Android Only: 30+ Unique Apps Exclusive to Android

The smartphone industry is evolving at a breakneck pace with Android leading the way. We have come to a point where Apple is cloning a few features that are part and parcel of the green robot.

As a neutral observer and critic, I notice that iOS apps tend to be really gorgeous. Some are beyond gorgeous and it’s just way too much eye candy for a 3.5 inch canvas. But when it comes to apps from every possible domain one can imagine, unrestricted by the walled garden of an API, Android wins the contest hands down.

After the break we have compiled a list of apps that are unique to our Android ecosystem. They all work out of the box, without the need for rooting. Do read on!

File Managers

ASTRO File Manager

ASTRO File Manager

ASTRO File Manager

ASTRO File Manager is the first free app everyone should download as soon as they activate their Android phone. This file manager helps organize your pictures, music, videos and other files just like the way you do on your desktop. If you hate the ads, upgrade to the pro version of the app!

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: Metago

File Expert

File Expert

File Expert

File Expert is a powerful file management and file transfer app that fits the bill perfectly if you transfer files via wireless. You can customize your version of the app with a variety of themes as well. Irrespective of the protocol – be it Bluetooth, WiFi, FTP or HTTP – File Expert ensures transfer of all your files effortlessly.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.0 and Up
Developer: Geek Software Technology Inc.

ROM Manager

ROM Manager

ROM Manager

Custom ROMs are beyond cool. And there are more flavors out there in the wild with each one having its own merits. ROM Manager helps you feed your ROM fetish by downloading, installing and backing them up seamlessly. Updating the ROM is just a click away. I highly recommend this app!

Price: $5.99
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.6 and Up
Developer: ClockworkMod

Utilities

Swype

Swype

Swype

After T9 predictive text, Swype is the wonderful technology that came to the rescue of smartphone users. It isn’t available in the Android Market, but you can download the beta version from their homepage. The effectiveness of an app like this depends a lot on how it copes with the fragmented ecosystem, but after seeing the number of screen layouts they support, I’m pretty sure it would play nice with any Android phone.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: Swype Inc.

Advanced Task Killer Pro

Advanced Task Killer Pro

Advanced Task Killer Pro

There are so many good days and a few bad ones if you happen to own a smartphone. On a typical bad day, a few apps might have conspired to clog your resources. With Advanced Task Killer, you get to keep these rogue apps in their best behaviour. If in doubt, give the lite version a try before forking out $4.99!

Price: $4.99
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: ReChild

Tasker

Tasker

Tasker

By automating everything from settings to SMS, Tasker grabs the attention of casual as well as power users. There are so many triggers, states and events that can make your mobile life easy. The developers make it very clear that not all features will work on all mobile phones, but most of them should. Check out this guide to get an idea of the power of this app.

Full Review: Tasker
Price: $6.48
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 1.6 and Up
Developer: Crafty Apps

Battery Defender

Battery Defender

Battery Defender

Even the standby time of a smartphone falls way shorter than the talktime of a featurephone. Battery technology is improving ever so often and we should be able to get a battery that will make our smartphones last forever(ish!). Until then we will have to make do with apps like Battery Defender.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: Infolife LLC.

Security

McAfee

McAfee

McAfee Mobile Security

It’s no wonder that a pioneer in protecting the world’s a largest desktop operating system platform has come to secure the largest mobile OS too. There are quite a few apps in the market from their stable, but it’s McAfee Mobile Security that offers 360 degree protection for your mobile phone. The app is a bit costly, but includes everything from virus scan to online backups.

Price: $29.99
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: McAfee Mobile Security

Norton Security and Antivirus

Norton Security and Antivirus

Norton Security and Antivirus

Norton Mobile Security Lite protects your mobile device against loss, theft and malware. There is no doubting Norton’s expertise in protecting against cyber threats (although, on desktops, bad memories of dead slow systems and inability to get it off the system may still linger).

