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My Top 10 Android Apps

10. Digger (Free/$.99)

There are several Digg applications for Android, but Digger is by far the best out there. There is a free and paid version. There is very little difference between the free and paid version, but $.99 is dirt cheap and helps support the developer. Digger, to me, is what the official Digg app should have been for Android. It actually feels more like the official Digg iPhone app than anything else.

9.  ShopSavvy (Free)

ShopSavvy is a barcode scanner/shopping tool that lets you scan items and compare prices between stores and online. You can build wishlists, receive price alerts, and more. This is a very popular segment of the Android Market, but overall ShopSavvy is my favorite all around app for this type of thing.

8. Foursquare/Gowalla (Free)

I am putting Foursquare and Gowalla together on my list because they are both very similar apps with similar functions. Foursquare is focused more on friends and sharing your location, while Gowalla is more about the game aspect of finding items and unlocking achievements. Foursquare allows you to become “mayor” of a location (checking in more often than others). Some venues are actually rewarding the mayor of that location with freebies and other perks. Gowalla’s neat feature is trips. There are various trips available in many cities, and you can even create your own. These trips usually have you sightseeing around the city and visiting pre-determined locations. For example, in Austin, TX there is a trip to check in at various stairs around the city.

Some people prefer to use one service over the other, but I choose both because to me they both serve different purposes.

7. Mint.com (Free)

Mint is a great application that is relatively new to the Android Market. Having been out for awhile on the iPhone, Mint.com allows you to enter your financial information (credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages,etc.) and the mobile app allows you to keep tabs on this information and receive alerts and notifications. The app and site are secure, and it uses the same tool that most banking websites use, so you’re not sharing any information with Mint that isn’t readily available to many services already out there. It can be scary to use at first, but once you do you will realize that it’s a very powerful tool.

6. TWiT.tv by Mediafly (Free)

I listen to a lot of podcasts. In my line of work, I’m constantly driving to various family homes and other locations. I have put 30,000 miles on my car in about 8 months, if that gives you any idea of just how much I drive. Leo Laporte’s TWiT network puts out some of the best podcasts around. The TWiT app lets you stream the shows, or download them for later if you would prefer. They have video and audio versions as well.  Combining this app with my next choice ensures that I’m never driving bored.

5. Pandora (Free)

Pandora radio is a free audio streaming service that I simply cannot live without. You input one of your favorite artists, and Pandora will create a custom radio station based on that artist and similar artists. You then give a thumbs up or down to each song, and Pandora will learn over time and customize your stream. The real power of this comes when you’ve created several stations (using different artists or types of music). The Quick Mix option will combine all of your favorite stations and give you a station that encompasses all of your favorite music.

4. Handcent SMS (Free)

Handcent SMS is a replacement for the default SMS client on your Android device. Handcent is a lot more powerful than the native clients, allowing you to completely customize them to your liking. There are various themes, notification options, and tons of other settings to tweak around to get your SMS and MMS messages just the way you like them. You can also add various font packs in, to further customize the experience. The widget is just a basic 1×1 icon, but unlike the standard app icon, the widget shows you how many messages you have unread on the icon.

3. Aloqa (Free)

Aloqa is a great application that helps you to find out what is going on in the community around you. You can find restaurants, shops, events, or even local singles if you so choose. The interface is very well done, although it feels more iPhone like than Android to me.

2. USA Today (Free)

I played around with several news apps but settled on USA Today for it’s interface, range of coverage, and overall ease of use.

1. Twidroid Pro ($4.89)

Twidroid is easily the best Twitter client for the Android OS. The free version is good enough for most users, but I opted to pay for the Pro for the added features and the widgets. Twidroid boasts the most features of all android clients, so there’s very little you cannot do with this client. Easily my most used app.

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