10 cool Android apps to start the year

10 cool Android apps to start the year

Summary: There are so many apps in the Google Play store it can be hard finding those useful gems. We've done the work for you with these 10 cool Android apps.

TOPICS: Mobility, Android, Apps

 |  Image 1 of 11

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • 10 cool Android apps

    The greatest thing about Android is the number of apps available. These range from silly, whimsical apps to some very useful ones. It's hard to find the latter given the 100s of thousands in the store but we've done some work for you.

    The apps in this collection include some good utilities that may help you get the most out of your Android phone or tablet. They include an app that will help you find the best deal on products based on a simple scan of a barcode. There's one that lets you see and respond to text messages on your tablet. 

    These are just a couple of the apps in this collection of 10. You may find one or two you haven't seen before.


  • RedLaser

    Apps that can read product barcodes are a dime a dozen, but this app from the folks at eBay take this act much further. It can read most major retail barcodes and then check thousands of retailers to find the best deal on the scanned product.

    You can then buy the product online from the app or have it show you local retailers that have the product at the lower price. 

    From the developer:


    • Scan all major retail barcodes (including UPC, EAN, UPC-E, and EAN-8) and QR codes

    • Search for prices from thousands of online retailers for millions of products

    • Search hundreds of local retailers to compare prices, find the nearest locations, and even check out books at the library

    • Buy on the go, right from your phone. Have items shipped to your home or pick up in-store from select local retailers

    • Get product descriptions, reviews, and nutritional information to help you make the right decision

    • Find deals and coupons from many merchants. You can view top deals of the day or browse deals by store.

    • View popular products scanned by other RedLaser users

    • Create personalized QR codes with your info, contacts, website’s URL, location and more with our powerful QR code engine

    • Create shopping, wish, and gift lists to share with friends and family. Also great for archiving your book, CD, DVD, and even your wine collection

    • Keyword, Voice, and Image recognition search to find the best deal, even when you don’t have a barcode handy

    Free on the Google Play store

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apps

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Line

    Line allows you to do same as Verizon messages but in a wide range of devices Phone/PC/tablets on any network. Why not mention that instead of one limited to a network.
    • Line is completely different to Verizon messages

      It's more like Viber, Whatsapp. It's totally different.
  • Android. Too Many Apps. Lack of Cohesion regarding Releases....

    The Android focus is well off mark becoming increasingly fragmented. Too many Apps. Too many Android versions and a general lack of focus. Too many Kit Kats, Jelly Beans etc. It will eventually be the downfall of Android.

    Apple on the other hand have complete focus with iOS setting their developments on iOS7 alone.
    • So...

      What you're saying is choice is bad. Let someone else make the choices for you. Riiiiiiiight.
      • Re: What you're saying is choice is bad....

        On the contrary however what I am saying is too much choice can lead to a negative outcome.
        A prime example being Linux distros. There are simply too many for the average consumer to take in (unless of course you are Tech savvy like myself). Much like Android, Linux suffers from a lack of focus and cohesion.

        Don't come back with Android is Linux because it is not. Instead of Jelly Beans and Kit Kats (both of which are delicious) it needs to be kept uniform. One release all devices. Currently Android is too fragmented and its only a matter of time until real compatability issues occur.
        • I humbly disagree

          Competition is good for consumers, and good for workers. It's not so good for stockholders or corporate executives, but in the long run, it's even good for them (since monopolies and oligopolies tend to stagnate).
          John L. Ries
    • You don't have to load them all

      I like having choices. I do think that Google should sell Android upgrades, so users aren't dependent on their hardware vendors to do it for them.
      John L. Ries
  • Apple. Too Few Apps. Too many problems regarding releases ....

    Apple have lost focus. No new software development, too many software issues. They have lost their market dominance and their lack of innovation will eventually be the downfall of iOS.

    Google on the other hand have tightened-up their software releases, have less major versions in a similar time-frame than Apple, and this has helped them overtake Apple with global market share.
    • Re: Google....Chrome OS....

      If of course you are prepared to be spied on constantly. The price to pay for running a glorified web browser.
      • quite the contrary

        You will be spied on by typically windows based malware that you are unaware of. That is the definition of spying.
        Chrome OS limits me to being knowingly watched (i.e. the exact opposite of spying) by google (an entity I trust), since there are no known vectors for malware on chrome OS, and perhaps the NSA, but at this point they cannot be considered spying since we all know about them now. I will no longer do my illegal activities online.
        • Re: typically windows based malware....

          Which of course is the reason I prefer not work with Windows.
  • Ugh...

    When are you going to can the gallery layout??? Enough already.
  • I don't get the app nonsesne

    I scrolled through the entire top free list, basically nothing but uselessness. This after omg wp8 has no apps from the media.

    Even the games on android are unplayable, every 2 seconds you get bombarded with an ad.

    The apps I do have to install are just because there is zero integration, can't even listen to a podcast without an app, just sad.
    • silly comments why do I bother responding.

      if you want free games, you get an ad bar placed there by the app developer if they choose. Google doesn't make you. Is that unfair? Think you can spring for the $1.99 to remove the ad, you cheapskate. How about supporting a developer trying to make a living.

      In windows, if there are no ads its because they are having trouble getting anyone to buy ad apace and there are few games.

      No, you use apps because an app is better. You are just jealous because windows doesn't have the apps.
  • WiFi Keyboard

    If you want to text from your computer, I use Mighty Text which actually lets me send and receive texts and manage the texts on my desktop.
  • Send in the clowns...

    ZDNet is now operating a Soup Kitchen for trolls! Did ANY of you even bother to read the article before wizzing all-over it?

    "10 Cool Android Apps" — Shame on James, for attempting to mislead you with that catchy title! You were all so very clever, to see right past that ploy, and spot his sinister intentions — which could lead to the downfall of western civilization (& a huge jump in Starbucks prices) if you hadn't immediately sounded the alarm!

    Thank you so entirely too-@#$$%% Much!
  • AutomateIt

    Automates all sorts of phone functions based on time, location, etc. Offers a lot of rules pre-configured you can download for free. I have my phone set to
    - Mute at night,
    - turn wifi on when I'm near home (and off when I'm away)
    - Lower my ringer volume while at work
    You can have it launch apps and do all sorts of actions. sort of like the Moto Smart Actions but more advanced.
  • A Full Circle? on Some of these?

    I like seeing/using most of the new And-apps, but this article points out a (IMO) useless circle of apps. An app to let you type text msg on your PC for your Tablet / An app to let type text msg on your Tablet for your Phone / Yet, you can set up email / text notifications for various accounts on your PC / Tablet / Phone to let you know of new items, I guess all of this is good if you have a definite need to always be the first to respond, or other.
  • Thanks for the article

    Of all the articles you do, I appreciate this the most. It's truly hard to keep up with what's out and what's coming. It seems like I always pick up a gem or two. I truly love swiftkey by the way, I would much rather type on my phone with swiftkey than on my ipad. It is soooo much faster.
  • Cool list thanks

    Geeky list. Discovered Changelog Droid thanks. Going to check out Zite, may be worth a try too.