Jun 11th, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

45 Must Have Apps For Your Android Phone – June 2012

Anyone who’s been around me for more than 5 minutes knows that I actually love talking about Android. Not surprisingly, I’m always interested to talk to folks that have recently purchased an Android and are still in that puppy love what-should-I-download-right-now mode. This is part of the reason that Android Static releases our list of the top 45 must have Android apps for your shiny new phone.

 

A Format Shift For Our Must Have Android Apps

If you’re a regular reader, you know that usually this list is geared towards those with newer Android devices that really have no clue what to download. So while we made minor changes to our list from month-to-month, our regular readers were a bit bored with most of our choices.

So instead of regurgitating the same droll picks each month with minor variations, we’re starting anew with recommendations that show off apps we’ve not only usually reviewed but are much more on the fresh, recently released side of the spectrum.

As always we invite you to comment, argue or complain in the comments below and, well, get to downloading.

 

Facebook and Twitter Apps

Friendcaster For Facebook

We’ve formally ditched Facebook for Android since the performance always seems to blow ass. Friendcaster is a 3rd party alternative from OneLouder Apps (one of our favorite app studios). Friendcaster is faster, cleaner and, in general, better than Facebook for Android. Plus, this app is a must have for anyone with an Android tablet, since it’s basically the only option for an app that handles all of your Facebook needs on that larger screen size.

Friendcaster For Facebook is a minimal alternative to Facebook for Android.

 

Unlike Facebook for Android, Friendcaster comes in both free and paid flavors with ads being the main difference. Since I’m not a big Facebook person, I’d still go with Facebook for Android, but if you’ve got the cash and want to upgrade your experience Friendcaster For Facebook is the way to go.

Free: Friendcaster For Facebook

Twitter Apps

While pickings are slim for Facebook apps, Twitter apps for Android are a dime a dozen (as evidenced by our Best Twitter Apps For Android post). If you’ve searched around for Twitter apps you’ve probably already discovered Twitter For Android; a restrictive, lethargic bastard of an app.

Twitter for Android remains a safe bet for most users.

Good alternatives include Plume, UberSocial and Tweetcaster — which are among the most popular Twitter apps for Android. However, due to popular demand we’ll also include Twicca, which just made our best Twitter apps list back in March.

Twicca is a Twitter app... for bad asses.

Most of these social apps are ad supported for the free version or require that you purchase a paid version. The paid versions are usually pricey as far as Android apps go (around $5.00). As to which Twitter app you choose, let’s just say it’s complicated. The best way is to simply download, try it out for a few hours and move on to the next one if you’re not happy.

Plume's aesthetic changes are minor, but significant.

Free: Plume (Ad Supported)

Free: Tweetcaster

Free: UberSocial

Free: Twitter for Android

 

Reddit Apps

I love some Reddit; it occupies a large majority of the time that I should be working each day. Lucky for you there are some kick ass options for getting all your Reddits on Android.

Reddit Sync

We originally reviewed Reddit Sync a few months back and while I loved it, it still couldn’t replace some of the other full-featured Reddit apps on the market. Since then, Reddit Sync has got a few updates and an ICS inspired design refresh. Now the app supports commenting, voting and a slew of other features.

Reddit Sync is a minimal and sexy Reddit client for Android.

Free: Redditsync

 

BaconReader

BaconReader is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to picking out a Reddit app. This oddly named app is produced by a studio that knows how to design simple and easy-to-use apps. BaconReader lets you sign up with your account, automatically favorite all your favorite subreddits and, of course, has support for animated GIF files.

Bacon Reader is a must have Android app for any device.

Free: BaconReader

 

Reddit By Brian

This guy named Brian. He made a Reddit app. It’s pretty good. This Reddit app is as minimal as it gets. If you want a no fluff, simple as pie Reddit app… This is what you should download.

Reddit By Brian is a minimal, simple Reddit client.

Free: Reddit By Brian

 

Instagram

After waiting patiently for almost over a year, Android users finally received Instagram for Android. Instagram is a cutesy photo filter app that can turn everything into your own hipster moment. It’s also a big social network, so try it out. You’ll like it.

Instagram is the app for giving your photos some retro flavor.

Droidin

We’ve featured Droidin on the site before — it’s an alternative to Linkedin that focuses on all the things the Linkedin content you actually care about. Droidin is much faster than the official Linkedin app and comes in free and paid flavors.

