Android Apps for an Android Newbie

With 50,000 apps in the marketplace (and counting), which ones exactly would a newbie to Android, like me, really need? It’s been night after night of Google searching of blogs and twitter and apps and reviews after I got the GW620. These are just some of the must-haves that make owning an Android phone a breeze.

The curse of many Android phones is that the OS sucks power mercilessly.  These are the few must-have apps on your phone that will help you manage what’s happening behind that 3″ or 3.5″ screen and save your battery power too.

Advanced Task Killer (ATK) – Running multiple apps is the Android’s gift to smart-phone users. However, most of the apps have no obvious way of exiting, and just eats up precious resources on your phone. Put a ATK widget anywhere on your screen and kill all these running apps with just one touch.  There are also numerous other task killers out there to try.

APNdroid – Connect or disconnect from your 3G/Edge/GPRS with just one touch. APNdroid also allows you to keep MMS running, just in case you’re a heavy user.

WiFi Manager – Having come from an iPod Touch, the thing I loved best about it (besides the music player) is the very easy WiFi connection. WiFi Manager comes the closest to the satisfaction level I had with the Touch, listing available WiFi connections and allowing you to connect painlessly.

Quick Settings – This gathers all the necessary settings like screen brightness, ringer volume, GPS receiver, WiFi on/off etc and allows you one-touch access. I don’t have a Profiles app set up, and find this good for switching off the ringer volume when I have to get into a meeting very quickly.

System Panel App / Task manager – I stumbled across this while surfing Android Forums. The app developer posted there asking people to try it out. I don’t access this app all that much, but it’s a nice-to-have allowing you to monitor CPU usage, battery usage etc, and you can kill apps one at a time too.