6 Android Apps I Can't Live Without

When friends get a Droid, the first question they tend to ask is: what should I download? I don't have all that many apps on my Milestone... oh wait, I just counted and I have 70. Is that a lot? It's funny but whenever my phone tells me I am running out of space I have the darndest time trying to figure out what to delete so I can download the next shiny thing.

I have some basic apps that the phone came with and I wish I could delete (e.g. MotoNav and Maps) but for the most part I installed the rest of the apps on my phone. I say for the most part because hubby and the Dude have been known to co-opt my phone and install apps without my knowledge (case in point: Angry Birds).

Of the apps I've downloaded (and can't seem to let go of) there are a few key apps that I just cannot live without. I use them every day, several times a day.

First of all, let's ignore the obvious: Gmail, phone, browser and calendar. For those, I use the built-in apps that came with the phone and all connect to Google. They work fine for me. I tried alternatives (e.g. Dolphin browser) but they tended to crash or take up too much memory. So for those, I use the defaults.

Here are my 6 favourite Android apps:

1. Twicca and Twitpic plugin for Twicca
@jey8s, a colleague and fellow Droid lover, turned me onto Twicca. It's a very functional Twitter app with lots of built-in controls and functions. The Twitpic plugin makes it super simple to take and/or upload pics via a tweet. Oddly, Twicca stopped receiving DMs in June, a problem reported on their user forums. Not a huge loss for me, since I don't DM all that much and can switch to a browser if required. The variety of Settings and customization options are more than enough to make up for the loss of DMs. If I wasn't so lazy, I would probably set up the colour labels (colour-coding tweets from different people). But as I said, I'm lazy.

2. Facebook for Android
The official Droid Facebook app is basic, loads quickly and has a nice clean user interface. The only thing I would change is that I would like the Notifications screen to be my default; that's why I usually log in via my phone -- to find out if anyone has commented on something I posted or messaged me. I prefer to use Facebook on the computer: I find the larger screen is better for viewing pics and reading longer posts. For my uses, Facebook for Android is a nice light app.

3. QuickMark QR Code Reader
Probably the best and simplest QR Code reader I've ever used. And it makes this really funny sound when it captures the code (you can hear it in this video). Just so you know, in addition to being a geek, I am also a dork.

4. Find Starbucks
An app whose sole purpose is to locate the nearest Starbucks. My hubby loves me. And he demonstrated it by downloading this as the first app on my Droid. He completes me ;)

5. Evernote
The power of Evernote is that you can use it on any device and it will synch to the cloud automatically. So you always have access to all of your notes, at all times. I use it to bookmark articles, videos, ideas, write notes, log blog post ideas, and on a recent trip, capture and maintain a travel journal in real-time. I would be a lot less organized without Evernote installed on every one of my devices.

6. Google Listen
I was told about Google Listen by a tweep (can't remember who) and it's awesome! Google Listen is a podcast app: you subscribe to your favourite podcasts and download them to listen later. Every few days, I hit refresh when I'm on wifi (to keep my data charges down), load a few podcasts to the queue, and I'm ready for my bus commute.

So there you have it, not the entire list of apps (there *are* 70 of them) but definitely 6 of the most useful apps I have on my phone. What are your faves? Leave a comment!

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