Free: Droidin

Paid: Droidin (Around $1.99)

 

AppBrain

I’ve discovered so many apps via AppBrain it isn’t even funny. I featured AppBrain in my guide on how to discover new apps for Android.

AppBrain is the ultimate app for discovering other apps.

 

Free: AppBrain

 

Steam

I’m a big fan of Steam. It always sort of works and, well, I’m addicted to Portal 2. If you also use Steam then having the official app is a must have for chatting with friends and keeping up on specials.

Some good alternatives to the official app are Vapor for Android and Steam Droid.

Steam has finally released an app for Android.

Free: Steam

 

Weather Apps

1Weather

1Weather is still the most impressive weather app for Android. If you haven’t heard of it already, 1Weather is a minimal and uniquely styled weather app. I reviewed 1Weather a few months back and fell in love (and you will too).

1Weather is a game changing weather app.

Free:  1Weather (Ad Supported)

 

Finance Apps

Mint

I’ve used various financial apps over time but I’ve only recently given Mint a try. Mint is an all-in-one personal finance app that integrates directly with your bank account. Not only does it come with snazzy little charts to help you track your spending, but it automatically categorizes expenses for you.

Mint looks especially good on Android tablets.

Free: Mint

 

Media Apps

Google Music

I’m still surprised at how man people don’t use or even know about Google Music. First, Google Music looks F***ing amazing on any device. Second, you can upload pretty much as much of your own music as you like and play it online or through your Android device. To get into Google Music, be sure to check out our Google Music Guide.

The Google Music app can play any song on your advice or in your Google Music account.

Free: Google Music

 

Mixest

Normally this is where I’d list TuneIn Radio, but chances are you already know about that. Instead go for the off-the-beaten track Mixest, which is basically just a minimal Internet radio player for music.

Mixest is your source for eclectic and indie tracks that you've never heard of.

Free: Mixest

 

HBOGo

While you’re screwed for getting an HBO subscription without cable, those that do have cable should absolutely download this one. HBOGo’s app is as wonderful as it is simple. Recent updates include support for Android tablets.

HBOGo is a must have for subscribers.

 

Free: HBOGo

SoundHound

SoundHound can identify any song that your listening to (it can even recognize music from television shows and movies). Even has an option for humming your favorite song; not sure why you’d want to do this.

SoundHound will identify songs on the radio.Free: SoundHound

 

Doubletwist

Doubletwist is a fantastic music player that also syncs with your iTunes music. If you want to take it to the next level, you can upgrade Doubletwist with Airplay, which lets you wirelessly sync your music without any cords.

If you’re confused about how to set up Doubletwist and Airplay, then check out our guide on making things work together for some awesome wireless syncing action on your Android phone.

Doubletwist has always sold itself as the "iTunes for Android."

Free: Doubletwist

Communication Apps

Google Voice

Everyone should have a Google Voice account. Free voicemail, free text messaging — it’s pretty much awesome in every way. And if you’re really smart, you can use it as a free alternative for a paid text messaging plan. Plus, the app got a recent update to make it more Ice Cream Sandwich, so… there’s that.

Google Voice should be a staple app of every Android phone.

 

Free: Google Voice

Skype

There are a host of VOIP solutions but Skype continues to be the easiest and most reliable. Skype for Android should be available for a majority of Android devices regardless of version.

Skype

Free: Skype

 

Tools and Utilities

SeekDroid or Prey

Both of these apps let you do one thing: allow you to find your Android device if it’s lost or stolen. SeekDroid is a great app for anyone that wants a simple, easy-to-use app for finding their Android. If you’re a slightly more advanced user (who says that they can use their phone like a boss) then you might be happier with Prey, which allows you to track multiple devices (like your laptop).

SeekDroid is a very popular alternative and is geared towards finding your lost phone.

Free: SeekDroid

Free: Prey

 

Dropbox

I F***ing love Dropbox! It’s so handy. Like when you don’t have a wireless connection at your work but need to get a photo off your phone, you can set Dropbox to automatically upload your photos into the cloud. This app has seen a lot of development in recent months so if you want cloud support it doesn’t get any better than this.

The most recent Dropbox update gives the UI a snazzy new look and feel.

Free: Dropbox

 

ES File Explorer

Depending on your level of nerd-ness, you may or may not want a file explorer app to dig into the internals of your device. ES File Explorer, while sort of ugly, provides solid performance along with a robust feature set… for free.

On a side note, if your phone is rooted, you can use the root access feature of ES to change system files, a good free alternative to the many paid apps in the Market that offer to do the same thing.

