The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store
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The Google Play Store is home to a massive number of apps and continues to grow every day, so how are you to know which are the best? We’ve done the research for you, and we’ve narrowed it down to the three best apps in each of the following categories.

No matter what your need is, you’ll find it here. Here are the best Android apps you can get in the Google Play Store right now.

Jump Ahead: Automation | Browsers | Customization | File Management | Health | Keyboards | Launchers | Media | Messaging | Music | Navigation | Phone/Contacts | Photography | Photo/Video Editing | Productivity | Reading | Root-Required | Security | Social | Texting | Utilities | VPNs

Automation Apps

Tasker

For the power to automate everything on your phone, you need Tasker. It costs $2.99, but it’s worth every penny. You can automate virtually every task on your phone based on a long list of variables, from time of day to location to everything in between. Never manually turn on your WiFi or Bluetooth again.

Tasker combined with IFTTT (another incredible automation app that nearly made this list) makes for a killer automation duo on Android.

Download: Tasker ($2.99)

MacroDroid

MacroDroid is like a simplified version of Tasker. If Tasker seems too intimidating, give MacroDroid a shot.

Visually, it’s a lot more appealing, but it has many of the same functions. You can automate all sorts of things with just a few taps!

Download: MacroDroid (Free, premium version available)

Automate

Similar to Tasker, Automate brings device level automation to your Android device, but with a visual twist. You create what are called flows, built up of blocks (actions). And then, just like a flow chart, you connect one action to another to build a workflow. If you want to get into powerful automation, Automate is the best way to begin. You’ll find more than 300 blocks with actions related to Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, Google Drive, FTP, location, time of the day, and apps.

You can keep things simple with a flow of blocks, or you can use features like loops, conditions, and action triggers to create complex workflows. A workflow can start in multiple ways. It can be triggered automatically when it matches one of the conditions that you’ve set up. Or you can manually trigger a workflow using a home screen shortcut.

Download: Automate (Free, premium version available)

Browser Apps

Chrome

As Google’s own browser, Chrome is an obvious choice. If you use Chrome on the desktop, your tabs and bookmarks will always stay synced. It’s quick and easy to switch through tabs either by tapping the button in the top right or by swiping along the top bar.

Aside from that, it’s just super fast and easy to use. You can’t go wrong with Chrome.

Download: Chrome (Free)

Firefox

If you use Firefox on the desktop, you might as well use it on Android too. All the features of a great browser are here—incognito mode, intuitive tab switching, bookmark syncing.

But Firefox goes a step further by allowing for add-ons, with which you can tailor your browser to your personal demands. For a customizable browser, go for Firefox.

Download: Firefox (Free)

Kiwi Browser

Kiwi Browser is a faster, simplified version of Chrome. It’s an open-source browser, built on Chromium. What does this mean in real life? That it’s blazing fast.

Plus, the app is filled with pro features. You can listen to YouTube videos in the background, switch the address bar to the bottom of the page, and the app blocks all ads and trackers by default. The best part though is the Night Mode. When configured, not only will it switch the UI to dark, but the websites will flip colors too. The background will be black and the text will be white. On OLED screens, this makes reading much better on the eyes.

Download: Kiwi Browser (Free)

Customization Apps

Tapet

Tapet mathematically generates a pattern based wallpaper for you. Every wallpaper is generated on the device, which makes it unique to you.

You can swipe left in the preview to switch colors, and swipe right to switch the pattern. Swipe up to generate a new wallpaper. When you find something you like, just tap on the big checkmark button to make it your wallpaper.

Download: Tapet (Free, premium version available)

CandyCons

CandyCons has an extensive collection of icons that works with any third party launcher. You’ll find many icon packs on Play Store but CandyCons strikes the right balance between playfulness and simplicity.

You’ll find stylized, minimal versions of app icons you use every day. With more than a thousand icons in the gallery, you won’t have trouble finding a CandyCons icon for your favorite apps.

Download: CandyCons (Free)

KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker

KLWP’s app name is a bit confusing. It calls itself a live wallpaper maker, but in reality, it’s a full fledged home screen designer. You can load up widgets, create your own widget, customize presets, and create a home screen setup that’s unique to you. And when it’s applied, it just functions as a wallpaper, not widget.

All elements are still interactive but as a wallpaper. The only downside is the app’s user interface. It’s not very intuitive and it has a steep learning curve. But you can spend some time learning the tools and editing the presets to get a hang of it.

Download: KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker (Free, premium version available)

File Management Apps

Files by Google

Replace your ad-fueled cleaner app and your older file manager with this all-in-one file management app straight from Google. You can use it to quickly clear up some storage space by reviewing files you’re no longer using.

