Smartphones

25 must-have Android apps, according to Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner's favorite Android apps

Android now has over 70,000 apps to choose from. TechRepublic's Jason Hiner shares his list of the best of the best (also see his list of 15 must-have Android widgets).

See all 25 apps in a single list in the companion blog post.

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.

29 comments
The Management consultant
The Management consultant

With growing numbers of elderly across the world,partially sighted people they too want represention here? Firstly large screens are good HTC sense Apps on android that read your sms is brilliant! Apps with voice is also good for id calling. search for maps and internet. Best apps for opensource are Thunderbird sync vnc server and fun java based droid phone control The ability to interface across Os systems means android is unbeatable for enterprise.

hill8302
hill8302

It's a great app and all, but you can't control the number of rings before voicemail picks up. People end up hanging up before they can leave a voicemail, since it takes so long, they assume that vm isn't set up or something. I went back to using my provider vm because of it. It's unfortunate, bc it does a pretty good job of translating your vm into text.

mwalkeden
mwalkeden

and so is Compass. Check it out - it now has GPS, add locations to come back to, and it's also free.

ellisgodard
ellisgodard

Advanced Task Killer gets listed in every "top" android list, but it's VERY limited. Task Panel is much more flexible and granular, allowing designation of apps that will always or never be killed.

ellisgodard
ellisgodard

Advanced Task Killer gets listed in every "top" android list, but it's VERY limited. Task Panel is much more flexible and granular, allowing designation of apps that will always or never be killed.

waltercohn
waltercohn

Droid Light is very handy - you always have a flashlight on hand that has a charge. I don't recall if you had Free Advanced Task Manager as well.

uberfuzz
uberfuzz

I think I must have 1/2 of those and tried most. You're right when you say you'll be updating your phone quickly.

davidmoreno1
davidmoreno1

What about Google maps with navigation? That is my best app.

ckee
ckee

Waste of bandwidth.

zxcvb531
zxcvb531

best free task killer is automatic task killer, it will all ones that you want to stop restart unlike the free version of advanced task killer they keep starting.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner moderator

Wow, you guys are on it. I published this one early (because it needed to be live for a promotion we were running) and I've gone back in this morning and added the descriptions. Apologies that they weren't there when you early birds took a first look at. I hope you'll give it another glance. Thanks for reading!

bob
bob

Jason, I have seen you do some really good stuff before. But this definitely missed the boat. "When you have time", please do a review of these apps. I want to seen the good Jason Hiner in this next article.

BigOldeBear
BigOldeBear

Where are the descriptions - Where is the Why I have seen better journalism by 5th graders

dcolbert
dcolbert

After going back and forth on both sides of the debate for awhile - I had a period where my Android was running very poorly - sluggish, unresponsive, rebooting, hanging, very poor battery life. At some point, I removed ATK - and while my problems weren't completely resolved, things improved considerably. Astro and ES File Explorer both allow you to manage running apps, tasks and processes if you *really* decide you must mess with the house-of-cards that is your Android subsystem. I've been allowing Android to manage it all for 4 weeks now, and my overall system stability has improved drastically. Oh... and they don't get paid for by the click. It is just a convenient way to format pictorial articles. Endgadget, Wired, and almost every other major online tech outlet uses the same format (although it is often widely derided by readers). Many sites offer the choice to "view article as one page" - which might be a concession that could work here. As for the lack of content, I think you'll be seeing more in-depth articles about various mobile apps for both Android and iPhone in the future. You can probably think of this as just a preview of things to come. Trust me, setting up and capturing screen-grabs of an Android phone is actually a lot more work than writing the actual *review* of the app you took the screen shot on. It is one of the well known limitations of the Android OS.

jonrosen
jonrosen

Come on, I know I pretty much asked for this list in 2 or 3 posts in the past. But simply enough, WTF????? Hiner, what the hell are you doing? First, again, what's with the screen-shot list. As always it's annoying as hell to have to click to go through each one. Make it a simple 1-3 page list. Second is, as others have already said.. Where are the justifications? And why have what looks like 2-4 apps doing the same social networking BS? Hell, even if being paid by the click, without having any justifications, who's going to bother clicking through the whole thing? This 'article' is a total waste of time, ours and YOURS Hiner. What ever happened to 'if you're going to do something, do it right'?

john.provencher
john.provencher

25 must-have... according to Jason Hiner. Nowhere does it say that there is a review, or any information. But, you all are right. Useless. Unless, of course, you just want to see screenshots and nothing more.

justdonp
justdonp

What a piece of worthless crap! Come up with a catchy title and stick it on a nothing article. Are you paid by the click?

robmcsa
robmcsa

crappy article no details. Maybe they should get someone who knows how to write a review to write this....

albedo5
albedo5

I was hoping for at least some discussion about each app - or, perhaps, the proper name. This is not very helpful at all.

CRMKev
CRMKev

I must admit - as a newbie to Android - and one waiting on delivery of an HTC Desire - it would have been great to see the info about each app without Googling every single one separately. Maybe I'm just lazy... Kev

Wanstronian
Wanstronian

It's just a list! I would have expected some sort of review or justification - why is ATK better than TasKiller, for example? This could have been a much more valuable article.

davidmoreno1
davidmoreno1

What about Google maps with navigation? That is my best app. No other gps navigation solution gives you an actual street view when you arrive at your destination, and traffic updates while on your way. All for free too, you can't beat that.

FAST!!!
FAST!!!

I like my Droid. Glad I didn't look at this before you added descriptions. Thanks for sharing. I grabbed 2 of your choices. I don't suppose you know of a free Cisco compatible IPsec client for the Droid???

davidhbrown
davidhbrown

If getting a screen capture in Android is such a problem... don't. Just use a camera instead and spend your time creating content instead of futzing.

zodder
zodder

A brief description and reason would have been so much more helpful. I wouldn't call it a "useless" article, but it sure isn't a very informative one.

mdeans
mdeans

Check the link just above the thumbnails. All details there.

mdeans
mdeans

Check the link just above the thumbnails. The details are there.

mdeans
mdeans

You can sing it's praises but do you really need to add it to a list of apps that might have been missed by other users? It's already installed on every phone. No effort required.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner moderator

So the built-in Android IPSec/L2TP client doesn't work? Cool avatar, by the way.