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App lists are a dime a dozen. Most of the time, you go through them and realize that there’s nothing new for you. Doesn’t it seem like everyone is always parroting the same apps as everyone else? If so, we’ve got a surprise for you.

We’ve gone through and compiled a list — based on personal experience and user recommendations — of excellent Android apps that most people have never heard of. Just to be sure, we’ve limited the list to apps with fewer than 500,000 installs only. A fair number when you consider the Play Store’s global reach.

We’re confident that you haven’t heard of at least half of these apps, but what’s even better is that these apps will change your life. That’s how useful they are. If you don’t believe us, keep reading!

Wakie (Free)

android-hidden-gems-wakie

Sometimes you want to talk to someone but there’s no one in your life who you feel comfortable talking to. This is true of people who suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts 7 Online Resources To Help Those Who Are Depressed & Suicidal 7 Online Resources To Help Those Who Are Depressed & Suicidal Even though I am the Managing Editor of MakeUseOf, I have a huge disability in my life which is clinical depression. It started back in 2002, as a depression related to stress in my job,... Read More , but it’s just as true of people who want an impartial third-party’s opinion or advice.

Or maybe you’re just bored and interested in chatting with strangers. That’s perfectly fine, too.

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Wakie is the quickest way to find a chat partner for any kind of topic. All you have to do is pose a question and set a time, then someone from the Wakie community will call you at that time. That person could be from the United Kingdom, Brazil, or Morocco.

One neat way to use this app is to use it as a wake-up alarm. Someone will call you at the time you’ve set and the ensuing conversation, which can be as brief as a few seconds, will surely get your mind going.

RunPee (Free)

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Imagine this: you’re watching a movie at the theater Cinema Is Dying: How Movie Theaters Can Ensure Their Survival Cinema Is Dying: How Movie Theaters Can Ensure Their Survival Movie theaters need to offer more than just a way of watching the latest films. They need to stop competing on "convenience" and start focusing on "experience." Here's how. Read More when, all of a sudden, nature calls. Your bladder is full and you need to relieve yourself, but you’re afraid that you’ll miss out on an important scene if you head to the restroom.

It’s a dilemma that we’ve all faced, I’m sure, but the good news is that there’s a clean and spoiler-free solution that you can carry around in your pocket for free.

RunPee is an app that let’s you select a title to see which portions of the movie are “skippable”, allowing you to run and relieve yourself (or go buy more snacks at the concession stand) without missing anything important. That being said, RunPee will summarize what you missed so you stay in the loop.

The database is updated as films are released, so it might not be as useful if you tend to watch movies as they debut. But if you wait a day or two, RunPee will work just fine.

SafeTrek ($3/month)

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If you frequently travel through areas that make you feel unsafe, you must install SafeTrek. It will put you at ease, knowing that even if you are threatened or kidnapped, police will be dispatched even if you can’t dial an emergency number.

Here’s how it works: whenever you’re in an unsafe situation, you hold down the SafeTrek button (which shows on the device’s screen). When you feel safe again, you let go and input your unique 4-digit PIN and go about your merry way.

But if you let go and fail to enter the PIN, local police will be notified and dispatched to your location.

FastCustomer (Free)

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FastCustomer is a convenience tool for those who hate being put on hold when trying to connect with customer service — and I assume that includes all of us. This app bypasses all of that in a clever way.

It works like this: you tell FastCustomer which company you want to call and which department you want to connect with (e.g. billing). FastCustomer will handle all of that and wait on your behalf. When the next agent is available, FastCustomer will call you, and you take it from there.

It’s incredibly useful and will save you a lot of time. FastCustomer currently supports over 3,000 companies throughout the United States and Canada.

Tab (Free)

android-hidden-gems-tab

Going out to eat dinner with friends is always a treat, but tensions can arise when it comes time to split the bill. Who ordered what? How much tip and tax is everyone contributing? Or is it just easier to split the bill evenly between everyone?

With Tab, you won’t have to worry about any of that ever again.

All you have to do is take a photo of the bill and itemize everything that everyone ordered. If multiple people have the Tab app, they can do it individually and Tab will keep everyone in sync with each other. Individual items can be split between multiple people too, in cases of sharing and such.