Switch to the Browse tab and you can access, copy or move any file on your Android device.

Download: Files by Google (Free)

AirDroid

Want to move files from your Android to your computer or vice-versa without a cable? AirDroid is your app.

On top of that, AirDroid has tons of other amazing features like texting from your computer, sharing a clipboard between your phone and computer, the ability to backup everything on your device, and more. AirDroid is a necessity for those who like to live the wire-free life.

Download: AirDroid (Free)

Google Drive

With 15GB of free storage, you wouldn’t want to miss out on Google Drive. Backup all your important files to the very modern-looking app, share them with others for easy collaboration, and save them offline for those long plane rides.

If you’re on Android, you’re already using the necessary Google account, so why not?

Download: Google Drive (Free)

Health Apps

Google Fit

As the best all-purpose fitness-tracking app for Android, Google Fit should be an instant download for anyone focused on fitness and health.

It allows you to track your exercise using the sensors in your smartphone, make goals, and it integrates with all the fantastic Android Wear devices currently available.

Download: Google Fit (Free)

7 Minute Workout

“I just don’t have the time to workout.” It’s a common excuse, but it doesn’t hold water. Do you have 7 minutes? Great, then you have time to exercise.

This app can kickstart a healthier routine by interrupting your long periods of sitting with short, intense workouts. Give it a try; you’ll be glad you did.

Download: 7 Minute Workout (Free, subscription available)

Strava

Strava is a clean, community-based health tracking app. It’s great for tracking runs, hikes and bike rides. The app provides a category-best analysis of your activity.

Plus, you can follow other Strava users, share your rides, and take part in some healthy competition in your area and across the globe.

Download: Strava (Free, subscription available)

Keyboard Apps

Gboard

Gboard is currently the best keyboard for Android. And it’s probably built into your phone. If not, you can download it from the Play Store. The app has gesture-based input, smart autocorrect, GIF search, emoji suggestions, and themes.

The best part is the built-in Google search. Just tap on the G button, start searching ,and you can paste in the search in the text box. No need to open a browser.

Download: Gboard (Free)

SwiftKey

If you don’t like Gboard, try SwiftKey. SwiftKey was the pioneer of intelligent autocorrect suggestions and it’s still the king. If you’re looking for a customizable, fast typing experience which won’t result in typos, use SwiftKey.

Download: SwiftKey (Free)

Fleksy

Feksky is the best keyboard for a certain kind of Android user. If you can get used to the fast, gesture-based interface, you’ll fly through the app.

With killer text prediction and a customizable toolbar, Fleksy becomes the fastest keyboard app on Android. You can use modules to add extra functionality to the app. Features like web search, video search and GIF library are just the cherry on top.

Download: Fleksy

Launcher Apps

Nova Launcher

The all-around best launcher for Android is easily Nova Launcher. With an insane amount of customization options as well as blazing fast speed, there’s no reason to keep your stock launcher.

Best of all, it’s free, though you can unlock some extra features with the paid Prime version.

Download: Nova Launcher (Free) | Nova Launcher Prime ($4.99)

Evie Launcher

Evie is a simple, lightning-fast launcher for Android. You’ll find the standard home screen customization features. But search is where Evie shines. Android doesn’t have good on-device search.

Once Evie is installed, you can just swipe down on the Home screen and start typing. Evie will instantly show the relevant results for an app, contact, file, and later, web search results as well.

Download: Evie Launcher (Free)

Smart Launcher 5

Smart Launcher bridges the gap between a simple and a feature-rich browser. When you first set it up, you’ll find it similar to Evie, with universal search, automatic smart categorization of apps, a preset home screen with folders, and so on. But if dive deeper and unlock the pro version, you’ll find home screen customization options similar to that of Nova Launcher.

You’ll find dozens of themes, customizable gestures, and a Black mode for OLED screens.

Download: Smart Launcher 5 (Free, premium version available)

Media Apps

Google Photos

There’s a good chance this app came pre-loaded on your Android device, but it’s well worth downloading even if it didn’t. At it’s most basic, it’s just an attractive gallery app, but it actually offers so much more Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage & More with Google Photos Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage & More with Google Photos If you aren't using these hidden Google Photos features, you're really missing out. (Hint: There's free and unlimited photo storage!) Read More .

Google offers free unlimited storage of photos under 16MP—which is amazing. Just setup automatic backup and never worry about losing photos again!

Download: Google Photos (Free)

Piktures

If you’re not a fan of Google’s offering, go for Piktures. It’s an intuitive gallery app that makes viewing all your pictures a breeze.

You can even protect photos with a PIN or sort by a calendar view! It’s way more useful than your phone’s built-in gallery app.

