I have to say, I really love my HTC Aria (though not quite as much as my wife and kids). It is fast, stable, and user-friendly (though perhaps not as user friendly as the iPhone). After rooting and flashing to a 2.2 Froyo ROM, I've gotten to the point very quickly where there isn't much else I can do with it. And that's after only a few months. By comparison, it took me well over a year and a half to get my HTC Fuze (Windows Mobile) up to snuff.
In any event, in "celebration" of my awesome Aria and with the holidays coming up, I thought I would share with our readers my top-10 Android apps (in no particular order):
- Google Voice: This app is the greatest thing since sliced bread. One number that rings on my office and mobile phones, visual voicemail, free text messaging. An integrated thing of beauty.
- Endomondo: I'm a runner and cyclist, and this app enables me to track my runs and rides with ease. Easy to program and read. Flawless. Google My Tracks is good too, but the UI isn't great.
- Radar Now: When I want to see what weather is coming my way, this app enables me to see it in almost real time without a hitch. Gets GPS lock and location fix in seconds.
- One Nightstand: Great for when I travel. Looks and acts like a real bedside digital clock with time, alarm, and even next day's calendar events and weather.
- ColorDict Universal Dictionary: I know that I can just jump on line to look up words, but what about when I'm 36,000 feet in the air (on a plane). This app enables you to download sizeable dictionaries so you can look up words anywhere. And I haven't found a word that wasn't in the database.
- Google Sky Map: This app is just the coolest. Point it at the sky, for example, a star, and it will tell you what it is. You can also search for particular heavenly bodies (though not Megan Fox's), select from a gallery of well-known constellations and travel through time to see what the sky will look like in the future.
- Google Shopper: Have you ever been at a store and wondered whether you can find the product in which you are interested cheaper on line? With this app, you can find out instantly. You can either search by voice description or take a picture of the barcode. Works like a charm.
- ConvertPad: Ever want to convert density, electric capacitance, entropy, flow, heat, power, sound, thermal resistance, typography, or volume? Well neither have I. But I do like to convert currency, weight, and a few other measures. This app is easy and allows you to convert most anything out there.
- Google Places: This app has a separate screen icon from Google Maps, so it's easy to access. Type or talk in what you are looking for and, voila, everything you need to know about it and where to find it.
- Smooth Calendar: Fits in a 1x4 piece of real estate on my home screen. This app shows the current date and up to three events coming up in the near future. With a press, you are in your calendar for more details.
- Bonus app: Google Translate: Have you ever been traveling in, say, Albania or found yourself in the middle of a real Jewish wedding, but you couldn't speak Albanian or Yiddish? Well, neither have I. But if such an event should occur, you are ready with voice or typed input and written or spoken output (so you don't have to worry about a bad accent).
So there you have it, the coolest apps available (at least for me). You can find all of these at the Android Market and, even better, all are FREE!
Follow Dr. Jim Taylor on Twitter: