Top 8 Favorite (Free) Android Apps So Far

Well, well, well. It’s that time of year again. Sure enough with the holidays comes the inevitable year-end lists of everyone’s favorites from the year that was. I was attempting to think of which category I wished to cover with my year-end list(s), and I simply couldn’t land on just one or two. However, my good friend and fellow Potholes writer, Brandon Rae, just got a new Android phone, and asked me what my favorite apps are. Therefore, in place of year-end lists, I will give a quick overview of my favorite (free) apps on the Android market – not all of which were launched in 2010.

1. Twitter – This is without question my favorite and most-used app on my Android phone. I love being able to connect with my Twitter network on-the-go, and the friendly UI makes it all the more enjoyable. Also try: Seesmic for Android. If looking to manage more than one Twitter account, definitely download Seesmic for Android. It’s not as pretty as the official Twitter app, but it is rugged and gets the job done.

2. SCVNGR – Yes, Foursquare has the largest user base. Yes, Foursquare did just enable pictures and commenting (but only on iPhone). Yes, Dennis Crowley did appear in Gap ads and on the cover of Wired, crowned “The New King of Social Media.” Still, the Cambridge, MA-based location-based service startup SCVNGR is just too exciting to leave off this list. There are fun things that can’t be done on other services such as social check-ins and treks, which make this location-based more of a game than any other platform. Finally, I’ve been able to get the most rewards from this service. Also try: Foursquare, Whrrl, and Gowalla.

3. Kik – There are many reasons why you need instant messaging app, Kik. One: it’s free, which will cut down on your texting bill. Two: it’s outrageously fast. Three: everyone’s on it (well, almost everyone). Four: it’s cross-platform so you’re not limited to just other Android users. Five: it’s eerily smart, in that it knows who you know immediately (this is a good thing). Bonus: It’s fun to say, “Hey, let’s Kik it.”

4. Bump – Right, so remind me how we exchanged contact information before Bump? Oh, we had paper business cards? Oh interesting… In all seriousness, business cards are a fun way to provide contact information with a sense of style and flair. But for the easiest way to exchange contact information, among other things, Bump is your best bet.

5. Google Reader – You don’t already have a Google Reader account? Hmm, You must be one of those people who still reads newspapers. If you are one of the many people out there who uses Google Reader for your daily dose of news, pat yourself on the back for being smart, and now go download the Android app. It’s intuitive and makes news on-the-go easier than ever (unless you have an iPad – but that’s another story).

6. Barcode Scanner – Simply put, QR codes are no longer a thing of the future. They are happening right now. Go get yourself Barcode Scanner and start scanning away! You’ll quickly begin to find a sense of kid-on-Christmas-morning excitement every time you happen across a QR code.

7. Evernote – I can’t remember why I like Evernote. Let me take a look at my Evernote to see if I wrote down why I like… oh, now I remember! Evernote is awesome because it makes taking notes of any type a piece of cake, and really fast! I’ve used Evernote to take notes at conferences, events, or simply just to write myself reminders. Brilliant tool.

8. Picplz – Android’s answer to Instagram (although I still really want Instagram), Picplz provides us Google heads with a means of adding fun effects to our mobile photos. And hey – they often end up looking even better than the original photo. Picplz also allows for sharing via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, so you can let all your friends know just how awesome and artsy you are.

Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite apps for Android?

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