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 2.2 and Up
Developer: Norton

AVG Security Pro

AVG Security Pro

AVG Security Pro

Well, I wasn’t expecting the world’s most popular free Antivirus solution to be a paid app in the Android Market! In addition to protecting your mobile against viruses, malware and spam, their ‘findR’ online service can help you identify the location of your phone if it’s lost or stolen based on GPS and cell tower ID.

Price: $4.99
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: AVG Mobilation

Kaspersky Mobile Security

Kaspersky Mobile Security

Kaspersky Mobile Security

On top of the regular threat elimination duties, Kaspersky acts as a dynamite call screening and anti theft app too. Remotely lock or wipe your phone if it is lost or stolen. Just send a SMS to a missing device to remotely activate protection. Similarly the app will lock down the phone and email you the number of the new SIM card, if a thief steals your phone and replaces the original SIM.

Price: $9.95
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: Kaspersky Lab

ESET Mobile Security

ESET Mobile Security

ESET Mobile Security

I’m a paranoid porcupine when it comes to securing my PC and I trust ESET to do that for me. Their award winning antivirus scanning engine combined with anti-spam and anti-theft features should be more than enough to ensure the safety of your smartphone. The app is still under development and is currently available for free since this is their release candidate.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.0.1 and Up
Developer: ESET

Media Players

PowerAMP Music Player

PowerAMP Music Player

PowerAMP Music Player

I have reviewed PowerAMP previously, and was impressed by its chops. With a ten band graphic equalizer, separate bass and treble adjustments, stereo eXpansion, scrobbling and more, this media player is the perfect fit for any audiophile. Download the free trial version first and buy the unlocker app separately to add more features.

Price: $5.17
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: Max MP.

Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player

Soon to be extinct, but unique to the Android ecosystem nonetheless, Adobe Flash Player brings the full web to your mobile phone. A bit of a resource hog and buggy at times, but the app lets you enjoy the same desktop experience on your mobile: Flash-powered websites, games, apps, videos and more.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.2 and Up
Developer: Adobe Systems

RealPlayer

RealPlayer

RealPlayer

Not long ago, RealPlayer was one of the rising stars amongst media players. Now the beta version of the app for Android lets you play all popular formats of media, not just Real media files. RealPlayer includes an intuitive user interface, playlist editor, widgets, searching, content folder selection, fast scrolling and a ton of other features to make your media experience more enjoyable.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 1.6 and Up
Developer: RealNetworks Inc.

Winamp

Winamp

Winamp

This cult favorite media player packs the same punch as its desktop version. Have a ton of music stored on your PC or Mac? Winamp will sync them all for you, even if the files are in the iTunes library. And for those always looking to hear fresh music, access to thousands of Internet radio stations is available through the SHOUTcast radio service.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: Nullsoft, Inc.

Privacy

Total Recall

Total Recall

Total Recall

I used Total Recall during my Symbian days. It was a trusted lieutenant that kept those confidential yet controversial calls for the record. In addition to offering extensive call recording capabilities that allow you to automatically or manually record your calls, the app also serves to record audio notes, lectures, and so on, with ease.

Price: $7.96
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.6 and Up
Developer: Killer Mobile.

Extreme Call Blocker

Extreme Call Blocker

Extreme Call Blocker

Apps like this are phenomenal demonstrations of the open ecosystem of Android. As the name plainly implies, Extreme Call Blocker prevents you from being annoyed by unsolicited calls and SMS messages. IT also lets you create a private SMS zone that replaces notifications with just a blink of the LED, which should help you stay discreet.

Price: $5.99
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version:1.5 and Up
Developer: GreyThinker.

History Eraser

History Eraser

History Eraser

A lot us tend to do things in our smartphones that is not worth letting the world know about. If you fall into that category, then you should have History Eraser handy. From browser history and call logs to clipboard data, the app covers all your tracks.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: Infolife LLC.

