Top 5 Free Android Apps to Download

Did you just get a new Android phone? Maybe a new HTC Incredible or Droid Evo? You’ve gotten the screens looking good, the font options just the way you want them…but now you need a few Android apps to make it even better? And free apps are always better than ones you have to pay for, right?

I’ve compiled a list here of my Top 5 Android Apps (from the free apps category) that you’ll NEED to download onto your phone before you do anything else. Without further ado…

1. Bar Code Scanner – This app has a deceptively simple name, huh? It’s soooo powerful, though. You start the app and point at it ANY type of bar code, whether it’s the bar code on the back of your Mountain Dew 20oz or one of those funny looking new QR Codes that are starting to pop up everywhere, and the free app does the rest! I just scanned a bottle of CVS water and the app connected me to the UPC Database and accurately found the number for me.

2. An E-Reader App – Which one (or which ones!) you download is a matter of personal taste. For me, I like to get the best deal, so I downloaded all of the majors one: Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, and the Google Books app. This way I can read any format, get the max number of free ebooks, and even shop for the best price before I buy any.

3. V-Cast Song ID or Shazam – If you’re a Verizon customer, your phone may come pre-installed with the V-Cast Song ID app. I’ve been using it for years on non-Android phones and it has never failed me. If you’re not on Big Red, though, look for Shazam and you should get functionality equal to, if not better, than V-Cast Song ID. With either app, all that you have to do is to switch the app on, hold it close to a speaker, and wait for 10-20 seconds while it IDs the song and even links you to a download source or stores the title for later so you can get it from Amazon or iTunes.

4. Advanced Task Killer – If you don’t get this app, you’ll be recharging your phone 3-4 times per day. Period. It active kills any processes (like your camera or maps apps) that you’ve accidentally left running in the background so that you can maximize your battery life. Before I downloaded this app, I was literally recharging my Droid Incredible the aforementioned 3-4 times per day. Now I might recharge it once after lunch if I had been listening to music all morning.

5. Angry Birds / Angry Birds Seasons – What list of Android Apps would be complete without mentioning Rovio’s Angry Birds? According to an article that Newsweek published on January 30, 2011, Rovio is taking aim at Nintendo’s Mario’s iconic status with their ticked off avians. This game is really more of a crack-like addiction than anything I’ve ever experienced, and I recommend it to EVERYONE who own a smart phone, whether it’s Android- or Apple-based.