August 18, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
And the winner is…you, the fan. The Android Network Awards have concluded, and after more than 43,000 votes in 26 categories, the people have named what they think are the best Android apps. You might not agree with some – I was actually quite surprised in a few categories – but each category was selected as the best in its respective field. Androinica.com is happy to profile 26 of The Best Android Apps: The Android Network Award winners.
Click on each app’s title to be linked to its QR code (black and white dots/lines) that you can scan with the Barcode Scanner to be linked to the Android Market. Here are the Best Android Apps as voted by users in the Android Network Awards.
Best Security App
One of the scariest things for cellphone addicts to experience is the realization that you lost your phone. Mobile Defense comes to the rescue by being “LoJack for your phone,” allowing users to lock, track, find, or erase their phone in the event that it’s lost or stolen. Activate the tracking system online and then see a real-time map of your phone until Android is back in your arms again.
Best Camera App
The default camera in most Android phones is decent, but it could always use improvement. Snap Photo Pro enhances the device’s ability to snap pictures by adding timer mode, multi shot mode, and stability. It also increases shutter speed and can adjust the brightness or contrast of images.
Best Home Replacement App
Panda Home (FREE)
Home screen replacement apps are dime a dozen in Android. In a move that actually surprised me and other members of Android Network Awards, Panda Home was voted the best. Panda Home provides an alternative to the default home screen, adding more screens, a different set of icons, and support for third-party themes designed for other home screen apps.
Best Streaming Music App
There’s a reason T-Mobile added imeem to the AppPack: it’s one of the best support streaming applications available on Android. Imeem is an online music streaming service, and their Android client does a good job in the mobile realm. Download this app and register for an account to make imeem play “personal radio” of artists you like, discover new music, and stream 20,000 of the songs you upload to their website.
Best GPS Navigation App
Android app CoPilot Live is a great tool to have as your right hand man thanks to the voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation. CoPilot turns your phone into a GPS unit with voice instructions and directions in several map modes, a large POI’s database (gas, restaurant, attractions, etc.), favorite locations storage, and even the ability to redirect to the location where you took photos. If you need help getting around, get this app.
Best Twitter App
Twidroid is the can-do Android Twitter app. Tweet, upload photo search, see popular topics, retweet, shorten links, follow, unfollow — almost any feature you want to do is all there. Twidroid also supports Laconia/Identi.ca users and is unquestionably the most-used Twitter app for Android. Be sure to read our full Twitter comparison review to see why so many people opt for this app.
Best Weather App
When you live in a city with unpredictable weather, a good weather app is a must-have. WeatherBug is that must-have app for many Android users. It provides forecasts for the day or week, weather alerts, and hyper-local weather reports based on your GPS position.
Best Communication App
Before Cupcake, chompSMS was a must-have for anyone who wanted to type on-screen for text messages. Today, it’s still a great way to send and read SMS text messages in chat-style SMS bubbles. It also accepts text messages with the chompSMS network, which can be cheaper than standard carrier options.
If you don’t have the HTC Sense UI, why not settle for this great replication of the HTC Hero clock and weather widgets? Weather Widget (the paid donate version) can set periodic reminders, weather widget size, create or install skins, and use the flip clock/weather combo seen in Sense. Get the iconic look if you can’t get the beautiful phone.
Best Puzzle Game
If you’ve played one Bejeweled game, you’ve played them all. Swap gems according to color in order to earn points and continue solving the puzzle. It’s a fun game that can be easy or more challenging in the unlimited Survival mode.
Best Arcade Game
If you’ve played one tower defense game, you’ve played them all, right? Not quite. Robo Defense earned its spot as Best Arcade game by providing a fun way to blast packs of invaders with guns, rocket launchers, mortar, and surface-to-air missiles. Place these weapons at points along a map and defend your land or watch it become overrun with attacking forces.
Best Casual Game
Bonsai Blast is a basic puzzle game in which the object is to shoot orbs into a line of passing marbles until there are three matching colors. Gamers must do this before the orbs reach a drain and signal failure. There are two modes: Adventure, where the object is to win and unlock levels/features, and Survival mode, which is an “infinite challenge” about matching the orbs as quickly as possible and earning as many points as possible.
Best Shopping App
ShopSavvy is a shopping comparison tool that uses a barcode scanner to grab product info and pricing information from several retailers – both online and in-person stores. Place the built-in scanner against a barcode or type-in a product name and the app reveals how much it costs at local stores and if it’s currently in stock at that location.