1-click cleaner

1-click cleaner

1-click cleaner

Apparently a lot of Android apps create a whole bunch of cache files which add up over time, slowing down the phone. 1-click cleaner is an easy, quick and effective way to recover some memory. Without any need for rooting, the app cleans cache files, SMS, browsing history, calling records and SD card files to free up more space for your smartphone.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: OPDA team

BitTorrent

uTorrent

uTorrent

uTorrent

The super fast and ultra light torrenting app is now available in the Android Market too. uTorrent Remote is one of the most elegant looking apps I  have seen on Android and helps you manage all the downloads and uploads you have got going in your desktop. Sadly, you cannot download a torrent file directly to the mobile, but once a file has downloaded to the desktop, it can be shifted directly for local playback.

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: BitTorrent Inc.

aTorrent

aTorrent

aTorrent

This ad-supported, free torrent app is perfect for downloading large files to your Android mobile or tablet. You can search for torrents, download from DHT, add magnet links, open torrents right from the browser and more!

Price: Free
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: Mobilityflow Bit

Swarm

Swarm

Swarm

Swarm is a lightweight BitTorrent client that supports multiple simultaneous downloads and integrates with file managers and web browsers. At $4.99 it’s pricey, but if you do a lot of P2P file transfers and aren’t satisfied with the free, ad-supported apps, don’t look elsewhere. The app lets you download torrents over Edge/3G/4G and Wifi.

Price: $4.99
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 1.5 and Up
Developer: Matt Munday

Customizaton

Beautiful Widgets

Beautiful Widgets

Beautiful Widgets

Widgets failed miserably in the open web. But when it comes to mobile, people can’t get enough of them! Beautiful Widgets is a bundle of beautiful set of widgets containing a clock widget, a clock and weather widget, weather widgets, date widgets and toggle widgets complete with skins/themes support.

Price: $2.84
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 1.6 and Up
Developer: LevelUp Studio

LauncherPro

LauncherPro

LauncherPro

LauncherPro is one of the uber popular launcher apps available on the Market. Even with the animated screen previews, the app doesn’t hog resources and is fast and powerful. It supports up to seven different homescreens and comes with a scrollable shortcut dock.

Price: $3.49
Lite Version Available?: Yes
Android Version: 2.0 and Up
Developer: Federico Carnales

WidgetLocker

WidgetLocker

WidgetLocker

Another one for widget lovers, but this little app makes your screen pop even after locking it. WidgetLocker is a lock screen replacement that puts you in control of the look, feel and layout of your lock screen. You can customize the slider’s looks to any of the popular styles from Ice Cream Sandwich to HTC Sense.

Price: $2.99
Lite Version Available?: No
Android Version: 2.1 and Up
Developer: TeslaCoil Software

Google Exclusives

Gesture Search

Gesture Search

Gesture Search

Gesture Search from Google lets you quickly find a contact, a bookmark, an application, or a music track on your device by drawing on the screen. Search results are updated as you add each letter or digit and becomes better over time by learning from your search history.

Android Version: 1.6 and Up

Google Maps

Google Maps

Google Maps

Well, there is a fabulous and functional version of the Google Maps apps built right into iOS. But, it isn’t anything like what Google offers for Android users. With turn by turn navigation, Places, Hotpot, Latitude, directions, and so on, Google Maps gives all other competitors a run for their money.

Android Version: 2.1 and Up

Google Docs

Google Docs

Google Docs

I love Google Docs with my heart and soul. In fact this very roundup was written entirely on the web app. I wish I had a fully functional native app for my iPhone and iPad. But as of this moment, it remains wishful thinking. However, when it comes to the Android app, you can edit as well as collaborate with others on your documents.

Android Version: 2.1 and Up

Chrome to Phone

Chrome to Phone

Google Chrome to Phone

We don’t always need a bookmarking app; sometimes all we want to do is take a URL we visited on the desktop and make it show up in our mobile browser. That’s where Chrome to Phone comes in. Once you install the Google Chrome extension of the same name, you can easily share links, maps, and currently selected phone numbers and text between your desktop Chrome browser and your phone. This one is our beloved editor’s favorite app too!

Android Version: 2.2 and Up
Full Article: From Chrome to Phone (and Back Again)


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