Top 41 Android Apps of 2012

AirDroid

I use AirDroid to install content on my phones and tablets. It’s the easiest way to install music, photos and movies on your Android.

DU Meter

I use DU Meter to display realtime download speeds so I can tell if my device is actually doing something, or just frozen up.

Chrome

I use Chrome, because it’s the best mobile browser out there. Plus when you log into your account, it syncs bookmarks, passwords, and history with the desktop version of Chrome, which is the best desktop browser out there!

Gmail

If you’re still using POP-based mail, you need to give that up. Check ANY email box using Gmail and gain access everywhere! Desktop, iPad, Android phone… whatever. Mail is always accessible and searchable with Google-based search.

Google Drive

We use Drive for documents, spreadsheets – heck, even to write the Geek Beat shows and share them among our team.

Google Reader

Google Reader organizes all of the feeds from my favorite websites for reading on the go.

Google+

I’ve also got the Twitter, Facebook and Hootsuite apps installed, and I check them all occasionally but Google+ is my favorite by far.

Skype

Our entire team uses a Skype group chat as an internal message board, plus you’ve seen us use Skype on Geek Beat interviews with CEOs and celebrities. But I even use the mobile version to make calls over WiFi and to chat.

GroupMe

We also use GroupMe, especially when traveling and at places like CES. It allows a group of people to all instantly chat and message each other. Skype bought ‘em a while back, but even Skype can’t match GroupMe’s simplicity and immediacy.

Evernote

Evernote is another essential business tool. You can use it for free, but we pay for the upgraded account which allows us to share notes with team members. It’s great for bookmarking stories for the shows, or for organizing to-dos and all kinds of stuff.

1Password

One app I can’t function without is 1Password, the password manager. I run it on my desktop to store all of my tough passwords and secure documents, and they sync up with my cell phone so I always have ‘em with me.

Dropbox

Closely related in this case is Dropbox. 1Password actually stores all my passwords on Dropbox, and the Android app just keeps them up to date automatically in the background somehow. It’s like magic.

Revo Mobile

The Revo Mobile app is one you might not have expected! We have a Revo camera system installed at the Livid Lobster HQ, and their app lets Cali or I see what is happening on all the cameras at any time, and from anywhere!

Netflix

Speaking of watching video, I really do have Netflix installed on every device I own. Netflix has literally changed my life.

Redbox

I’ve also got the the Redbox app installed for those times I need to find a movie on DVD or Blu-ray to rent. You can’t beat $1 rentals anywhere, anytime.

IMDB

The Internet Movie Database is the definitive guide to movies as far as I’m concerned. I don’t waste my time on anything rated below 5 for the most part, and a really high rating will almost guarantee I’ll watch it even if I don’t think it sounds that interesting.

Pandora

Pandora is basically the only source of music in my life any more. And it works flawlessly even when we travel around the country streaming off our cell phone and piped into the car stereo.

Sonos

And I use the Sonos app to play that music through a house full of Sonos speakers.

Shazam

Sometimes a song comes on that I’d like to sing along to, and when that happens I fire up Shazam. Not only does it recognize any song you throw at it, but it can pull up the lyrics for most including a mode where the lyrics play in real time with the music. It’s amazing.

Plex

Finally, if you’ve got any digital copies of movies on a home computer you should be running the Plex app on that computer to turn it into a server. And for $5 the Android or iOS Plex apps let you stream those movies either over your home network or through the Internet. Yep. I can watch my own movie collection from anywhere I can get bandwidth. Isn’t technology great?

WiFi Analyzer

When its time to hop on a WiFi network, WiFi Analyzer lets me see if anything is nearby. And better yet, I use it to see how crowded the airwaves are when setting up a new access point.

Speedtest.net

Combine WiFi Analyzer with the Speedtest.net app for Android and you’ll be able to know definitively how your network’s performing.

American Airlines

As you guys know, I travel a lot. So the American Airlines app is permanently installed on my desktop, and it’s one of the few apps that is actually better than the full website!

