In the long tradition of compiling big lists of crap, here's your Android Software Wiki.
Android Software that Doesn't Suck
Section 1: Utilities
- Barcode Scanner - This lets you scan barcodes, both standard ones like UPC's or the goofy two-dimensional pixel-y ones, like this. QRCodes are super useful for getting shit to your phone, and they're used all over the place once you start looking.
- Estrongs File Explorer - Handles your phone's storage and can also browse over bluetooth and SMB (windows shares, etc). Has a good interface and decent speed, but those are both highly subjective tests.
- ASTRO File Manager - Paid (US$2.99)/Ad Supported Free - Alternative to Estrongs, somewhat less nice of a UI, but just as usable. Requires the following apps for Samba and Bluetooth however and requires money or ads. Does EStrongs keep raping your parents every time your back is turned? Get ASTRO and turn your back like crazy.
- ASTRO SMB Module - Get it if you use ASTRO instead of Estrong, otherwise useless.
- ASTRO Bluetooth Module - Get it if you use ASTRO instead of Estrong, otherwise useless.
- AndFTP - Great FTP/FTPS/SFTP client which is completely free.
- AndroZip File Manager - handles compressed archives and works as a decent file manager. Get it if you use ASTRO or have lots of compressed files to deal with, otherwise Estrong is fine.
- Awesome Drop- A very easy method to send files from your computer to your phone. Drag your files to this website and it will push it to your SD card.
- File Cover - Paid (UK£0.99)/Free - Renames certain files so that they don't show up in image gallerys, etc. ("nudephotos.jpg" becomes "nudephotos.jp1" or, if you want, random numbers "15832.jp1" etc).
- SwiFTP Server - Runs an FTP server on your phone that can be connected to from anything else to send files to it. Yes, ON YOUR PHONE, I didn't type that backwards.
You don't need one of these. The android operating system will handle your memory better than you can, and what you think is actually churning down your battery is most likely just confirmation bias and the observer effect. Read this, and be enlightened.
Turn your wifi on and Bluetooth off at home, disable features at low battery, etc. etc. etc. These are essentially IF-THEN apps, with a huge number of triggers and options
- Locale US$9.99 The most commonly mentioned one, good UI. Has lots of plugins for different options/settings, some of which cost even more money.
- Setting Profiles - Paid (US$3.95)/Free - An alternative to Locale and much cheaper. May not have an option you need, but suffices for most people. The free version is pretty useless, only allowing one active rule at a time.
- Tasker Paid/$6.99 - Automate everything on your phone. Want to set your brightness to full when you plug in your phone? Want to turn bluetooth and GPS on automatically when you're in your car? Want to silence your phone if it is facing down? Tasker can do it and much more. For more info read this article.
- 3G Watchdog - Monitor your data plan usage if you have a shitty non-unlimited plan.
- Spare Parts - Has a bunch of stuff that for one reason or another isn't in the default utilities.
- Amazon.com - Scan a barcode or take a picture of . . something, anything, and it will look it up on amazon. You can then put it on a wishlist or use default settings to one click order. Scary stuff.
- Bubble - simple bubble level, to see if your shit's straight. Free.
- Dockrunner - MOTO DROID ONLY - toggles the Droid's dock mode on or off regardless of whether you bought the $30 accessory for it. Free.
- Dropbox - Works with www.dropbox.com, 2-3GB of FREE online storage, great sharing abilities, can download and stream files right to your phone
- Fake-Call Me - Paid (US$0.99)/Free - Fake calls your phone with customizable contact name, phone number, ringtone, etc, and includes a timer. Apparently useful.
- Gentle Alarm - Paid (EU€1.59)/Free - Alarm program with a variety of unique features and settings. What makes this one different is it's "sleep cycle" function which is supposed to wake you during light sleep instead of deep slumber to make you feel more refreshed when you wake up. Difficult to explain, but try it out for a few days. Free version doesn't work on Wednesdays.
- Google Voice - If you have an android device and don't have Voice, you're a scrub. If you do have Voice, you NEED this.
- Google Goggles - Take a picture, and have Google give you information about it. With magic.
- Mint.com Personal Finance - Personal Finance tracker, works great with most banks (not all credit unions)
- Radar Now! - Free weather radar app that quickly determines your location and provides your local radar loop.
