The Google Play Store is overwhelming, with millions of apps and games to choose from. Even if you know exactly what type of app you want, how do you know which is the best to download? With this: our list of Best Apps, hand-picked by Android experts.
Before you dive into this list, it should be noted that some very popular apps are not included such as Gmail and Google Maps. We have purposefully not included Google apps in this list. It’s not that we don’t think they are worthy, in fact, it’s the opposite. Google’s apps are installed on most Android phones by default. Most users are already familiar with them. If you’re unfamiliar with the many great apps by Google, check out their page in the Play Store.
Phones and tablets don’t just have to be about fun and games — they are also great learning tools. You can stuff tons of reading content onto these things and carry more literature in your pocket than even a library could dream of. Here are the best Android apps for eReading.
BEST EREADER: Moon+ Reader
Moon+ Reader’s cleanliness, efficiency, and no-nonsense design makes it the best eReader we’ve ever seen. It’s not tied to any specific eBook ecosystem, but it supports a vast array of eBook formats, has a very customizable (and beautiful) Material Design user interface, and enough options to satiate the needs of beginner and advanced users alike. [Download Moon+ Reader]
BEST AUDIOBOOK APP: Audible
There’s no bigger audiobook platform than Audible (150,000 titles and counting), and their Android app provides the perfect listening experience to take all that literature in. Bookmarks, chapter selection, variable audio and more are all on tap to let you listen exactly how you want. Even better is how it integrates with select Amazon Kindle books, so your reading position syncs between both services no matter which method you’re using to read. [Download Audible]
When you need to simply “get it done,” you want to make sure you have the best tools for the job, and it can be hard to find those tools on mobile. Look no further: here are the best Android apps for getting business done on the road.
BEST OFFICE SUITE: Microsoft Office
Microsoft made a strong commitment to Microsoft Office users: they were going to make apps worthy of your monthly dollars no matter what platform you use. In our opinion, they’ve delivered and own the best catalog of office apps on Android. Microsoft’s biggest achievement was embracing Material Design in an app that doesn’t trade usability for mobile efficiency — most things you can do in the desktop apps can be done right on your phone or tablet. [Download Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint]
BEST PAYMENT PROCESSOR: Square
Square is the original mainstream mobile payments processor, and it only got better with time. It still remains the best mobile payments processing platform even after heavyweight Paypal stepped into the arena. You can take payments via cash or credit cards, generate and print receipts, get revenue and sales reports and more — all from your phone. Square even took it upon themselves to introduce a card swipe tool with NFC embedded, so you can accept payments from those who use Android Pay or Samsung Pay. [Download Square]
BEST COLLABORATION TOOL: Trello
Here’s a business app that’s so good even Phandroid has to use it every second of every day. Trello is a project management tool that’ll let you and your team organize and communicate ideas, tasks and information in an easy and meaningful way. You can keep it simple and use it as a place to store ideas and notes, or get as deep as you want and make it your one-stop shop for managing your entire workflow. [Download Trello]
At the most basic level, phones were created for communication. Many things have changed about phones over the years, but communication is still one of the most important things they do. The right apps make communication even easier.
GROUP MESSAGING: Facebook Messenger
There are dozens of great apps for group messaging in the Play Store. The problem is you have to get all the people in your group to use the same app. What service are all of your friends and family already using? Facebook. Your first reflex may be to dismiss anything Facebook-related, but Messenger is a truly fantastic app. Give it a shot. [Download Facebook Messenger]
SMS MESSAGING: Textra
SMS is one of the oldest forms of mobile communication, but it’s still a very popular method. Textra is an app that replaces the built-in SMS app on your phone. It offers many more customization options, has a beautiful design, and simply works great. If you still use SMS a lot, Textra is absolutely worth a download. [Download Textra SMS]
BLOCKING CALLS/CALLER ID: Mr. Number
Phones were created to make calls, but nowadays it’s one of the least used forms of communication. Many people receive more spam and unwanted calls than calls from people they want to hear from. Mr. Number displays where a call is from and can automatically block a lot of unwanted calls. It has a great design, and it’s easy to use. [Download Mr. Number]
VIDEO CHAT: Skype
Not many apps have become as ubiquitous as Skype. Many people refer to any video call as “Skyping.” The app has been around for a long time, and it’s still one of the best. Most people have heard of Skype, which can go a log way in getting other people to use the app. Skype is available on nearly every platform, and it just works. Simple as that. [Download Skype]
EMAIL: Blue Mail
There are few quality non-Gmail email apps in the Play Store. Our favorite is Blue Mail. Blue Mail is a beautifully designed, universal email client, capable of managing an unlimited number of mail accounts. You can set up smart push notifications while enabling personalization across multiple email accounts. [Download Blue Mail]
WEB BROWSER: Dolphin Browser
Dolphin Browser has been around for a very long time. It was one of the original Android browsers, even before Chrome was released. Dolphin claims to have the best performance of any browser on Android. It’s lightweight, fast, and highly customizable. If you do a lot of browsing the web on your phone, Dolphin is a great choice. [Download Dolphin Browser]
Mobile devices are excellent for educational purposes. There are many powerful apps that can help teachers and students alike. The days of relying on dusty old textbooks are gone. If you really want to learn something, grab these apps.
