I’ve been rocking my Motorola Droid since the first day it was available to the public. Although it is still a little rough around the edges, the Droid is a different animal from the iPhone and offers an equal amount of impressive and useful features. This list of ten free apps includes a variety of tools that will help improve your overall Droid experience. As Android becomes more mainstream, it’s nice to see many new apps being released. A phone will only be as successful as the apps that are available. While these apps may also work on other Android handsets, these are must-haves to ensure that you’re taking full advantage of your Droid.
PicSay is perhaps the coolest photo editing application that I’ve used on an Android phone. Support for multitouch, various picture sizes, effects, props, and adding text are a few small features of this powerful app. PicSay looks professional, runs smoothly, and has many options to export your creation. The free version offers plenty of features to keep you coming back. Check out the fun picture I put quickly together for my wife’s birthday using PicSay.
Camera Magic is another photo related application that features a few basic yet helpful camera tweaks. This app provides users with a burst timer so that you can capture several quick pictures consecutively. This app also allows for the selection of pictures to be taken at different resolutions and uses a standard delay timer. Camera Magic is very handy to snap a picture when nobody else is around to assist.
FxCamera is the last handy photo related app in our list. This app provides 6 different effects which include ToyCam, Polandroid, Fisheye, SymmetriCam, Warhol, and Normal which includes mono/sephia/negative, etc. Want to have it appears as though a picture was taken with an old Polaroid camera? Fire up FxCamera, select the Polandroid effect, and snap. SymmetriCam is also a very fun effect for mirroring. This program provides a similar experience to the basic webcam software that comes bundled with most netbooks in a very simple, easy to use interface.
MotoTorch LED is the best flashlight application that I’ve found for the Droid. This app takes advantage of the dual-LED camera flash to light your path. The app is well designed, looks professional, and provides a few extra “fun” features. You have the ability to set the flash at various strobe-like intervals and even set it up so that you can have your flash display a message in Morse Code. It’s pretty neat to see your Droid popping SOS on the wall of your bedroom at night.
Evernote, the popular note taking tool, is now available for Android handsets. The current release allows for the uploading of files, snapshots, text notes, or audio notes. The interface is pretty basic and simple, but it is nice being able to keep things in sync.
BabelDroid may be more of a novelty than anything, but it seems to work fairly well. This app is a simple translation tool where users speak English into their phone’s mic and wah-lah, text in the desired foreign language is produced. This app takes advantage of the Droid’s text-to-speech features and speaks the translated words aloud. This could be handy for folks that spend a lot of time traveling to foreign lands where the native tongue is unfamiliar, or for people sitting on the couch that want to whisper sweet nothings to their significant other. Language support is available for Deutsch, Espanol, Francais, and Italiano.
Blogaway is a great app for those with a Google-based blogger/blogspot blog. The blogging program has had several enhancements and updates since it was first released. This app allows for new posts with attached images and tags to quickly be published directly from your Android phone. Support for drafts, reading of blogger blogs, management of accounts, and various settings such as auto-syncing and geo-tagging are available. It’s simple and works well.
gTasks is another basic app that syncs your Google Tasks. Type in your to-do list and watch it show up in your online Google Tasks area. The only drawback of this program is that it does require you to manually sync tasks. Despite this manual control, it takes just a second to sync things up. Manually syncing things up can actually be a positive thing as it is a way to make sure your tasks have recently synced and are up to date. Syncing works both ways by also pulling information from your online tasks into your smartphone.
Mileage is a cool app for tracking your automobile’s gas mileage. In a day and age when we’re paying nearly $3.00+ USD for a gallon of gasoline, keeping track of your cars consumption can help you analyze your driving style and car’s fuel efficiency. Mileage tracks your history, provides useful statistics, and great charts to help you catch any dramatic changes. It sure beats the heck out of grandma’s little fuel record notebook.
Wifi Analyzer provides useful information about nearby Wi-Fi networks. Want to know if your router is having issues because every other neighbor is using the same channel as you? Wifi Analyzer comes to the rescue by providing channel graphs, time graphs, channel ratings, and AP lists. Wifi Analyzer is a useful little app to understand what’s happening with Wi-Fi in your neck of the woods.
In a world where most phones don’t, it’s nice to see a few apps popping up to make sure Droid does. A good way to discover new apps is searching through the popular and high rated apps on the Android Market. Finding the best apps is usually a trial and error experience. Download, try it, and keep or delete. Much of what makes an app useful depends upon personal preference. There are tons of other free apps available to make your Droid experience great.
What Android apps have you discovered and now cannot live without?
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