- Re-Translate - Paid (US$1.49)/Free - translation program, can translate to/from a variety of languages. Translates on the fly as you type, and also re-translates back to the original language so you can be sure it's translating accurately.
- Rings Extended - Replaces the default ringtone manager, and lets you set an mp3/ogg/whatever anywhere on the phone as a ringtone. To use it, go to settings -> ringtones, and try to change a ringtone. You'll be prompted for if you want to use Rings Extended.
- Scoreboard - Access daily sports scores, schedules, standings and news.
- SMS Backup - Backs up SMS messages automatically to Gmail in a label of your choosing. Has the option to mark them as read. Seamless and requires nothing on your part after setup. Great for dudes who just have to keep a record of their drunk texts to ex-girlfriends.
- SMS Popup - Pops up a new SMS alert box. Lets you set a lot of stuff like per-contact notifications, quick reply and when it pops up. Uses default messaging app so it's lean and mean vs Handcent/ChompSMS! Apparently a must on 2.00/2.1, if you don't find it annoying as fuck.
- Voice Recorder - Great application to record dialog.
- Where's My Droid - Paid (US$1.00)/Free - Used to find your lost phone by texting it from another phone. Will set volume to max and ring phone, even if phone was set to silent/vibrate before. Can also send GPS coordinates and distance back to the other phone so you can find it easier.
- Where's My CellPhone - Goon-run site WheresMyCellPhone.com now has a free android app that turns up your ringer when calling your phone from the site.
Section 2: Social
- AndChat - Paid (UK£1.99)/Free - IRC Client. Lets you set up autojoin channels, nicknames, etc. Works well for the goondroid channel.
- Bump - same as iPhone app, let's you fist bump with another person who has the program on their phone to exchange info (contact info, etc) and media. Compatible with iPhone users, too. Free.
- Facebook for Android - The official facebook app, which doesn't suck anymore. It probably shipped on your phone by default.
- Foursquare - Foursquare for Android.
- Gowalla - Gowalla for Android.
- Scrobble Droid - Scrobble your music to Last.FM. (Note: The official Last.fm Radio app does this too — and streams shit. Rad!)
- Seesmic for Android - One of the major Twitter players came to Android finally, and it is good. Simple interface, good feature set. In the roughly month it's been out, it's massively gained in popularity. More or less king shit - free, too!
- Swift - Stripped-down twitter app. If I used twitter, I'd probably use this.
- Twidroid - Free / Pro (€3.39) - Not-stripped-down twitter app. Pro version has . . pro stuff.
- Twitter - Official Twitter app, free, Full featured and gorgeous looking. Also, Facebook style contact sync provider, useful if you like social network integration.
Section 3: Nerd Shit
- android-vnc-viewer - Similar to PhoneMyPC, but VNC has been around for years and has servers for pretty much any desktop OS. Not as fast or pretty as PhoneMyPC, but free.
- ConnectBot - The SSH Client for Android.
- Droid Comic Viewer - A work in progress, but currently the only comic viewer worth mentioning on Android. Support for CBZ, CBR, ACV, ZIP, RAR and folders, with standard and manga viewing modes. Updated fairly frequently, excellent UI.
- Gamefaqs Offline Reader - Ever forgotten the konami code but couldn't be fucked loading up your browser and going through all of the hassle involved in going to gamefaqs? Of course you haven't. But if you did one day, ba boom.
- Google Sky Map - Quick! It's Noon! Where is Orion!?!?
- GPS Status - Paid (EU€1.49)/Free - Do you need to know EXACTLY where you are? Do you need to know which GPS satelites you're talking to and where they are in the sky? Get this.
- Mario Live Wallpaper - It'sa mario, running about various levels and distracting you while you try to do shit on your phone! Ultimate Nerd Live Wallpaper. Made by a goon I believe.
- Multiremote - Run a crapppy server on your computer and use your phone as a touchpad/keyboard for it. VERY nice for Hulu Desktop. Also allows custom button layouts.
- PhoneMyPC (US$9.99) - Set up the server and control your computer using your phone's screen as the desktop. Excellent picture quality and fast refresh rate. Windows only. Note: Infinitely better than Logmein in every single way, do not even bother claiming Logmein has any benefits.
