To help you find the gems, here’s a list of 75 of the best apps the Android Marketplace has to offer.
This app might just be essential. It’s a full-featured file manager that lets you view and manage the files on your Droid without having to plug it into your computer. You can even use it to backup your Android apps to your SD card. Free and paid. The free version features ads. The paid version goes for $2.99 and removes the ads.
This client for the Dropbox cloud-sharing file storage service makes it easy to get files onto your phone without explicit synching. You can shovel files into it from any of your computers and then access them from any other computer or phone. Free.
Turn the camera flash on your phone into a flashlight! It’s much better than flashlight apps that just make your screen white. There’s typically a different version of this app for each type of phone, as it uses non-standard APIs to address the hardware. You might have to hunt a bit to find the right one for your Droid. Free.
Scan barcodes on books, CDs, and all sorts of other products and then look up prices and reviews. You can also read the QR codes (little square barcodes) that are popping up everywhere, allowing you to decipher the encoded URLs, contact information, Wi-Fi access codes, calendar events, etc. Free.
Twitter’s branded client is among the best of the Twitter clients available for Android. It hasn’t closed the gap with Twitter for iPhone yet, but it’s getting there. Free.
6) K-9 Mail
An open source project that has taken Google’s standard e-mail client and enhanced it, K-9 Mail is a must if you want to do serious non-Gmail-based e-mail management on your phone, especially using IMAP. Free.
This is an excellent, plain but functional Google Reader client with built-in syncing for off-line reading. Free and paid. The free version features ads. NewsRob Pro goes for $7; it removes the ads and adds exclusive features for power users.
This is a solid client for using Fandango’s services to check movie times and purchase tickets. Free.
Hold your phone up to the sky, and this app uses the location service and tilt sensor to figure out where you are looking and overlays constellations and astronomical object information. It’s a fun tool for exploring the stars! Free.
10) B&B Gallery
B&B Gallery is a fast, no-frills multitouch image viewer. It doesn’t offer any of the fancy animations of the standard gallery; it just gets you straight to looking at your images. Free and paid. The free version features ads. The paid version goes for $1 and removes the ads.
11) RepliGo Reader
A PDF reader that can be used to view Gmail PDF attachments, online PDF documents or PDF files saved to your media card. It features a reading view that reformats pages into a single column, and offers support for embedded fonts, PDF bookmarks and text search. Paid: $4.95.
Android’s built-in clock app doesn’t have a stopwatch feature. Stopwatch is a simple app that does exactly what it says. Free.
Foursquare is not just for iPhone anymore. Use this app to record all your location-based social networking needs: check-in with the places you visit and check the leader boards. Free.
Gowalla is the other major location-based social networking app on Android and is also a solid pick. Free.
15) AK Notepad
A simple, straightforward notepad application that features Websync to snaptic.com, it does one thing and does it well. Free.
A simple, reliable tool that adds Instapaper to your sharing menu, so you can quickly tag articles as you browse. Free.
EverPaper is a simple but excellent Instapaper client. It doesn’t support folders yet, but it’s under constant development. It also syncs with EverNote. Free.
The Android Facebook app has its challenges, but it enables account syncing between your Facebook friends and the contacts on your phone. Free.
This is a solid, no-frills CBR/CBZ viewer. Use it to read all those comic archives that you…found lying around. Free.
Aldiko is a decent eBook reader and possibly the best available on Android. It doesn’t handle DRM. Free.
Select a contact or photo and then bump phones with another person who is also running the Bump app. It uses location information and the timing of the bump to detect the two phones involved and transfer the file between the two devices over the Internet. The Android version is even compatible with the iPhone version. Free.
If you’re a sysadmin, this one’s for you. It’s a Secure Shell client for Android. Free.
A Trekker geek toy, this app turns your phone into a tricorder. The coolest thing about it is that it actually uses real data from your phone’s sensors. It can display acceleration, the local magnetic field, an analysis of the local acoustic environment, your location from various providers, the availability and strength of cellular and Wi-Fi signals and the current state of the sun and solar wind. Free.
Swype is a keyboard replacement for your Android that allows you to sweep your finger along the screen in one continuous motion from letter to letter. It’s a faster, easier way to input text on your screen using your finger as a stylus. Free.
A task manager for Android phones, Advanced Task Killer allows you to kill apps running in the background with a single click. Free.
With this app, you can discover and buy music, find tour dates, browse videos and share your discoveries on Facebook and Twitter. You can even identify music by letting your phone “listen” to it. Free and paid. The premium version, Shazam Encore, features unlimited tagging and recommendations, and goes for $4.99.
