I’ve had my Android phone for about six months now so I thought it was high time to list my favourite apps. I’m a cheapskate, so they’re all free.
Abduction – this game makes fantastic use of the Android’s tilt detector (I think the technical term is an Accelerometer). You control a cow as it hunts down the aliens who’ve kidnapped other cows. The character automatically jumps constantly all the time and your task is to steer the cow to the platforms which litter the levels, or it falls and dies.
Angry Birds – the classic. You can get Angry Birds Lite and Angry Birds Seasons for free, and they are addictive! For some reason, green pigs and bird are enemies. The pigs hide themselves in structures which you have to destroy by firing birds at them through a catapult. Different types of birds have different abilities – white ones drop eggs to cause damage, blue ones split into three when you tap the screen – and the challenge is to make the best use of their abilities at the best angle to destroy all the pigs. You get a lot of levels.
Barrrr – in this game, you run a pirate bar. It’s a little bit like The Sims. Your pirate customers have a bubble above their head showing what they want, and it’s your task to steer them to it, such as sending them to the bar then to the tattoo artist. Do your job efficiently and well and they will pay more. In later levels you will get additional items for your customers to use (including, incongruously, a games console) and you have to manage the queues of pirates waiting to use each item. The game is fun but there are only ten levels and it’s really quite easy. Still, for a freebie, who’s complaining?
Stupid Zombies – the new Angry Birds. Like it’s predecessor, this rewards thinking about the physics of each level. You play as a zombie hunter and have to clear each level of zombies using only five bullets, or less if you can. The bullets bounce off the walls, ceiling, floor and platforms, so you have to work out the likely bounces in order to get the zombies in difficult places. To liven it up, some levels have exploding barrels or platforms that block your shots, which you have to move by shooting a button. I’m a bit addicted.
Shazam – a must download. Load this app, hold it up to a piece of music, tap the Shazam logo and it will tell you what the song is, who it’s by and what album it’s on. Perfect when you hear a song you love but don’t know what it is. On the free version you can check five songs a month.
3g Watchdog – ideal to keep track of how much of your internet allowance you’ve used. Input your billing period and allowance and it will tell you how much you’ve used as a percentage. Perfect to make sure you never exceed your limit.
Google Maps – very useful if you need to work out how to get somewhere! This will eat up your internet allowance though, so try to look it up when you’re using wifi if possible!
Facebook – enough said.
Amazon Kindle – yes, you can download this for free. You have to pay for most book downloads, of course, but you can get the old ones which are free because they are out of copyright. I’ve got Pride and Prejudice, for example.
BBC News – I don’t think this app if official, but it is pretty good all the same. It brings breaking news alerts to your phone’s home page, and you can read various BBC News articles by opening the app. It is usually slightly out-of-date though.
Colour Flashlight – this turns the screen of your phone into a bright light, useful when you can’t find your keys!
Google Sky Map – brilliant for those with even a passing interest in astronomy. Point your phone at the heavens and it will tell you what you’re looking at. Even works inside! Is that a star or a planet? Find out with this app.
Flixster – a great cinema app. It will detect your local cinema and tell you what’s on and when. You can read reviews, find out who’s in the film and how long it is.
The Free Dictionary – useful if you need to look something up.
Google Shopper – use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode of an item and the app will tell you what it is, where else you can get it and how much for. Great if you suspect you can buy something cheaper elsewhere.
There you have it! What are your favourite apps?