June 3, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Welcome, HTC EVO 4G users. You’re probably wondering what are the best EVO apps, but I’m here to tell you that’s a tough question. Androinica has covered the 60 Best Android Apps and that only scratches the surfaces of how many apps are in the Android Market.
So instead of overloading you with a long list of the best Android apps, we decided to ease you in and focus on 12 solid titles every HTC EVO 4G user should own. These are just the early recommendations; there are plenty more to grab, so enjoy!
P.S. Use Google Goggles or Barcode Scanner to read the QR codes (barcode squares next to images) and get download links on your phone. Make sure you check out our Android Beginner’s Guide for more tips and tutorials. AppBrain links are available in a widget at the bottom.
The first thing you need to grab when you get an EVO is Google Goggles. It’s a staple in the Android world because you can use it to perform a visual search, translate text into another language, scan QR codes to get download links or import data, or perform a product search. This will help you manage those freaky barcodes often spotted in articles.
Android doesn’t have a simple desktop solution for finding and downloading apps from the Android Market. App Brain is as close as you can get. This fantastic app lets users search the market from AppBrain.com, filter out spam apps, find recommendations, and mark apps that you wish to download. Then open up the App Brain market sync app and start downloading apps.
Video chat is available on the EVO with Qik, but the problem with that app is that it requires your friends to have Qik, too. Fring makes it possible to have live video calls on your phone using a platform your contacts probably already have: Skype. Fring takes advantage of the front-facing camera to do Skype video and audio calls, and it also supports audio/instant messaging on several protocols, including AIM, Google Talk, and MSN.
Note: Mobile Defense has been temporarily removed from the Android Market. If you need a similar app in the meantime, get LookOut.
The EVO is the only phone I use regularly. You know why? Because I’m an idiot who turned off the tracking software that would have helped me find my lost/stolen phone. Mobile Defense is a great system that allows you to go online and track your phone if it is every lost or stolen. The phone can be plotted on a map, locked to prevent compromised data, and wiped completely if you can’t recover it. Download Mobile Defense right now and minimize the risk of losing your phone.
SpeedTest.net Speed Test
Do you really want to pay $29.99 for the Hotspot feature to make your phone a Wi-Fi router on the go? Make sure it’s worth it with this app that can measure how fast Sprint performs in your area. SpeedTest.net’s popular bandwidth meter is also available on Android. This tool can perform multiple tests that help measure how fast your phone consistently and reliably reaches 4G or strong 3G speeds.
Cellular service varies in each market, so use SpeedTest to gauge how fast Sprint performs in your general area before you decide to add this on to your plan.
Sprint TV is included in your phone, but it doesn’t have all the content that you might desire. Take advantage of the EVO’s 4.3-inch screen and get more video programming from CBS-owned properties. Watch full episodes or clips of How I Met Your Mother and 60 Minutes, and get plenty more video clips from CNET, CW, or CBS News/Sports.
Be advised that certain clips will not load unless you have access to a Wi-Fi network. This is especially true for full-episodes, so plan according before thinking you’ll get to watch TV out in the boonies.
Homerun Battle 3D
A giant screen and a growing market for 3D games? Yeah, good job on choosing the EVO. There are plenty of games available for Android, but one worth highlighting is Homerun Battle 3D. The graphics in the game are cartoonish but top-level, and there’s plenty of fun to be had as you slug as many balls into the cheap seats as possible. Homerun Battle is a homerun derby game with upgrades and multiplayer supported by Android or iPhone if you upgrade to the paid version.
I’m sure you’re a Twitter fiend, and the extra large screen on the EVO boost tweet browsing. The official Android Twitter app is ok, but we still think quite a few people will be more interested in one of the many third-party alternatives. Our readers voted Seesmic as the best, but there’s also Touiteur, Twidroid, Twicca, and more. Read the full review with feature comparison chart here.
Seesmic separates itself from other Twitter apps because it’s not just a Twitter app. It’s a social networking tool that also supports Google Buzz, with more networks set to be added as new API’s and resources become available.
ASTRO File Manager
There will come a time when you need to get to your SD card contents. You may also need to backup apps to the SD card, read .zip files, view images, search within text and files, or use SFT/SMB/Bluetooth. Astro does all of that. It is simply a must-have, so grab it now.
It’s worth noting that ASTRO bears a “beta” tag set to expire next month, but I’ve been using this app for nearly two years and it has always had an expiration notice. On the off chance that it stops being free, I’ll still pay for it or switch to something similar like AndExplorer.
Dolphin Browser HD (or any browser)
Dolphin is a mobile browser on steroids, packing plenty of features and the ability to enhance the app with themes or plug-ins. It features visible tabs, gesture shortcuts, exporting bookmarks, syncing with Google services, and has a great interface.
If Dolphin doesn’t get the job done, there are plenty of alternatives. Opera Mini is the fastest browser I’ve used and has visual bookmark/tab management; xScope is a Chrome-like browser with great speed and simplicity; and Skyfire is a work-in-progress that looks great and displays Flash video better than Flash Lite on some occasions.
Another advantage of this gorgeous screen: video podcasts look great on it. Mediafly is a great podcast manager for audio and video feeds. Use this app to automatically download certain feeds, browse several channels, and listen/watch your favorite shows in style. Accessing lesser-known content can prove problematic, but this is great if you just need the most-known stuff.
Use Wi-Fi/4G if you can because the streams are high-quality. I’ve been watching Around the Horn and TWiT on it without issue.
The EVO straddles the line between phone and tablet, so take advantage of that large screen with an ereader app. Aldiko opens multiple formats, including ePub, and formats text to fit your screen just right. It also includes night/day modes to optimize lighting conditions, organizes content on a virtual bookshelf, and accesses both free public domain books and for sale titles.