Download: Piktures (Free, premium version available)

VLC

Do you ever watch videos on your Android device? If so, VLC should be your default media player. It has way more features—like swiping to change the volume—than your default media player app, and it can handle all kinds of file types.

VLC already dominates the desktop market, and this mobile app firmly positions it as the best in the mobile sector too.

Download: VLC (Free)

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Messaging Apps

Google Voice

Google Voice for Android existed in a weird wasteland for years while Google left it neglected and not updated—but it’s back with a vengeance thanks to an awesome Google Voice update.

The new Google Voice is revamped, revitalized, and still the best way to get a free US number that you can use from anywhere.

Download: Google Voice (Free)

Telegram

For the privacy conscious, Telegram is one of the best encrypted messaging services. It’s free, ad-free, open-source, and Telegram cares about your privacy.

You’ll only be sending text messages here, but you can set them to self destruct and be confident that no one else is peeking in on your conversation.

Download: Telegram (Free)

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the notorious leader of the messaging world, even after being bought by Facebook. With over a billion monthly active users, Whatsapp has done well establishing itself as the go-to messaging app.

If you want to keep in touch with friends around the world, WhatsApp is probably the best option you have. Check out our list of the best WhatsApp features to get the most out of the messenger.

Download: WhatsApp (Free)

Music Apps

Google Play Music

Simply put, Google Play Music is the best music player on Android. You can upload your own songs to Google’s servers, listen to free music with ads, or pay $9.99 a month for ad-free music. Plus, it has a gorgeous and easy-to-use interface.

It’s simple, quick, and everything you need to play music.

Download: Google Play Music (Free, premium version available)

Spotify

Spotify is a powerful streaming music service, and its Android app is no exception. Listen to radio, shuffle songs from any artist, and do it all for free.

Spotify premium can get rid of the ads for $9.99 and allows you to play music offline. For listening to specific kinds of music without buying it, Spotify is the way to go.

Download: Spotify (Free, premium version available)

Pandora

This streaming radio service is unique in that it utilizes the Music Genome Project to alter the songs it plays to better suit your preferences. It’s got a nice tablet interface, tons of content, the ability to look up lyrics and artist info, and it’s free.

Pandora Premium, like the other paid music subscriptions in this list, costs $9.99 a month. Give it a shot if you just want to listen to radio designed for you.

Download: Pandora (Free, premium version available)

Google Maps

If you’re using an Android device already, there’s a good chance it came with Google Maps installed. Google Maps is the gold standard of mapping, and the app lives up to that reputation.

There are all sorts of cool Google Maps features and tricks, like adding a stop along your route or downloading offline maps, that make it even better than it used to be. Look for no further for the leader of the navigation world.

Download: Google Maps (Free)

Waze Maps

Even though it was purchased by Google a while back, Waze has yet to be folded into Google Maps and still manages to stand out with extra features like warnings about accidents and speedtraps.

The interface is a tad more dated than Google Maps, but many people swear by the app and actually prefer that aesthetic.

Download: Waze (Free)

Maps.me

Maps.me is the best offline maps app for Android. If you’re traveling to new countries or areas, it’s best to download the Maps.me database for the country before you head out. It’s a free and open source app that provides data from the OpenStreetMap database. The app features detailed offline maps for 345 countries and islands across the world.

Along with the offline maps, you also get navigation, offline search, bookmarking, and traffic updates (not available offline).

Download: Maps.me (Free, subscription available)

Phone/Contacts Apps

Drupe Contacts

Your dialer and contacts app needs an upgrade. You just don’t know it yet. Drupe’s contacts app brings the functionality of a dialer and contact manager in one app.

It’s the only app you’ll need to add contacts, edit them, search for contacts, quickly dial contacts, manage your call log, and more. The app features a gesture-based UI. Once the app is set up, you can swipe from a corner of the screen and your favorite contacts will show up on the left, with modes to contact them on the right. Just swipe from the contact on the left to the shortcut on the right to take action (this can be messaging someone on WhatsApp or calling someone on Skype).

Download: Drupe Contacts (Free, premium version available)

Truecaller

While this app used to be split up into Truecaller and Truedialer, all of Truedialer’s features can now be found in Truecaller! It’s just one app that can handle all your contacts and your dialer, streamlining everything for you under one consistent interface.

Truecaller is well-known for its crowd-sourced Caller ID system, so you always know who’s calling. Aside from that, it’s just a fluid and nice-looking app.

Download: Truecaller (Free, subscription available)

Google Phone/Contacts

As phone manufacturers have moved to create their own customized Phone and Contacts apps, Google has been working to keep Android devices all running the same apps. While Phone and Contacts used to be built-in to Android, they can now be found on the Play Store.

