MKB’s top ten apps

I’ve been an Android user for a mere year and a half now and I’ve grown to really love what I can do with my phone on such an open platform. There are custom ROMs, powerful applications, high end productivity suites, and all sorts of modding software available for devices running Android. You may have seen Carlos Graves’ top 10 apps video/article detailing his 10 most frequently used apps. I thought it would be fun to follow up with my own top 10 list, without any repeats from his list, to avoid redundancy. I happen to use a lot of the apps Carlos uses, but this will give you a look at what I use on a daily basis and possibly shed light on an app or two you haven’t heard of before. As a side note: All QR codes are for the free version of the application. You can find the paid version yourself in the Android market if you’re interested.

Twicca



Twicca is a ridiculously fast and very functional Twitter client that has a sleek, dark, and very usable interface. It comes with a 4×1 widget showing the number of unread tweets, replies, mentions, and search term results. Twicca has a few features other Twitter apps don’t have, like color coding for certain users, plugins [for Twitpic, yFrog, etc] and more. Sure, it sacrifices the ability to use Twitter ‘Lists,’ something that’s kept me from switching away from Tweetdeck on the desktop, but its speed makes up for that. Overall if you’re looking for the fastest possible Twitter experience with a good amount of features, check out this free Twitter app and you won’t be disappointed.

NewsRob



This might be cheating, but I’ll have to include a few applications I’ve uploaded video reviews of for DroidDog already. (NewsRob review) Newsrob is an amazing RSS/Atom reader app for any version of the Android OS. There is a free ad-supported version and a paid [€4.99] version with no ads and some exclusive features. There is a convenient full-screen view and it downloads articles in the background if you want it to, saving time and making it a very streamlined viewing experience. Try it out yourself if you use Google reader!

Chrome to Phone



I have actually used this app a lot more than I thought I would. I originally installed it just to have it in case I ever felt the need to send a link to my phone and leave the room or something. Turns out I’ve used this application weekly for things like sending pictures I find on Google to my phone to set as a background, or sending direct .apk download links to my phone to quickly test and install applications. This app is fast and easy to set up with the Google Chrome extension. Make sure you have the latest version of Chrome and get to trying out this useful productivity tool! [Froyo only]

K-9 Mail



This is another app I’ve previously done a video review on DroidDog. No doubt I’ve used this application daily and love it! It’s an alternative to the stock Google Gmail and POP3 email clients, and aggregates multiple IMAP accounts into one awesome control hub. If you’re a ‘control freak’ like me – or just like to have all your email information in one place without having to open multiple applications, check out K-9 mail. It’s fast, free, and runs in the background just like the stock applications. It even has a bit more visual customization options to make it worth a run.

AK Notepad



Yep. This is another application I conducted a video review of for DroidDog. This is quite possibly one of the simplest and most powerful free Android applications out there. If you don’t have a note taking application on your Android phone or if you’re new to the platform – Get this app! You can pin notes to your home screen, email notes to yourself or others, save them at .txt files and share them via Twitter, Facebook, and other means. Need I say more? AK Notepad is one of the best of the best.

Aldiko



This is an application that didn’t take me long to find as a student in high school using an Android phone. A lot of people reading this may or not be students, but you don’t have to be in school to find this application useful. Aldiko is a book reading application, similar to Kindle for Android. It has a huge selection of free books, from classics to modern novels and periodicals. I learned of a book I had to read for my American Lit class this past school year and immediately whipped out my phone to download it to read wherever I wanted. It’s a few books in your pocket for free! This will be twice as handy on upcoming Android tablet devices. The beautiful user interface will no doubt look stunning on a beautiful 7-inch Samsung Tab! Enjoy this free and popular book reader application.

LauncherPro



I mean… You saw this coming, right? LauncherPro has become easily the most popular Android home replacements available. There is a free version and a paid ‘LauncherPro Plus’ version available from the developer. It features a 3-D app launcher, super-smooth screen switching, a suite of Sense UI-like widgets, a scrolling dock at the bottom of the screen, and much much more. If you’re on Sense UI, stock Android, or any other launcher it’s worth check out LauncherPro. No need to fear leaving behind your Sense UI widgets; the developer has all but duplicated them for any Andy device. Check out the Pro version to access full functionality. Enjoy!

X-Scope



I was an avid user of the stock Android browser for about 6 months before I started discovering the world of third party browsers. There are a lot to choose from, no doubt. I based my decision mainly on browsing speed, which pretty much made it no contest. X-scope is a file manager and blazingly fast web browser packed into one, bursting at the seams with features I never knew I was missing! If you’re set on using the third party browser you already have, stick with it if you want. But if you’re STILL using the stock Android browser I highly suggest you check out the free version of X-Scope. Make sure you download the appropriate version for your Android OS.

Juice Defender



I want to give a huge shoutout to John for showing me this application [suite] in the first place. He used a combination of this and a Seido Innocell extended battery for his HTC EVO 4G to get a ridiculous amount of battery life out of it. After reading his article I couldn’t resist trying it out. Make sure to check out ‘Ultimate Juice’ in the Android Market and ‘Juice Plotter’ in the Android market to complete the package and get maximum battery life and functionality out of your phone. So far I’m roughly doubling my Motorola Droid’s battery life without any effort on my part. Gotta love it!

WiFi Analyzer



I was hesitant about including this one in the main list because I actually plan on reviewing this application in a video in the near future for DroidDog. But until then, I’ll keep this brief. Want to analyze the WiFi hotspots around you in a cinch? Want to see if your phone has a reception or a Death Grip problem? Want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your router? Check out this application in the Android Market. It’s pure awesomeness.

Bonus: Beautiful Widgets, Process Manager, Drocap2, Barcode Scanner, and The Weather Channel all get honorable mentions. Yay!
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