Free apps for your new tech toy

Just got a new PC or phone, but you can't decide which software apps to load up? Relax. Here's a round-up of great suggestions for getting started.

Pam Carroll
Former editor of CNET Australia, Pam loves being in the thick of the ever-growing love affair (well addiction, really) that Australians have with their phones, digital cameras, flat screen TVs, and all things tech.
Pam Carroll
2 min read

If you're reading CNET and you've just bought a new computer or phone, chances are you've put in a fair bit of research to pick the best device for your needs. But now that you've brought your new baby home and got the thing up and running, you're actually faced with a much bigger hurdle — what software apps should you load up?

There are literally tens of thousands of applications that you potentially could use, but there are two pieces of good news. First, software nowadays doesn't have to hurt your pocketbook, as there are heaps of brilliant applications that are either completely free or free to trial before you purchase.

Secondly, the CNET team and our colleagues at Download.com are continually monitoring the waves of applications we see and can give you some solid recommendations for getting started.

Here are our suggestions, but they are obviously not exhaustive lists of every cool app out there, so let us know of anything you think is worthy of adding.

For your new PC

Windows Starter Kit 2010: Must-have PC apps

Windows Starter Kit 2010

Bought a new PC but hate the bloatware it comes with? We've sourced the best free Windows apps for everything from web browsers, email clients, office and productivity apps to image editors, music and video jukeboxes, file compressors, and chat and torrent applications. Whew, there are over 20 on our list.

Security Starter Kit 2010

Security Starter Kit 2010

Viruses, spyware, rootkits, hackers — a new PC can be susceptible to the most insidious of plots. We've devised a list of essential and free security programs to protect your computer and your sanity.

Must have Windows Utilities

Must-have Windows utilities

How often do you think about the background systems that make your computer run smoothly and surely? We show you seven of our favourite programs to keep your system in tip-top shape.

For your new smartphone

Best free iPhone apps
Best free iPhone apps

It's been two years and 150,000 apps since the Apple App Store launched, and our list of favourite free apps is still growing. Check out our 53 free faves and one you'll have to pay for.

Android starter kit
Android starter kit

Google's Android Market may not be overflowing with apps just yet, but it's still hours of work separating the good from the bad. We do the hard yards on your behalf, identifying which apps you need now.

Best free BlackBerry Apps
Best free BlackBerry apps

The BlackBerry App World is slowly but surely filling up with some great apps to make your BlackBerry even better. Here is our list for the best apps on the store at no cost.

For your new Mac



(Image credit: CBS Interactive)