The Android Market is a hustling bodega of app goodness that’s growing by leaps and bounds. To shamelessly borrow a famous line, no matter what you need to do with an Android phone, there’s an app for that. The apps cover a wide range of types, from full programs to widgets that sit on the phone home screens and provide simple utility. I confess I am an appoholic, as I spend a lot of time checking out new apps to make sure I don’t miss a good one. I spend over six hours every day using my Android phone (EVO 4G), and having a good mix of apps is important. There are five apps I spend most of my phone time using, and I present them in the order of the most-used to the least (depicted in the home screen image here).
Note that most of these apps have a free version, but I ‘ve upgraded them all to the paid version. This usually adds useful features, or gets rid of any ads in the free version. I like to support developers, so I’d buy them anyway, given the heavy use I get out of them. Mobile apps and developers will be hot topics at our Mobilize conference this month.
Dolphin Browser HD. I work on the web from sun up to long after sundown each day, and I spend the most time on my phone in the web browser. Dolphin is my default browser, and I can’t remember the last time I used the EVO’s stock browser. The combination of speed, tabs, bookmark handling and gesture control makes Dolphin the most-used app on my phone. Watching the video I shot of Dolphin should make it clear why it’s my most used app.
Touiteur Premium. I use Twitter all day, and no matter what device I’m using, there’s a Twitter client running in the background. I keep up with those I follow, and have numerous conversations with them every day. A good Twitter client is a must-have app for me, and I believe I’ve tried most of them available for Android. Touiteur (Twitter spoken with a French accent) is the one I keep coming back to. It’s fast, and presents the most information on the phone screen as possible, while keeping it all easy to digest at a glance.
gReader Pro. This app has become a heavily used app in a relatively short time due to the utility it provides. I spend hours each day following thousands of Google Reader RSS feeds, and until recently, I was happy using the official Google Reader page formatted for the iPhone in the browser. Once I found gReader, I haven’t looked back, as it makes it easier and faster to follow the news items that cross my path daily. It presents a lot of information in a clean, easy-to-navigate format. I can do anything I do using Google Reader on the desktop, but with methods optimized for the Android phone.
Kindle. I love e-books. I read one or two novels a week on average, and Kindle is my platform of choice, as I can use multiple devices to do so. The big EVO screen has become my favorite for reading books, and the Kindle for Android app is a great way to do it. I wish buying books could happen within the program rather than firing up the browser, but for reading books and maintaining my growing library, this app is great.
ToodleDroid. I use the online service Toodledo to manage my to-do list, an important part of my work day. ToodleDroid is fully integrated into the online service, and makes working with to-dos nice and easy. The task list view is very pleasing, and is customizable to work the way I want. This app keeps me on top of the things I need to get done, and is a vital part of my routine.
Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform