Version 1.5 of Google's mobile operating system is well on its way to bringing flashier features to Android phones. Some, like the virtual keyboard, are as sturdy and sensible as a bread roll, while others, like "live" dashboard folders and video recording and playback, pack in much more flavor and fat.
Until that blessed day arrives, here are nine free Android apps that take our G1 somewhere in between. You can download them all via the Market icon on your Google Android phone.
Moov: It calls itself a mobile interface, but in reality Moov is a launcher. From the dashboard view, slide open the keyboard and begin typing the first few letters of your MP3, application, address book contact, and so on to get a list of search suggestions popping up on a separate screen. Moov even helps you out by offering tabs that let you search your term in the publisher's other apps: Fbook, Quickpedia, Local (Yelp), and Dial Zero. I have to give Moov's developer, Next Mobile Web, a little credit--most of their apps made this top list, too. One setup note--for best results, make Moov the default search organism, or else you'll waste time choosing to search through the contact list or through Moov, and this app subsumes Android's own search.
Fusion Visual Voicemail: If you haven't yet discovered visual voice mail, don't waste another second. It's high time you scissor off the shackles of regular, "blind" voice mail. By simply forwarding your voice mail calls through PhoneFusion's service, you'll be able to see the messages stacked up in your in-box and listen to calls in any order you choose. You can play and pause the message, mark it unread, call or text the caller (extremely useful if you're in a meeting or another locale where it would be imprudent to field a call.) You can also add the contact, or even resurrect a deleted message. While PhoneFusion's visual voicemail service is free, it's likely that PhoneFusion will soon follow the lead of competitors on other platforms and offer premium services to transcribe voice messages into text, making them truly "visual."… Read more