- Sound Grenade - Emits a very shrill, high pitched noise, causing varying levels of nausea and headaches in those within hearing range. It's obnoxious. Free version linked here. There is a paid version with more sounds, but reviewers say it sucks. I say you are the worst kind of retard if you pay money for something like this.
- Wiimote controller - Maps a wiimote's buttons as an alternate keyboard over bluetooth, includes classic controller support. Pretty amazing with Yongzh's emulators. Does not work with devices running SenseUI.
- Number Genie - Features include base conversions, prime number identifier and non-prime number factorization, math encyclopedia of common math constants, and the usual special number identifier as told by our Number Genie.
Section 4: Productivity
- Aloqa - Always Be A Local. Works with GPS and gives you info about local surroundings (events, gas prices, food, etc), similar to "Where" and "Places Directory". Free.
- Astrid - Task list, GTD-style, syncs to RememberTheMilk, encourages you to do things in a nagging-but-not-really-nagging way.
- CarDar - Paid (US$0.99)/Free - Uses GPS to find your car or whatever point you marked. Just "mark" the location when you park, and the program will navigate you back to your car. Has parking meter timer on it as well.
- eBay - eBay
- Express News - News app, simple, clean, elegant. Free.
- Grocery King (Paid US$3.99) - Shopping list manager, can enter manually or scan barcodes, helps organize your shopping trip.
- Gtasks - Task list, Google Style. It's pretty stripped down compared to Astrid, but it syncs to Google Tasks, which you may prefer to RTM.
- K-9 Mail - A fork of the official Mail app (not Gmail, Mail) that adds a whole bunch of random stuff. If you use the Mail app, you probably want to upgrade to this.
- Key Ring - Scan all your rewards cards that have barcodes (Harris Teeter VIC Card, CVS, Food Lion, etc) and organize them all in this program, then just present phone at checkout and it will scan usually.
- Miren Browser - Hot shit browser from the MIUI team. Great tab implementation, fast as hell, etc.
- NewsRob - An RSS/Atom reader which auto-syncs with Google Reader. Can give you notifications when you get new articles on a per feed basis and comes with widget showing you how many unread articles you have.
- ShopSavvy - must-have program. Scans barcode or search manually and find prices, reviews, info and alerts on items available on the web or nearby, gives GPS directions and can alert you when price drops below a certain point. Free.
- WebSharing - Paid (US$2.99)/Free - Allows you (or others, if you choose) to access your phone wirelessly from a computer and view/transfer files. Can setup secure passwords.
- Where Where works with your GPS and gives you info about local restaurants, movies, gas prices, etc.
- WikiDroid and Wapedia - Wapedia used to be the best Wikipedia app, but got ads. Then its ad-free successor, WikiDroid, got ads too; the two apps have very different visual styles and this may be your deciding factor. Wapedia looks "phoneware"-ish, and Wikidroid looks like Wikipedia pages. Unlike Wikidroid, Wapedia will render whatever wiki you point it at, like Wictionary. Both have a free ad-supported version. Wikidroid has a $1.99 version that removes the ads and allows you to save pages to SDcard.
- YouMail - Visual voicemail app.
Section 5: Media
- FBReader - A minimalist free (no ads) ebook reader; handles oeb, epub, fb2, and can read these formats directly out of zip, tar and gzip archives. Can go dimmer than your phone's 0% brightness; set it to "Night" too and you can read in bed without waking your SO, which is why you really got a smartphone. If your /sdcard/Books folder has millions of books from a gigantic quasi-legal torrent, you should open books by clicking on them in /Books, because when you click "Library", FBReader will try to load data for a million books and hang for a few minutes.
- IMDb - It's IMDb on your phone. The only thing they need to do different is put the search function straight on the front of the app and it would be perfect.
- Last.fm Radio - If you know what this is and use it then get this thing man. Can also Scrobble
- Listen - Podcast player from Google. Can sync with Google Reader.
- Movies - A very excellent movie-related app. Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, Show times based on zipcode, DVD release calendar, Netflix integration, etc.
