September 29, 2012, 7:45 AM — There are a ton of Android apps out there -- 600,000 in the Google Play store alone, the company said at this summer's Google I/O conference -- but there are only a few that rise to the status of being a critical, everyday app for a lot of people. Without further ado, here are some of those that we defy you not to get hooked on.
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Sweden-based Spotify had already become the go-to music streaming service for most of Europe for years before making its long-awaited appearance on American shores in 2011. Unsurprisingly, it's quickly become the default music player over here as well. The appeal is simple -- got a song you want to listen to? Here you go. Do it.
It's an obvious choice, but some obvious choices are obvious for good reason. Google Maps isn't without its problems, but it's far more mature and functional than anything else out there. Apple's struggles with its own in-house map app illustrate just how hard it is to do this kind of thing right -- if a company renowned for its fanatic attention to detail is having this much trouble, it must be difficult indeed.
Between official apps and third-party developments, there's no shortage of free (and paid) social media apps in the Android ecosystem. However, apps that centralize multiple social services under one roof are particularly useful, and the simple but feature-rich TweetDeck is one of the best out there.