If you’re tired of your Samsung- or LG-themed Phone or Contacts app, try Google’s offerings. They’re simple, they work, and they’re pretty. They don’t have all the features of third-party apps, but they have the reliability of Google.

Download: Phone (Free)
Download: Contacts (Free)

Photography Apps

Open Camera

When Android hardware makers tinker with their software, they often mess with the stock camera app, making it clunky, bloated, and less functional.

If you’re unhappy with your stock camera app, try out Open Camera. It’s a powerful, ad-free, open source camera app that might not be the prettiest app in the world, but it gets the job done.

Download: Open Camera (Free)

Camera 360

Camera 360 is probably the most popular alternative camera app out there, and for good reason. It has tons of cool filters, a bunch of different camera modes, and even sharing aspects like its own kind of social network.

If you’re dissatisfied with your current camera app and want something with editing functionality built in, Camera 360’s right for you.

Download: Camera 360 (Free, subscription available)

Footej

The Play Store is filled with free third-party camera apps. But they’re a mess of feature overload and UI problems. Footej cuts through the bloat by offering a simple, to the point interface with quick access to basic tools you need for capturing the perfect shot.

When you open the app, you’ll find the basic manual photography tools in the bottom-right corner. There is no huge toolbar at the top. From the shortcuts, you can quickly change the shutter speed, ISO, focus, white balance, and exposure. You can quickly switch between auto and manual modes for focus and exposure. If your device supports it, you can shoot in RAW as well.

Download: Footej (Free, premium version available)

Photo/Video Editing Apps

Snapseed

After you’ve taken your photos and it’s time to edit them, you’ll be glad you’ve downloaded Snapseed. It’s a powerful, yet easy-to-use photo editing tool, and since being acquired by Google, it’s been getting more and more baked into Google’s services.

For the best free, simple photo editor on Android, Snapseed should be your pick.

Download: Snapseed (Free)

InShot

InShot is a video editor designed for the social media generation. You can quickly crop video, trim it, merge it, split it, apply filters, do basic color correction, add background music and export it for one of the presets – IGTV, Instagram Stories, YouTube, and so on.

The app is free to use and more importantly, it’s simple enough that you can master it in a couple of minutes. It uses the same photo editing UI that Instagram pioneered.

Download: InShot (Free, subscription available)

PowerDirector

PowerDirector is a surprisingly powerful video editor that works on your Android device. It features a multi-track editing view and is filled with features you would normally find in a professional grade video editing app on the desktop.

Using PowerDirector, you can go from clips on your phone to a finished YouTube video, with an intro, background score, color correction, filters, transition effects, 4K output, slow motion, and more. The app can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but hang in there, watch some tutorials, and you’ll be making amazing YouTube videos with just your phone, in no time.

Download: PowerDirector (Free, subscription available)

Productivity Apps

Microsoft Office Suite

Microsoft Office suite has a knack of finding its way in your life. You’ll have to deal with a Word document or an Excel sheet at some point in your life. If you don’t want to install those apps on your PC, you can try editing or creating documents directly on your Android phone.

You won’t have access to all the features (like complex Excel macros), but all the basic features are available in the Android app.

Download: Microsoft Word (Free, subscription available)
Download: Microsoft PowerPoint (Free, subscription available)
Download: Microsoft Excel (Free, subscription available)

Google Suite

Google’s productivity suite works really well on an Android device (not a surprise). You can not only create documents but easily share and collaborate as well, right from your phone. Using collaboration on Google Docs and Slides on Android is especially magical.

Download: Google Docs (Free)
Download: Google Sheets (Free)
Download: Google Slides (Free)

Todoist

You should be using a to-do list app to organize your life. Even if it’s something as simple as your work tasks or the grocery list. Todoist is a great place to start.

The app is available on every platform and it has all the basic features you’d need from a to-do app, for free. You can use natural language to input tasks, create subtasks, start projects, take notes, and set reminders.

Download: Todoist (Free, subscription available)

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Reading Apps

Kindle

As the king of the eReader and ebook market, Amazon’s Kindle app is an obvious contender here, and for good reason. With the Kindle app for Android, you have access to Amazon’s massive ebook collection, seamless syncing, and advanced bookmarking, note-taking, and customization features. If you’re a fan of ebooks and Amazon, this is a must-have.

You can even send your own ebooks, documents, and articles to the app.

Download: Kindle (Free, subscription available)

Moon+ Reader

If you’re not fond of the Amazon approach, Moon+ Reader is another of the best ebook readers for Android. It can read formats from ePub to Mobi and everything in between, has vast customization options, and it even allows for syncing with Dropbox.

For reading various formats of ebooks in a highly customized way, Moon+ Reader is the way to go.

