Smartphones investigate

The 20 most useful Android smartphone apps of 2011

Jason Hiner provides his list of the top 20 tried-and-true Android smartphone apps that are worth your time to download.

The Android Market may not have as many apps as the iPhone App Store yet, but there are still more than enough to be overwhelmed, and it continues to grow at a breakneck pace. To help you sort through them all, here is my latest list of the 20 most useful Android apps (this is an update of my 2010 Android list). I've also recently updated my list of the most useful iPhone apps and you'll notice several of the same apps on both lists.

Remember that I primarily had business professionals in mind when making this list and also keep in mind that this is a snapshot in time. The Android platform is developing so quickly that I guarantee my home screen will look different a month from now.

Still, here's my list of tried-and-true Android apps that I can highly recommend.

Photo gallery

The best way to view this is the companion slide show of screenshots from all 20 appsBut, you can also view the full text of the list below, including links to download each of the apps from the Android Market.

1. Google Voice

Google Voice is a service that is so useful I consider it one of the top benefits of Android itself. The service gives you a phone number that can ring to multiple places or devices and it allows you to access all of your voicemail and text messages from the Web. The Android app integrates even deeper. It can make outgoing calls look like they're coming from your Google Voice number so that you can keep your real mobile number private.

2. Advanced Task Killer

One of the realities of having a multitasking mobile OS is that you have to manage your apps so that they don't hurt performance or battery life. Advanced Task Killer (ATK) is my favorite on Android. It even comes with a widget that you can tap once to kill all open apps and you can also set up ATK to kill all apps at periodic intervals. Some people will argue that task managers are irrelevant and unneeded in Android, but I still prefer to use ATK.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox is a great cloud service that automatically syncs a folder of files between multiple computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux). This app extends Dropbox to Android and interacts with other apps (such as Documents To Go) to open the files. It allows you to access PDFs, image files, and business documents by simply dragging them to a folder on your computer and then you immediately have access to them from your mobile phone, once you have this app installed.

4. Evernote

Once you get used to typing on a virtual keyboard (and it honestly took me over a year to do it), then these devices are great for note-taking, and Evernote is a great note-taking app. It is similar to Dropbox in that it saves data locally but syncs it across all your machines and devices.

5. Taskos

There are plenty of to-do apps to choose from on Android but I now prefer Taskos because of the clean, easy, Android-friendly user experience. It also has a few extras that give it an advantage over apps. The biggest one is voice recognition, which lets you speak a task that the app turns into a to-do item (you might have to correct a word or two).

6. DroidAnalytics

For some reason Google doesn't have an official app for Google Analytics (for either Android or iPhone). The best one I've found on Android is DroidAnalytics. Another good one is mAnalytics.

7. Documents To Go

The free version of Documents To Go offers a great little reader for Microsof Word and Excel files. You can upgrade to the full version (for $15) if you want to be able to create and edit files and add PowerPoint files to the mix. If you do want editing capability, I'd also recommend taking a look at QuickOffice.

8. Google Docs

If you mostly work with Google Docs (including uploading Microsoft Office files to your Google Docs repository) then the only app you'll really need is the Google Docs app. It's a nice mobile implementation of document management, although the one annoyance is that always open up files in a web browser rather than within the app itself, which would be a little smoother.

9. Tripit

I dig Tripit. It is by far the best app I've found for keeping track of all my travel itineraries. It runs on some great backend systems. You simply forward your confirmation emails for your flights, hotels, rental cars, and more to Tripit and it automatically organizes them into trips with all your details and confirmation numbers. Or, if you use Gmail, you can even use a plugin to automatically catch confirmation emails and turn them into Tripit trips.

10. Google Places

This is an awesome app for finding shops and services near your current location. From restaurants to medical facilities to taxis, this app is very accurate and takes advantage of the business information from Google Local. This app is better than the info you get from a GPS unit (or app) and better than any of the similar apps available on the iPhone. It's also integrated into Google Maps.

11. Astro File Manager

Another one of the great things about Android (if you're a geek or a tinkerer) is that you have lower-level access to the system itself. Astro is an app that lets you navigate the Android file system, which is mostly just interesting, but can be handy once in a while.

