Okay, I’ve had my Droid for about a month, and I no longer bring my laptop in to work with me every day. Yes, my Droid has replaced my Sony VAIO ultraportable laptop.
Granted, in addition to my Droid, I’ve added a 320GB passport external hard drive containing all the files on my laptop, a mini USB cable and a mini-to-micro USB adapter, and a Bluetooth dongle (for faster file transfers from my work PC) to my daily gadget paraphernalia. But those are ancillary and could easily be forgone. Also, this is the busy time of the year at my day job, which is also a factor in my not carting my laptop back and forth. But it is a very real testament of how powerful a little computer the Droid is that I’ve felt capable of leaving my heretofore perpetual sidekick at home.
I also went app happy, which is another reason I feel able to leave my laptop behind. The apps I’ve installed have extended my Droid’s functionality, providing me with (most of) the missing tools to make it a viable alternative to my laptop.
Currently, I’ve got over 50 installed—all free with one notable exception—and I continue to regularly peruse Android Market for shiny, new ones. Over the next couple days, I’ll list my Top 10 Most Useful and Top 10 Fun apps as well as some honorable mentions. For today, here’s my Top 10 Most Essential Apps (compiled in alphabetical order).
Top 10 Essential Apps:
- Advanced Task Killer (Free): Kills applications running in the background that I don’t want up in order to keep my Droid zipping along.
- ASTRO File Manager: Directory navigation, file/folder management, etc. If this hadn’t been free, I would’ve happily paid for it.
- AudioManager Widget: Home screen widget to get live readings of and adjust volume levels.
- Bluetooth File Transfer: Lets me use FTP and Object Push Profile (OPP) to send and receive files wirelessly to and from my Droid/PC.
- Documents to Go: The only app I paid for. The free version allows you to view MS Word and Excel files and attachments; the pay one lets you edit them as well as provides a PDF viewer and a PowerPoint viewer/editor. Yes, I can now write on my Droid.
- Dophin Browser: A better browser than the default IMO. Provides multi-touch/pinch-to-zoom, tabs, and gesture recognition, and I think it’s faster, too.
- Photoshop.com Mobile: Edits and transforms photos—crop, rotate, flip, saturate, blur, etc.
- SysTray Monitor: Provides a status bar indicator for battery percentage remaining and SD space, internal storage, and RAM memory available.
- WeatherBug: Location specific and ongoing current conditions, forecasts, maps, severe weather alerts, etc.
- WiFi Status: Places a notification in the status bar if wifi is turned on and you are not connected to a network. Saves battery life.