ES File Explorer has a great option for browsing your Dropbox folders.

Free: ES File Explorer

 

Barcode Scanner

People underestimate the importance of having a barcode scanner on their phone — from downloading apps to playing online games. There simply isn’t a better barcode scanner than Barcode Scanner (funny how that works huh?).

Barcode scanner is the most popular barcode app for Android.

Free: Barcode Scanner

Vlingo

Want a fancy voice talking-to-Siri-like app on your phone? Vlingo isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the best on app on Android that does this. Also check out our post “So you’re having Siri envy?”

Vlingo is the most powerful voice assistant app for Android.

Free: Vlingo

 

JuiceDefender

With apps like JuiceDefender, there’s really no excuse to bitch about battery life. JuiceDefender periodically toggles your Wifi and Data Connections to save your battery. Of course, if you really want to know, you can see why most of your battery life issues are your own damn fault.

JuiceDefender

Free: JuiceDefender

AirDroid

Ever wanted to access your phone from your computer but didn’t have a cable handy? AirDroid creates a mini webpage that lets you access your phone over your WiFi network from your browser — it even lets you send text messages without having to touch your phone. Full Review Here.

AirDroid lets you control any aspect of your Android phone via your web browser and local WiFi network.

Free: AirDroid

 

Games And Entertainment

Gyro

You basically have to be on drugs for this game to make any sense. I kid I kid. Gyro is a very beautiful minimal app where you align pieces of a pie chart as ball are being shot at you. They’re supposed to be viruses or something. Gyro is minimal, simple and ad free. Go download it. It’s awesome.

Gyro is a beautiful, minimal game that looks amazing on any device.

Free: Gyro

 

Nodebeat

Nodebeat is a difficult app to explain, but I characterized it as a visual music creation app. Nodebeat lets you move around different blocks and circles to generate a quasi-dubstep-like sound in a matter of seconds. I suck at music, but I could start a band with this app. Probably. Full Review Here.

Nodebeat is simply beautiful and stunning while playing your musical creations.

Free: NodeBeat

 

World of Goo

World of Goo has been a popular app for Wii and other platforms for a few years but it’s made a seamless transition to the mobile sphere. World of Goo is a puzzle game with pieces of Goo. It’s a little expensive for an app (nearly $4.99), but is well worth it for you folks that dig nerdy puzzle games with a funny theme like this.

World of Goo

Paid: World of Goo ($4.99)

Shopping Apps

Savored

I looked at Savored not too long ago because it’s such a novel concept in terms of booking reservations. In a nutshell, booking at your favorite restaurant at a certain time will get you so much off your bill. You get a great deal, the restaurant keeps asses in seats. See my full review of Savored here.

Savored such a cool, simple and smart concept.

Free: Savored

 

Groupon or LivingSocial and Google Offers

If you like the whole local deals thing but hate the aspect of getting an e-mail about it each day, then go ahead and download the actual app and save your e-mail box. Groupon and LivingSocial more than likely offer something in your area, whereas Google Offers is still pretty city specific.

Google Offers is an extremely limited beta at this point.

 

Free: Groupon 

Free: LivingSocial

 

Craigslist

Craigslist is fantastic for both being murdered and fantastic deals; I’m hoping that you’ll get the former. This is not an official Craigslist app, but it does a damn good job of alerting you to items posted in your area that you’ve been looking for. To get a closer look at Craigslist, be sure to check out our full review here.

Free: Craigslist

 

Health and Exercise Apps

Runkeeper

Runkeeper uses your phone’s GPS to track your running path and even has some built-in voice coaching. In spite of the app’s name, you can actually use Runkeeper to track of a variety of exercise and fitness activities (save something like Water Polo).

Runkeeper

Free: Runkeeper

 

News And Information

BBC News or CNN

BBC and CNN hardly need an introduction from me. Both apps provide excellent information and breaking news notifications in simple but sexy apps. If you’re a real news junkie, then be sure to see our 9 Essential News Apps for Android.

BBC News

Free: BBC News

Free: CNN

Amazon Kindle

Amazon’s Kindle is pretty much the undisputed king of e-books and if you happen to own a Kindle you’ll absolutely want to download the Kindle App for Android. Once you connect your account, your phone will automatically sync whatever you’ve read on your Kindle on your phone;  you can even start reading on one device and continue reading the same page on another.

Plus, I hate Barnes and Noble because they didn’t hire me for a job once. Who’s laughing now assholes.

