Using your Android phone should be fun. Whether you own an early G1, use aMotorola Droid, or just picked up the new HTC One X+, you can grab plenty of fun apps that will keep you entertained.
But with over 30,000 apps now available in the Android Market, finding the real entertainment apps and android games can take a while. Here are our top ten entertainment essentials to get you started. Best of all, most of them are free.
Gigbox (Free) developed by Gigbox team
Gigbox is an excellent app for concert lovers from all over the world. Here you can find location, artists or venues as per your choice. You will get notified if your favourite artist is playing near your place. Ticket links will be at your service for the bands in town. It will also help with directions to reach the concert (Google maps) ones you are all set to rock. Not only this, you will be able to see artist biographies, artist pictures and music videos, similar artists etc. Hold on, once you are in the concert you can enter the app’s live mode to chat and share pictures with others around you. Gigbox will save the experience online which you can cherish anytime once you are back from the event.
Flixster Movies (Free), Flixter Inc.
The definitive app for movie fans is Flixster Movies. Using your current location, Flixster Movies finds the theaters nearest to you and lists the latest openings. You get the showtimes for each movie and theater–and if you can’t decide which movie to see, you can check out IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes ratings or watch trailers.
Flixster Movies also links with your Facebook account, so you can share your own ratings and comments about the film you just watched. And in case you’re heading home and want to pick up a DVD, Flixster Movies keeps you up-to-date with the latest DVD releases and ratings.
Pandora radio is a personalized radio service that streams music on your phone. Pandora is free, personalized radio that plays music and comedy you’ll love.
Pandora might have joined the Android party a little late, but the service is still a big favorite for Internet radio. If you’re a new user, just start with the name of an artist you like, and Pandora will automatically create a virtual radio station especially tailored to your musical tastes.
For users in the United States, Slacker’s Internet radio app (free) is also highly regarded; phone owners in the U.S., UK, and Germany can also stream music with Last.fm’s Android app. Premium members of the much-talked-about Spotify music service in the UK, Sweden, Spain, France, and Norway also get a Spotify Android app.
Gmote (Free/$2 Donation)
Control your computer’s media player from your phone. Stream music to your phone Turns. The large screen of your Android phone is an ideal place for controlling the media library on your computer, and Gmote handles the task gracefully. Through this app, you can use your phone to control movie and music playback via Wi-Fi. Gmote also has a built-in file browser, and can stream music from your PC to your phone.
Setup involves just three easy steps: First, you install the app on your Android phone. Next, you put its server client (which takes only a few minutes to configure) on your PC or Mac. Finally, you fire up Gmote on your handset, and it connects to your PC. Enjoy your new touchscreen remote!
Although video streaming from cell phones isn’t new, Qik is handy for live streaming to the world. Setting up and streaming your live video takes only a couple of minutes, and you never know–maybe you’ll capture breaking news.
Qik gives you several basic settings for privacy and titling, and you can share your precious moments on social networks too. The app is easy to use, and the big start/stop streaming button helps you get the job done quickly. Just make sure you’re in a good reception area, or the video quality gets really jerky.
Twidroid (Free/$4.89 Pro)
You can find plenty of Twitter clients for Android phones, but Twidroid stands out with its sleek interface and ease of use. This full-featured client can also shorten URLs and post photos.
If you’re a power user, consider Twidroid Pro ($4.89), which supports multiple accounts, various color themes, video posting, and added features such as the ability to shake the phone to refresh. Seesmic for Android is definitely worth a look, as well. And to keep up with other aspects of your social life, don’t forget to download the official Facebook app.
When you have more than one photo-sharing account, uploading the same batch of pictures on each service can become time-consuming. That’s where PicPush comes in handy: It can automatically share pics and videos from your phone with several major services at the same time.
PicPush easily uploads images to Facebook, Flickr, Gallery, PhotoBucket, Picasa, Shutterfly, and SmugMug. You need enter your various login credentials just once; afterward, let PicPush do the rest in the background (even during phone calls, if you like).
Shazam (Free) 3.12.1-JB76804 , shazam entertainment limited
Unlimited, lightning-fast tagging. Music – identify songs in as little as 1 second, preview or buy the track, get streaming lyrics, YouTube videos and more. TV – US fans, tag TV shows ANYTIME for music, celebrity buzz, trivia and more.
Shazam snags song information out of thin air. Just point your phone toward a source of music, and Shazam will tell you the title and the artist. You can then buy the song easily from the Amazon MP3 store.
If you want even more details on the catchy tune you just discovered, Shazam lets you see related videos on YouTube or links you to the artist’s MySpace page. Shazam’s database contains most major recording artists to date, and is quite effective in identifying lesser-known bands also.
PicSay (Free/$1.99 Pro)
Spice up your pictures with the free edition of this powerful Photo editor This is the free Lite edition, buy PicSay Pro and get a host of extra tools, special effects, styles, stickers, and much more. The fun award winning photo editor.
Your Android phone has a pretty good camera–but PicSay can improve it further. This nifty picture editor lets you spice up your photos right on your handset and share them with your friends.
You can perform color corrections, distortions, and cutouts, as well as add touches such as word balloons or props. The interface is easy to use, and you can share the results via e-mail or picture messages.
If you’re into simply fine-tuning photos rather than adding blurbs and captions, consider the Adobe Photoshop.com app (free).
This fun little app from Shinycore Software lets you edit and modify photos on your phone. Though technically a “lite” version of the company’s PicSay Pro, the feature set is pretty thorough — the only real drawback is that larger photos will be resized to fit the G1’s screen.
You can add speech balloons, any of a range of text styles, and images like hearts and stars to your photos. Or if you’re feeling less whimsical, you can modify the picture’s contrast, tint, hue and saturation levels; flip and rotate your image; and do other basic editing tasks.
When your masterpiece is complete, you can send the picture via e-mail or MMS, upload it to Picasa, set it as an icon or as wallpaper, or hand it to another app to upload to a blog, send to Twitter and more, depending on what compatible applications you have installed.
TuneWiki is a simple and effective app that automatically displays song lyrics as you listen to music on your phone. The app pulls the lyrics from an Internet database, so what you read might not always be the best match, but in my tests it proved to be pretty accurate.
The app also lets you search for the corresponding YouTube video of the song you’re currently enjoying. In addition, you can share what you’re hearing with others in your area, and use Google Maps to find out what songs people around the world are listening to.
TuneWiki is a replacement for Android’s built-in media player, offering a number of nice features. Most notable is the lyric scroll, which pulls lyrics off the Internet and scrolls them along with the song.
Other features include integrated Last.fm and Shoutcast radio streaming, YouTube video search, and community features like popular song lists and “music maps” that let you see where people are listening to the same song you are.