Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Best Best Android Apps Lists List

I'm sure a lot of people have had the same problem I've been struggling with for the past couple of weeks. I purchased a fancy new HTC Android phone, and immediately got lost in the Google Play store trying to find the best apps for my new toy. Then I checked online to try to find useful lists of the best Android apps, only to find that there's an equally confusing tangle of those lists. For those who are similarly struggling, I've taken a little time and put together a list of the best lists of Android apps: it's the "Best Best Android Apps Lists List":

  1. PCPro's 25 Best Android Apps. Pros: There's a manageable number of suggestions on this list -- I don't know about you, but when I see a list with more than fifty suggestions, I start to glaze over. Frankly, I think it's just a scheme to get you to flip through a huge number of pages with advertisements. Ten is usually too few to be useful, and so to my mind, twenty-five is the sweet spot. Cons: The only thing I really find objectionable is that it's British, and so the prices are in pounds. Why do the British object so much to joining the Euro? That really pisses me off.
  2. Digital Trend's Best Android Apps. This has a few too many suggestions, but it mitigates the harm caused by including seventy apps by giving a sensible set of categories you can skip to without having to page through too many irrelevant lists. I also insist on seeing a good-sized screenshot of each app before I go to the Google Play store. And unlike a lot of other lists, this one includes links directly to the download section of Google Play. This is very helpful, and it's strange to me that so many lists don't take the time to do this.
  3. The Business Insider List of Best Android Apps. The strength of this list is that it includes some unusual suggestions (Ancrestry.com's app, for example) in addition to the usual suspects (Evernote, for example). It's a very short list, and so it wouldn't be useful if it just listed the same apps we always see.
  4. TechCrunch's Best Android Apps of 2012. For some reason, it seems to be very unusual to include both iPhone and Android apps on the same list, even though there's obviously a lot of overlap in their offerings. One weakness of this list is the inclusion of Google Maps. I call this a weakness not because Google Maps isn't a great app (it definitely is!), but that it's too obvious -- isn't the purpose of a "Best Apps" list to alert the readers to apps they don't know about? In keeping with TechCrunch's emphasis on providing interesting news, there seems to be a focus on apps that provide information as opposed to games, for example. But if you're a regular reader of TechCrunch, this list isn't to be missed.

I hope this helps other new owners of Android phones who have gotten lost in the thicket of "Best Android Apps" lists.