You Should Buy These: 5 Android Apps That Are Worth Every Penny, And Why

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android apps you should haveThere is a vast ocean of Android apps on the Google Play market and it can be extremely daunting to browse, especially if you’re new to Android in general. Free apps are great and all, and there are tons of them available, but what about the paid ones? Are they worth the money? Which apps should you bother to consider at all?

I always found it strange that we’ll pay $5 for a cup of Starbucks without a second thought yet deliberate over the value of a $0.99 app. I do it all the time! And the stranger thing is that the app will almost always provide more bang-for-its-buck than coffee will. But keep reading and I’ll tell you about six paid Android apps that are worth their price.

Disclaimer: I understand that there are a GREAT many paid apps that are worth purchasing. Due to the limited space of this article, I’ll be covering the most general apps that nearly everyone can benefit by using, so I’ve left out a lot of apps that have a more specific purpose.

SwiftKey ($4 USD)

android apps you should have

What It Does: At its core, SwiftKey replaces the touch keyboard on your Android device, but it’s so much more than that. This app can analyze your typing patterns and learn from it, providing you with the most accurate predictive text. It can handle multiple languages – even simultaneously. With the latest SwiftKey Flow feature, you can type by swiping instead of tapping for even more convenience.

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Free vs. Pro: SwiftKey doesn’t really have a free version, per se. It offers a 30-day free trial where you can use SwiftKey with all of its features unlocked, but once the trial runs out you’ll need to buy the app. SwiftKey is the very first app that I ever spent money on and I do not regret it to this day. My girlfriend, who never even considered paying for mobile apps, ended up buying SwiftKey. It’s that good.

Nova Launcher Prime ($4 USD)

android apps you should get

What It Does: Nova Launcher is a prime specimen when it comes to Android home screen launchers. It has many of the usual launcher features, like scrollable dock, custom app drawers, infinite page switching, and small features that make the entire experience that much more smooth. It’s fast, but requires at least Android 4.0.

Free vs. Pro: When you buy Prime – Nova’s Pro version – you also get: drawer groups (organize apps into folders in the app drawer), action gestures (start certain apps with pinch/swipe/etc), app hiding (reduce app drawer clutter), dock swipes (a gesture on a dock icon performs a different action), unread counts (for mail, SMS, etc), and more. Basically, Nova Launcher Prime is one of the most powerful home screen launchers you’ll ever find.

Tasker ($3 USD)android apps you should get

What It Does: Tasker is a device automation app and it does exactly what it sounds like it would do: tweaks your device so that it behaves in different ways depending on the tasks you set up. These tasks can be event-driven (e.g., “when the device is face down”) or time-based (e.g., “at 8AM”) or whatever else, and they can perform a variety of actions (e.g., mute your device, launch an app, toggle WiFi, reboot, etc.).

Free vs. Pro: Tasker actually doesn’t come in a free version, which is a bummer for those of you who want to give it a test run before committing to the price. Just know that there are dozens of triggers, hundreds of actions, and plenty of advanced features (like loops, variables, and conditions) to make the most of your device automation. For more info, check out Tasker’s official user guide.

WeatherBug ($2 USD)

android apps you should have

What It Does: WeatherBug is one of the best apps for handling your weather concerns. It comes with a handy little widget that keeps you updated on the latest weather conditions and alerts you when a weather warning is in place. It’s relatively accurate, even for its 5-day and 10-day forecasts, and it has options in place so it doesn’t drain your battery too quickly.

Free vs. Pro: The only difference between WeatherBug free and WeatherBug Elite (the pro version) is the removal of ads. Is that worth the price tag? I think it is. The ads aren’t intrusive by any means, but it frees up that much more space for weather information. Plus, $2 is like half a coffee, and WeatherBug will be one of those apps that you use on a daily basis.

Titanium Backup Pro ($6.58 USD)

What It Does: Titanium Backup is the most well-known backup tool for Android devices. It has an antiquated interface and the basic feature set is nothing to get excited about – until you unlock the Pro version. Many Android users still swear by Titanium Backup as their backup method of choice, and it’s no wonder that it’s remained among the cream of the crop for years. Titanium Backup requires a rooted device.

Free vs. Pro: The Free version is extremely limited (simple apps backup only) but the Pro version is packed with features: multiple backups per app so you can choose which one to restore, an app freezer that disables and hides an app without needing to uninstall it, scheduled backups, send backups to a cloud service like Dropbox, encrypted backups for additional security, and more. With Pro, Titanium Backup goes from being a crippled free trial to a full-blown comprehensive backup solution.


The apps on this list have consistently been considered among the best apps for Android, period. From typing to weather to backups to automation, these apps will be enough to get you set up and going for a long time to come. If you buy all of the, that’s still less than $20 USD, and if you forego the backup solution, it drops even further to $13. I’m not one who likes to spend money on apps, but these are all worth the buy.

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30 Comments - Write a Comment


Barrie McNaught

Nice to know that I already have 4 out of the 5 apps, for me the weather app is not needed I have others to do that but nice list.