12. Speed Test

I'm obsessed with running speed tests to check my bandwidth in various places, both to see 3G/4G fluctuations and to check the quality of Wi-Fi. There are a number of really good speed test apps, but my favorite is the Speedtest.net app. It's generally consistent and it has some of the best graphics and options.

13. Amazon Kindle

I've never completely warmed up to the Amazon Kindle e-reader, but I'm a big fan of the Kindle mobile app. Since it was released I've read a lot more books simply because my smartphone is always with me and I can pull it out and read a few pages anytime I've got a couple minutes free.

14. Google+

I've written a lot about Google+ since it launched in July and I'm pretty active over there (+Jason Hiner). One of the great things that Google did was to release a Google+ Android app at the same time it launched the service as a beta. And, surprisingly, the app was actually pretty good and has been improved since. It immediately became one of my most used mobile apps and definitely stole some of my time away from Android's Twitter app, mostly because Google+ is a little more interactive.

15. TED Air

The TED conference features a meeting of the minds of some of society's most influential thinkers. You'll disagree with some of them since there's a large diversity of viewpoints, but many talks are worth listening to in order to catch the latest creative thinking on society's biggest challenges. The cool thing is that they've taken the videos from the conference and made them freely available on the Web. The TED Air app provides a great way to access the videos on a mobile device. I hope more conferences follow TED's lead on this.

16. Google Goggles

This is a fun app that is a little bit ahead of its time. It does visual searches. You can take pictures of things and then the app tries to tell you what they are. It's limited in its scope but it is pretty cool, and it's definitely a peek into the future. One of the coolest features is the ability to take pictures of text in a foreign language and let the app translate it for you. In a foreign country, this can help you read street signs and avoid going into the wrong bathroom. :-) On a more practical level, Goggles is a QR code reader and you can also use it to scan bar codes on products to look them up online.

17. Photoshop Express

Photoshop is, of course, the best known photo editor in the world and its mobile app doesn't do anything to hurt that reputation. But while the desktop version is known for having a zillion features, the mobile app is distinguished by its simplicity. It's the best Android (and iPhone) photo editing app for simple crops, brightness adjustments, and sharpens, for example.

18. Audible

As much as I like the Kindle ebooks, I actually consume more books as audiobooks via Audible. With the Audible app you can connect to your Audible library and download over the air. The app also gives you a self-contained player optimized for audiobooks, with a skip-back-30-seconds button and the opportunity to make notes and bookmarks (although I wish the app would store these online so that they could be accessed from the Audible site).

19. Shazam

If you want to impress your friends with a mobile app, show them Shazam. Ever hear a song being played at a store or on the radio and ask yourself, "Oh, what song is that?" That's where Shazam comes in. Just hit the button and let it listen for 15 seconds, query its database, and then return the name of artist and the song. It has about an 80% success rate. This one isn't particularly productive, but it is really cool. (You have to live a little, every once in a while.)

20. Google Finance

This is a great little app that regularly gets overlooked. It connects to your Google Finance account, where you can set up a list of stocks and companies to follow and sort them into groups (portfolios). The app provides three simple tabs -- a look at the market, a look at your portfolios, and the latest market news. It even does real-time updates when you have the app open.

Your picks?

What are your picks for the most useful, valuable, and productive Android smartphone apps? Post them in the discussion below.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

125 comments
allanroger
allanroger

Hey, Google+ hangouts is I what I use a lot from my Android phone to have lots of fun during social interactions. And for business meetings whether from my laptop or iPhone or iPad, I use RHUB web conferencing appliances. It is Fortknox.

myra21
myra21

Is your lover really faithful? So you think your partner is having an affair? Want to know the truth? Discover their mobile messages and call logs and find out for sure. Smartphone Monitoring Software Remotely read SMS, Call Logs, Emails, Pictures, Listen Surroundings, Track phone location and more COPY10.com

harvey jay
harvey jay

i would suggest COPY10 a spysoftware..