Then, tax and tip are split proportionally based on how much each person spent in relation to everyone else. Easy, right? The only downside is that Tab is only available in the United States for now, though they do have plans to expand in the future.

SplitWise (Free)

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If you live with roommates, you know how troublesome it can be to split bills and household supplies. Splitwise is the perfect tool for handling all of that. Not only does it keep everything fair, but it relieves some of the tension that can come from bill-nagging and such.

Not only does it split up financial responsibilities, Splitwise can also be used to track debts amongst each other. If you paid for everyone’s lunch and expect reimbursement, Splitwise tracks it. No longer will you have to deal with unnecessary accounting.

Happier (Free)

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There are many factors that can help you become a happier person, such as refreshing your morning routine 5 Ways to Refresh Your Morning Routine and Be Happier 5 Ways to Refresh Your Morning Routine and Be Happier The first hour of the day dictates how the remaining 23 will go. Take control of your day by taking control of your morning and become a happier you. Read More and learning to be more generous How Generosity Can Benefit You In 2015 How Generosity Can Benefit You In 2015 If you really want to improve yourself, consider making a habit of giving away your time and money regularly. It's not intuitive, but it will probably pay off. Read More , but one particularly effective method is to keep a gratitude journal How To Be Happy In Five Minutes A Day How To Be Happy In Five Minutes A Day Psychology has started to shed light on how to make yourself happier. New products and apps are using these findings. One of these promises to make you happier in just five minutes a day. Read More . It’s called Positive Psychology, and, surprisingly, it works.

That’s the basis behind Happier, the app that combines the concept of a gratitude journal with community, resulting in an easy way to simultaneously exercise your thankfulness and bring smiles to the faces of others.

It’s simple: every day, keep track of the happy moments in your life no matter how small or insignificant they might seem. It won’t take long for you to actually begin wearing a happier state of mind.

Countable (Free)

Countable is the app for those who don’t have the time, energy, or desire to be involved in politics. Want to make a difference in your country without leaving the comfort of your home? With this app, you can.

For obvious reasons, Countable is only for the United States.

Countable provides summaries of the latest bills and issues that come through Congress (both House and Senate). These summaries include arguments for and against said bills, along with legislation costs and how these bills personally affect you.

Not sure where your representatives stand? Countable gives you side-by-side comparisons between your representatives and yourself. If you want to keep your representatives accountable, you can even send them emails through the app.

Political involvement has never been easier. Get this app!

Pzizz (Free)

Some people are skeptical about apps that claim to help you sleep better Can An App Really Help You Sleep Better? Can An App Really Help You Sleep Better? I've always been a bit of a sleep experimenter, having for much of my life kept a meticulous dream diary and studied as much as I could about sleeping in the process. There are a... Read More , but Pzizz is one that actually works for a lot of folks. You might still be skeptical, but I urge you to give it a try. There’s a good chance it’ll help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep.

The trick to Pzizz is that it generates a slightly different — but different all the same — soundtrack every time you use it. This prevents your brain from “getting used to” the guided relaxation audio, thus keeping it effective no matter how often you use it.

Soundtrack generation can be configured to your liking, and time durations can be adjusted as well. Use it for an 8-hour overnight slumber or for a 15-minute power nap; it will help either way.

Share Your Hidden Gem Apps

With millions of apps on the Play Store, it’s hard to find ones that are awesome yet still undiscovered — but we know they’re out there, and we need your help to find them.

Did these apps change your life? What other lesser-known Android apps are out there? If you know of any hidden gems, let us know in the comments below!

Image Credits: girl looking in a box via Shutterstock

  1. Osteen Sparkle
    September 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Some useful lesser known android apps..

    Spy(Sourabh Bajaj ): No need to open the voice recorder, just dial star (*) and press call, and the app starts voice recording..

    Keyboard Shortcuts(GreenLife Apps): largest library of keyboard shortcuts, combos, hotkeys, mnemonics and so on for most platforms and operating systems.

    Clap to Find: Find your android device with claps .

    Potential Beta: Potential syncs battery, WiFi and Bluetooth status across all your devices.

