11 must-have Android apps that are free and really cool

Watchdog Task Manager Lite – there is one thing people don’t know for sure about Android: it doesn’t need a task managers. We need to get ride of the mindset that killing off tasks is a good thing. Why? Because Android kernels have their own task manager and it should be left up to them to decide when to free up memory. What you really need is an app which monitors your device and when an application malfunctions and starts using all your CPU power (without a reason), to kill that single app. This is what Watchdog does and that’s all you really need.


Astro File Manager – this app allows you to manage files on your phone without the need for a PC. You can perform actions such as copy, paste, move, delete, open with other apps and create folders. Additionally, you can select multiple files to perform actions which is really useful sometimes.Talking about what’s oh-so-cool, this file manager has the ability to backup Android Apps to SD card and quite a few more nice features.


Beautiful Widgets – is one of the most popular standalone widgets for Android. Well, the Lite version sports less than half the features of the full version but still, it is better than most other free clock and weather widgets out there. Beautiful Widgets free comes with a total of six widgets. These include four Super Clock (weather and clock) widgets and two Weather widgets.


Backgrounds HD Wallpapers – is an app which helps you find amazing background wallpapers & contact themes.You can choice from a huge selection and great variety of high quality wallpaper. The only bad thing is that it takes a little while to change pages and load the images but still… I love it! Take a look through the categories (funny, cute, sunsets, cars, girly, games, sports, scary, music, movies, animals, etc) and find the right wallpaper for your smartphone, every time you get bored of the one which you have right now.


Launcher Pro – is a great alternative to your Android application launcher which adds some exciting features to your device such as 3-D app launcher, super-smooth screen switching, a suite of Sense UI-like widgets, a scrolling dock at the bottom of the screen, and much much more. I’ve been using it for the past few months and I have to say that I’ve never been this pleased with the smoothness of any other launcher. Simply fast & highly customizable.


Google Goggles – this app is really cool. Basically, it uses image recognition technology to recognize objects and return search results. You can use it to identify products, landmarks, artwork, and popular images found online. For example, while skimming through a magazine, you see the picture of an actress that you like but you can’t remember her name. Well, you can use Goggles to find her name. All you need is your phone to be equipped with an auto-focus camera.


ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner – I’ve been using this from the first day I bought my phone. You can use it to scan barcodes on CDs, books and so on, then look up prices and reviews. Also, with it, you’re at liberty to scan QR codes to download apps, add a contact to your phone or jump to a Web link such as Youtube or any other without having to write the link in your Android browser.


handyCalc Calculator – is by far one of the best calculator you can find on the Android Market and much better than the one that comes with your device. Do you need to perform complex mathematical equations or functions ? Well, you can do them all. My only complains is that the buttons are a little too small and sometimes they are not that easy to hit. Oh, one more thing, the app also has some other capabilities like currency and unit converter.


Evernote – is probably the best cloud-based app you can find to helps you remember things across all of the devices you use. Use it to take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.


mVideoPlayer – is what I personally use as a video player replacement for my Android-powered phone. It has a lot of useful and handy features and a nice and clean interface. Perfect if your watching movie on your phone or video podcast! It will play mkv, avi, mp4, m4v and 3gp files and will also add a subtitle track if there is one with the same name as the video file itself. One thing that I like quite the most is that mVideoPlayer remembers the moment you stopped watching a video file and also that you can gesture seek forwards and backwards while watching.


Titanium Backup – I like to try all sorts of Android ROMs. Cyanogen, MIUI, Darky’s rom, you name them. Well, all cool but every time I had to reinstall my apps which is quite annoying.. Well, thanks Titanium Backup, there is no need to do this anymore. You can use this app to backup system and paid apps as well as their associated data, plus all your non-market installed apps. So, for example, Inotia3 (the cool RPG game) saves the game progress in a system directory which you can’t backup when you decide to upgrade your firmware or try other ROM. Well, thanks to this app, you can backup the game + the associated data (Savegames) and restore everything back when you’re done. Drawbacks? Well, there is one: your phone must be rooted.


That’s all for now but I still have many other great apps in mind. If you’re interested, check back later please because I’ll update this article with them.

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