APPS FOR TEACHERS: Kahoot!
Kahoot turns your classroom into a game show. This game-based app leaves your students begging for more. With a refreshingly new take on introducing a subject, formative assessment, and deep discussion. Kahoot initiates conversations that students might otherwise avoid. [Download Kahoot!]
APPS FOR STUDENTS: Cram.com
Cram.com is a resource for flashcards and study materials. The Cram app puts everything from Cram.com in your pocket. When you log into your Cram.com account the app automatically downloads your account information including your created flashcard sets, your favorite flashcard sets, and the flashcard sets you study most frequently. [Download Cram.com]
GENERAL LEARNING: Curiosity
The Curiosity app is a great way for people who might not be in school anymore to continue learning on a daily basis. It’s the best way to explore infographics, articles, and videos that keep your brain sharp. Whether you have a love for art history, science news, technology advances, nature, or space exploration, there’s something for you. [Download Curiosity]
VOCABULARY: Vocabulary Builder
A good vocabulary can be the difference between sounding intelligent and sounding like an idiot. Vocabulary Builder is a well-designed app that aims to teach you the 1,200 most important words. Every word comes with an audio pronunciation, definition, and is used in a sentence. Quiz yourself every day and grow your vocabulary. [Download Vocabulary Builder]
ALPHABET AND READING: Endless Alphabet
For kids, learning the alphabet and how to read are crucial steps in their education. An app like Endless Alphabet can make the experience more enjoyable. Kids will have a blast learning their ABC’s and building vocabulary with the adorable monsters. Each word features an interactive puzzle with talking letters and a short animation illustrating the definition. [Download Endless Alphabet]
MATH FOR KIDS: King of Math Junior
Math is another critically important thing for kids to learn, but it can be even less approachable than other subjects. King of Math Junior is a game set in a medieval environment where you climb the social ladder by answering math questions and solving puzzles. You can collect stars, get medals and compete against friends and family. [Download King of Math]
LEARN LANGUAGES: Duolingo
Duolingo is the best app for learning languages on Android. Full stop. Like many language learning services try to do, Duolingo turns learning into an addictive game. Each lesson comes with a few “hearts” that act like lives in a video game. For each incorrect answer, you lose one heart. Complete the lesson and you can earn achievements. It’s very fun, and the lessons are short enough that you can complete one whenever you have a few minutes. [Download Duolingo]
For more, check out the Best Android Apps for Learning Spanish, Japanese, and other languages.
Phones and tablets are perfect for consuming entertainment. There is a device in your pocket that can access nearly anything you can imagine. Movies, TV shows, funny videos, memes, and more. All you have to do is relax and open one of these apps. You will be entertained.
TV REMOTE: Peel
The days of fishing in the couch cushions for your TV remote are long gone. Why not use the phone that’s on you at all times? Peel turns your phone into a universal remote. It can control your TV, Blu-ray player, set-top box, and more. It also provides recommendations for what you should watch. If your phone has an IR blaster, Peel can work for you. [Download Peel]
LIVE TV STREAMING: Sling TV
Sling TV puts live television on your phone. For $20 per month, you get channels like ESPN, Food Network, Cartoon Network, CNN, IFC, Travel Channel, and more. Why pay a cable company for channels you don’t need that can only be viewed in your living room? Sling TV works on many set-top boxes, and you can take it with you on your phone. [Download Sling TV]
MOVIES & TV SHOWS: Netflix
When it comes to streaming movies and TV shows, it’s hard to beat Netflix. The service has been around for a long time, and the library of content has gotten better throughout the years. Netflix has also created their own original shows and movies, which are some of the best around. It’s $10 per month that you will never regret. [Download Netflix]
PHOTOS AND MEMES: Imgur
Enjoy the day’s most ridiculously entertaining stream of images, pictures, GIFs, and memes with Imgur. Millions of people around the world use Imgur every day to share and enjoy hilariously funny GIFs, awesome science facts, amazing 4K wallpapers, cute kitten pics, and so much more. Just open the app and explore. [Download Imgur]
SketchBook is a professional-grade paint and drawing application designed for Android devices. It offers a set of sketching tools and delivers them through a streamlined and intuitive user interface. If you’re looking to do some serious artwork on your Android device, SketchBook has the tools you need. [Download SketchBook]
DRAWING FOR KIDS: Kids Doodle
Kids Doodle is a simple drawing app for, you guessed it, kids. It’s super easy-to-use painting controls allow kids to draw on photos or blank canvas. It has endless bright colors and 24 beautiful brushes, such as glow, neon, rainbow, crayon, and sketchy. There’s also a unique “movie” mode, which can playback kid’s artwork like a small film. [Download Kids Doodle]
Keeping track of your finances is something everyone should do. This is one area where apps have truly made life easier. You can now track all of your purchases, payments, bills, and more, right from your phone. With the right apps, you can take full control of your finances and even make some extra cash on the side.