Amazon Kindle

Free: Amazon Kindle

Coton

We’ve featured Coton on a site quite a bit. It’s simply one of the most beautiful and, conceptually, interesting apps that I’ve used since it’s all about clouds. Yes, that’s all this app does is teach you about clouds. Try it. You’ll like it.

Coton features around 20 different types of clouds with detailed information on each.

Paid: Coton ($0.99)

 

Productivity Apps

Evernote

Evernote is the king of note taking on every single platform imaginable. Whether you use it on Windows, Mac or Android — it always seems to work and record notes. It recently got a funky (albeit clumsy) layout change on Android.

Evernote's recent change is awkward, but it's still a great app.

Free: Evernote

Any.Do

Any.Do is the task manager and to-do list we’ve been waiting for on Android. Simple, minimal and compatible with Google Tasks — this is a simple way to stay on track with your day-to-day things. Full Review Here.

Any.Do is beautiful in a way that other task list for Android aren't.

Free: Any.Do

 

TinyList

If Any.Do is a little too minimal for your tastes and you love color, you know in general, then TinyList makes a neat alternative. TinyList isn’t free, but what get is an incredibly fun and intuitive gesture based to-do list that makes  to-do lists fun, instead of kill-yourself worthy.

TinyList make task lists look happy.

Free: TinyList ($0.99)

 

Photography Apps

Pixlr-o-Matic

Pixlr-o-matic lets you add all the funky, retro filters and frames you’ve seen on apps like Instagram but with Android. Pixlr-o-matic is a beautiful, fast, and easy to use app that focuses more on the photos rather than having to sign up for a new social network.

In fact, many of the photo submitted for Mobile Photo Friday are done using Pixlr-o-matic and we even list the filters used, so you can recreate the same effects. Full Review Here.

Pixlr-o-matic has a pretty intuitive and slick set up for adding filters.

Free: Pixlr-o-matic

Pano

Pano is a fantastic app for taking panoramic shots on any Android phone. Now, we’ve known about Pano a while, but the idea of shooting panoramic photos has recently created some buzz with Android 4.0′s panoramic feature. We were big fans of Pano when we reviewed it a few months back, and I used  the app to take some incredible panoramic shots while I was in Mexico.

Be sure to check out our Full Review Here.

Pano for Android allows you to create beautiful panoramic shots.

Paid: Pano

 

Live Wallpapers

Ice Cream Sandwich Live Wallpaper

Everyone and their Mum wants a piece of Ice Cream Sandwich on their Android phone and this live wallpaper gives you that in spades. The free version is pretty limited in terms of options, but upgrading not only gets you this live wallpaper, but several more themes including one that very much mimics the famous HTC Sense Live Wallpaper. It’s a super value pack of beautiful live wallpapers that’s totally worth the price.

Mood ICS Live Wallpaper was inspired from the Ice Cream Sandwich Live Wallpaper.

Free: Ice Cream Sandwich Live Wallpaper

Luma

It isn’t often that I recommend that people buy a live wallpaper, but Luma is an exception to the rule. Luma is a beautiful live wallpaper that looks great on any Android device. There’s a free version you can try out first but, really, I’d recommend upgrading to the full version for around $1.00. Full Review Here.

Luma might seriously be the best live wallpaper I've ever seen.

Paid: Luma

Exodus Live Wallpaper

If you’re into games like Portal 2, then you may love Exodus live wallpaper that shows your background as a series of shifting, moving blocks that can change colors. It’s like living in the Matrix or something.

Exodus Live Wallpaper looks beautiful on any device.

Free: Exodus Live Wallpaper

Paid: Exodus Pro Live Wallpaper ($0.99)


Travel Apps

iOnRoad

iOnRoad still one of the best augmented reality apps I’ve ever seen instead of just being a bullshit app that is more about show than substance. iOnRoad works uses your phone’s camera and GPS to tell you to stop riding the ass of the car ahead of you, which also might help prevent you from rear ending someone.

As a crap driver, I fully endorse this product. See our full review.

iOnRoad is an augmented reality app that helps you from crashing into people.

Free: iOnRoad

 

Alfred

If you’re into recommendations then try Alfred. Alfred will look at the places you like to eat based on the questions you answer and recommend some places for you to eat. If you don’t like those things then Alfred will tell you to F*** off. Nah, I’m just joshing ya. He’s a rather nice bloke.

Alfred gives you recommendations based on a series of not so great questions.

Free: Alfred

 

 

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