Best FREE Android Applications (Games, Tools, and More)
I remember when I first got my Droid Incredible by HTC and I scoured the internet for blog posts about the “Top Android Applications.” Come to find out they all posted the same applications, give or take a few, and they all pretty much sucked (yeah, I said it). Now, I’m not saying these are the best ones, but they sure are pretty sweet!
- Bonsai Blast: A path of balls go through various maze paths requiring you to shoot and attach three balls of the same color to eliminate the strand before it gets to the end.
- Mahjong: The classic block stack game where you need to find two of the same to remove them, ideally having no blocks left in the end. You have to like Mahjong to enjoy the tedious searching of this game, but it can cure your boredom.
- Alchemy: This is an interesting “game” where you match two “Elements” which then may or may not make a new Element. Constantly combining Elements can add up to hundreds of new Elements… including a Yoshi Doll! I kind of got bored with this after a while, but it’s a fun concept nonetheless.
- Wordfeud Free: Simply put, it’s online multiplayer Solitary. This game is ad supported but there is a paid non-ad version for around $4 which unlocks some other things too.
- Traffic Jam Free: Try to get the main brick/car/log out of the Jam by moving around the other objects until a straight line is formed. This game has thousands of different puzzle combinations which get harder and harder as you go. This is ad supported, but they’re not obnoxious.
- Solitaire: This game does not have any ads and is completely free. It’s just a very well done Solitaire game which minimal stats (best time, wins/losses). Also includes Spider, Freecell, and Forty Thieves.
- Raging Thunder Lite: A beautiful 3d racing game with a sequel (see below). The Lite version is pretty minimal on what you can do but it does offer a couple cars, quick race mode, and one or two tracks to race on.
- Raging Thunder 2 Lite: The sequel to the racing game above. Again, the Lite version is pretty minimal but the full version has a dozen or so maps, cars, enhancements, and tournament rounds with online leaderboards. I did end up buying the full version of this version and it can be quite fun.
- Pocket Legends (3D MMO): Another very pretty 3d game which is similar to World of Warcraft (WoW) in style. Now, you cannot expect WoW on your phone, but for having minimal functionality this pretty much hit it on the head. It is massive multiplayer meaning you’re playing in the same world as everyone else in the world. What’s nice about this app is it’s also available on the iPhone so you can play with those kids! This app is FREE like the rest in this list, but you can pay for “silver coins” which will allow you to buy better items and go further into the game if you wish.
- Guns N’ Glory: A pretty overhead top down game where you move Cowboys, Indians, and Outlaws around in a Tower Defense like game to prevent the Westerners from, well, going west and taking their loot. The commentary is witty, and it’s an enjoyable game to play. This game is ad supported, and not obnoxious.
- Angry Birds: Everyone is talking about this right now. However, unlike those iPhone folks who have to pay $1 for their copy, yours is FREE! Why is it free? Well, it is ad supported, and Android/Google Market doesn’t charge developers $99/application/year to post them there… silly iPhone.
- Angry Birds Seasons: The same exact game as above, but with Halloween and Christmas themed levels. Smash pumpkins and blast through new icicle tiles to get at those pesky piggies.
- Wyse PocketCloud Free: Have a computer at home you want to RDP or VNC into so you can move your cursor around, click on things, and completely control it? Well, you can! Obviously over 3G it is sluggish compared to WiFi, but it does still work. It’s nice that I can use my computer at home from across the country if I wanted to. The Free version only allows you to save the settings for one Computer at a time, and other than that is pretty much the same as the full version.
- Lookout Mobile Security: This Application is a must have for anyone with an Android device. The free version will backup your contacts list, photos, and even recent call log! It’ll scan downloaded Applications and your whole phone for viruses. And, if you loose your phone (this is where it gets cool) you can log into the website online and it will show you where it is on a map via the GPS within 5-10 meters! Woah! The paid version will also let you completely lock out your phone (but I’d recommend just setting a password of some type anyways) and/or wipe out all the data on your phone if you loose it. And surprisingly, it takes little to no battery life to use!
- Twitter: This is the official twitter.com application, and it’s by far the best one out there. It’s pretty, trendy, and it’ll even allow you to message or follow me at @danielslaughter.
- The Weather Channel: Is it raining outside? Well, why check the window when you could just check your phone, ‘eh? But seriously, this little guy will keep a running temperature in your task bar if you want it to, and even tell you up to 10 days in advance what the weather is going to be. Is there a tornado looming in your area? No worry! It’ll even notify you of hazards and warnings too!
- CalWidget: I switched from a Blackberry to the Android and I really wanted to find a nice widget which I could customize to look like the Blackberry theme with the calendar on the homepage. Well, here she is. This thing has around 12 different dimensions for widgets, and is completely customizable down to your first offspring’s gender.
- Barcode Scanner: You’ve probably seen those pesky QR tags all around the place; I hear they’re huge in Japan. Well, rather it be a QR code, a barcode off your mother’s lipstick, or anything else with lines you can scan it with this. It even has an option to send the barcode via a URL of your choice if you want! Pretty nice feature if you’re a nerd who’s made their own website to inventory something.
- Meebo IM: Do not download all those silly little Instant Messenger clients, just save your time and get this one. If you haven’t ever used Meebo or ever even heard of it then get out from under a rock, create an account, assign every IM client you have to it (including firstname.lastname@example.org) and sit back and IM away.
- Color Flashlight: Things are lurking for you in the dark, watch out for them with this app. This little guy will turn the brightness on your phone all the way up, and display a white screen, pink screen, animated candle stick, or disco like effects. Totally.
- Metal Detector: I’m not sure why I’m listing this other than it’s kind of awesome. It basically uses your phone’s built in compass to detect metal disturbances and determine if it’s around large masses of metal. Too bad it doesn’t work on smaller, more practical, items like rings or coins. But if you ever need to find your car in a one-foot deep pile of snow then you’re in for a treat.
- Pandora Radio: Music! Streaming! Free! Need I say more? Plug your phone into the Aux port of your car with a Male to Male adapter off Amazon for like $2 and go for a road trip listening to Pandora.com. Just please don’t be the guy who’s sitting next to me without ear buds on the public transit listening to Baby’s Got Back… okay?
- GTunes Music: If Pandora isn’t good enough for you and you want to specify what songs you listen to, and maybe with the goodness (or evilness) of your heart just steal MP3s instantly from the internet and download them, then use this. This thing even has a Top X list, which will let you click on them and simply download every single one. Probably once you get this you’ll want a good MP3 ID3 tag editor, since no one labels MP3s correctly. Disclaimer: don’t steal music, and I’m not suggesting you do (but it is kind of awesome, and free).
- Torrent-fu: If you have a multimedia center at home, or a computer somewhere else, you can use this nifty little program to connect to either the web-client of uTorrent or Transmission, search for something, and have it instantly start downloading while you’re on the John, or in Italy. Disclaimer: again, please don’t steal things.
Would you like a quick way to pull this page up on your Android Phone? Well, either navigate your web browser to this short link or use the Barcode Scanner I mentioned earlier to take a photo of this QR Code: