8 Great Android Apps You've Been Missing Out On Lately

rhapsody tablet android app

Photo: Android Market

One of the downsides to owning an Android phone is that Google’s app ecosystem isn’t nearly as robust as Apple’s.As a result, the best apps usually come out months after their iOS counterparts. (We’re still waiting for Instagram on Android, for example.)

So instead of a regular Apps of the Week like we do with iOS apps, we’re taking a different approach. We’ll keep track of the best Android releases every few weeks and let you know what we find.

Here’s our first batch of Android apps you should check out.

Rhapsody is now ready for Android tablets

Rhapsody, the streaming music service, recently launched a new Android tablet app. The service is very similar to Spotify in that it costs $9.99 per month and lets you listen to a library of millions of songs from all the major record labels. You can also store music on your Android tablet for listening offline.

Price: Free, but the service costs $9.99 per month.

Rdio, another streaming music service, has a new Android app too

Rdio offers pretty much the same benefits as Rhapsody, Spotify, and MOG. The only differences are the app and user experience. With its newly updated Android app, Rdio has a nice, clean look.

Price: Free, but the service costs $9.99 per month.

Norton Safety Minder lets you put parental controls on your phone

If you want to limit what your kids do on their smartphones, Norton Safety Minder is an essential app. It lets you monitor the sites your kids visit, block other sites, look at their search history, and even see what they're texting their friends.

Price: Free

Microsoft OneNote is a decent Evernote alternative

If Evernote isn't your thing, Microsoft has its own robust note-taking app called OneNote. The app syncs with your SkyDrive account so you can access your notes from just about any device. Like Evernote, you can take both text and photo notes.

Price: Free

Readability more than makes up for Instapaper's absence in the Android Market

There's no chance that Instapaper will arrive for Android phones. That's fine, since Readability is just as good. The app lets you save articles to read offline on your Android device and displays them in a reader-friendly view. In some ways, it even outshines Instapaper.

Price: Free

TED's new Android app gives you free access to 1,200 talks

If you're a TED talk fanatic, there's now a new Android app that lets you watch about 1,200 of them for free on your smartphone. It's pretty simple. Just search for the video you want and stream away.

Price: Free

Vonage lets you make calls for free over the web

Vonage's new app for Android lets you make free calls to other Vonage users over the web. That means you don't have to worry about wasting minutes on your carrier's plan. Just be careful and use Wi-Fi whenever you can, otherwise you'll use up your 3G or 4G data plan pretty quickly.

Price: Free

Chrome is finally on Android!

Google surprised us a few weeks ago by launching a beta version of its popular Chrome browser for Android phones and tablets. It's definitely a big improvement over Android's stock browser, leaving us scratching our heads as to why Chrome hasn't been around all along. Unfortunately, Chrome will only work if you have the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Very few devices run Ice Cream Sandwich at the moment, so you'll have to wait for you manufacturer to issue an update first.

Don't miss our screenshot tour of Chrome for Android >

Price: Free

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