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.

Android App Development and the Various Tailored Services for Enterprises

The use of Android-based smartphones has grown considerably in the recent years. It boasts of an incredible number of apps in its market which is growing at an incredible rate of 32 per cent every month. There are brilliant smartphones available now for every price range thus giving them a huge number of options. The rise in interest has been credited with the new models like Samsung S III. There are certain HTC models which have been very popular along with Sony Ericsson which has launched mid-range budget phones in recent months. Android being open source has been extremely successful in attracting various developers for creating innovative apps.

There is a huge and open market place for developers for publishing their apps. There are less restrictions for Android app development compared to the iPhone market and apps can be created for and on any platform: Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Companies offering Android app development are extremely in demand as there is a huge need of applications of different types in the mobile world. Android is preferred by many of the developers and inspite of its less number of apps in the store, people prefer Android phones because of range and budget. The newer phones boast of high end graphics too. Core library support is essential too for the creation of innovative apps

The apps which are shipped with the default software development kit are Email Client, SMS, and Google products including Google Chrome and the contacts section. One can easily reuse the existing framework APIs for better and solid third party Android applications. Programmers are also provided with basic or complex apps as they desire.

Coming to the enterprise world, mobile field personnel are lost when they are out in the field for getting a real-time notification about the inventory or even get an idea about a sales visit address. Sales orders are usually done manually and then entered in the system and updated after they are back in their office. The manual input of data is done in the company ERP database. This is absolute wastage of resource time and even the sales order updates are not of real-time nature. Sometimes sales personnel realize that they are short on inventory but are unable to deliver. This creates problems for the sales personnel since they do not have immediate updates. They might even lose the customer’s location and address.

Mobile field service apps are created as Android apps and are usually integrated with ERP solutions so that there is information sync between sales personnel and the database with real-time updates on both sides.

Many offshore companies are well-versed for creating and developing Java-based third party mobile applications, for mobile devices including tablets and smartphones.

Here is a list of the most popular Android application development services:

  • Application development for mobile devices
  • Custom application development
  • Java-based game development
  • Android games and utilities development
  • Mobile business software development
  • Third-party libraries implementation
  • Security-based mobile solutions
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS support-based apps
  • Communication apps
  • Design apps for companies
  • QA and testing services

The Building Blocks of the Android App

To build an Android app, a professional programmer must go about the process much as an architect would plan a building. It is an intricate experience that is more than just basic programming. In fact, the most successful Android on the marketplace took a great deal of thought and planning. The building blocks of the Android app that achieves considerable success include:

• Ease of use – Today’s fast-paced society necessitates a quick learning curve. Most people who own Androids do so in order to make their lives easier. These phones streamline the process of staying in touch with friends and family, bring the gaming world to a portable device, and allow for numerous shortcuts to daily routines. Create an app that necessitates a manual, and you will be hard pressed to find a loyal following for such a program.

• Attractive faade – If ease of use is the cornerstone used to build an Android, the aesthetics of an app is the next layer. Misspelled apps turn off users immediately as well as badly placed graphics or ugly colors.

• Useful program – The next step toward building a successful Android application is the program itself. It must serve a purpose, and whether that purpose is practical or recreational, it must stand out among the crowd. Hundreds of Android apps are available in numerous categories, so it makes sense to do a good deal of research before having yours developed. After all, it is no fun to release your app and then realize that three more exactly like it already exist. The program must be developed in such a way that people view its summary and want to have it on their Android. If you can’t imagine the response being favorable, do not proceed with the programming unless you do not mind if the application is successful or not.

• Keep your expectations high – If you have done all of your homework regarding your idea and you feel confident that it serves a niche in the Android marketplace that is not currently being met, contact a talented Android developer and commission him or her to start building it today.