Murtini Nguyen
Murtini Nguyen

With Cardfila.com You can collect business card on Android phone I used already, it so easy and simple and normal suitable for business men

circass
circass

I do not know if Photoshop has better features than Morphicius but this app is also coool.

highkingfan
highkingfan

hello friends, Just came across an excellent mobile application !!! I have been using MintM mobile app for my shopping and was quite impressed. We can find shopping list with the relevant discounts& offers of the shops which we are entering in Also GET REWARDED FOR WINDOW SHOPPING TOO ....... :) This is for all ANDROID and BLACKBERRY users.Thought of sharing with you guys. Freely available at Free download URL : www.mintmapp.com/mobile

Fstechnology
Fstechnology

Dental Sleep- It is a medical domain application, where the Sleep Professional questions(online and offline) are provided to test and enhance user recall, interpretation and problem solving skills. Try all 100 questions for free when you install and register for the app. The questions allow you to conveniently study anytime throughout the day to help maximize comprehension of sleep medicine and how it relates to the professional role. Online test, 5 questions are offline and 95 questions are online. Including feedback and Registration. Application available in Android, iPhone and iPad.

uwskiguy
uwskiguy

I consider a spam call and text message blocking app to be an essential, must have app on my Android. I use Call Control which works the best of all of the apps I've tried and it crowd sources bogus callers which no other app of it's kind does. Whether or not Call Control is the app of choice for your list, you MUST MUST MUST add some kind of call blocking privacy control app to your list of must haves!

georgia_droid
georgia_droid

qPDF Notes lets me view, markup, and send PDFs from my Androids. The free version has a watermark, so as my consulting is growing, I have upgraded to the $9.99 version. PDF is my fave way to share and send ideas, cause I don't have to convert for my Linux, Win, and Apple friends...everbody reads PDF these days.

iamagoldenratio
iamagoldenratio

I tried em all, Poweramp is by far the best, it's amazing

Johannes Pieringer
Johannes Pieringer

Taskmind is a great app. It can be used for managing tasks in teams (also an iPhone and browser version is available). The app itself is free and for advanced features a license can be bought.

sandnjohn
sandnjohn

I am pleased to see the list and really new apps are adding on daily basis and you can easily find any app that you want to have in your mobile. Thanks for posting. Air Conditioning Denver

abdielt03
abdielt03

Hello, Hound is a job search engine that shows its members jobs from every employer website it can find in the United States and throughout the world.There are no banner ads or pop-up advertising on Hound.The information you see is supported by your membership. [url=http://www.hound.com/jobvideo/9139/cio/CLevel/]cio jobs[/url]

blackmonoffive
blackmonoffive

I have a cheap android tablet the isn't worth listing. Most of the apps talked about I have yet been successfully installed. However the ones i like are: Calculator Ultimate Alarm Clock Plus - very cool features EasyMoney Memory Trainer Power Lists - Almost a crude trouble ticket system Pure Calendar info with widget. Relax and Sleep Thinking Space - great for visual thinkers (Mind mapping) and last but not least (that work for me) What's for Dinner? Premium - Stores recipes and manages grocery lists as well as inventory of the pantry. If any one as any suggestions as to how to get more apps to install I am all eyes!!!!!!!!

markrem
markrem

I found "Sound Hound" free version is very accurate for finding out the name of the song that's playing. Have fun and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ibmtechie
ibmtechie

I have a 16Gb SD card in my HTC, I often find my phone memory full so App2SD has been very useful and gives me the option to move Apps to the SD card thus freeing up the limited phone memory.

ktower
ktower

Maybe just me but I think Lookout security should be in there.

donpro1
donpro1

GasBuddy. finds the least expensive gas in your area and not only gives you the name of the station, but it's address, and if you tap on the entry, it will show you all the prices for each grade offered as well as a mimi-menu that let's you get direcions too. You can use either your zip code, or just tap the "Get locations near me" icon. It also allows you to udpate their data base if you get to the station and the prices are more, or less than those listed. Great app. Poynt is another useful tool for finding food, and entertainment where you are.

hangiga
hangiga

All you need to make your Android really unique is "Tasker". You can do everything that you need and is not available in any other OS.

yuvalb
yuvalb

StarChart for looking at stars (using GPS and Giro) EBuddy/Fring - covering all chats options in one place (facebook, MSN, Yahoo, Twitter, Skype,ICQ) Feedly, Pulse, Engadget for news reading. Glympse - send your location map to someone. IMDB - when you can't remember who's this actor...