27) Google Goggles
Google Goggles is a visual search app. Take a picture of the object, landmark, logo, etc. you want information about and Google Goggles will return relevant search results. It will even provide information about businesses by displaying their names directly in the camera preview. Free.
Start listening to free, personalized Internet radio on your Android. This app brings Pandora off your computer and puts it on your phone. It’s fully integrated with Pandora on the Web. You can listen to all your existing stations and create new ones on your phone too. Free.
Have some fun taking photos on your Android phone by adding filters, including the fisheye and the Warhol effects. Free.
Turn your phone into an Augmented Reality device with Layar. It uses your phone’s camera, compass and GPS data to identify your location and field of view, retrieves data based on those geographical coordinates and then layers that data over the camera view. Free.
This alarm clock uses the Android’s accelerometer to track your body movements while sleeping and wake you up just as your last dream finishes, ensuring you’ve had as restful a night of sleep as possible. Free.
Secure your World of Warcraft account by turning your phone into an electronic token. Once you enable the authenticator on your account and download the app, the app generates a unique, eight-digit numeric code that you use to log into your account. Each code is only valid once. Free.
33) ESPN ScoreCenter
Get comprehensive ESPN sports coverage on your Android phone with this app. It provides near-real-time scores and schedules. Free.
Scan a product’s barcode and you can get reviews and price alerts using this app. You can also use it to create wishlists. Free.
35) Exchange Rates
Exchange Rates is a currency converter that shows current exchange rates. Best of all: no ads. Free.
Use this app to keep up with everything about the movies. In addition to movie reviews and show times, you can watch trailers and clips from just about any movie. Free.
Take the mystery out of finding nearby places with Google Places Directory. Places Directory allows you to browse nearby places in categories like restaurants, movie theaters, hotels and banks. It also gives you distance and directions along with ratings and photos. Free.
38) IMDb Movies & TV
With the IMDb Movies & TV app, you’ll be able to settle all those movie and TV-based bar arguments within moments. This app is a client that provides access to all the information on the Web-based version of IMDb. Free.
Yelp for Android determines your current location and then lets you search for nearby businesses, read reviews and so on. It also lets users filter by “Price,” “Open Now,” “Special Offers” and “Hot on Yelp.” Free.
Use USB Tether or Bluetooth DUN to connect your laptop to the Internet using your Android phone as a modem. You can use your phone to connect via 3G data, Wi-Fi and even VPN. Free and paid. The free version blocks access to secure Web sites. The premium version goes for $23.95.
41) SwitchPro Widget
This cool little app gives you the ability to control 17 of your Android phone’s functions directly from one of your homescreens. You can turn 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, adjust your screen’s brightness, even reload your SD card after transferring files. Free.
Want to protect your phone? Lookout does just about everything. It provides security against mobile viruses, malware and hackers, backs up your data and even locates your lost or stolen device on a map from the Web. And if you can’t find it, you can use Lookout to make your phone “scream” or simply wipe out all the data on it. Free.
Manage your money and keep track of your budget while on the move using Mint. It gives you up-to-date information on your accounts and lets you edit transaction info right on your phone. And it’s password protected to make sure your information stays safe. Free.
Don’t like the stock browser that came with your Android phone? The Dolphin Browser HD adds a boatload of features, including multiple tab viewing, full multitouch gestures, a thumbnail “flick” menu, gesture-based search and URLs, a YouTube downloader and browser extensions. Free.
45) ROM Manager
ROM Manager is intended to make Android tweaking easier than ever. You can download ROMs directly from the app, boot into recovery with a single click and even backup and restore entire ROMs. Free and paid. The paid version adds extra features and goes for $3.99.
File Explorer is a local and network file manager that provides a file explorer for both the local phone and your remote computer. You can view files on your phone and in your computer’s shared folder and transfer files between them. You can even play audio and video, browse images and view text. Free.
47) Phone Halo
Do you often lose your keys, purse or phone? With Phone Halo, you attach a small device to your keys, purse, computer bag, etc. and download the Phone Halo app to your phone. If you ever leave the device or your phone behind, the app uses Bluetooth and GPS to identify its location and then sends a map to your email. It can also cause the device or your phone to ring, even if your phone is set to silent. Paid: $59.95.
48) Titanium Backup
This powerful backup tool can backup and restore all apps, even protected ones, with their data and Market link. It can also save your phone settings, including your Wi-Fi access point list. Free (suggested donation $5.95).
49) Document Scanner
This app allows you to scan documents with your phone’s camera, convert it to PDF and e-mail the PDF to anyone. You can even upload the PDF to Google Docs. Paid: $2.98.