PERSONAL BUDGETING: Mint
Mint is the best popular personal finance app around. It can sync with your credit cards and bank accounts to automatically track your purchases, bill payments, and more. It’s also great for creating budgets and alerts. And with today’s mobile phones offering fingerprint scanning security, you won’t have to worry about your information and privacy. [Download Mint]
PAY WITH YOUR PHONE: Venmo
We live in a digital age of money. Carrying cash and change is becoming a thing of the past. This can make it a little tricky to pay people in person. How do you lend someone a few bucks when you only have a credit card? Venmo makes it easy to transfer money and collect money. Simply choose a person, enter the amount, and send. [Download Venmo]
Acorns helps you save and invest spare change from your everyday purchases and invest into a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. When you make a purchase with your credit card, Acorns rounds it up to the nearest dollar and invests the change into a portfolio. You don’t even have to think about it. [Download Acorns]
STOCK MARKET TRADING: Robinhood
Most brokerages charge for every stock trade, sometimes up to $50. Robinhood allows you to trade stocks for free. Unlike most stock trading apps, Robinhood is beautifully designed and simple to use. With just a few taps you can buy and sell stocks. If you’re ready to venture into the world of stock trading, Robinhood is the best way to do it. [Download Robinhood]
EXPENSE TRACKING: Concur
Concur allows you to easily keep track of business expenses without saving dozens of paper receipts. Simply enter all of your expenses in the Concur app. All of your receipts and expense charges are gathered and ready for an expense report when you get home. [Download Concur]
REWARDS & GIFT CARDS: Key Ring
Is your wallet or purse full of loyalty, membership, or gift cards? Or do you forget to bring them when you go shopping? Key Ring puts all of your reward cards on your phone. Key Ring also shares circular ads from your favorite local stores, so you always know about the best deals. Give your key chain, wallet, or purse a rest and digitally store those loyalty cards. [Download Key Ring]
Food & Drink
Food is often the central part of the best gatherings, and fun nights often include delicious beverages (sometimes of the adult variety). It’s only natural that so many apps have been created to further enhance the eating and drinking experience. Download these apps, delight your inner foodie, and never be hungry or thirsty again.
With the power of the internet in your pocket, cookbooks are a thing of the past. Allrecipes has millions of recipes from millions of home cooks like you. You can see user-submitted photos, ratings, and reviews of nearly every recipe. Only have a few ingredients? Search for recipes that include what you have on hand. Save recipes to your Recipe Box, watch tutorials, create shopping lists, and spin the “Dinner Spinner” for random ideas. [Download Allrecipes]
GROCERY DELIVERY: InstaCart
InstaCart allows you to order groceries and have them delivered to your home. Create a grocery order with a few taps, from fresh fruit and vegetables, to meat, seafood and home essentials. Order from local grocery stores like Whole Foods Market, Petco or Costco and get your groceries delivered when you want them. [Download InstaCart]
FOOD DELIVERY: GrubHub
The days of fishing through a phone book to find the number of your favorite pizza delivery place are long gone. GrubHub works with thousands of chains and local restaurants. You can view menus, customize orders, add special instructions, and much more. Order food without ever talking to another human being. [Download GrubHub]
WINE TRACKER: Vivino
Wine is a very serious matter for a lot of people. Vivino puts the expertise of over 12 million of those people at your fingertips. Use the app to scan your bottle of wine. You’ll see user reviews and ratings, average price, and more. The app can also recognize names on a wine list, so you always pick the best wine. Keep track of the wines you loved and the wines you hated. [Download Vivino]
BEER TRACKER: Untappd
Untappd is like Foursquare for beer. Every time you drink a beer, you select it and give it a rating in Untappd. You can see the reviews of other people as well. Untappd uses this information to give recommendations based on your taste. The more beer you drink the more badges you will unlock. As if you needed more reason to drink beer. [Download Untappd]
RESTAURANT FINDER: Yelp
Finding a good place to eat is something that always gets people to pull out their phones. Yelp is one of the very first apps to be available for Android and also happens to be one of the best. With over 50 million user reviews, it’s a great way to find the best food in your area, decisively solving any “Where should we eat?” debate. Whether you are looking for a pizzeria that is open now, coffee shop nearby, or fine dining downtown, Yelp is your local guide to finding the perfect place to eat. [Download Yelp]
Health & Fitness
Health and fitness tech have greatly evolved with the mobile boom. Every step you take, literally, is tracked whenever your phone is with you (or can be). Apps can help people of all fitness levels set and achieve their goals, not to mention provide the motivation and boost they need to consistently be more active. Check out these apps for improving your own health and fitness.
EXERCISING: Map My Fitness
Map My Fitness is your one stop shop for tracking every activity you do. Workouts, running, biking, walking, lifting weights, and much more. Pretty much any physical activity can be tracked with Map My Fitness. Other cool features include suggesting new shoes based on miles you log, sharing workout routes and regimens with friends, monitoring progress over time, and syncing with other fitness apps and connected devices. [Download Map My Fitness]
EAT HEALTHY: Calorie Counter
Recording what you eat can be a great way to make sure you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming- the cardinal rule of weight loss. When you really take time to think about the food you eat, it’s easier to make better decisions. Calorie Counter makes it easy to record your daily meals and snacks. You can enter items manually or scan barcodes. With a database of over 5 million foods, everything you eat will be accounted for. [Download Calorie Counter]
WEIGHT LOSS TRACKER: Lose It!
