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10 Best Free Starter Apps for any Android Phone - Samsung Intercept, LG Optimus V, Droid X


Top Ten Android Marketplace Starter Apps

The Android marketplace in an app wonderland. You have a little bit of everything- Games, Widgets, Social Network Apps, System Tools, and a little bit (maybe a lot) of Spam thrown in for good measure.

There are 70,000+ apps to choose from-It can be overwhelming, but in a good way *grin*. Think of a kid in a candy store trying to decide what to eat first!

You have to start somewhere, however. 

One of the Android devices I've used is the Samsung Intercept- I think I topped out at around 35/40 app installs on top of the pre-installed stuff. This may sound like a lot of apps, but compared to the Droid X, you can fit hundreds on it with no problem.

Fact is the internal space of many Android phones is fairly limited. Deciding which ones will make the cut can be a daunting task.

In the interest of helping you "start somewhere", here is a starter app list. These apps are great places to start whether you have a lower end phone with limited space or a tanker phone like the Droid X.


Adobe Reader

If your phone does not come with a built in PDF reader, the Adobe Reader app is a great free option. 

I do not suggest installing this if you already have an office app like QuickOffice or ThinkFree Office installed on your phone. The Samsung Intercept came with a ThinkFree office product, but the LG Optimus V (my current phone) did not come with any office product. 

According to AppBrain.com:

• Supports French, German, Italian, Dutch & Spanish

• Open PDF files from email, the web & device

• Pinch zoom, Flick scroll & Pan

• Reflow view to fit contents to screen for easy viewing


Barcode Scanner

Every phone needs a barcode scanner. You will need it to install apps from your PC browser because instead of links, many people only post the QRCode. 

There are lots of reasons to keep this app installed, but you may not find out what those reasons are until they are staring you in the face. I've uninstalled this app in the past, but I regretted uninstalling it each time. Word to the wise, just keep it installed. You never know when you might need it.

According to AppBrain.com:

  • Scan barcodes on products then look up prices and reviews.
  • You can also scan Data Matrix and QR Codes containing URLs, contact info, etc.
  • Also share your contacts, apps, and bookmarks via QR Code.

Lookout Mobile Security

Lookout is an excellent mobile security and antivirus app. We all know about the threats that are making their way to people's phones even through official sources like the Market. Lookout will stop these threats dead in their tracks. I like the Lookout line partly because the company is very responsive to current threats. 

Another awesome feature is the backup feature. Your contacts and photos will be backed up to the cloud on a regular basis (of course, you can disable this if you really want to). 

Lastly, the "Missing Device" feature will help you locate your phone if it goes missing by pinpointing its geographical location. It works best if you enable location option based on Wireless Networks.

According to AppBrain.com:

Security & Antivirus

- Block viruses, spyware

- Scan every app installed


- Contacts, photos, call history

- Access data online

Find My Phone

- Locate phone on map

- Activate loud alarm remotely


Uninstaller by Rhythm Software

According to AppBrain.com:

*Remove user application easily by single click!

*Display application name,version,install time and size

*Search application by name

*Various sort mode

*Exclude system applications that can not be uninstalled


Ebuddy Messenger

According to AppBrain.com:

★ Fast & reliable

★ Chat on multiple MSN (Windows Live), Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, GTalk, Hyves & MySpace accounts

★ All IM buddies in one list

★ Runs in background

★ Messages sent as data, not SMS/Text


AppBrain Marketplace Browser

According to AppBrain.com:

  • Finally it's possible to install Android apps from a web interface!
  • Browse the app market on www.appbrain.com from a desktop computer and use this app to install and uninstall apps with a sync!
  • App recommendations
  • Share apps (eg twitter / facebook)
  • Hot apps
  • Use "Fast Web Installer" for one-click install from web

TuneIn Radio

According to AppBrain.com:

  • Listen live to your favorite radio stations, DJs and programs and find new ones on local, global and Internet radio.
  • Find your faves with over 40,000 channels of music, sports, news, podcasts and national networks like BBC, NPR, SWR


According to AppBrain.com:

  • Learn about your favorite artists
  • Fnd nearby concerts
  • Share your music tastes with the Last.fm scrobbler
  • Plus, in the US, UK, and Germany: Your personal radio station on your phone: Choose an artist or genre and Last.fm builds the perfect playlist just for you!

Dolphin HD Internet Browser

Dolphin HD Browser is my favorite browser app on my LG Optimus V. I especially like it because of its LastPass addon integration.

In general, I love how easy it is to use the tabs, go full screen, use gestures to take me to the top or bottom of a page, and all of the addons make me feel like it's a PC browser. I am almost as comfortable using it as being on my computer.

  • Flash enabled! [only applicable for higher end phones]
  • Gorgeous!
  • Gestures!
  • Tabs!
  • ADD-ONS!!!

Add-ons include such titles as:

  • Read Later
  • Lastpass
  • Tab Mix Plus
  • Adblocker
  • ScreenCut
  • Web to PDF
  • Morning Coffee
  • Speed Dial
  • Google Services
  • Google Page Rank
  • Alexa Rank
  • Show IP

TuneWiki Social Media Player

If you've ever wanted a "catch all" media player for your Android phone or device, TuneWiki Social Media Player is the one.

It plays:

  • Music
  • Videos
  • Last.FM Radio in the app
  • SHOUTcast radio in the app
  • YouTube Music Videos
  • Lyrics - auto downloaded and streamed in the app during a song.

Other features include being able to see a map of music shows and see top music charts. You can search individual songs for their lyrics.

According to AppBrain.com:

  • Subtitled lyrics as you listen to your music,
  • Watch music videos
  • SHOUTcast™ radio feature.
  • Translated into 40+ languages, search for lyrics to over 2.5 Million songs.
  • Other features:

    Playback Widget,

    Facebook and Twitter integration,

    Top 50 charts.


gushchin from Novosibirsk on February 14, 2011:

Great article!

You might want to consider the list of Top 5 Android Backup Apps I created recently:


mra on November 01, 2010:

Now I am confused! Android is to to 100k apps this month, the phone only can use 35-40, it's preloaded with 15-20 apps. I have used many of the apps Dana features here. i do like all the choices, but how to find the 30-40 useful apps and disregard the 90,960 useless ones?

mra on November 01, 2010:

Put a bug in your ear did I? Do you have VM? It's so awesome, Easy Tether is another great app. I can get .5mbps tethered internet to my laptop in my living room. I have not tried yet out side where reception is better, but reports are good, up to 14 mbps in a good area. VM offers the unlimited 3G for $40 on an air card, but an intercept would pay for itself using the $25 a month option.

SteveoMc from Pacific NorthWest on October 17, 2010:

Awesome stuff Dana, what a neat platform.