Download: Moon+ Reader (Free) | Moon+ Reader Pro ($4.99)

Feedly

Reading the news is Feedly’s domain. It’s one of the best news readers for Android, and it makes it super easy to gather all of your news and RSS feeds together in one place.

It has a modern interface made better with day and night themes, the ability to save articles for later, and the ability to share articles to your other apps.

Download: Feedly (Free, subscription available)

Root-Required Apps

Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup is a must have for any root user, simply because of the massive backup capabilities it possesses. Plus, you can use it to delete all the undeletable bloatware that is clogging up your device.

Most of the features are available for free, but power users need to shell out $5.99 for the Pro version.

Download: Titanium Backup (Free) | Titanium Backup Pro ($5.99)

Root Browser

If your device is rooted and you like tinkering with it, you’re likely going to run into times where you need to access sensitive files. That’s where Root Browser comes in. It asks for root permission when you try going past a certain point in the file system, and it allows you to tinker with files most users never see.

It can be extremely useful, but be careful not to delete anything vital!

Download: Root Browser (Free, premium version available)

Magisk

Magisk calls itself a systemless interface. Other than root access, Magisk gives you a powerful system for flashing files and modules. You can use Magisk to flash custom files that will change the behavior of the OS and add new features without flashing a whole new custom ROM.

And Magisk does all this without involving a complex recovery system. You can flash Xposed modules using Magisk as well. Browse the Magisk module repository to see if something catches your eyes.

Download: Magisk (Free)

Security Apps

Malwarebytes Security

Unless you’re spending all your time in pirated apps, you don’t need an antivirus app on your Android phone. Most antivirus Android apps do more harm than good. While virus is not a big problem on Android, malware is. It has a tendency to seep in through the cracks, an accidentally tapped ad leads to a download that you didn’t even notice.

This is why you should install Malwarebytes security. It has the best malware detection in all Android apps (and it will check for viruses and other threats as well). Do a malware scan once in a month for peace of mind.

Download: Malwarebytes Security (Free, subscription available)

LastPass

LastPass is a third-party password manager that will supercharge your security. Create strong, unique passwords for your favorite sites and save them in the LastPass vault. Then, you only need to remember the LastPass password.

Once you’ve saved the passwords, you can just use LastPass’s autofill tool to automatically sign in. LastPass stores passwords on its own servers and they’re protected with industry standard encryption. If you’re looking for a completely private password manager, take a look at KeePass2Android.

Download: LastPass (Free, premium version available)

Google Find My Device

Previously known as Android Device Manager, Google Find My Device helps you locate and manage your Android phone. You can use the app to locate all your devices and if something is stolen, you can quickly erase a device.

Download: Google Find My Device (Free)

Social Apps

Faster for Facebook Lite

We’ve already established that Facebook is ruining your Android device and you should avoid it like the plague. But you might still want to use Facebook every now and then.

Use Faster for Facebook Lite. The app brings a web-based Facebook interface with native Android features. You can browse the feed, participate in groups, watch videos and even use Facebook Messenger, all from this one app.

Download: Faster for Facebook Lite (Free, premium version available)

Fenix 2

Fenix 2 gives you the best Twitter experience for Android. Fenix 2 is thoughtfully designed and has a gorgeous view for tweet threads. The app makes it easy to quickly switch between multiple accounts. True to the spirit of Android, the main screen is completely customizable. Plus, the app features rich previews from Instagram and YouTube.

Download: Fenix 2 ($3.99)

Instagram

Bought by Facebook a while back, Instagram is the Twitter of pictures. Snap some cool pictures of your surroundings (or selfie it) and edit your pictures with the built-in filters.

It’s an extremely visual and fun-to-use social network; give it a try!

Download: Instagram (Free)

Texting Apps

Messages

As a part of Google’s moves to put all the stock Android apps in the Play Store, Messages is really just the barebones texting app. But if your phone’s manufacturer heavily tweaked your SMS app (looking at you, Samsung), it’s a nice, simple alternative.

Download: Messages (Free)

Pulse SMS

Pulse is an SMS app that Google should have built. It’s a simple and fast SMS client that works on Android phone, Android watch and even on laptops and tablets. You can continue your SMS conversations, no matter which device you’re using.

The app lets you pin chats, archive old threads, add users to blacklist, and more. You can use the app to share rich media like messages, photos, and location.

Download: Pulse SMS (Free, subscription available)

Chomp SMS

If you’re looking for customization in your texting app, go for Chomp. Chomp has been around for ages and it’s only getting better. The app follows Material Design guidelines, but it offers a huge range of customization option – right from the background, font, text size, ringtones to LED customization.

