A smartphone would be very little (a phone?) without its apps. There is a plethora of crazy apps out there for your device – from the super-useful to the brain-numbingly inane – but your internal storage is finite. Which ones should you take a chance on? Here is my current list of top Android apps and games. Enjoy!
- Google Sky Map – Identifies celestial bodies based on your current location. Impress your friends by being able to tell the difference between Jupiter and Uranus.
- Better Translator – Translates words or phrases into pretty much any language. Powered by either Google or Bing. Can even accept spoken input.
- 3G Watchdog – Quietly keeps track of your monthly data usage.
- openBicing – Keeps tabs on where all the bicycles are in Barcelona in real time. Faster than the official Bicing app. Prettier, too.
- Contact Sender – How many times have you had to copy/paste a contact’s info into an SMS? No more! This should really be part of the standard Android Contacts app.
- Quick Calendar – The only reason to install this is to improve upon the lame search capabilities of the standard Calendar app.
- Silent Boot – Gets rid of that annoying (and loud!) Android start up sound.
- Astro – Yes, I need a file manager on my phone. Thank you.
- ShapeWriter – Just drag your finger across the keyboard from letter to letter to spell what you want. I wasn’t sure if I’d get used to this, but I type sooo much faster now.
- RockPlayer – Best video player out there. Plays every AVI, DivX, XVid, MKV, and MP4 that I’ve thrown at it.
- Cribbage Pro – Nice version of the classic card game.
- Shopper’s Paradise – It’s like tower defense… in a mall.
- Graviturn – Tilt your phone to strategically get little rings to fall off the screen.
- WordUp! – It’s Boggle.
- Classic Simon – Very good mental exercise. I should play this more often.
- Trap! – Reminiscent of Qix. Keep halving the screen without getting hit by increasing numbers of bouncing balls.
- Jewels – Find lines of matching jewels in this popular solitaire puzzle game.
- Teeter – Similar to the standard Labyrinth game but more industrial. Sleek.
- Traffic Rush – You gotta have quick reflexes to send cars across the road without letting them crash into oncoming traffic. Go now!!
- Flood-It! – A color-matching puzzle game that is harder than it looks.
- Zilch – Press your luck or settle with what you’ve got in this dice game.
- Spades – Nice version of the classic card game.
- 2 Player Reactor – You gotta be quick to win! Great way to pass some time with a friend with fast reflexes. Can also be used as a nifty drinking game. If you pay for the app, you can get the four-player version.
- Cestos2 – Online multiplayer marble madness. I’m hooked.
- Everlands – A quirky combination of chess, Chinese checkers, Othello, and animals! I wish there was online multiplayer.
- Angry Birds – The addictive godfather of all smartphone games will not let you sleep until you knock all those green pigs out with your boomerang birds. Free in the Android Market!
- Bubble Defense 2 – I love tower defense games, and this is one of the best ones out there. I can’t wait till the next installment.
- Age of Conquest – More than Risk but not quite Settlers of Catan, this is currently my #1.
For Emily (4 years old)
- Classic Simon – Also good for kids.
- Disney Princess Memory – A memory match game with all your favorite princesses. Yes, all of them.
- Zebra Paint – It’s a coloring book with dozens of different drawings. Just touch to fill areas with color.
- Kids Shape Puzzle – Simple jigsaw puzzles.
- Angry Birds – Emily is surprisingly good at this now. And she loves smashing the pigs. They’re naughty.
- Memory Master Kids – Another memory match game with larger setups.
- Kids Connect the Dots – Connect the dots by following numbers or the alphabet to create cute shapes and drawings.
- Trace Blast – Practice tracing letters, numbers, or shapes with your finger. A great way to learn how to write and/or draw. This is currently Emily’s #1.
For Sebastian (almost 2)
- Toddler Lock – Create shapes and draw lines just by touching the screen. It locks the phone so he can’t call China. Also plays soothing little music as you draw. This is the only app I let him use.
So, do you have any favorite apps you think I may like? Lemme know!