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10 essential apps for Android smartphone users

Google Android users need these apps

The Android Market offers much more than just games and wallpaper apps, but a lot of the rest is junk. What can be safely ignored, and what's actually useful?

We've decided to make things easy for owners of Google Android smartphones. Here are 10 free utilities or services that no Android user should be without.

We've tested them all - and we continue to use them.

Norton Mobile Utilities (Beta)

Norton Mobile Utilities has quickly become one of my favourite apps for managing my phone. With Norton, you can view the device information (RAM used, processor, and battery), your phone/text/data usage, what apps you have installed, and what .apk files you have on your SD Card. In addition, you can use Norton to install apps that you have saved on the SD Card, or to uninstall apps from your phone. You can also fix phone slowdowns by stopping apps that are consuming too much system memory. Norton is by far the most useful app for maintaining your Android device.

Astro File Manager

Something that always irks me on the iPad and iPhone is that you have no way to manage files on the device without using iTunes. Astro File Manager on Android, in contrast, lets you view the entire contents of your phone and SD Card. It's also great for managing mobile files, as it allows you to delete or move files as you wish; this feature makes Astro a lifesaver when you are running out of space on the SD Card.

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