Hotels.com

The Hotels.com app is also quite good, and we book all our rooms through them because for every 10 room nights you earn a free one.

Yelp

While we’re on the road we use Yelp to figure out where to eat. Heck, I even use it around town in Dallas because we’ve got so many restaurants it’s impossible to keep up with them all.

Amazon Mobile

My wife’ll tell you I spend money like it’s water. And nothing helps me spend it faster than the Amazon Mobile app.

eBay

If I can’t find what I’m looking for on Amazon, I fire up eBay.

Craigslist

My final fallback is Craigslist, though that’s like shopping in a flea market.

WalMart and Sam’s Club

A couple of other surprisingly good shopping apps are the WalMart and Sam’s Club apps! Actually, they’re fantastic. You can look up a product and it’ll tell you exactly which store it’s in near you.

LED Light

I’ve only got one widget installed on my desktop. It’s the LED Light widget, and it may be the most useful thing on an Android device. Download the LED Light app, and the widget comes with it.

Woopra

I may be a little biased, but I can’t live without Woopra on my desktop, my iPad, or my Android devices. Jad, Elie and the rest of the Woopra team just keep making Web Analytics better and better.

Flick Golf

Flick Golf is a fun little golf game that lets you flick the screen to tee off, and then flick it to control your golf ball while it’s in the air. It’s just hard enough to be challenging, but not so hard that it’s no fun.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds. All of them. Rio, Space, Star Wars. I’ve got all of them, and not only on Android, but iOS and even Chrome, Roku… basically anywhere I can get it.

Where’s My Water

Where’s My Water is a Disney game about a spoiled little alligator who really love to play in the tub. But you’ve got to get the water turned on for him. Its good for all ages, though the levels get increasingly more difficult as you go.

Where’s My Perry

Where’s My Perry. I can’t believe I have two Disney apps. I don’t even have kids! But Perry is a platypus who happens to be a secret agent. You have to help him accomplish his missions.

Solitaire

Solitaire. I’ve tried a ton of them, but to be honest I don’t have a favorite. If anyone knows of a really good one please let me know.

Kids Preschool Puzzle

Finally, I’ve got a 2-year-old niece. I must have downloaded 50 apps to try and entertain her, but only Kids Preschool Puzzle did the trick. She doesn’t want anything to do with other kids’ games, but this one keeps her quiet for hours.

Comments

  1. dmcduck says

    Have you looked at File Expert? It is a file manager with butt-loads of other features…It has an FTP client. It has connectivity to your computer (like AirDroid). It connects to Box, DropBox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync (and others), and allows you to access them just like a file browser – the FASTEST and EASIEST way to move files from your device to your cloud(s) and back. There’s lots more, too.

  2. says

    Hoi John,
    thank you and the team for this episode of Geekbeat.tv.

    I’ve got to put an alternative out there for the Chrome browser which is in my opinion Opera. Opera mini is the smallest mobile browser with the smallest data use when you’re out and about. It also comes in a desktop and a mobile version. The mobile version is sizewise between the desktop and mini version of Opera. It’s also the most easy and customizable browser out there in my view. Since it has a small market share it’s also a safe browser alternative on any platform.

    Take care and happy holidays for you and the staff at Livid Lobster,
    nick

    • says

      Curiosity63, I second you re Opera Mobile.

      John, what happened? You are usually right on, but you erred here. I use Opera Mobile, because it’s the best mobile browser out there. Plus when you log into your account, it syncs bookmarks, passwords, and history with the desktop version of Opera, which is the best desktop browser out there! Plus, it has scads of other irreplaceable features, and it is the most standards-compliant browser.

      • Avatar of John P. says

        You guys are right that Opera is a great little alternative for those who are interested in not following the mainstream. I don’t use it personally for a few reasons:

        1) Not as many extensions, etc.
        2) Not as secure or stable as Chrome because each window runs as a separate instance.
        3) Not as standards compliant – see: http://html5test.com/results/desktop.html
        4) Chrome is a Google product, so I imagine there will be long term stability.

        It is a good browser though! I just prefer Chrome. ;-)