Tag Archives: Android

Top 20 tried-and-true Android smartphone aps

Jason provides his list of the top 20 tried-and-true Android smartphone apps that are worth your time to download.

The Android Market may not have as many apps as the iPhone App Store yet, but there are still more than enough to be overwhelmed, and it continues to grow at a breakneck pace. To help you sort through them all, here is my latest list of the 20 most useful Android apps (this is an update of my 2010 Android list). I’ve also recently updated my list of the most useful iPhone apps and you’ll notice several of the same apps on both lists.

Remember that I primarily had business professionals in mind when making this list and also keep in mind that this is a snapshot in time. The Android platform is developing so quickly that I guarantee my home screen will look different a month from now.

Still, here’s my list of tried-and-true Android apps that I can highly recommend.

1. Google Voice

Google Voice is a service that is so useful I consider it one of the top benefits of Android itself. The service gives you a phone number that can ring to multiple places or devices and it allows you to access all of your voicemail and text messages from the Web. The Android app integrates even deeper. It can make outgoing calls look like they’re coming from your Google Voice number so that you can keep your real mobile number private.

2. Advanced Task Killer

One of the realities of having a multitasking mobile OS is that you have to manage your apps so that they don’t hurt performance or battery life. Advanced Task Killer (ATK) is my favorite on Android. It even comes with a widget that you can tap once to kill all open apps and you can also set up ATK to kill all apps at periodic intervals. Some people will argue that task managers are irrelevant and unneeded in Android, but I still prefer to use ATK.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox is a great cloud service that automatically syncs a folder of files between multiple computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux). This app extends Dropbox to Android and interacts with other apps (such as Documents To Go) to open the files. It allows you to access PDFs, image files, and business documents by simply dragging them to a folder on your computer and then you immediately have access to them from your mobile phone, once you have this app installed.

4. Evernote

Once you get used to typing on a virtual keyboard (and it honestly took me over a year to do it), then these devices are great for note-taking, and Evernote is a great note-taking app. It is similar to Dropbox in that it saves data locally but syncs it across all your machines and devices.

5. Taskos

There are plenty of to-do apps to choose from on Android but I now prefer Taskos because of the clean, easy, Android-friendly user experience. It also has a few extras that give it an advantage over apps. The biggest one is voice recognition, which lets you speak a task that the app turns into a to-do item (you might have to correct a word or two).

6. DroidAnalytics

For some reason Google doesn’t have an official app for Google Analytics (for either Android or iPhone). The best one I’ve found on Android is DroidAnalytics. Another good one is mAnalytics.

7. Documents To Go

The free version of Documents To Go offers a great little reader for Microsof Word and Excel files. You can upgrade to the full version (for $15) if you want to be able to create and edit files and add PowerPoint files to the mix. If you do want editing capability, I’d also recommend taking a look atQuickOffice.

8. Google Docs

If you mostly work with Google Docs (including uploading Microsoft Office files to your Google Docs repository) then the only app you’ll really need is the Google Docs app. It’s a nice mobile implementation of document management, although the one annoyance is that always open up files in a web browser rather than within the app itself, which would be a little smoother.

9. Tripit

I dig Tripit. It is by far the best app I’ve found for keeping track of all my travel itineraries. It runs on some great backend systems. You simply forward your confirmation emails for your flights, hotels, rental cars, and more to Tripit and it automatically organizes them into trips with all your details and confirmation numbers. Or, if you use Gmail, you can even use a plugin to automatically catch confirmation emails and turn them into Tripit trips.

10. Places

This is an awesome app for finding shops and services near your current location. From restaurants to medical facilities to taxis, this app is very accurate and takes advantage of the business information from Google Local. This app is better than the info you get from a GPS unit (or app) and better than any of the similar apps available on the iPhone. It’s also integrated into Google Maps.

11. Astro File Manager

Another one of the great things about Android (if you’re a geek or a tinkerer) is that you have lower-level access to the system itself. Astro is an app that lets you navigate the Android file system, which is mostly just interesting, but can be handy once in a while.

12. Speed Test

I’m obsessed with running speed tests to check my bandwidth in various places, both to see 3G/4G fluctuations and to check the quality of Wi-Fi. There are a number of really good speed test apps, but my favorite is the Speedtest.net app. It’s generally consistent and it has some of the best graphics and options.