Corina Carrasco

I think that when there are so many free apps out there, it works against the paid apps because our mind will naturally say, “hmm I will check out the free apps that do the same thing first…” then we end up settling for the free app. It happens with free ebooks, too.

Nice list. I may check out a couple of them. By the way, my Galaxy S3 comes with SwiftKey. I’m actually not liking it much because I am used to Swype and SwiftKey isn’t learning my patterns. Ugh! But it’s only the second day so I will give it a chance.

Joel Lee

I do agree that having so many free things available to us has spoiled us – myself included – and we often overlook the paid alternatives. It’s too bad because some of those paid alternatives are really good!

And I think you should stick with SwiftKey for at least a week. Don’t forget to fiddle with the settings if it doesn’t feel right! I think if you still don’t like it after a week of fiddling, then maybe you can move on. Personally, I prefer SwiftKey over Swype. :)


Jack Giebel

I own all but the weather app, glad to see that make use of approves of my purposes.


Jeff Brown

If you’re rooted TiBackup has save many an ass.

You should also know that if the above root applies to you then a lot of ROMs use nova prime as a launcher option. Carbon is one such ROM.



I think Swype is a better keyboard. Sad its not in Play Store.


Nevzat A

I agree with the above list except the Weather app. It’s not so essential to me. I’d rather add excellent 0.99$ games like Cut the Rope, Where’s My Water?, Asphalt 7: Heat, Angry Birds Star Wars, Bad Piggies etc… :)


Scott M

I have the equivalent apps.I have Swype instead and a different weather app but the list a very sound one.


Imesh Chandrasiri

SwiftKey can be used by hackers or malware to monitor keystrokes! I don’t know whether they have fixed this issue.

Joel Lee

This is the first I’ve heard about this. I’d assume that SwiftKey has overcome that issue since it doesn’t seem to be a big talking point recently. Thanks for sharing!



I’d recommend Swype over swiftkey (it’s only a buck) for those are used to swiping. it’s a much better keyboard frankly.

Also carbon backup is a really good alternative for titanium backup. Not only is it chair, it’s also more intuitive to non-geeks. Tasker used to have such a bad interface, but now it’s so easy to use, my boyfriend finally gave in and bought it. and this after he tried every other automation app out there even though I kept telling him this is the best


Christian Collins

Why is Titanium Backup Pro 6.58? why not 4.99? Heck even 6.99 would be better.

Joel Lee

Good question, one that I’ve asked myself on multiple occasions. I don’t have an answer, though.



For those without * Root, AppMonster is an excellent backup tool.There is a free version for basic services and Pro (paid) version without restrictions.



That weather app is fine but Rainalarm and skymotion are great free alternatives


Saiful Zaree Johar

I only have 2 out of 5 (Swiftkey and Nova Prime), because I don’t think I really need the other 3…As I flash custom ROM almost weekly, I just let my phone do anything by itself; updates, retrieving apps from Google Play…but for whoever uses/needed, good for you guys…

Bottom line is, if you think you need them, install/buy em…


Robert Brock

I own all five of the apps in this report and they are all worth every penny, IMHO.

Joel Lee

Thanks for the corroboration. Much appreciated. :)



Kiwi Keyboard is also a good free alternative that supports swiping. Llama is free and similar to Tasker. In my opinion, Llama locations work much better sense you can combine multiple types of location detection under a single profile. This way you can add a location’s Wifi, coordinates, and nearby cell towers in a single profile instead of creating multiple ones. Tasker has more actions it can do and a better interface, though. Tasker also includes HTTP GET and POST actions which can come in extremely helpful.


Richard Borkovec

Nova Launcher Pro is THE best launcher I’ve ever used. I bought it back when Google their $.25 sale, but would have paid full price had it not been on sale.



It has been mentioned that Tasker doesn’t come in free version, but Tasker does have a trial version, which you can try out for a week. It can be found here:


Justin Klyczek

Thanks. It’s a good little review on Nova Prime


Rajeev Rohatgi

Camscanner…great app, and worth every penny. A scanner/copy machine in your pocket

Jason Fuller

yes, camscanner is better than all of these apps, and probably the only one worth paying for aside from swiftkey. (All the rest have their functionality duplicated by free apps)



I don’t understand the hype behind swiftkey. Yes i know it has themes but who cares.

I purchased a Galaxy note 2 and the stock keyboard has all the features of swiftkey in settings. Plus it includes the option to write with the stylus and numbers on the keyboard. It’s so much better than swiftkey..

Jason Fuller

Try typing on a 8″ to 11″ tablet and you’ll understand. Switft key makes it so you can practicaly touch type. That said, I hate the fact you have to pay separately for the tablet and the phone version, which is why I returned it.

The real question is why all the hype about swipe when it’s built into android now?



Another app that is definitely worth every penny is Million Dollar Search-The only app that gives you a shot at $1 million, also try the free Genie Fortune Teller


Tanim I

Tasker makes life a lot easier

Jason Fuller

ther eare nfc based apps that are better…

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