Best Tech Android apps

The Android Market may not have as many apps as the iPhone App Store yet, but there are still enough to be overwhelmed, and it's growing at a breakneck pace. To help you sort through them all, here's my list of the best apps I've found on Android. Again, remember that this is a snapshot in time. The Android platform is developing so quickly right now that I guarantee my home screen look different a month from now.

The list

1. Google Voice

Google Voice is a service that is so useful I consider it one of the top benefits of Android itself, especially since Apple rejected the Google Voice app for the iPhone. It gives you a phone number that can ring to multiple places or devices and it allows you to access all of your voicemail and text messages over the Web. The Android app integrates even deeper. It can make outgoing calls look like they're coming from your Google Voice number so that you can keep your real mobile number private.

2. Advanced Task Killer

One of the realities of having a multitasking mobile OS in Android is that you have to manage your apps so that they don't hurt performance or battery life. Advanced Task Killer (or ATK) is my favorite. It even comes with a widget that you can tap once to kill all open apps.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox is a great cloud service that automatically syncs a folder of files between multiple computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux). This app extends Dropbox to Android and interacts with other apps (such as Documents To Go) to open the files.

4. Evernote

Once you get used to typing on a virtual keyboard (and it honestly took me over a year to do it), then these devices are great for note-taking, and Evernote is a great note-taking app. It is similar to Dropbox in that it saves data locally but syncs it across all your machines and devices.

5. DroidAnalytics

For some reason Google doesn't have an official app (for either Android or iPhone) for Google Analytics. The best one I've found on Android is DroidAnalytics. Another good one is mAnalytics.

6. Documents To Go

The free version of Documents To Go offers a great little reader for Word and Excel files. You can upgrade to the full version (for $15) if you want to edit files and add PowerPoint files to the mix. If you do want editing capability, I'd also recommend taking a look at QuickOffice.

7. Amazon Kindle

I never warmed up to the Amazon Kindle e-reader, but I'm a big fan of the Kindle mobile app. Since it was released I've read a lot more books simply because my smartphone is always with me and I can pull it and read a few pages anytime I've got a couple minutes free.

8. Places Directory

This is an awesome app for finding shops and services near your current location. From restaurants to movie theaters to medical facilities to taxis, this app is very accurate and takes advantage of the business information from Google Local. This app is better than the info you get from a GPS unit (or app) and better than any of the similar apps available on the iPhone.

9. Tripit

I dig Tripit. It is by far the best app I've found for keeping track of all my travel itineraries. It runs on some great backend systems. You simply forward your confirmation emails for your flights, hotels, rental cars, and more to Tripit and it automatically organizes them into trips with all your details and confirmation numbers.

10. Seesmic

Twitter is an amazing instant-intelligence engine and it was made for mobile browsing. Although there's an official Twitter app for Android now, Seesmic is still the best Android Twitter client.

11. FCC Speedtest

I'm obsessed with running speed tests to check my bandwidth in various places, both to see 3G fluctuations and to check the quality of Wi-Fi. There are a number of really good speedtest apps, but my new favorite is the FCC Test app.

12. Astro File Manager

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