Android and Me

10 Of The Best Free Applications For Android

5 years ago 43

Android Market is growing by leaps and bounds almost daily. Market is growing so quickly it can often be a challenge to find the good applications from the bad. Here is a list of 10 applications that I have found worth keeping. Hopefully you will find an application or two you haven’t heard of and find useful. Please feel free to leave comments for other free applications worth our time.

Pkt Auctions

Pkt Auctions

OK, granted this is the only eBay applications but it is still worth a look if you spend any time at all on eBay. I’m not spending nearly as much time on eBay as I once did but I much prefer this application to eBay’s mobile site. The interface is straightforward and breaks up the listing in such a way that makes browsing even a large number of listings a breeze. If you want to see the original list, Pkt Auctions will display it as well.

Any Clip

This application works in concert with an iGoogle widget of their own web site. When first using Any Clip it gives you a special code to input on the Any Clip site and the iGoogle widget. This code links the web and mobile applications together. What is so special about this application is it simply pushes notes to the mobile device. Those notes can be anything. A few ideas that come to mind are URLs, email addresses, phone numbers, shopping lists, to-dos, Wi-Fi Keys and more.

Contacts Cleanup

Contacts Clean-Up

Perhaps I’m a little OCD about my contacts but I like having uniform format across all of my contacts. There aren’t many tools to help me in that endeavor for Google Contacts but this one at least cleans up the phone numbers. You can format the numbers four different ways, preview the changes and then apply and re-run as needed for new contacts. The whole process is very quick, less than a minute for nearly 400 contacts. Contacts Clean-Up hasn’t messed with any of the International numbers I have for some contacts, so you need not worry about those. I’d venture to say this app may only work for +1 (US/Canada/Caribbean) formatted numbers.


PingDroid is a client for Android. allows for easy updating to an ever growing number of social networks and other services, including posting to blogs. I’ve had the chance to get a sneak peak at the next release which will include support for and in addition to’s own URL shortener service. One additional new feature will be the ability to select PingDroid from the browser through the menu and Share this page. I’ve been playing with these new features and I really like them a lot. PingDroid loads faster than’s own mobile site with a simple GUI negating the need to remember any special formatted commands to use via IM.

Night Clock

Night Clock

Night Clock is a real no nonsense alarm clock that does what it does without all the fancy bells and whistles. When launched Night Clock uses the entire screen in landscape mode. Long press the speaker icon to set the alarm clock. I love how the alarm is programmed; simply drag your finger left or right to adjust the alarm time. Use your own audio files for your alarm sound. To turn off the alarm just exit the application. I do wish the font of the clock took up more real estate on the screen. I like this app because it has been dependable and while it may not have as many options or settings it just works. It also serves well as a night time bedside clock.


I like having the added security of screen lock enabled but it annoys me when it enables every time the screen goes dark. AutoLock solves the problem by allowing you to set the time frame before the screen lock becomes active. For quick screen locking enable the Home screen Lock option in settings. A Lock icon will appear on the home screen, select the icon and press the End key to lock the screen immediately.

Pixel Pipe


I’m the first to admit the G1′s camera isn’t what I’d expect from a mobile device released in 2008, nevertheless for the pictures I do take I want a way to send them out somewhere. PixelPipe supports sending images to a number of sites such a Twitpic, Flickr, blogs and more. Better still, PixelPipe works on a number of different platforms including S60, Windows Mobile, and even via email for the platform agnostic among us. PixelPipe’s delivery of images is speedy and very reliable.


Weather is a small, a mere 265kb, weather application. Weather supports multiple cities with a simple slide to either the left or right to scroll through your cities. Weather’s configuration is straight forward without a lot of flare giving the highs and lows along with a small graphic for several days. For more in-depth detail Weather takes you to Weather Underground‘s mobile site. So many weather applications are loaded down with graphics  and try to bring every detail of the weather to your handset.  What you usually need to know can be covered with high’s, low’s and a small graphic depicting the day’s outlook. Similar to Night Clock, the less is more approach works well for this application.

SMS Backup

SMS Backup

Who among us hasn’t wanted to save SMS from time to time? Thanks to SMS Backup not only can you save some of your SMS, you can save them all. By enabling IMAP for your Gmail account, SMS Backup will upload your SMS to Gmail to read, forward and search as if it were any other email sent or received. I love being able to find messages when I need them. No longer do I need to keep a large volume of messages on my device when I can view them anytime right along with my email. Google Apps users: SMS Backup works for your email accounts too.


Locale has a lot of options to change everything from Display to Wireless settings. There are several applications that allow easy profile settings but most are a manual process. Locale takes profile settings further and enables profiles based on location. It uses either GPS or Wireless GPS to determine the device’s location and then changes profiles accordingly. With Locale I have profiles for home, work and other locations and almost never open Locale. Locale has a couple plug-ins with an API in the works to allow others to create their own plug-ins. Locale has released two plug-ins thus far: Twitter and SMS. Both send messages to either Twitter or via SMS. I’ve used a lot of different profile managers over the years on a number of different platforms and I can easily say Locale is among the best.