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Summary:

I snagged the Sprint EVO 4G yesterday, and have been testing free apps to make the Android experience even better. Here are the top five free apps I have settled on so far. Leave your own picks in the comments; the more apps the better.

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I have been using Android since the original G1, and have tested most of the top phones running Google’s OS. As thoroughly as I test review phones, it’s a slightly different experience when using a phone of my very own. I snagged the Sprint EVO 4G yesterday, and have been testing free apps to make the Android experience even better. Here are the top five free apps I have settled on so far. My list will not likely match the list of other Android users as we all are after different things. I am also sure my list will grow over time to include other apps that strike my fancy.

1. Twicca. I am a big Twitter user and always look for a good client on every mobile device I use. I like the genuine Twitter app for Android, but Twicca has knocked it off my home page. Twicca has full functionality for using Twitter, and in a package that is attractive and easy to use. It’s also hard not to appreciate the magical connotation of its name. Don’t let the image fool you; Twicca works in English, too.

2. Dolphin Browser HD. The stock Android browser on the EVO is pretty good, but Dolphin brings most of the functionality of a full desktop browser to the big EVO screen. It has all the expected features, tabbed browsing, multiple windows and the like. The implementation of gestures is a nice touch for the EVO screen and add-ons are useful. Dolphin is so fast on the EVO 4G it is downright scary.

3.  Toodle Droid. I use the ToodleDo task list online and on the iPad, and it keeps me on top of my to-do list each day. Toodle Droid is an app that interfaces with ToodleDo and presents my list with a very basic presentation. It is nothing fancy, just very functional. You can add new tasks using Toodle Droid, but if you need extensive interaction with your to-do list then it will not meet your needs. I use it as a reference only, and like the simplistic approach of Toodle Droid.

4. Speedtest.net. The EVO 4G has the speedy network in its favor, and the ability to dish it out as a mobile hotspot (monthly fee required) is a nice bonus. I find myself regularly keeping an eye on connection speeds to see how things are moving along, and Speed Test is a nice way to do that. If you are familiar with the online test site speedtest.net, then you are already familiar with this app. It does one thing, and well.

5.  Google Voice. You would think Google would integrate Google Voice tightly with Android, and they sure did. Google Voice turns the Android phone into a full Google Voice phone. There is complete control over how the phone integrates with Voice, including letting GV take over all aspects of phone calls completely if desired.

These are the first apps that have earned a permanent place on my home screen, but they will by no means be the only ones. I am continuing to investigate offerings in the Android Market and will share my findings from time to time. If you have favorite Android apps you can’t live without, please share those in the comments. You can never have too many apps.

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  1. andrew ogdwn Saturday, June 5, 2010

    I eadly have Google voice crash overtime I try to useit on my EVO.

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  2. Hi James,

    So what’s your opinion Htc Evo or Iphone which one is better? I am thinking about switching carriers.

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    1. I’m canceling my AT&T account for my iPhone to go with the EVO.

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    2. The EVO is heads above the current iPhone. That being said you have to compare it to the new iphone coming out soon. I also switched like James did because I didn’t think the new iPhone and OS would be enough to keep me on ATT.

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  3. I, too, am a Toodledo user, and I just upgraded to a Motorola Droid. While I was using Toodledo’s app on an iPod Touch, I am now trying out Got to Do on the Droid. I recommend that you give it a try. It has a nice interface, and many users at the Toodledo forums like this app.

    –Ken

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    1. Will give this a try. Thanks.

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  4. Tony Malanga Saturday, June 5, 2010

    Got To Do is the way to go. Much better then Toodle Droid.

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  5. According to Steve the EVO is THE Porn Phone. Why no porn apps in your Top 5 ?

    Are registered sex offenders allowed to purchase this phone.

    How much kiddie porn is bundled with this phone ?

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  6. Two apps I use I would recommend. The first is the free Slacker App (slacker.com to setup an account), which will let you cache your “station” for times you know you’ll be out of even 3G reach (and to minimize drop outs and maximize quality). Of course while the app is free, a yearly subscription to the service is required to use the cache and to lose the ads. I used to be a Pandora fan (paid there too), but switched when the unlimited favorites and caching were introduced.

    Other app is a necessity on my Nexus One, perhaps less so on the HTC Evo – Wifi Buddy. Gives you easy access to all the Wifi Settings for your Android phone, and can help to keep the Wifi link up when the phone is idle (so it doesn’t drop back to 3G and then a sync tries to take place over that instead of your network).

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  7. Hey James – this is far more interesting … you going off your iPhone.
    Does that mean that with all that you know about the new iPhone it still seems inferior to EVO/Android?

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  8. I find Android Task Killer a must have myself.

    I still need to shoot whiteboards so I need Scan2PDF.

    My doctors have me on 12 different meds so epocrates is a must for me.

    I bought my EVO an Airave today. When I checked: my Kindle DX, which I never use anymore, was all full-5-bars-happy as well. :-)

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  9. Google Voice – nice integration and am using Google Voice for voicemail but as a communication tool it is very poor. Really, if you are trying make calls via GV with your mobile phone, the lag is so bad you are better off not making the call at all.

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  10. I have tried all except this Dolphin browser…It seems that it is worth giving a try….lets see

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  11. Roshan Shrestha Monday, June 7, 2010

    None of the app links take me to the product page. They all display the app “Epocrates”

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  12. karenclassic Monday, June 7, 2010

    Here’s my 5 free apps (currently):
    Audible for Android
    – view Audible.com library, download and listen to audiobooks

    Springpad
    – like evernote but slightly different features

    K-9 mail

    SnapTell
    – Online & local price comparisons via photo of product or barcode

    Toss It (by Boolba Labs)
    – Simple yet addictive game. Great for passing time while waiting in line @ grocery store :-)

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  13. Our Anti-Theft for Mobile is now free: http://www.f-secure.com/antitheft Protect your confidential date on your Android phone even when it slips out of your hand. Lock your phone from anywhere, locate your lost phone on a map, or even wipe your phone clean with one SMS. Pretty cool.

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  14. My favorite android app is FastMall

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