Plus it offers the usual messaging features like pinned chats, passcode lock, scheduled messages, blacklist, quick reply, and more.

Download: Chomp SMS (Free)

Utility Apps

Clipper

Clipper is a powerful clipboard manager for Android. Once active, it automatically saves everything that you copy to your clipboard. Your Android phone might be your primary productivity or communication device. If you need to copy and paste multiple phrases often, start using Clipper. Once it’s saved clipboard items to the app, you can go in and merge them, quickly add older items back to the clipboard, save old clipboard items in a different list, and more.

If you pay for the Clipper+ premium version, you get access to unlimited clipping, search and online clipping sync.

Download: Clipper (Free) | Clipper Plus ($1.99)

Sesame Shortcuts

Sesame Shortcuts fixes on device search on Android. By default, Google search shows you results from the web, and not from your phone. Sesame Shortcuts integrates directly into a third party launcher’s search feature (like Nova or Smart Launcher).

Once it’s set up, Sesame will show you results not only from your device (like contacts, apps), but can go deeper within the app as well. For example, it can show results for calendar events, Slack channels, subreddits, YouTube channels, files in Google Drive and more. You can go into settings and create your own shortcuts too. Sesame Shortcuts has an unlimited trial. But you’ll be reminded ever 14 days to upgrade.

Download: Sesame Shortcuts (Free, premium version available)

AMDroid

AMDroid is a powerful alarm clock with unlimited, fully customizable alarm profiles. The default alarm feature in the Clock app is limited and unintuitive. AMDroid lets you easily customize multiple alarms with individual profiles.

Designed for deep sleepers, you can set recurring alarms, one time alarms, and countdown alarms (for the nap time). The alarm wakes you up gradually and shows you real-time weather information as well. There are built-in challenges you can solve to wake yourself up. The app features sleep tracking and smart alarm timing. If you’re a light sleeper, the app will wake you up at just the right time in between a thirty-minute window so you’re not in a groggy state all day.

Download: AMDroid (Free, premium version available)

VPN Apps

TunnelBear

TunnelBear is a free, simple and secure VPN app for Android. The app encrypts all the data and doesn’t log anything. The app will give you a 500 MB data allowance for free. If you want to use more than that, you’ll have to sign up for a premium plan.

Using a VPN is just as risky as not using one. If you choose a bad service, the provider might be tracking all your data. TunnelBear is known for its privacy-first approach and is one of the few providers who has been audited by a third party. It’s also one of the few apps that let you choose the country in the free plan as well.

Download: TunnelBear (Free, subscription available)

Turbo VPN

If you’re looking for a free and unlimited VPN service, take a look at Turbo VPN. The free version of the app lets you choose from a couple of locations across the world (it covers important locations like the US and UK). Using Turbo VPN, you can unblock sites and bypass firewalls.

If you’re looking for a faster connection (in the free plan, I got about 1/10th of my normal speed), you can opt for a premium plan which will also remove ads.

Download: Turbo VPN (Free, subscription available)

ExpressVPN

Using a VPN is absolutely essential if your goal is privacy. They shield your data from prying eyes so that nobody, not even your wireless provider, can peek in on what you’re doing.

With ExpressVPN, getting this kind of private connection is as easy as pressing a button. And there’s no limit on bandwidth either, like there can be with other VPN providers. You can even choose a VPN location outside your home country to make websites and apps think that you’re there.

The app is free to download, and you get a 7-day free trial. The monthly fee gets lower depending on how many months you pay in advance. Plus, with the link below, you can get 3 free months of ExpressVPN’s service.

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What Are Your Favorite Android Apps?

Out of the thousands of apps out there, we did our best to narrow down the best of them, but we’re sure to be missing some. Which apps could you not live without? Let us know in the comments!

For a different way to communicate, check out these email apps for Android The 10 Best Email Apps for Android, Compared The 10 Best Email Apps for Android, Compared Email on a smartphone? Use one of these excellent email apps for Android to make the experience more productive and enjoyable. Read More . And Stargazers among you will appreciate these astronomy apps The 10 Best Astronomy Apps for Enjoying the Night Sky The 10 Best Astronomy Apps for Enjoying the Night Sky Love astronomy? Want to kick your stargazing up a level? Here are some awesome astronomy apps for Android and iPhone users. Read More .

Explore more about: Android Apps, Android Launcher, Android Theme, Best Of, Google Music, Google Play Store, Longform List, VPN.

