I find myself repeating this list of applications to new Android users to increase battery life, organise the homescreen and supplement the standard OS apps.
I've linked through to AppBrain (a mirror of the official market) for each app, and the first app in the list enables one-click remote installation to your device from a web browser. Managing applications remotely is a breeze and comes highly recommended (Lifehacker love it). Alternatively, you can scan each app's QR Code from the link beneath each star rating.
To see the apps I've currently got installed on my phone, check here.
This application allows one-click installation to your device from the AppBrain website. There is a guide here
- this will make installing any other recommended programs a breeze.
Provides ultimate battery retention by turning the WiFi and mobile data off when the screen is off or you're not near a known wifi network. Provides an estimation of how much juice it's saved, and noticeably improved my battery life. Paid version available.
Allows organisation of applications into "drawers" that you can launch as widgets from the home screen. Finding your apps becomes much easier.
Multicon allows various dimensions of homescreen widgets that hold smaller-than-usual icons. Quadruples the available space for each 1x1 icon, and can load any homescreen item (including Smart Shortcut app drawers).
A polished, customisable replacement for the stock messaging app. Bizarrely but usefully this application also adds a link for mp3s to be selected as ringtones.
RemoteSMS is a handy desktop browser SMS client, connects to your phone via wireless or ADB (although I found ADB to be more reliable). Password-able AJAX web interface with conversation history.
A comprehensive file manager with built-in file viewers and full phone/sd search. Provides optional extensions for Bluetooth and Samba (Windows) file sharing.
Google Translate features text translation and localised text-to-speech for unprepared trips abroad. Using speech-to-text your device becomes a BabelFish
Chrome to Phone sends the desktop browser's URL to the phone's browser. Handy when you're dragged from your desk.
A remote torrent-server management app, supports all imaginable torrent software. If you scan a barcode in a shop it searches for the equivalent torrent and starts it downloading on your server for your return home.
ByteTornado allows download of files that the OS doesn't recognise. Prevents "file type is unsupported" messages when downloading.
RockPlayer is a versatile media player, almost as good as the desktop app VLC. Fast with support for many codecs.
Next time: Essential Android Apps - Rooted Edition