johncymru
johncymru

I would be lost without it. As for file managers, I have three I use regularly, File Expert which I tend to keep it active in the 'Task pane' area on my Xoom so I can easily access any app whatever else I am doing, AndroXplorer for some tasks and Ghost Commander in two column mode when shifting stuff between any of my PCS and my tablet in any direction or moving stuff around on the tablet. Not quite drag and drop, but almost as good. I use E-cell xls light for spreadsheets, both using and creating simple ones, Memento for simple DB use and RealCalc for when I need a big screen Scientific Calc. Jota Text Editor or Ultra Notes for keyboard note taking (I prefer Jota for reading and Ultra for creating and filing) and I use FreeNote for hand written or combined hand written and keyboard entry notes. Hacker's keyboard as it is the most responsive I have used and I have tried them all, including Swype, prefer SlideIT. Only wish Hackers' Keyboard had a spellecheker. Evernote is invaluable. Opera Mobile, for while it is not perfect, it is the most reliable and stable of the ones I have tried so far. Did like Dolphin but it kept crashing all the time. Web Copy for, as the name implies, copying web pages or portions of one , including the HTML, in any Browser via the Share button and aNDClipn free as a clip board enhancer. Again not perfect but at least it hasn't lost my clips, unlike every other I have tried. And last util, but definitely not least, TeamViewer. For fun and entertainment, BBC iPlayer, MoboPlayer/QQPlayer, TED Air and the Kindle app.

joyg
joyg

I went to the Android Market and looked for Google Places and Places Directory -- all that comes up are: Local Directories, The Club Shopping Mall GuidePatch Places, etc. So is the app actually called Places Directory??

ben
ben

What I use a lot: Quick office - fantastic. Brings new meaning to the term "Elevator Pitch". CamScanner - oustanding tool on the road Hertz - simple to use audio recorder. I have several, I use this one the most. Skype NOT skype mobile: skype mobile that came with the Dorid is rubish, downloaded "real" skype, works great. Just for fun: GPS Status - lets you see stuff GoogleMaps doesn't (like actual speed made good, lat/lon). Handy. MorseCoder - rediculous fun, especially if all your friends are old HAMs. What I need: Better voice command interface that really works hands and eyes free (that I can get without buying a new car); Text message to voice reader and voice based reply that is hands/eyes free (so I can communicate with my teenager while driving). A reliable photo manager replacement for Gallery.

george
george

This follows a recent thread over on Google Plus https://plus.google.com/114129746522197113687/posts/NMrogHqXYdq but for those who don't feel a need to click outside this comment: Essential -- these got copied from apps folder to main screen - Firefox: strongly prefer it to the native browser. Haven't yet used synch feature. - Gmail client - Google Maps - Spotcycle - Task Manager: because Spotcycle doesn't have an exit button - Google+ client - Twitter client - Memo: notepad for droid. useful for shopping lists and the like - WiFi Analyzer - Open Signal Maps: for cellular drive testing - Fing network diagnostics tool - Kindle app - Google Books Nice to Have - Google Sky Map * - Moon phase widget - Google Translate - Screenshot UX: I can't believe this function is not native to the OS - Shop Savvy: scan a barcode, get comparative pricing. Levels the mercantile playing field. - DroidIn: vastly better than the completely useless official LinkedIn client - Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard: Far better than stock; the only reason it isn't essential is that the 'phone has a slide-out physical KB. * on main screen but I find I don't use it all that often Occasionally useful -- but kept in apps folder - Metal Detector: just because the full Android spec calls for it - Spirit Level Plus - B&N Nook app - Shazam - Sound meter - Magnifying glass - Scanner radio: why can't the train get into/out of Washington Terminal? - Air Droid: remote control from PC over 802.11 connection (local subnet only) - HDR camera app Accessibility -- platform research for hands- and eyes- free embedded computing - Walkytalky - Google Goggles - Kickback: haptic feedback - Talkback - Iris: more of a solution looking for a problem than anything else, but interesting - SVOX TTS voices library Worthless - All the VZ-bundled crapware that came with the 'phone, will end up driving me to jailbreak it - Night vision camera: tried a few of these apps but mostly they don't work. - Games: who has time for that stuff? Haven't needed or messed with - Tethering apps: work laptop already has cellular data, but could be handy for a small wireless-only tablet - Music downloads etc. - Cisco Webex client (installed but haven't yet needed) Still looking for - Juniper VPN client - BES proxy for blackberry messaging - Decent RDP client (logmein Ignition is the best out there, just haven't needed it yet) - Decent weather radar equivalent of intellicast.com: hit their site from an Android device and they point you to their Apple app. Fail.

daniel.varial
daniel.varial

My pick, its definitely goes to Aptoide program. Im tired of Google Market, google market is always send to me useless updates rrrrrrrr "rage". Since use Aptoide and Bazaar Android, give me the option to do or not, software updates. This market has a different concept than others, each user can create your own repository. Aptoide is a fast and light application, works on all devices. Definitely my pick goes to Aptoide.