  2. brimosher
    July 28, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    great. just what we need. an app that gives people an excuse to use their phone during a movie.

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:07 am

      People who are going to disruptively pull out their phones during a movie rarely need an excuse to do it. They're going to be rude no matter what, unfortunately. :(

  3. Alan O
    July 27, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Regarding RunPee, in addition to pee times, another great feature is that they tell you if there is anything to watch after the credits. I don't always use the pee times, but always use the "Anything after the end credits?" They also have a "Running late?" synopsis of the first three minutes of the movie. There is a lot more to the app and if you go to the movies often this is a great one to have .

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:08 am

      Thanks for the elaboration, Alan. Two more reasons to love RunPee. :)

  4. Mishal Alexander
    July 27, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Musixmatch - is a must have app for music lovers. It lists out the lyrics of a song while you play it. It will even fetch lyrics for the youtube app.

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:09 am

      With over 750,000 positive reviews, I'm not sure Musixmatch would qualify as a "lesser-known" app! But I agree that it's useful. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Larry Swinney
    July 15, 2015 at 10:05 am

    With Countable, you have to "log in", which was not mentioned in this article.

    • Larry Swinney
      July 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Then it wouldn't accept my login password. I UNINSTALLED IMMEDIATELY.

  6. Károly Németh
    July 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Flynx browser because I hate advertisement.
    Cover lock screen. Smart and simple (hidden gem: shortcut for camera in landscape)
    Shush because usually I forget return from silent mode.
    Timely is better way to set alarm and timer.
    Truecaller can recognize "spam" caller. (e.g. DM)

    IF is a well-known app but it can give SMS reminder to calendar (or any other app). This has just removed from Google. I get notification from all app and I can't recognise any important event.

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:10 am

      Those are all great suggestions, but I really like Shush! Going to install it right away. :D

    • rick3
      October 15, 2015 at 9:24 am

      I read this article because of IF. I have it set up to do all kinds of things. Great great app!

      Anyone know of something like Wakie, only for texting? I work thirds and by myself. Sometimes it's nice, but sometimes it would be nice to have someone to txt back and forth with.

  7. Fred McLean
    July 14, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Play store doesn't l find/download Countable on my android

  8. Jim Hartley
    July 14, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Your review of COUNTABLE must have been written by the developer. Check the comments in Play Store to see what people really think about it. It's not pretty.

    Slow, nonresponsive, doesn't work.

  9. John Lee Pettimore III
    July 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Elixir 2 + E-Robot
    Dev: Tamás Barta

    There are no words to describe exactly how nerdishly wonderful they are. Take fullest control of your android device.
    Get them.
    Use them.
    LOVE them.

  10. Phid ippides
    July 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I don't think there are any "life changing" apps that apply to everyone. Each person finds value in apps differently. With that said, some non-music Android apps that I find highly valuable include Podkicker, CamScanner, and Textra (all free). Before it was closed down, Umano was also in this category.

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:12 am

      Yeah, you have a point. For example, I personally don't have much desire to use Wakie, but I know that it has been tremendous for a lot of folks. One man's trash = another man's treasure.

  11. Arul Mani
    July 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Fantastice article !! These apps are gonna improve most of things i have regualrly problem with !!! Thanks a lot !!!!!

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:12 am

      You're welcome, Arul. I hope they apps have been good to you!

  12. Paul Harris
    July 13, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I looked on Google Play, no Klok.
    I checked Tech Crunch, ah, here it is .... IOS Apple app. Not Android

  13. Meru Badyal
    July 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    You've listed cool apps. There're some great ideas here! I would like to add another useful app to this list. The app was featured by Tech Crunch recently. Klok, a time converter app

    • Ken Gervais
      July 13, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Klok may be a great app, but it's not an Android app, which this article is about. Recommending it to Android users isn't much help.

      • Meru Badyal
        July 14, 2015 at 5:07 am

        Ken, the app is under development and will be launched for Android next month.

  14. Omstavan Samant
    July 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Great work! really nice compilation... I had hardly known any of these apps! :)

    • Joel Lee
      August 1, 2015 at 1:13 am

      That's what I was going for, haha. Thanks Omstavan, I appreciate it. :)

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