13. Amazon Kindle

I’ve never completely warmed up to the Amazon Kindle e-reader, but I’m a big fan of the Kindle mobile app. Since it was released I’ve read a lot more books simply because my smartphone is always with me and I can pull it out and read a few pages anytime I’ve got a couple minutes free.

14. Google+

I’ve written a lot about Google+ since it launched in July and I’m pretty active over there (+emkaytsg). One of the great things that Google did was to release a Google+ Android app at the same time it launched the service as a beta. And, surprisingly, the app was actually pretty good and has been improved since. It immediately became one of my most used mobile apps and definitely stole some of my time away from Android’s Twitter app, mostly because Google+ is a little more interactive.

15. TED Air

The TED conference features a meeting of the minds of some of society’s most influential thinkers. You’ll disagree with some of them since there’s a large diversity of viewpoints, but many talks are worth listening to in order to catch the latest creative thinking on society’s biggest challenges. The cool thing is that they’ve taken the videos from the conference and made them freely available on the Web. The TED Air app provides a great way to access the videos on a mobile device. I hope more conferences follow TED’s lead on this.

16. Google Goggles

This is a fun app that is a little bit ahead of its time. It does visual searches. You can take pictures of things and then the app tries to tell you what they are. It’s limited in its scope but it is pretty cool, and it’s definitely a peek into the future. One of the coolest features is the ability to take pictures of text in a foreign language and let the app translate it for you. In a foreign country, this can help you read street signs and avoid going into the wrong bathroom. 🙂 On a more practical level, Goggles is a QR code reader.

17. Photoshop Express

Photoshop is, of course, the best known photo editor in the world and its mobile app doesn’t do anything to hurt that reputation. But while the desktop version is known for having a zillion features, the mobile app is distinguished by its simplicity. It’s the best Android (and iPhone) photo editing app for simple crops, brightness adjustments, and sharpens, for example.

18. Audible

As much as I like the Kindle ebooks, I actually consume more books as audiobooks via Audible. With the Audible app you can connect to your Audible library and download over the air. The app also gives you a self-contained player optimized for audiobooks, with a skip-back-30-seconds button and the opportunity to make notes and bookmarks (although I wish the app would store these online so that they could be accessed from the Audible site).

19. Shazam

If you want to impress your friends with a mobile app, show them Shazam. Ever hear a song being played at a store or on the radio and ask yourself, “Oh, what song is that?” That’s where Shazam comes in. Just hit the button and let it listen for 15 seconds, query its database, and then return the name of artist and the song. It has about an 80% success rate. This one isn’t particularly productive, but it is really cool. (You have to live a little, every once in a while.)

20. Google Finance

This is a great little app that regularly gets overlooked. It connects to your Google Finance account, where you can set up a list of stocks and companies to follow and sort them into groups (portfolios). The app provides three simple tabs — a look at the market, a look at your portfolios, and the latest market news. It even does real-time updates when you have the app open.

Other Non google APS which are very good.

  1. KeePass for Passwords. Save password file in DropBox and will be automatically synced to desktop, etc. KeePass is OpenSource.
  2. WeatherBug – tried weather.com and Moto’s built-in, but WeatherBug works best for me
  3. RadarNow – Fast, accurate radar map of current location
  4. WhitePages-free version – driving around town and need to look up a restaurant number – use WP’s. Can then add the number/business to contacts.
  5. Google Reader – sync with Google Reader, RSS feeds, etc.
  6. Dolphin browser because I like tabbed browsing. . .
  7. Fuel Log – if you like to track vehicle related stat’s
  8. Craig’s Notify – simply awesome tool to monitor Craig’s List for things you just can’t live without (ok, maybe just want!)
  9. Droid Light – who doesn’t need a flashlight now and then?
  10. 2X client – great, free Terminal services client.
  11. ebay,
  12. open signal maps,
  13. BBC news,
  14. Android Terminal Emulator,
  15. CoolReader (the best book reader out there, i.e. epub etc),
  16. ES File Explorer,
  17. HandyCalc,
  18. MyBackup Root,
  19. MoboPlayer,
  20. Telnet,
  21. SIP Droid,
  22. Wifi Analyzer
Add if you wish any .
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Mobile Marketing

 Mobile Marketing

23 Mobile Market Research Charts

Mobile marketing is on three out four marketer’s plans for 2011 according to Forrester Research. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, mobile marketing involves a layer of complexity due to the difference in platforms and devices. To help you understand this evolving marketplace, here are 56 mobile marketing facts including 23 charts. Each point is based on market research and can guide your marketing plans.