LiseN
LiseN

TripIt definitely gets my vote!

nfmiii
nfmiii

Gesture Search- free from Google- very easy and quick way to find any contact or music etc. on your android device. A lot quicker than going through contacts. Also bleacher report (Team Stream) app is great for college football and prob other sports too. Also recommend Dictionary and Sportstap too. Love Kindle reader and White Pages.

mhickma
mhickma

Maybe it's been mentioned, but LOOKOUT is awesome. More than once I have left my phone somewhere, and was able to remotely lock it. I liked it so much I purchased the full app which allows me to remotely locate my phone, lock my phone, wipe my phone, make my phone scream (for location purposes) and more through the mylookout.com website. It's also an antivirus, anti-malware application. I also enjoy Key Ring. It allows me to keep my bonus cards with me, and not on my true key ring. I know that the bonus cards are a marketing ploy, but if you're going to shop there anyway, then take advantage of the free stuff, and discounts!! Lastly, if you're rooted, take a look at WIFI Tether, it allows my laptop to have Internet access anywhere I have a phone signal. On 3G, it's not lightening fast, but faster than dial-up, and definitely faster than no Internet connection. And, in airports, it's a FREE connection to the Internet. Love the Android!!

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Some network related tools that I have come to really appreciate are: Ping traceroute network info II Bill

tpartridge
tpartridge

Thanks for the article. And thanks for all the input. Read about some apps I will definitely check out. Mighty Grocery is free or paid. I've never needed the paid version. You can speak, type or pick from a list of grocery items. Can create lists for different stores. I love that it organizes by aisles. Haven't kicked myself for losing a grocery list since I've used it.

tutor4pc
tutor4pc

Checking on the market and my investments is really nice and easy. No login needed, real-time. I prefer not to have private data on the phone and this one fits my requirement. Also like: WiFi Analyser Radar Now Barcode Scanner Android Booster Lookout ConvertPad EasyTether

jtwigg
jtwigg

Does anyone know of a good handwriting recognition app? Not so much for my phone, but fro my tablet. It would be useful for taking notes in meetings. My handwriting is so poor that I often have difficulty reading it myself.

davidflinton
davidflinton

I would have to say that one of the most useful apps I have is Cozi Family Organizer. This little app lets you keep track of a family calendar, to-do and shopping lists, and even a family journal. Multiple accounts can be set up for one family and each person can have a seperate to-do list and it all syncs between mobile devices (iDevices and Android based), as well as being able to be accessed online from any computer. I can't tell you how often I have been saved an earful from my wife because of the Cozi task reminder on my Sensation. 10 out of 10 for me.

AngelaElmer
AngelaElmer

It is the most useful and popular apps. I have only few of that like Adobe reader, Iheart Radio, AT&T Bar code scanner. I think this are important for me and that's why I keep it in my iphone.

ncanfield
ncanfield

I love apps and lots of 'em, so to be sure they all fit I use "App 2 SD Free." By far the most valuable if you're actually going to try all these apps. It will automatically move your apps to the SD Card so you'll never run out of space. After that K-9 Mail, Netflix, Musebox, Movies, Network Tools, Speed Test, TweetCaster, and QR Droid. wwwnatespcrepaircom

kjstamper
kjstamper

As a busy, working mom, I love the COZI app. I can enter in all the upcoming appointments/schedules in one location; I can journal, and a to-do list, and a shopping list and the app will notify my family members via text message/email, etc. For those who don't have Outlook, this is the next best thing!

kirkmur
kirkmur

Advanced Task Killer is one of the worst apps you can put on an Android system running version 2.0 or higher. Makes me wonder how much research the author has done on these apps.