Lose It! is all about helping you lose weight, but it’s much more than just a way to record your daily weight. Lose It! helps you set a daily calorie budget, track your food and exercise, and stay motivated to make smarter choices and achieve your goal. You’ll get a custom weight loss plan just for you. [Download Lose It!]
SLEEP TRACKER: SnoreLab
The average person spends 25 years of their life sleeping, so it’s no wonder that getting a good night sleep is critical to good health. SnoreLab records, measures and tracks your snoring and helps you to discover effective ways to reduce it. Even if you don’t snore, this app can tell you how long it takes for you to fall asleep, track how well you slept, and try to make those 25 years some of the best years of your life. [Download SnoreLab]
STRESS & MEDITATION: Calm
Need a little more calm in your life? Calm can help you meditate, sleep, relax and much more. The “7 Days of Calm” will teach you how to meditate, the “7 Days of Sleep” will improve your sleep. Sessions can last from 2-30 minutes to fit your busy schedule. [Download Calm]
Whether you’re looking for a place near home to hike, bike, run, or going on a trip to a national park, AllTrails is your guide to the outdoors. AllTrails has the largest collection of trail maps anywhere, curated by 3 million hikers, campers and mountain bikers like you. [Download AllTrails]
PREGNANCY TRACKER: My Pregnancy Today
Feel more prepared for your baby’s birth, and get the answers you need, whenever you need them, with My Pregnancy Today. Simply enter your baby’s due date and My Pregnancy Today will turn your phone into an expert guide for each day of your pregnancy. You’ll wonder how anyone had a baby without this wonderful companion app. [Download My Pregnancy Today]
PERIOD TRACKER: Period Tracker
It’s safe to say that 52% of the world needs this app. Press a button at the start of your period every month. Period Tracker logs your dates and calculates the average of your past 3 months’ menstrual cycles to predict the start date of your next period. View your current and future period dates, ovulation and fertile days, your moods and your symptoms in a simple month-view calendar. The next time you visit the doctor and they ask you questions about your cycle, you can be confident that it’s no longer a guessing game! [Download Period Tracker]
Home & Family
If your home and family are two of the most important things in your life, you’ve likely looked for apps to make sure their both safe and sound. Whether near, far – wherever you are – these apps will do exactly that.
HOME SURVEILLANCE & VIDEO: tinyCam Monitor
tinyCam Monitor is an app for remote surveillance/control for your private or public network/IP cameras, video encoders, DVRs, and webcams. With this app, you can monitor your baby, pet, home, business, traffic, and weather remotely and securely from your smartphone. [Download tinyCam Monitor]
Most people don’t think much about their thermostat, but you may start looking at it more when you learn about Nest. The Nest Thermostat learns your routines and automatically adjusts to save energy. The companion app allows you to monitor the thermostat and adjusts the temperature from anywhere. [Download Nest]
LOCATOR: Family Locator
If you have kids, you know how important it is to keep track of their whereabouts. Family Locator allows you to keep tabs on your kids, friends, and other people in your life. You can create “circles” of people and see where everyone is in real-time on a map. The app is really well-designed and simple to use. [Download Family Locator]
MULTIMEDIA PLAYER: Plex
Plex is a great way to set up a server filled with content for your friends and family. Drop all of your photos, videos, and music into Plex and it will be available to everyone in your group. One of the best things about Plex is it works on nearly every platform, including Android TV and Roku. [Download Plex]
This list is primarily for apps, but we know a lot you app-seeking Android lovers are interested in the Best Android Games as well. Here are a few lists for Android games to get you started.
Lifestyle apps have become a big part of our lives (imagine that). Phones are now essential everyday items, which makes lifestyle apps invaluable tools. They help us find the right clothes, fix stuff around the house, plan weddings, and decorate. The right app is a powerful tool.
FASHION: The Hunt
The Hunt allows you to exchange style advice and discover new trends with people like you. You can influence the community’s style and share your shopping expertise and style tips with four million people. Browse endless outfits, get style suggestions, and buy your must-have trends with The Hunt as your style guide. [Download The Hunt]
DO IT YOURSELF: Instructables
Have you ever wondered how to build…anything? Instructables can teach you. From useful and entertaining how-tos and hacks, to delicious recipes and outrageous inventions, Instructables is the place to explore, document, and share your creations. [Download Instructables]
WEDDING & MARRIAGE: The Knot
Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things you can do. TheKnot.com is the most popular wedding planning site on the web, and the mobile app puts it all in the palm of your hand. Find the perfect caterers, photographers, designers, and more. Make a schedule and make sure you don’t fall behind. [Download The Knot]
INTERIOR DESIGN: Houzz
Whether you’re looking to renovate or redecorate, Houzz has everything you need to improve your home. Get inspired with over eight million high-resolution photos of home interiors and exteriors that you can browse by style, room and location, save and share. [Download Houzz]
Music & Media
Remember iPods? They’ve largely gone the way of the dinosaur because our smartphones have also become our entertainment hubs, housing loads of digital content like music and movies. The creativity of Android developers has allowed us to consume amazing content in ways we never thought we would. These fantastic apps will help you make the most of the multimedia on your Android phone.