- Pandora Radio - It's Pandora. If you aren't familiar with Pandora, it's a music app
- Jango - Similar to Pandora, only works in more countries
- PowerAMP (Limited free trial, full version is $4.99) - The new gold standard in media players. Plays every format under the sun (including stuff like APE and FLAC for you loathsome audiophiles). It's skinable, has a graphical equalizer with preamp, allows you to browse by folder structure or library, etc etc etc. It owns.
- Rockplayer - ARMv6 (G1)/ARMv6+VFP (HTC Legend)/ARMv7 (Most mid to top end phones released from N1 onwards) - A video player which works with almost everything, it works with divx and xvid movies, your whacky HD mkvs you want to watch on your 4 inch screen for whatever reason - it even works with shitty formats like rmvb and 3gp. Some people have reported problems with the version on the market, for those that do searching for the beta might be a better option.
- Shazam - Paid (UK£2.99)/Free - Hold up your phone to the radio or tv or some sort of music and it will identify music for you. Argubaly powered by Dark Magic. Free version gives you 5 music searches a month.
- SoundHound - Paid (US$4.99)/Free - Identifies music, much like Shazam, but it's even better in that you can hum or sing a melody/lyrics, and it will tell you the song with fairly accurate results. Free version has unlimited searches.
- Subsonic - Allows streaming/downloading of music from your home computer to your device. Server software requires a donation after 30-day trial period.
- TuneWiki - Amazing media player that actively displays lyrics to your music. Also has Shoutcast and Last.FM support. Great alternative to bTunes
- WinAMP - Provides media playback + ShoutCast internet radio playback via 3G or WiFi (internet radio streaming requires android 2.2+)
Section 6: Widgets
- Android Agenda Widget - A calendar widget similar to the Pure Calendar widget put out by Francois Deslandes in that it is preposterously easy to skin, but doesn't look as nice or work as smoothly. Syncs with Google Calendar, Astrid, Remember the milk, Exchange, SSI gtasks, the Motorola Corp Calendar and Facebook. Scrollable with LauncherPro
- AudioManager Widget - Useful widget that displays and allows you to modify any of your volume settings (alarm, ringer, notifications, media, system, voice, etc) individually. Some users experiencing glitchy graphics in recent versions with some phones, but still gets the job done.
- BatteryLife - A 2x1 Battery widget which can tell you the percentage of battery you have left in a variety of colours, as well as a changing colour scheme to let you know how close to empty you are. If you've seen a screenshot of a goon's android home screen with a battery widget on it, chances are pretty good it is this one.
- BattStatt - A pretty neat battery widget which displays nothing but text. Comes in four flavours - 4x1, 2x1, 1x1 and 1x1 with numbers instead of letters. A decent amount of configuration options and very nice overall.
- Beautiful Widgets (€1.49) - Beautiful Widgets is a set of combined clock/weather/etc widgets that come standard with a look similar to those apps in SenseUI. They also come with a metric fuckton of skins by various people for the different parts. People tend to either like these sets or the ones available from Francois Deslandes.
- Dolphin Bookmarks Widget - A 3x3 Bookmark widget which displays thumbnails of your Dolphin or Dolphin HD Bookmarks. Very similar to the Bookmark widget on Sense UI devices, except it a) works with Dolphin and b) is not restricted to devices with Sense.
- Everything from Francois Deslandes (Priced from €0.69 to €1.49 each) - Single dev responsible for some of the best widgets available. They're all individually priced, but he's got super customizable skinnable Weather, Calendar, Agenda, and Messaging widgets. The messaging and Agenda apps can be scrolled through if used with LauncherPro.
- Last Call Widget - A simple widget which displays who you last spoke to on the phone, with a button you can set to either go to their contacts or call them immediately. Available in either 4x1 or 2x1 sizes.
- Retro Clock Widget - It's a 2x1 clock. Nice and visible. Tap to go to alarms.
- SMS Unread Count - This widget displays a SMS or Gmail icon with one difference - a number indicating how many unread messages or emails you have. Also works with missed calls if you find that necessary at all.
- SwitchPro Widget (US$0.99) - A bar of toggle buttons covering everything from bluetooth, gps, APN, 3g/2g, Wifi and even flashlight and auto-sync mode.The best toggle buttons on android and well worth the price. Recently updated to allow you to choose between 4x1, 3x1, 2x1 and 1x1 sizes.
