75 Awesome Android Apps

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The Android is one of the most powerful smartphones around, and it gains new functionality every day as more apps are added to the Android Marketplace. Unlike the rigidly controlled Apple App Store, the Android Marketplace is a bit freewheeling. It can be hard to tell the gold from the dross.

To help you find the gems, here's a list of 75 of the best apps the Android Marketplace has to offer.

1) ASTRO File Manager

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.

2) Dropbox

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.

3) DroidLight LED Flashlight

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.

4) Barcode Scanner

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.

5) Twitter for Android

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.

7) NewsRob

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.

8) Fandango

This is a solid client for using Fandango's services to check movie times and purchase tickets. Free.

9) Google Sky Map

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.

12) Stopwatch

Android's built-in clock app doesn't have a stopwatch feature. Stopwatch is a simple app that does exactly what it says. Free.

13) Foursquare 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.

14) Gowalla

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.