Best Fitness App
SportyPal is a handy tool to help get users in shape. Users improve their running and cycling experience by analyzing past workout stats. See the distance traveled, total time, and an estimate for the amount of calories burned. There’s even an option to share with others, making SportyPal a great workout tool.
Best System Utility App
Background apps can eat at your system resources, so grab TasKiller and regulate on all those processes and apps slowing down your phone. With one-click, users can close all running applications in the event that their Android device is running too slow. It also includes the ability to ignore certain apps, like the keyboard or phone features, to prevent closing things you want to keep running.
Best Tool App
Astro is a file explorer that every Android user should own. It allows users to browse their SD card, delete/move/copy/paste files, install/uninstall apps, and various other tasks meant to organize the phone. Astro is also a great way to hide certain files/folders on your phone that may be sensitive.
Best Location Based App
Sherpa is a location-awareness app with “adaptive learning” features. It provides contextual reviews and information for nearby points of interest and displays them in a handy carousel. Sherpa’s marquee feature is that it learns a user’s tendencies to give recommendations and reminders about places to visit. It’s an intuitive points of interest app for bars, restaurants, art galleries, entertainment venues, parks, and much more.
Best Sports App
Obsessive sports fan, meet SportsTap, an app that attempts to centralize the sports world into your phone. SportsTap has scores, stats, and news for all of the major team sports and Golf, Tennis, and NASCAR racing. The app tracks users’ favorite teams, includes a LocalTap feature to focus on an area’s franchises/colleges/events, and a broadcast schedule of upcoming games.
Best Organization / Productivity App
Fact: Astrid is the best to-do list manager available on Android. Ok, that’s an opinion, but it’s an opinion supported by thousands of users of this great app. Astrid creates tasks with notes, deadlines, reminders, tags, and priority. If that weren’t enough, it can even sync with online task manager RememberTheMilk.com. If you’ve got things to do and need an app to help you do them, Astrid is the first app you should grab in the market.
Best Wow Factor App
The days of hearing a song and wracking your brain to investigate its name are over. Shazam can listen to a song and compare the sounds to its massive library and return the artist, song title, and album information just like that. You can even get additional information, YouTube links, and immediately purchase the song if it’s available in the Amazon.com MP3 library.
Best Reference App
Wikipedia is the people’s online encyclopedia and WikiMobile is the people’s choice for the best Android app for browsing the website. WikiMobile searches for Wikipedia articles and then formats the content to fit and flow better on an Android phone. It also includes Random Articles, Popular entries, and user-defined Bookmarks.
Best News App
USA Today isn’t the most prestigious newspaper in the country, but it’s the first to recognize the value of creating a dedicated Android application. That, plus a good-looking and easy-to-navigate interface, weather reports, and constant updates for news reports is why users voted this the best news app available for Android.
Best Finance App
Frequent PayPal users based in America will get a kick of seeing that PayPal has an official app for Android. It does the major functions of PayPal: check your balance, view your history, and send money to other PayPal addresses. Frequent eBay buyers/sellers and regular PayPal users will love this app.
Best Social Networking App
Android users waited months for Facebook to release an official Android app. We’re still waiting, but Babbler has done an admirable job of filling in the gap. Babbler brings much of Facebook to Android, including the ability to view friend stream, read or write status updates and comments, read or write wall posts, browse photos, and much more.
Best Entertainment App
The days of hearing a song and wracking your brain to investigate its name are over. Shazam can listen to a song and compare the sounds to its massive library and return the artist, song title, and album information just like that. You can even get additional information, YouTube links, and immediately purchase the song if its available in the Amazon.com MP3 library.
* This is the first and so far only multiple category award winner
Best Media Player App
Android ships with a decent music player, but don’t hesitate to snatch TuneWiki from the Android Market. TuneWiki plays your stored MP3′s but it can also stream music, videos, and discover popular content using social features. To further enhance the media experience, TuneWiki displays lyrics on-screen as your music plays, helping figure out just what the heck artists are saying.
These apps have been named the Best Android Apps according to Android fans. More than 43,000 votes from readers of Android sites in several countries were tallied to determine which app was best. Be sure to revisit Androinica.com as we examine other apps that were worthy of recognition. For a complete list of Android Network member sites, visit AndroidNetworkAwards.com