Apps for new tech toys

If you were lucky enough to get a new computer or smartphone over the holidays, we've got the (mostly free) apps you need to start filling up your shiny toy, be it a Windows 7 laptop or a slick Android smartphone.

After the shreds of gleefully torn gift wrap from the holiday season have settled, many of you find yourselves the proud owners of new computers, laptops, or smartphones. What are the best apps for optimizing your prized device? We've got just the thing for you.

Our revised Windows Starter Kit showcases free apps you should consider when building up your computer's software repertoire--like browser options, compression software, and image editors. This Utilities Starter Kit features no-cost software for keeping your computer in tip-top shape. As for making sure your box stays malware-free, check out these top picks from our Security Starter Kit, including free standalone antivirus apps and inclusive security suites.

If your tech toy of 2010 is an Android phone like the Motorola Droid or HTC Droid Eris, start discovering software essentials in the Android Starter Kit. The same goes for free and premium apps for your new BlackBerry and iPhone. For gamers, we've got a list of 17 favorite iPhone games hand-picked from the App Store's scads of titles. Keep in mind that these Starter Kits aren't exhaustive lists of every cool app out there, but they are a healthy jumping-off point for getting acquainted with all you can do from your new device. Happy New Year!

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.