple games without shutting them properly, it provides me with an easy way to kill multiple processes.

RockPlayerRockPlayer – This is my portable multimedia centre. I can play and view my movies, podcasts, MP3’s all through this baby! It supports almost all popular video formats and has a really fast rendering engine.

Not the best on HD video, but then again I personally don’t have much HD content to watch on it. Otherwise, a perfect multi-format player for Android.

Angry BirdsAngry Birds – Last but not least, this has to be a Da Silva family favourite. My missus, and both my juniors play this highly addictive game. No matter what mobile phone you have, you have got to get a copy of Angry Birds…

It can become quite difficult to pass some of the stages as you progress through the game, so I’ll give you a handy tip on how to overcome stages that you’re stuck on: go to YouTube and type in the name of the stage you’re having difficulties getting past, and watch the video on how to get ahead…

I am looking forward to the release of more and more apps on the Android platform and I am sure that I’ll be updating this post in the months to come.

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