Stay on top of Craigslist with this app. It allows you to create notifications for keywords and categories you choose and filter the results, just like on the Web-based application. The app periodically checks the site for new posts and downloads them to your phone for off-line browsing. Free.
Manage a library of PowerPoint presentations directly from your Android phone with this app. You can use the app to share the presentations via e-mail, blog, Twitter and Facebook, and you can also start or join Web meetings using it. Free.
52) COL Reminder
This app allows you to set up important reminders for everything from an important conference call to feeding the parking meter. It’s available in 15 languages. Free.
This communication app allows you to connect to all your online friends, whether they use Skype, Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, AIM, ICQ, MySpace, or StudiVZ Hyves. Free.
This app allows you to track the maintenance, fuel mileage and expenses of your vehicles. It provides notifications when it’s time to change the engine oil, air filter, oil filter, etc. Free.
Stay on top of information on every country in the world with FactBook. This app draws from the CIA World Fact Book and United Nations data to provide information on every country’s geography, population, government, transportation and military. Free.
This app automatically forwards SMS messages to your PC if you’re working on it so you don’t have to reach for your phone. You can reply to messages and create new ones from your Android address book. Paid: $2.50
57) Key Ring
Get rid of all the loyalty cards stuffed in your wallet or dangling from your keys with this app. You can use Key Ring to scan the barcodes on all those cards and copy them. When you go to a store, the retailer can scan the barcode directly from your phone. Free.
This editor/viewer for Google Documents allows you to create, edit, view, import, export, send documents and sync them with your Google Docs account. Free.
This Microsoft Office productivity suite for Android devices allows you to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with integrated access to multiple remote storage providers. Paid: $15.
60) Trip Journal
Document your travel experiences with this app. It automatically tracks your itinerary in real time, keeping stats on distance, time and geography traveled. It integrates with Google Earth and allows friends and family to keep tabs on your journey. Paid: $1.99
Streamline your Amazon shopping while on the go with this client for your Android device. Free.
62) runtastic Pro
Keep track of your runs with this app. You can track distance, time, speed and pace for running, walking, biking and skating. It also allows you to display your favorite routes on a map and share your activities on Facebook and Twitter. Paid: $2.99.
This app allows you to call for help simply by shaking your phone, even if the app isn’t on. It sends your current location and request for help to everyone designated in your safety net. It has settings for a variety of emergencies. Free.
64) Dial Zero
Need to get in touch with customer service and don’t want to wait on hold? Dial Zero maintains an index of more than 600 companies and how to cut through their automated answering services to get a live human being in no time. Free.
This sophisticated little drawing app gives you 21 different brushes and speed-sensitive opacity to let you unleash the artist within. Paid: $0.99.
Keep all your travel information organized and at your fingertips with this app. TripIt stores all your travel information and can generate itineraries for you. Free.
Find or call a cab quickly, even if you’re not in Manhattan. This app keeps a database of local taxi companies and taxi stands and helps you place a call to a car service when you need one. Free.
68) Nesoid Lite
This Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator allows you to play every NES game ever made right on your Android phone. You’ll have to take responsibility for the legality of your ROMs. Free.
A replacement for your Android’s default audio player, TuneWiki is a social music player that provides timed, subtitled lyrics to your music in more than 40 languages. It also includes charts and real-time maps of what people are listening to around the world. Free.
70) SPB TV
Get TV in the palm of your hand with this app. It’s an IP-TV solution optimized for mobile devices that offers more than 100 subscription-free TV channels, including the major networks. Paid: $9.95.
71) Google Voice
Streamline and consolidate your phones with this app. It gives you a single phone number that rings all your phones. In addition it saves all your voicemail online and even transcribes your voicemail into text. It offers a host of other features too. Free.
Stream live video from your Android phone to the Internet with this app. You can give your friends and family a personal URL with which to view your show when you broadcast and then keep the video archived for later viewing. You can also share your video via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The app is free but the service is not.
Don’t like the default ring tones that come with your Android phone? Ringdroid allows you to record and edit sounds and create ring tones from any song you like. Free.
WeatherBug provides live, local, location-based weather information from its network of weather stations. It offers alerts, radar, satellite maps and videos. Free.
This app puts all your Google Analytics data at your fingertips. You can quickly see Pageviews, Visits, Unique Visitors, Average Time on Site and Bounce Rate, with filters for Top Keywords, Top Referrers, Top Countries, Top Traffic sources, Top Search Engines, Top Referring Sites and Top Browsers. Paid: $1.47.