Find what you’re looking for with these great Android search apps

by Caitlin M. Foyt

There are dozens of different search apps available on the Android platform to help you track down what you need. General browser apps like Google will point you in the direction of any general information you need, while others have more specific purposes. For instance, the Internet Movie Database is a resource geared toward helping you find out anything you want to know involving movies and film. Here, we have highlighted some of the most used and most reliable apps in the search genre.

General Search Apps

Google Search (Free)

Whether you're looking up the weather, a recipe, instructions on how to sponge paint your bathroom, how to play Pinnacle, Van Morrison's entire bibliography or a listing of all the local restaurants, clearly, Google Search is the key to a ton of different information. It's also a pretty handy app to use if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, as the app will start to give you web site suggestions as you type. Because Google is such an easy to use and valuable resource, it's no wonder why this app comes standard on all Android devices.

Voice Search (Free)

Voice Search is kind of like having your very own assistant. Quickly search your phone, the web, or navigate yourself to your destination—all by using voice commands. This is an especially helpful app when you're in the car and need to focus on driving, which will also save you some money on tickets. Sure, your hands are on the wheel and your eyes on the road in front of you, but you're still able to dictate a text message, call your mother or map out how to get to a client's house or your next lunch meet-up.

ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner (Free)

You can use ShopSavvy to check the price of an unmarked item while you're shopping, but it does even more than that. When you scan a product, the app compares it with other prices listed online and even at nearby local retailers, just so that you can make sure that you're paying the best price.

More Specific Search Apps

White & Yellow Pages (Free)

If you haven't done it already, now's a good time to toss out all those clunky phone books. Everything you need is in the White & Yellow Pages mobile app for Android. Look for people (that is, if the person you're looking for still has a land line) and businesses by name and use the app's GPS capability to navigate your way there. You can also add new contacts, save favorites, track your history or even go directly to a business' website.

Urbanspoon (Free)

You’re hungry, but can’t decide what to eat. Just give your phone a good hard shake. UrbanSpoon is like a restaurant slot machine, pinning down the neighborhood, type of cuisine and price that you're interested in. You can also lock-in a category if, say, you know you're in the mood for Chinese or you'd like to stick around the Brooklyn area. When you find something that looks good (and, mind you, you can give your phone a shake as many times as you'd like) you can call to make a reservation by tapping the phone number, read reviews by clicking the button at the bottom of the screen, or just read more about the restaurant by clicking the name.

IMDb Movies & TV (Free)

This one may not be as crucial as some of the others on this list, but it is still a helpful resource. Think about it this way: you're at a dinner party, in the midst of an entertainment discussion, and you realize that you can't remember the name of an actor or actress. While a few years ago you would rack your brain and insist that the name was on the tip of your tongue, IMDb will give you your answer in seconds. The app's mother site is dedicated to documenting every detail about every movie and TV show ever made, including who was in it, who made it, the plot, user ratings, trailers, photos, reviews, trivia, quotes and goofs. You can also use the app to find show times, watch trailers, browse photo galleries, get US TV listings, find latest DVD and Blu-ray releases, explore popular charts and share movie information.

GasBuddy (Free)

You just need gas when you're on Empty, and GasBuddy doesn't discriminate by brand. The app shows you where all the nearest gas stations are, whether it's Mobile, BP, Shell or independently owned, but it also tells you how much gas costs at each place on the map. If you're looking for a particular grade of gas, diesel or ethanol, for instance, Gas Buddy allows you to search based on this criteria. When you decide where you're headed, based on either price or proximity, Gas Buddy will map out turn-by-turn directions to that location.

Kayak Flight and Hotel Search (Free)

Kayak lets you search between multiple airlines for the best price on plane tickets. You can also track the status of your flight and easily book hotels and rental cars, too. Download this app before you go to the airport, that way, when you get bumped from a flight and need a quick replacement, you can do it headache-free with just a few quick taps of your finger.

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