Given the sheer amount of Android apps available on the open mobile platform, it can sometimes be difficult deciding between them. One of the main benefits of having an Android enabled phone is that it will support most apps, as compared to the iPhone’s more closed platform. Most of these apps can also be downloaded for free.

When choosing the best free Android apps, it is important to look for apps that are routinely updated and available across a number of different platforms. Some of the best apps are ones that combine great storage with everyday uses, and can be used for time management, traveling and data transfer. The following three apps represent, in no particular order, some current favorites:

1. Dropbox

The Android version of this file syncing program was updated in December 2011, and retains many of the key features of the general online version. Dropbox essentially acts as a form of cloud storage for your files, with the potential to access them from different devices. The program is ideal for keeping track of files, while also allowing you to reduce the amount of physical storage capacity held on a laptop or PC.

The app version adapts the same concept, but includes a need to specifically download files to the phone before they can be accessed. The mobile specific server comes with a free 2Gb allowance for new users, which can be updated in different ways. College students in the United States were recently offered up to 500 Mb free storage as part of an incentive deal. The Android version of Dropbox has also been upgraded in recent months to include photos and videos. This latter feature should make it potentially valuable for emerging 4G mobile networks.

2. Google Maps

Still one of the most essential pieces of online software, Google Maps makes travel much easier. A ubiquitous part of GPS systems, Google Maps are particularly valuable for smartphones as a realtime app. When used as part of an Android or other mobile platform, Google Maps and its StreetView function can make navigation much easier, and is also compatible with a car’s GPS. Google have more recently added Latitude features to Maps, which offers advanced geolocation placements.

This change reflects Google Maps’ strengths as an app that receives continual updates and refinements, with maps now extending to the interiors of some buildings. Google Maps is compatible with Android 1.6 and beyond. The HD upgrades of Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy 2 and Droid Razr smartphones makes navigation particularly impressive, with further tweaks expected to be part of Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich platform. With voice recognition also set to become a major feature of Google Maps, it’s hard to dispute the app’s long term value for Android.

3. Evernote

A time management app that can handle a wide range of different tasks and features, Evernote is one of the best value examples of its type online. Evernote breaks down ideas and notes, to do lists, appointments and maps into an easy to use interface, and is also able to handle transfers across different platforms.

Its particular value for Android lies in its sleek design and ability to deal with large amounts of complex information. Evernote can also be used to share information with Facebook and Twitter users, and is compatible with Mac devices.

Author bio : Sebastian is a full time technology writer currently working with – providers of an independent broadband and tv comparison service in the UK.