10 must-have free Android apps

Trick out your Android phone with these top picks from Google's Android Market

Palringo

Android includes an app to access the Google Talk instant messaging network, but these days, one IM network is hardly enough -- especially if it's Google's. You can access Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Facebook and other IM networks with Palringo.

The interface is fairly straightforward, with a tab for all your contacts across your various IM networks and another for "groups" -- chats with several participants. You can create groups at will, but only other Palringo members can take part. And if you don't have any friends, you can always chat with "Samantha," the built-in chatbot.

PicSay

This fun little app from Shinycore Software lets you edit and modify photos on your phone. Though technically a "lite" version of the company's PicSay Pro, the feature set is pretty thorough -- the only real drawback is that larger photos will be resized to fit the G1's screen.

You can add speech balloons, any of a range of text styles, and images like hearts and stars to your photos. Or if you're feeling less whimsical, you can modify the picture's contrast, tint, hue and saturation levels; flip and rotate your image; and do other basic editing tasks.

When your masterpiece is complete, you can send the picture via e-mail or MMS, upload it to Picasa, set it as an icon or as wallpaper, or hand it to another app to upload to a blog, send to Twitter and more, depending on what compatible applications you have installed.

Ringdroid

This app lets you create free ringtones from your favorite songs. (According to copyright attorney Nilay Patel, it's legal as long as you own the music and you're creating the ringtone for your own personal use.)

Just load a song onto your SD card, select start and end points, and save it as a ringtone, alert or notification. You can even record your own ringtones with Ringdroid.

ShopSavvy

With Big in Japan's ShopSavvy app on your phone, you'll never get a bum deal again. Enter a product name or barcode (using the keypad or the camera), and ShopSavvy identifies the product, searches the Web and local chain stores for the best prices, and collects reviews of the item.

You can click through to Web sites for more information or to order the item, add items to a wish list, or even set price alerts to be notified whenever the price of an item drops below a certain amount.

Hit the Menu key and a list of related products comes up, which is handy if the reviews of the item you're looking at convince you that another choice would be smarter.

TuneWiki

TuneWiki is a replacement for Android's built-in media player, offering a number of nice features. Most notable is the lyric scroll, which pulls lyrics off the Internet and scrolls them along with the song.

Other features include integrated Last.fm and Shoutcast radio streaming, YouTube video search, and community features like popular song lists and "music maps" that let you see where people are listening to the same song you are.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleGoogle Androidandroid apps

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Logan Kugler

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?