akadoe
akadoe

The Photoshop app seems rather limited to "PicSay Pro". Does all the Photoshop app does and more. Includes a feature allowing you to select and area of your photo to either "enlarge" or widen, or "thin" or make smaller. That can be fun, but a creative tool in palette as well. I've the Droid X, and find "Easy Answer" bread&butter. Click the icon and when phone sleeps, no need to flip/slide ir wrestle with anything. Just the options "ANSWER" and "IGNORE". Handy as sin. "Screen Filter" get a screen allows you to determine how much brightness, by percentage, you want "cut" when you tap the desktop icon. Brightness is huge battery drain and the app allows you to cut to only 25-30% for comfortable indoor viewing. "Quick Settings", on one screen adjust volume for ring/media/notifications, turn Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/GPS receiver/and Mobile data ON or OFF. Same screen adjust ringer/vibration, and at very top a flashlight icon turns your camera's LED(s) on/off. Battery icon gives you percentage of life at a glance. "Fast Reboot" allows you to select with applications to include in a shutdown, refreshing phone's system resources with one touch. When my phone gets 'loagy' or even briefly locks, Fast Reboot, opens phone-up so you can make that call, send a text with sluggish response. "Camera Zoom FX". Adds a nice zoom using volume keys (or whatever you select), as well as a bunch of effect shooting modes. Along with the "candy" effects comes a handy B&W camera, a Polaroid effect, an "Art" effect that nicely renders a photo into a cross between water-colour and pencil drawing with great results. Select a grid/cross-hair, or circle for taking aim, select brightness, whites, and add sharpness on one screen. Option for night shooting and timer for self pics with lots more. Lastly, "Spirit", game of manual and cognitive dexterity. Small ghost becomes surrounded by attackers that move in a fluid, remarkably unpredictable fashion. Using your finger to move the Spirit you swirl a circle to "capture" the attackers and move to next level. Different attackers have wide variety of assault techniques and the game play is never the same. Nice is the absence of a 'cartoonish' environment, and more a DOS look on a grid playing field. The almost heavy-viscous way everything moves is captivating, and stunningly difficult. Keeps me coming back as "Tower Raiders" does. Some of the best play anywhere.

davro
davro

After trying many different apps in these catagories I find these tops. Music = "TuneIn" buy version. The record function tops it off. Notes = Tryed many but "Note Everything Pro" has to be the ultimate. Tasks = I use Taskos and love it. I have used it from its early days but Note Everthing is also bringing me around. Travel = I tryed Tripmate but quickly changed to "Worldmate" the features are awsome. Navigation = For a full on, cost affective Nav system on your Android you can't go past "CoPilot". SMS = I settled on "Handcent" in the early days and still love it.

steve jack
steve jack

Great apps. But can include few business apps like sugar sync, FileReflex etc.,,

Arie1
Arie1

I choose Google Maps, Evernote and myBantu. myBantu is like a personal assistant. This is a new app in the Android market. I get recommendations for the local businesses. I can make restaurant reservations, book movie tickets.. Also, shopping recommendations given by myBantu are very much personalized.

Red In Blue
Red In Blue

I love OverDrive Media for ebooks and books on tape. You can login to your library card account and download free ebooks and books on tape to borrow for 14 days. They expire at the end, so no late fees or fees period.

dhubin
dhubin

I tried Swype and similar keyboards. I have come to prefer SwiftKey X. You don't draw out a pattern, but it has remarkable--sometimes uncanny--anticipation. This cuts your typing very significantly.

sengels2
sengels2

Best tracking for a lost/stolen phone... Stealth (no icon) remote control via SMS, GPS control, have all calls and sms's CC'ed to you, all Inexpensive (like $5) for an unbound license and NO ROOT needed! Love these guys!

DuppyPog
DuppyPog

Don't know if anyone mentioned this one, but Paper Camera is addictive with so many choices of how to take the pic. Even make it into a cartoon!

brian_leach
brian_leach

Not directly, but check out EverPaint - it syncs your scribbles to EverNote so at least you have a useful copy and you might be able to throw that into an OCR style program on your PC. For typing I wouldn't be without Tablet Keyboard - it offers a split mode so you can type far more comfortably. The one real criticism I have of Android is that the regular keyboard(s) are horrible. And for any other oldies, the graffiti app for my phone: brings back fond memories of my first PDAs.