What Are the Top 10 Android Apps?

With over 100,000 Android Apps to choose from, working out your Top 10 Android Apps is no mean feat.

Ever since Apple introduced the concept of the easily accessible, user-friendly apps, smart phone ownership has never been such fun. But the problem with Apple is that they are a closed club. You are either an Apple fan boy (or girl) or you are not. However, with Android, Google changed all that. Now the idea of smart phone apps is no longer the exclusive domain of the Apple kingdom. In addition, with the introduction of Windows Phone 7, the Smart phone App market is burgeoning.

The beauty of Android Apps is the fact that the Android operating system is open source. Google were very astute here, allowing the creativity of bedroom developers to shine through, and although Android Apps have some way to go before they reach the 280,000 plus apps for Apple, there are plenty to choose from. So the simple question is, what are the Top 10 Android Apps you must have?

Here are my current choices, which are all free. I must add the caveat, that with new releases every week and this may well change. I have also attempted to select apps that cover a range of functions, so they are a broad selection from games, productivity, social media etc.

1. Gmail and Google Calendar

Now I know this may not be very exciting to some. This is a bit of a no-brainer for me, as I live by my Gmail account. So having instant access to this and to multiple accounts, is a must. Since Android is a Google application, Gmail works seamlessly, as one might expect.

2. Tweet Deck

I have Friend Stream, but I believe that is a HTC phone app which converges status updates from Facebook and Twitter. Tweetdeck does a similar thing, in that it allows you to see what is happening on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Buzz, all from one screen. With constant notifications when updates are made. You can also update your status to all your accounts directly with one single update.

3. Goggles

So this is one of those fun, but surprisingly practical apps from Google Labs. It searches by pictures, take a picture and then it does a Google search based on the analysis of that photograph. Also works on bar codes and QR codes (those strange black and white pattern squares you see). See a product, take a photograph, and it will give you an Amazon price for that product, or related products.

4. WordPress

This is firmly in the Productivity section. I have a number of WordPress blogs, and this superb application allows me to update my blog directly, and add posts and pages, check comments and all see your visitor statistics, all while sitting on the train. It allows for multiple blogs, and is easy to switch between them.

5. Evernote

OK, I know that it is another under the Productivity banner, but those of you familiar with what Evernote does, this is an Android App version. Evernote is like an online note pad, where you can save website clippings, notes and photos. This application allows you to take photos, write notes or even record audio notes and upload them to your Evernote account. For example, see something you want to blog about, take a photo and upload to Evernote, in one click. It does require an Evernote account, which is free to sign up to www.evernote.com

6. Tomcat

Here is a bit of sublimely ridiculous light relief. I first saw this on an iPad and thought it was hilarious. It was one of the first apps on my phone when I discovered it in the Android Apps Market. It is basically your own animated virtual cat with a big mouth. Stroke the screen where his stomach is, and he purrs. Click the milk icon and he drinks milk. There is even an icon where he appears to scratch the screen. My five year old daughter loves this, and the killer aspect is if you say something then Tomcat repeats it back in a silly voice. It is one of those things that one must play with to fully appreciate. My words here do not do it justice. Paid versions have far more animations, but the free version is a lot of fun.

7. YouTube

This is an excellently designed application. It delivers YouTube in a user-friendly and accessible way, and will link automatically with your account if you have a Gmail account, so you can access your channels and videos very easily.

8. Google Maps

Excellent navigation feature with Google Maps and Latitude, for letting people who can access you Latitude account know exactly where you are. It is like having a sat-nav in your hand. You can also download Google’s Streetview to go with it.

9. Amazon Kindle

While a phone is probably not the best device to read “War and Peace”, Amazon Kindle is brilliant for being able to buy and read books from Amazon on your Smartphone. Obviously the reading experience will differ depending upon the smart phone you have, but if you do not like carrying books around, or just want to catch up on some reading time, this is highly recommended. The pages flick past nicely, and it works well. The app takes you direct to the Amazon store, where you can search for Kindle books, buy them and then download instantly.

10. Last FM

When it comes to listening to music, I get bored with listening to the same old tracks. The beauty of Last FM is that it “learns” what you like, and creates your own personal playlist based on your tastes So listening to music stays fresh. Does use up bandwidth due to streaming, so be careful how much you use if when not connected via wi-fi.

So there you go. You may or may not agree with my choices, and I am sure I may have missed something. But right now, these are all on my HTC Wildfire, and are my Top 10 Android Apps of choice.