Section 7: Games
- Abduction - Accelerometer bounce your cow into space to rescue your abducted comrades, addictive cow fun. Mind the bombs.
- Alchemy - You have the 4 elements of Fire, Water, Wind and Earth and combine them to make new items. For example - Fire + Air = Energy and Water + Earth = Swamp. You can then combine Swamp or Energy with any of the elements or anything you have created e.g; Swamp + Energy = Life. Pretty interesting and exciting when you find a crazy new combo.
- Angry Birds - Launch various types of birds to blow up greedy pigs. Ported from iOS.
- Crystallight Defense Free/Paid (US$2.95) - It's a tower defense game, but it actually looks professional. It's the fixed-path style of tower defense. Bunch of levels, upgrades, etc.
- Doodle Jump - Same concept as abduction. Jump up the platforms until you die. Looks more polished IMO.
- Drop - By tilting the screen you drop a ball through the gaps in the horizontal lines. Extra points for getting the ball through without bouncing or only bouncing once. Amazingly addictive for such a simple concept.
- Fruit Ninja - Slice fruit with you fingerblade. Get as many points in a minute and a half in zen mode or play classic mode and avoid the bombs. Ported from iOS.
- Galcon - Conquer planets on the map. Planets generate ships depending on their size. Beat the other team(s)
- Jewels - It's Bejewelled, but for android, pretty shiny looking.
- MiniSquadron! - Fly a plane, shoot down other planes, accumulate score to unlock other planes. Planes.
- Nethack - It's Nethack.
- PSX4Droid (US$5.99) - A PSX Emulator for Android devices. Built by ZodTTD and yongzh - ZodTTD being the guy who made all of those excellent iPhone emulators and yongzh being the guy responsible for all of the excellent android emulators like Snesoid and Gameboid. Currently only compatible with a handful of games, but it will no doubt get better as time goes on.
- Radiant - Bright neon child of Asteroids and Space Invaders
- Replica Island - Fun little platformer, where you play as the android mascot, jump, fly, and buttstomp your way through a bunch of levels with a surprisingly intricate story. Incredible that this is free.
- Robo Defense Free/Paid (US$2.99) - It's tower defense. Looks sort of shit, but it's fun, assuming you're not burned out on tower defense.
- Spaghetti Marshmallows - Try to get a marshmallow into the target area by building a tower out of dry spaghetti and marshmallows.
- Everything by yongzh (Priced from US$1.99 to $3.99 each) - Yongzh has created a whole heap of excellent emulators for a bunch of different devices - If it was a console made by Sega or Nintendo in the nineties, chances are he has an emulator for it. There are lite versions of each of the emulators but they don't have working save states or save games, with the exception of the Gameboy Advance emulator (which has working save games although no save states.) The touch screen controls probably aren't going to win you any fights in Mortal Kombat, but they work perfectly well for strategy games, RPGs and even a lot of platformers.
Section 8: OS Modifications
- Better Keyboard - Soft keyboard with many features.
- HTC_IME Mod - Jonas' Mod of the soft keyboard that comes stock with HTC, generally considered one of the best around. Very customisable, has an option for voice input and customisable smilies.
- Handcent SMS - Gives you a lot more options than the default Messaging app. Things like quick reply/compose, change notification LED color, conversation style, etc. It's worth checking out. Make sure to turn off the default Messager notifications to avoid duplicates.
- LauncherPro Beta - That Weird Launcher You See In Everybody's Screenshots. Has 5 customisable launcher buttons at the bottom of the screen which can display the number of unread messages and emails and missed calls you have, customizable number of home screens, 3D app drawer and it is also very smooth and fast all around. Set it as default by pressing the home button and selecting it after installing. Sense widgets will not work with any Launcher other than Rosie, but if you donate at The LauncherPro website and become a LauncherPro Plus member you will get access to a variety of widgets he is putting out that are incredibly similar to the Sense widgets. For US$2.99 it is definitely worth it, not only for the pretty widgets but also to help out a great and committed developer.
- Wallpaper Set and Save Allows you to use your own wallpapers without the idiotic resampling/downgrading image quality that android would normally do.
- Dodol Wallpaper Maker Allows selecting portion of an image to generate your own portrait (which android does not allow) or landscape wallpapers.