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  1. Akash
    June 23, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Xplayer is the best alternative to VLC

  2. Melisa Harris
    March 23, 2019 at 10:27 am

    He wasn’t able to work on my spouse phone because there were some VPNs that prevent him from breaking into the device. He requested for the phone ime number. He programmed a duplicate of my spouse phone, the phone was sent to my mail and it perfectly working same as my spouse phone. I hope to meet him in person someday. They still use the same contact information via email garyadrianh AT gmail Dot com also you can Text or Whatsapp on +18038145386

  3. David E Leatherman
    March 14, 2019 at 7:35 am

    You miss Snapchat, SHAREit, Free music player. They're really good. For me, the list isn't complete without them. Easy to download them from play store or some popular apk download sites like apkmirror, apknite

  4. darrin
    March 1, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    VLC has have been having bug issues lately. if i download a software program or and other file and then when i go to click on it to open it will be in the VLC logo but then i have to right click on it and choose open with explorer and also it dose not open many new codecs that are being made recently.....

  5. sumit biswas
    February 21, 2019 at 8:16 pm
  6. Vladimirvin
    October 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

    My favorite app is Diary Lifestyle.

  7. Dev Rathore
    June 22, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    a very useful information about android best app.... thanks for sharing... keep sharing

  8. Anoop
    April 17, 2018 at 4:51 am

    Content of this page is not visible, Contents from the the app description of "Tasker" to the end of the post is not visible... is like a white layer placed over the text. Please check and solve the the issue immediately ...

    • Anoop
      April 17, 2018 at 5:35 am

      Problem shown under Chrome browser only.

    • MEW
      January 16, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      "Solve the issue immediately."

      Bossy much?

  9. Chirag Patel
    March 29, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Great stuff!
    Here I Found some of the best apps available in the market!

    Thank you so much for this :)

    I would like to draw your attention towards an application 'ShotOn for Motorola'. I am using this app to protect my images as it auto adds 'Shot On(My device name)' and 'Shot By(My name)' on the photos I capture from built-in camera. We can edit both the tags too including brand logo!

    It works as a copyright logo for me and allows me to share my picture anywhere without any fear :) 

    Here is the link to the app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shotonwatermarkstamp.addshotonformotorolaphotos

    Hope you will like my suggest!

    Keep posting great stuffs!

  10. shit uc
    February 2, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    uc browser is crap remove from list with lock screen ads too much ads

    • Glen LeBarr
      February 5, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      agree, it's garbage...surprised to see it listed, better browsers I've seen are Amorfly, Opera Mini, Via,Brave, and Firefox Focus

  11. Rhp
    February 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    The google voice discussion was useless and convoluted. It also shows why regular people don’t bother much with your ideas. Who can understand them?

  12. Shawn Rosvold
    February 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    AC3 Player will play every video type. Ever load a video, like MKV, and it has no sound? AC3 Player solved that for me.

    eWeather if you're a weather geek like me.

    Maps.me. I finally found a map app that works on a plane. And everywhere else.

    Mileage Plus X. Earn more United Miles when you make a purchase. Example - I get 5 miles per dollar I spend at Jiffy Lube, Panera or AMC Theaters.

    PIA VPN. Does not log anything, anywhere. Allows torrents. I use it on my desktop as well.

    Signal Messenger.

  13. BB
    November 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Viber. Very similar to WhatsApp, but better especially if you also use the PC client. If you want to, you can sign in simultaneously on multiple PCs and your phone. C.f. WhatsApp only allows one PC, with a rather clunky sign-in process.
    I use both WhatsApp and Viber, but Viber is the one we use for all our in-family discussions.

  14. Robert Niesen
    November 2, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Pulse for texting. Allows you to see your texts on your phone, tablet, and PC. It costs $10.99 for a lifetime subscription, but it's well worth it to be able to see your texts on other devices besides your phone.

  15. Rohit
    October 20, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Some of the apps which I think that should be here are -
    1) Pinterest
    2) Nouget Launcher
    3) ES file explorer
    4) Lucky Patcher ( one of my favourite app)
    5) WPS office
    6) Google translate

    But the apps which you have given are also really very good

  16. Bill
    July 25, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I always see the same list of browsers. For the last week, I've been running 'Via' in an 8" tablet. It's only been a week but so impressed. I wonder if you guys at MUO can take a look at it.

    The speed, the amazing usability, doesn't depend on Google frameworks but uses built-in viewer (so am able to run on Amazon Fire, 8"). I'm not affiliated with the app, just an impressed user. Seems Chinese-based and so a deep review on permissions, etc would put me at ease. Thanks!

    fyi... Wish I could run Firefox but it's always been slow and pages take a long while to render. Plus... not ready to install Google play services on Amazon's tablet yet.

  17. fufu
    December 28, 2016 at 11:43 am

    How about being able to use youtube and any app with phone locked? No Pause Lock on google play

  18. musaab hamadain
    December 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for letting us know that .. i only recommend UC player beside UCbrowser , the player is perfect it even has ability to hide your pics and videos ?