STREAMING RADIO: Pandora
If you’re looking to set-it and forget it, Pandora is the music app for you. Simply select an artist whose style of music you want to hear and let Pandora do the rest. By far the most popular Streaming Radio app, Pandora is free and ad-supported, but you can upgrade to a monthly subscription to remove them. [Download Pandora]
STREAMING ON-DEMAND: Spotify
Want fine-tuned control over an extensive playlist? In addition to mood-setting auto-play options like Pandora, Spotify also let’s you queue specific songs by your favorite artists with advanced playlist features you can save and share. It’s practically guaranteed to have every song you want to hear and an ever-growing number of features for audiophiles, exercisers, and party animals. [Download Spotify]
MP3 PLAYER: PowerAmp
If you’ve already got a carefully curated library of music files saved to your device (or the cloud), what you really want is an elite MP3 player to make playback quick, customizeable, easily browsable, and sounding beautiful. PowerAmp checks all the boxes PowerAmp is an app that singlehandedly causes some people to choose Android over the iPhone and it won’t take long to see why. [Download PowerAmp]
CONCERTS & EVENTS: SongKick Concerts
Live music lovers should rely on one app to never miss a gig from their favorite groups and artists: SongKick. The app pulls information directly from your existing music library, combines it with a myriad of custom options and preferences that you can update at any time, and makes sure you never miss the best opportunities to catch an awesome show. [Download SongKick Conerts]
MUSIC MAKER: Music Maker Jam
If you’ve always wanted to make music but don’t want to spend thousands on professional equipment and hard-to-learn software, have some fun by getting started with Music Maker Jam. It’ll allow you to create music in 100 different styles, record your own vocals, mix it all down, and produce a polished finished product with a lot of fun. [Download Music Maker Jam]
KARAOKE & LYRICS: Dubsmash
It doesn’t do full songs and it doesn’t have full lyrics, but DubSmash boils down the soul of Karaoke into a byte-sized app that’s become an absolute hit. Choose a song, record a lip-syncing clip, and share with anyone- close friends for a laugh or the masses on your way to becoming a viral sensation. [Download Dubsmash]
If you’re trying to learn guitar, Songgster is well worth the modest purchase price. Whether online or offline, you’ll have access to the 500k+ tabs and perhaps best of all, the artists themselves earn royalties. The app boasts a myriad of options, support for multiple instruments, and no-hidden fees. Buy it once, rock-out forever. [Download Songsterr]
FIND THE SONG: Shazam
OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG: WHO SINGS IT? You’ve heard that before, right? Us too. The easiest way to quickly identify a song that’s playing, save it, share it, download it, and do anything else you want to do with it is Shazam. The app started as a simple song identification app but has grown into much more. One of the best features is a list of trending songs that are being Shazam’d, which has a propensity for pulling up interesting and lesser known options for you to try for yourself. [Download Shazam]
News & Magazines
Having an Android Phone means you’re always in touch with the rest of the world. Whether that means taking 10-seconds in the shopping line to sneak-a-peek at celebrity gossip headlines or spending awhile to read an introspective article on world affairs, apps are a powerful tool for keeping up to date with your favorite type of news.
RSS READER: Feedly
Checking all your favorite news sources individually could be tiresome, but RSS Readers let you select specific sources, subscribe to updates, browse by categories, and create your own little library of content. The best RSS Reader on the market is Feedly, which brilliantly replaced Google Reader upon its demise in 2013. Since then it’s developed until a more fully featured solution, and perhaps most importantly, it’s quick, solid, and reliable. [Download Feedly]
PERSONALIZED NEWS: Pocket
Similar to an RSS Reader, Pocket will allow you to save content from anywhere on the web so you can “Read it later” as the feature is called. But Pocket offers much more, bringing users a personalized list of recommended reading based on their activity, and offering a way to follow other users of the app. These features are weaved into an experience that is not only about consuming content you find on your own, but also about helping you Discover new content you would never have known existed. [Download Pocket]
PODCASTS: Pocket Casts
Whether you’re commuting to and from work, out for a walk or run, or around the house completing to-do tasks, Podcasts are an excellent way to multi-task the time away. For the hands-down best experience in finding, downloading, sharing, and listening to podcasts, try Pocket Casts. A few bucks will get you a beautifully crafted podcast app that will meet all your needs and more. Honestly, if you’re looking for a great podcast app, look no further. [Download Pocket Casts]
ANDROID NEWS: EarlyBird – News for Android
If you’re looking to keep up to date with the latest developments in the Android World, you’ll want to download the EarlyBird news app for Android. Stay in the know about the latest news and rumors, upcoming phones and devices, great deals on products and accessories, and the newest and coolest apps and games. You get to vote on stories and see what’s trending in the Android world every day. [Download EarlyBird]
If there is one thing that makes Android unique, it’s personalization. Android gives users near complete control over how the phone works and looks. You can replace certain built-in apps with your own, change the home screen, use a live wallpaper, and much more. When you have an Android phone you can truly make it your phone. These apps can help.
