10 Free Android Apps for your Google phone

Posted on November 29, 2009


10 free Android apps you should download today

Fun and useful additions to your Google phone

Android’s paid app store launched in March 2009, but already it had gained a reputation for fun, quirky and innovative apps since the Market first became available five months previously.

The Market might not have as many apps as the iPhone’s App Store, but in just over a year it has gained serious traction in the developer community.

Plus – it’s available on a wealth of handsets, from a range of manufacturers, meaning you’re not just tied to one handset which gets a slight refresh every 12 months.

With the inbuilt compass, GPS, a spot of 3G connectivity and a fast processor, most Android handsets are capable of wowing with the following 10 apps. Some of them may be novelty pieces that’ll you’ll only pull out to impress your friends with (they’re still a hundred times more fun than “drinking” an iPint), most of these free Android apps are genuine lifesavers at the best of times.

1. Layar

Augmented reality’s hottest title, Layar, uses the GPS, compass and camera to display information on your surroundings in real time. Either hold it in front of you, and see details on landmarks and points of interest, or search for something like ‘pizza’, and relevant locations will be displayed.


2. Metal Detector

And you thought the compass was only good for location-based functions. Using the little lump of magnet in your device, when pressed against metal (a set of keys, belt buckle or someone’s hidden weapon) Metal Detector announces its detection with alarming results.

Metal detector

3. Google Sky Map

Nevermind if you live in a city and can’t actually see stars, Google Sky Map will point them out on the screen using the GPS, accelerometer and compass. Planets, stars and constellations like you’ve never seen them before.

Google sky map

4. Tub Thumper

Use your Android’s touchscreen to its full potential by pretending you’re Mick Fleetwood with Tub Thumper. Tap drums in time to your favourite tracks, or make up your own songs on the acoustic and electronic skins.

Tub thumper

5. Gmote

Download the Gmote app on your Android, install the Gmote Server on your Mac or PC, and hey presto, you can use your mobile as a remote control for your computer when watching movies or listening to music.


6. Movies by Flixster

Watch movie trailers, see movies that are on near you (using GPS, naturally) and read reviews, from the world’s largest online movie network with Movies by Flixster.

Movies by flixster

7. BreadCrumbz

As the name suggests, drop little virtual breadcrumbs as you go about your business. Using the GPS, BreadCrumbz tracks your route, displaying pictures so you know exactly how to get to the location again, particularly useful if you’re on foot. The one downside is that the little toast icon that appears in the update curtain makes us crave carbs like never before.


8. Chomp SMS

We may’ve just been extolling the virtues of Android against the iPhone, so why suggest Chomp SMS, an app that turns the text message interface into an iPhone replica? Granted, it’s a cleaner look, but also uses an easier virtual keyboard than your Android can offer…and yes, it looks just like the iPhone’s, how ever did you guess?

Chomp sms

9. Barcode Scanner

Use the camera to scan a barcode on a DVD, book, CD or other product, and Barcode Scanner can find details online about the product, including the cheapest price online, reviews and even passages of text if it’s a book.

Barcode scanner

10. Bonsai Blast

Free (decent) games are hard to come by on the Android platform, but Bonsai Blast proved so addictive we’ve finished it twice now. Essentially a new take on the puzzle format, it has 24 increasingly difficult levels which will ensure you miss your train stop at least once while playing it.

Bonsai blast


(via TechRadar)