To facilitate use of this information, it’s broken into the following categories: mobile marketplace, mobile marketing, mobile social media, mobile apps, mobile advertising, SMS/text messaging, mobile commerce and location-based services (LBS). If you’re interested in mobile marketing, there’s something here for you.

Mobile Marketplace

  1. Mobile is ramping up faster than other technologies. Mary Meekerpredicts that 2012 will be the smartphone inflection point.
  2. About 30% of US mobile users have a smartphone in 2010 according toNielsen.
  3. Smartphones will grow by about one third to 43% of mobile users by 2015 according to eMarketer.
  4. US smartphone operating systems are in a tight competition. The top three systems are: Apple/iPhone with a 27.9% share, RIM/Blackberry with a 27.4% share and Android with a 22.7% share, based on The Nielsen Company data. It will be interesting to watch how well the iPhone fares on Verizon’s system and if it effects other Verizon customers.
  5. Blackberry’s desirability pales compared to iPhone and Android for next operating system choice among smartphone owners, The Nielsen Company survey showed. Note: Blackberries are popular among corporate users and teens. US Smartphone Owners Next Operating System
  6. Women are more likely to get an iPhone while men are more likely to get an Android according to The Nielsen Company.
  7. 2011 is projected to be the tipping point for U.S. smartphones according to forecasts by The Nielsen Company.
  8. Smartphone carrier loyalty as measured by The Nielsen Company over the last six months showed that a surprising 77.2% of customers stayed with the same carrier. This underscores the need to lock in new customers.
  9. How fast IS your cellphone? Four out of five The Nielsen Company surveyrespondents were familiar with 4G (which is mobile data speeds of more than 100 MBits/s) but only half of them knew what it meant.
  10. Seven out ten consumers are planning to get 4G service in the next twelve months The Nielsen Company survey found.
  11. Voice usage dominates work hours and apps dominate after work hours according to Zokem via ReadWriteWeb.

Mobile Marketing

  1. 75% of marketers are planning to add mobile to their marketing mix according to Forrester Research. It’s important to note that this may not be advertising related.
  2. The biggest categories of non-data usage for mobile phones are photographs and text messages according to Pew Research. This is important to consider when thinking about how mobile phone owners spend their time.
  3. How mobile phone users spend their time is becoming more important. Current usage is still dominated by email according to The Nielsen Company.

Mobile Social Media

  1. Social media usage on mobile devices continues to grow with 49.4million users projected in 2011; a 27% increase from 2010 according to eMarketer.
  2. Social media network usage on mobile internet and mobile phones continues to increase as a percentage of users. This is attributable to the fact that participants view social media as a communications format

Mobile Apps – It’s not just Apple anymore!

  1. 69% of U.S. smartphone owners had downloaded a mobile app as of October 2010 based on Ask.com and Harris Interactive research.
  2. The average number of downloads per smart phone downloader is 27 according to The Nielsen Company.
  3. The U.S. mobile app sweet spot is the 35-44 year-old age group, according to  Ask.com and Harris Interactive research.
  4. Smartphone users with income above $75,000 were more likely to download mobile apps according to the Ask.com and Harris Interactiveresearch.
  5. The top ten app categories for 2010′s fourth quarter based on page views were games, social networking, music and entertainment, mail/messaging, education/employment, weather, sports, maps, news/current events, and travel, according to Millennial Media.
  6. We won’t pay or will we? Apps continue to grow, free apps grow faster according to Distimo.
  7. Over 3 million downloads each day during December 2010 were generated by the top 300 free apps in U.S. while  350,000 paid apps were downloaded daily.
  8. Paid U.S. app downloads in December 2010 were 30% higher than June 2010 which shows that consumers are willing to pay for mobile apps (Distimo).
  9. Three different app payment options have emerged: paid app, free app with in-app purchases and paid app with in-app purchases according toDistimo.
  10. Average mobile app price has decreased since January 2010 according toDistimo.
  11. Total global mobile applications market is projected by the World Mobile Applications Market (2010 – 2015) research to be worth $25.0 billion by 2015.
  12. Apple’s App Store will account for about one in five dollars of the total global mobile applications market in 2015 according to World Mobile Applications Market (2010 – 2015).
  13. The global mobile applications market is expected have a CAGR of 29.6% from 2009 to 2014, the World Mobile Applications Market (2010 – 2015)calculates.