HOME SCREEN REPLACEMENT: Nova Launcher
The home screen is the screen you see when you tap the home button. It houses your app icons, shortcuts, and widgets. Like most things in Android, the home screen can be replaced. Nova Launcher is a home screen replacement that adds a ton of customization and options to your home screen. If you take Android seriously, Nova Launcher is an essential app. It’s an absolute must-have. [Download Nova Launcher]
Changing the wallpaper is a quick and easy way to give your phone a new look. There are a million different ways to find wallpaper for your phone. Backdrops is an app full of wallpapers, all of which have been hand crafted by a team of designers. The wallpapers in Backdrops are original and exclusive to the app. [Download Backdrops]
Ringtones might not be as popular as they once were, but people do still make phone calls. Audiko is a great place to find not only ringtones for the few phone calls you get, but also SMS alerts, and other notification sounds. You can edit the audio files to your liking, and then download to your device. [Download Audiko]
The newest way to communicate without words is emoji. Those cute little characters and icons that represent emotions, reactions, food, animals, and much more. Dango works with your existing to keyboard and shows you the right emoji or GIF whenever you need it. Don’t say it when an emoji can do the job. [Download Dango]
One of the best things you can do to improve your smartphone experience is to upgrade your keyboard. SwiftKey uses artificial Intelligence to automatically learn your writing style, including the emoji you love to use, the words that matter to you, and how you like to type. That means autocorrect and predictive text that actually work. [Download Swiftkey]
One thing that every single smartphone has is a camera (or two). Smartphone cameras have eliminated the need for separate cameras, and they’ve opened up the world of photography to many more people. A great camera is nothing without equally as good software to go with it, and the right software can make a good photographer into a great one.
CAMERA: Open Camera
The camera app that came with your phone is probably okay, but like most things on Android, it can be upgraded. Open Camera is a camera app on steroids. It has all the tools that a professional photographer would need. Open Camera is free, open source, and has no ads. [Download Open Camera]
FILTERS & EDITORS: VSCO
There are hundreds of apps that can edit photos and add filters. If you’re really serious about adjusting the look of your photos, VSCO is the best. This app uses innovative processing technology to create stunning results with preset fixes. VSCO also has a social aspect that allows users to share and view other photos from around the world. [Download VSCO]
PHOTO FUN: Prisma
Prisma is unlike any photo “editor” you’ve used before. It doesn’t simply put a filter over your photo and change the colors a bit. Prisma transforms your photos into artworks using the styles of famous artists and world famous ornaments and patterns. A unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence helps you turn memorable moments into timeless art. [Download Prisma]
COLLAGE MAKER: Layout by Instagram
Instagram is one of the biggest names in mobile photography. There are better apps for adding filters, but Instagram’s dedicated app for making collages is great. Layout lets you create one-of-a-kind collages by remixing your own photos and sharing them with your friends. Choose photos from your gallery, or use the built-in Photo Booth to snap spur-of-the-moment shots. [Download Layout by Instagram]
Being productive is very important in today’s fast-paced world. Smartphones have become important tools for getting things done, setting reminders, and staying on track. Productivity apps are some of the most important apps you can download. The right app can make you better at your job, more organized at home, and more in control. Check out these apps to get started.
TO DO LIST: Wunderlist
A to-do list is a concept that has been around for decades. Wunderlist takes the to-do list and re-imagines it for the smartphone age. With this app you can create multiple lists for things like chores, groceries, errands, and much more. You can create alerts, due dates, and assign items to different people. Wunderlist syncs across multiple platforms, and you can share lists with others. [Download Wunderlist]
PASSWORD MANAGER: Dashlane
Everyone has accounts on a dozen or more websites and services. Keeping track of all the passwords can be nearly impossible. Dashlane makes it easy to keep track of passwords and personal info that you use across the web. Access your data at home, at work, or anywhere you have an internet connection. Keep your info safe and never forget important details. [Download Dashlane]
CLOUD STORAGE: OneDrive
A lot of phones don’t support SD cards anymore, and extra internal storage still costs an arm and a leg. To store a lot of photos, music, and other files, you need a cloud storage app. Microsoft OneDrive is a great option for cloud storage. You can back up all of your files, and even have photos and videos automatically sync. Free users get 5 GB, but you can purchase more. [Download OneDrive]
CALENDAR: Today Calendar
Stock calendar apps are notoriously bad. This sucks, because calendars are incredibly important for staying organized. Upgrade your calendar experience with Today Calendar. Today Calendar sets itself apart from the competition by being the only calendar app to combine high functionality with stunning aesthetics. It takes the stock experience to the next level. [Download Today Calendar]
FILE MANAGER: File Commander
Android has a file system like you would find on a Windows PC, but it’s not easily accessible. You’ll need a file manager in order to see the folders that exist on your device. File Commander is a complete file manager that allows you to handle any file on your Android device. You can also separately handle libraries of pictures, music, videos, documents, as well as rename, delete, move, zip and send with just a few taps. [Download File Commander]
NOTE TAKING: Evernote
Evernote is a powerful way to write notes, create checklists, and so much more. The app was originally created for simple note-taking, but it has grown to do many other things. You can organize web articles, docs, and photos. Collaborate on projects with other Evernote users, turn business cards into contacts, track expenses, and plan travel. It’s a great note-taking app but also your one-stop app for all productivity needs. [Download Evernote]
Shopping from your phone was once something straight out of the Jetsons, but today it’s a reality. With just a few taps you can buy almost anything and be confident with your purchase thanks to apps that offer reviews, recommendations, gift ideas, and great deals. Use these apps to be a super shopper.
