NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earlier this week, Google's (Stock Quote: GOOG) Android Market reached its 100,000-app milestone. While that's about two-thirds less than the number available in Apple's (Stock Quote: AAPL) App Store, all signs are pointing toward growth for the ecosystem surrounding Google's mobile OS.
More than 200,000 Android phones are activated daily -- double the number of activated devices just several months ago, according to Google, and just a bit behind the iPhone, of which Apple says it activates more than 275,000 per day. And according to a recent report by IDC, Android's OS market share will jump from 16% today to 25% in 2014.
So what does all the hype mean? Scads of developers and programmers around the world are scrambling to create games, content and every type of app imaginable for the Android platform.
Culled from a variety of rankings -- from tech blogs to CNET to the Android Market itself -- here are 11 of the most-downloaded, free Android apps, tested by TheStreet's tech team on a Motorola (Stock Quote: MOT) Droid X.
Amazon Kindle Reader
The Android version of Amazon's (Stock Quote: AMZN) Kindle Reader is the best thing to happen to Android users who often find themselves alone with just their phone.
While the quality of an Android Kindle reading experience depends on the size of one's screen and one's ability to find a shaded area -- it's too hard to make out the words in bright sunlight -- reading one of the 725,000 books on Android is not much different from reading on the Kindle itself. Users can bookmark, add notes and highlight passages and look words up via Dictionary.com.
The app also allows books bought on Amazon to be shared between phone and Kindle at no extra cost.