Mobile Advertising

  1. The mobile advertising market is sufficiently mature that IAB and Mobile Marketing Association has announced Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines.
  2. The U.S. is the second largest mobile advertising spending market globally after Japan, according to Smaato
  3. With a 2011 forecast of $1,24 billion growing to $5 billion in 2015, U.S. will close the gap according to Smaato.
  4. Average U.S. mobile advertising campaign range is $75,000 – $100,000 according to Smaato.
  5. The creative spend on U.S. mobile advertising campaigns averages 10-15% of the budget according to Smaato.
  6. Marketers use or plan to use a variety of mobile marketing techniques in 2010 and 2011. Most striking is the fact that less than half of them have a mobile website according to Forrester Research via eMarketer.
  7. Still searching for you on the go. US Mobile advertising market breaks out as follows: 46% search, 29% display/banner advertising, 20% SMS/text opt-in messaging, 3% mobile games and video and 2% apps according tomobileSquared via Smaato (October 2010).
  8. One-sixth of US mobile users have engaged with some form of advertising on their mobile phone based on Lightspeed Research for mobileSquared via Smaato. With anticipated growth of US mobile market, this translates to more users who will interact with mobile advertising.  
  9. Mobile ads are more effective across brand metrics based on Insight Express research. Bear in mind that this can be attributed to the medium’s newness.
  10. The top five mobile video stations are YouTube, Fox, Comedy Central, ESPN and MTV according to The Nielsen Company. These stations reflect the high usage by the teen and twenty-something demographic. Further, it shows that users are looking for entertainment, sports and news.
  11. U.S. Mobile local advertising market is expected to grow to about $2.0 billion by 2014 according to BIA/Kelsey.

SMS/Text Messaging

  1. 66% of U.S. mobile phone owners send SMS/text messages according to The Nielsen Company.
  2. Women send more text messages per month (716) than men do (555) based onThe Nielsen Company tracking.

Mobile Commerce

  1. One in three mobile phone owners accessed a retailer site or mobile shopping app based on research by ForeSee.
  2. 26% of mobile phone owners who haven’t accessed a retailer site or mobile shopping app, plan to according to ForeSee. This means that retailers must be on mobile platform or risk loosing opportunity.
  3. 73% of survey respondents favored using their smartphone to handle simple in-store tasks compared to 15% of survey respondents who preferred to interact with an employee, according to Accenture researchdone in ten countries (Note: This information doesn’t state which countries where surveyed.)
  4. One in nine shoppers (11%) bought something using a mobile device during 2010′s holiday shopping season, up from 2% in 2010 according to  ForeSee.
  5. How’s your mobile website experience? Shoppers preferred computer experience to mobile experience based on ForeSee‘s survey results.
  6. Almost seven out of ten shoppers check the store’s website while they’re in the retail establishment! (ForeSee)
  7. Shoppers use mobile websites to check for price comparisons (56%), product comparisons (46%), product information (35%) and product reviews (27%) based on ForeSee’s research.
  8. The competition is just a click away even when customer is physically in your store! Almost half (46%) of shoppers checked competitors’ website using a mobile device while in bricks and mortar stores, ForeSee found.
  9. Mobile commerce is approaching the same level of sales as online retail, based on Mary Meeker‘s projections.
  10. One out of three customers are interested in mobile loyalty program from trusted brands, based on Zoomerang’s October 2010 research for HipCricket. Of these shoppers, 90% received value from the program revealing potential marketing opportunity.
  11. 46% of those surveyed expressed willingness to use mobile coupons according to  Zoomerang’s October 2010 research for HipCricket.  More than double the amount from last year.

Location-based services (aka LBS) – Where are you now?

  1. Location-based service users increased roughly 200% in 2010, based on SNL Kagan.
  2. Location-based services are made for smartphone usage. This is shown by the drop in Internet usage on both Foursquare and Gowalla according toCompete.
  3. Location-based services as an advertising platform is still evolving as evidenced by the fact that less than half of advertisers have included it in their plans.

With smartphone usage projected to reach 50% in 2011, it’s time to consider how you’re going to incorporate mobile into your overall marketing mix. One thing is certain, whether you’re an online or offline organization, you need a mobile destination with supporting mobile search advertising, otherwise, you’re leaving an opportunity on the table. The reality is that consumers use smartphones to gather information about their purchase alternatives while they’re in a retail establishment. If you’re not present when they use their phone to search, they may leave and buy from your competitor.

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