PRODUCT REVIEWS: Amazon
The biggest store in the world is hands-down the best place to go when you need product reviews. Millions of people buy things from Amazon every day, and those same people have left millions of reviews. Even if you’re shopping somewhere else, you should check the Amazon reviews before purchasing. It’s a great free resource for shoppers online and offline. [Download Amazon]
Groupon delivers unbeatable deals from 50—70% off the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 500 cities. Use the Groupon app to start saving on everything you’re looking for, from right next door to across the globe. Whether you’re shopping for the latest fashion trends, craving a new restaurant in town, a daily replenishment of deals delivers all the discounts you like. [Download Groupon]
GIFT IDEAS: Etsy
Finding the right gift can be challenging. The Etsy app gives you many ways to discover one-of-a-kind goods handmade by people around the world. Shop curated collections for special gifts, unique wedding ideas and handmade jewelry, or explore personalized recommendations for stylish art, clothing, and furniture you’ll treasure forever. [Download Etsy]
Phones have always been social devices at the core, but smartphones have taken it to a whole new level. A vibrant social life is dependant on a few key social apps. Don’t miss out on the fun.
There are a few services that have revolutionized the dating world. Tinder is one of them. Tinder is the world’s most popular dating app. More than 9 billion matches have been made through Tinder. Swipe right on the people you like, swipe left on the people you don’t like. Only the people you like can message you on Tinder. [Download Tinder]
SOCIAL NETWORKING: Twitter
At its core, Twitter is the most simple social network on the planet. Everyone from athletes, movie stars, politicians, and people like you, can share their thoughts. All in 140 characters or less. Twitter is a great way to follow the news, experience events with the world, or just make jokes. It’s fun, fast, and easy. If you’re not already on Twitter, it’s time to join the conversation. [Download Twitter]
Medium is a great place for hosting a blog, and the Android apps makes it super easy to post from your phone. Start writing your draft in the app, and it will automatically sync to your drafts folder at Medium.com. You can also edit a published post from anywhere. The editor is easy to use, with all the functionality of the web, right from your pocket. [Download Medium]
Finding things to do can be tough if you don’t have anyone to do things with. Meetup helps you find groups of people meeting up in real life who share your interests. Find book clubs, fellow pet owners, fitness groups, fellow dads or moms, and many other groups near you. Find activities and make friends with Meetup. [Download Meetup]
If you’re a die-hard sports fan, you can’t go more than a few minutes without reading the top headlines, checking scores, and watching highlights of your favorite teams and players. Sports apps have made this possible. You can watch a game from the backseat of a car, or check scores from around the league while in the stands. A smartphone is a sports fan’s best friend.
WATCH SPORTS: WatchESPN
The WatchESPN app lets you keep up with your sports anytime, anywhere on your Android phone and tablet. Watch live games and shows with access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, and other ESPN-owned channels. If you get ESPN with your TV provider you can access live streaming video in the WatchESPN app. [Download WatchESPN]
SCORES & NEWS: theScore
theScore is the best way to follow the NFL, NCAA Football, MLB, NBA, NHL, and many more sports and leagues. Create your own personalized stream by choosing favorite teams, sports, and athletes. Get alerts for breaking news, close games, final scores, and more. theScore is the best place to go when you need scores and news. [Download theScore]
Need tickets at the last minute for a “Sold Out” event? StubHub is the place to go. From the day they go on sale to hours before kick off. Get tickets to the games, concerts and theater shows you want to see (or sell them when you can’t go). StubHub has some of the best ticket deals you can find, and they guarantee every order so you don’t have to mess with shady ticket scalpers. [Download StubHub]
Back in the day, a hammer or an ax would be called a “tool”, but nowadays there is a lengthy list of handy apps on your phone that meet that standard. Tools are apps that help you complete specific and finite tasks with precision. We no longer need to carry specialized devices for things like calculating equations or recording a note: these apps are the perfect tools for the job.
