Top 10 Must Have & Top 10 Showcase Apps for the Android Newbie

A friend of mine just became the proud new owner of an HTC Incredible and asked for Android app recommendations. So, here’s my list in two parts. The first list names “must have” apps. The second list are apps that are interesting and good Android showcase apps but might not be used everyday. All the apps in both lists are free.

Note: Although Android OS 2.2 (currently only available for the Nexus One) provides the ability to install apps on a flash storage card, very few apps currently support this feature. I ran out of system space on my Nexus One a few days ago and was forced to start removing apps before I could install and test new ones. Choose your apps wisely. My Nexus One ran out of system memory with about 50 apps installed. Apps have widely varying file sizes. So, you may run out of system resources with more than or fewer than 50 apps installed.


MUST HAVE
1. Evernote: Note taking app that syncs with Evernote’s free web notes service. Premium service also available
2. Seesmic for Android: Twitter client: Quirky but the best Android Twitter client I’ve tried. I prefer it to the official Twitter app
3. The Weather Channel: Its home page widget tells me what I need to know most of the time without having to launch the app itself.
4. Advanced Task Killer: Multi-tasking is great. But, some apps are ill-behaved and need to be shutdown. I tend to uninstall really ill-behaved apps
5. Bonsai Blast: This Zuma-like ball colar match game is awesome. It was the first Android game I tried way back in 2008 on the G1 and is still a favorite.
6. REalCalc: Android provides a basic calculator. RealCalc gives you a more capable one.
7. Movies (Flixster): Every movie fan should consider this app. FYI: Flixster owns Rotten Tomatoes.
8. doubleTwist: Google missed the entire multimedia ecosystem with Android. doubleTwist provides an iTunes-like desktop to sync media with your Android phone.
9. NPR News: Audio news and commentary from National Public Radio
10. Google Voice: This is the way voice mail and text messages should work.

ANDROID SHOWCASE APPS
1. Google Earth: Have the whole world in your hands
2. Google Sky: The app that tells you what you see when you look up
3. Audible: This is a beta release but seems stable. It gives you access to your Audible audio book library. There is no need to pair with a desktop computer to deal with your Audible audio books
4. Google Goggled: Interesting but limited app that tries to tell you about places and things around you
5. Layar: The Augmented Reality app that started the mobile AR craze. It provides a lens with commentary about the world around you
6. Google MyTracks: Trails draws a trail as you travel. This information can be uploaded to a Google Docs spreadsheet for further analysis
7. Metal Detector: The magnetometer in an Android phone can be used for more than provide compass directions
8. Dropbox: Simple way to transfer files to and from Android and your cloudbased Dropbox storage
9. Tricorder: You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to appreciate this app. It can, among other functions, serve as a capable WiFi detector. And, of course, it looks cool on an Android phone’s screen.
10. Wifi Analyzer: If you need a bit more WiFi information than Tricorder provides, this is the app for you.