VOICE MEMO/RECORDER: Voice Recorder
Voice Recorder is a free, full-featured, beautifully designed, and easy to use audio recording app. It provides high-quality recordings without limits of time. You can use it as a regular dictaphone to record voice notes and memos, business meetings, interviews, lectures, speeches, concerts, sleep talking, or anything else. [Download Voice Recorder]
BARCODE/QR CODE SCANNER: Barcode Scanner
Barcodes and QR codes can be found on many different things. They can contain important information, but that information can only be retrieved with a scanner app. Barcode Scanner by the ZXing Team is one of the oldest mobile apps in existence. It can scan barcodes on products, or Data Matrix and QR Codes containing URLs, contact info, and more. [Download Barcode Scanner]
Every smartphone comes with a calculator app, but if you want something more powerful you should download CALCU. It’s great to use for everyday calculations, and it has all the scientific capability you need for work and school. CALCU is customizable so you can put your most-used functions just a tap away. [Download CALCU]
DOCUMENT SCANNER: Tiny Scanner
We live in a digital world, but there are many things that still exist on physical mediums. Tiny Scanner allows you to scan and convert physical documents into digital documents. Simply take a clear photo of the document. Tiny Scanner can convert it into a PDF or image. It’s much easier to keep track of digital documents. [Download Tiny Scanner]
Travel & Local
Traveling to new places (or old places) can be a fun adventure. You can wander around and try to find your way, or use apps to make the experience a little easier. With traveling apps you can find places to stay, directions to the place, and then things to do. It’s like having a tour guide in your pocket.
RIDE SHARING: Uber
If you need a ride, Uber is the most popular way to get one. Uber allows you to essentially call a taxi with just a few taps on your phone. A driver in a black car will show up and take you to your spot. All the payments happen right on your phone. It’s super easy and convenient. [Download Uber]
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Transit App
Never miss your bus again. Transit App shows upcoming departure times for all nearby transit lines in big text and bright colors. Plan your trip, set reminders, get notifications about disruptions. And if public transit is not cooperating you can easily request an Uber from the app. [Download Transit App]
HOTELS: Hotel Tonight
Need a hotel tonight? Try Hotel Tonight. This app helps you find and book hand-selected hotels at great prices at the last-minute for deep discounts. You can snatch up vacant rooms that would otherwise go unused, creating a win/win for both you and the hotel. [Download Hotel Tonight]
VACATION RENTALS: Airbnb
If a hotel room isn’t what you had in mind, and you want something a bit more personal and homey, than Airbnb is the app for you. Airbnb opens the door to people’s homes around the world (or alternatively, let’s you earn money from your extra space). With over 450,000 listings in more than 34,000 cities, Airbnb helps you rent entire houses, private rooms, or shared spaces. [Download Airbnb]
MAPS & NAVIGATION: Waze
When you’re traveling on the road there are dozens of different things to distract you. Accidents that slow down traffic, cops hiding to catch speeding drivers, and much more. Waze is a navigation app that allows users to alert others of these incidents. You always know what traffic looks like, and will never be caught off guard again. [Download Waze]
THINGS TO DO: TripAdvisor
We can’t all afford an assistant and tour guide when we go on a trip, but TripAdvisor can do the job. With over 225 million reviews and opinions by travelers, TripAdvisor makes it easy to find the lowest airfare, best hotels, great restaurants, and fun things to do, wherever you go. [Download TripAdvisor]
POLICE SCANNER: Scanner Radio
Who watches the watchmen? You can with the Scanner Radio app. Listen to live audio from over 5,300 police and fire scanners, weather radios, and amateur radio repeaters from around the world to find out exactly what’s happening locally, anywhere. View the top 50 scanners that have the most listeners, add scanners to your Favorites list for quick access, and more. [Download Scanner Radio]
MOVIE TICKETS: Fandango
Fandango is the best app for buying movie tickets. You can filter movies by genre, MPAA rating & format (including IMAX and 3D), watch high-quality trailers, exclusive interviews, browse movie photos, view the most accurate movie times, synopses, run times, and so much more. [Download Fandango]
WEATHER: Weather Timeline
Weather Timeline is a simple weather app that focuses on summarizing the next hour, the next 48 hours and the next week so you don’t have to. It presents the forecast in a timeline to help you quickly glance and digest the information and has a strong focus on color to outline the weather conditions. [Download Weather Timeline]
Android is for more than just phones these days. “Wearables” are a new category of devices that can be worn. The most popular wearable devices today are smartwatches. Most apps have some type of smartwatch integration, but at the core, you’ll want to make sure your wearable tech looks amazing.
WATCH FACES: Facer
The main thing you see on a smartwatch is obviously the watch face, but unlike a normal watch, it can do more than just show the time. Facer allows you to create your very own watch faces. You pick the colors, designs, and information at a glance. If you’re not the creative type you can download thousands of designs from other people. [Download Facer]
Widgets allow you to see information on your home screen without opening apps. A good widget can save you a lot of time, and prevent you from getting lost in a sea of apps. Just glance and go. Widgets are also one of the things that makes Android so unique.
CREATING WIDGETS: Zooper
Zooper is an app that allows you to make completely personalized widgets. It’s a minimal, classy, extremely customizable, and battery friendly “DIY” widget with almost limitless possibilities. If you’ve ever seen an Android home screen that looks like a piece of artwork, it was probably made with Zooper. [Download Zooper]