  19. Tom
    September 14, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    The fact that you recommend Facebook has destroyed any credibility with me.
    Facebook for Android, along with Facebook Messenger, are two of the most invasive, resource hog, system destabilizing apps out there!
    Unfortunately, now I wonder about your other recommendations...

    • Manjunatha
      June 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      U r right.facebook app I think is passe.it is a data hogging app.

    • Glen LeBarr
      February 5, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Friendly is a much better Facebook app

    • Glen LeBarr
      February 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      I was a long time Nova Launcher user until I discovered Evie; lighter & free

  20. Lops
    September 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    As news reader,
    I discovered RSS Reader Xoonity with voice reading (I'm a geek: p)
    and news republic

  21. Anonymous
    January 10, 2016 at 1:38 am

    aaaa

  22. Anonymous
    July 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Disa Beta is my go to messaging app. It combines SMS, MMS, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp all into one feed. Cannot speak highly enough of it.

  23. Atul
    May 18, 2015 at 8:37 am

    How Come Whatsapp is missing???

    • Bro Fide
      July 19, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      It's inclusive

  24. ferudun yaspasta
    April 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    x-plore: free file manager +multiple part rar, zip extract +root access types

  25. Tanya
    April 7, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I just upgraded my HTC One M7 to a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I use Windows Live Mail on my PC and had an email app and calendar app on my HTC that synced beautifully with both programs. I've been able to sync my various email accounts to my new phone but cannot for the life of me find a calendar app that will sync with my Windows Live Mail calendar. With 4 kids and a crazy schedule, I can't manage without calendars that sync. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Tracey
      August 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Jorte - I also have a Note 4 and have Jorte on my S5, a Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S. You can add calendars, which sync, and can change every single calendar display color to make the appearance as you like it. It finally occurred to me to take screenshots within this setting because every reset, upgrade, or another phone otherwise requires you to go through the setup process and settings, etc. I would love to send you photos and will be happy to help you with the app. I just don't know how.

  26. Skaine
    March 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    LINE - An all-rounded and quick social app
    It provides text-messaging, voice-messaging, video-sending, free call to another LINE account and calling from LINE to mobile or landline at low cost. There's a search functionality to search for messages.
    In my experience, in term of speed of sending and receiving text, pictures and voice messages, LINE is faster than WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat.
    It might not be obvious for someone who has a fast Internet, but in a place with slow Internet, averagely at around 1KBps, LINE is clear winner as others could hardly or take super long time to connect to the server and send messages.

    UC Browser
    Very fast as we can choose 'Lite' for UA Preference and can choose image quality.
    Besides, there's an add-on called 'Save Page' for saving web pages into mht file and could be moved to other devices including PC to keep and read. In the version I'm using, UC Browser couldn't open some of the web pages it saved, and this could be solved by using QQ Browser which never failed to open a single mht file.

    Other highly recommended:
    ES File Explorer
    Zapya
    Moon+ Reader
    QuickPic
    MX Player
    WPS Office
    GPS Essentials
    Adobe Reader

    For those who need to concentrate mobile data bandwidth to certain apps without having root, can try the following:
    NoRoot Firewall
    Mobiwol
    LostNet Firewall

  27. relix pitonto
    February 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

    i use a tecno d1 launchers look odd on my phone cus of d screen type....is there any launcher i can use and will look good on my screen

  28. Ryan
    February 24, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Kind of a little geeky but Bitcoin Crush is a fun app for those who enjoyed Candy Crush. It is one of two games (Bitcoin Flapper by the same company) that accumulates bitcoin just for playing the game (though you have to rank third or higher out of a four person mini tournament). Small amounts of Bitcoin but still better than just a high score...;)

    Thanks for the list - I found one that I was unaware of!

  29. ganeshkarthik
    February 19, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    1. GMD gasture control pro (for rooted mobile)
    2. Ad free
    3. Null launcher + swapps
    4. Driodwall
    5. Greenify
    6. Quick system info pre

    • Justin Dennis
      February 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      thanks for letting us know which apps work for you!

  30. Rohan
    February 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Perfectly Clear
    (de.worldiety.athentech.perfectlyclear)

    Next Launcher
    (com.gtp.nextlauncher)

    2048
    (com.digiplex.game)

    CPU-Z
    (com.cpuid.cpu_z)

    SIBE
    (com.vladikus.zwskin.sibe)

    darkontrols
    (com.darkontrols.nada)

    Wikipedia
    (org.wikipedia)

    Total Converter Key
    (com.akingi.tc.key)

    µTorrent Pro
    (com.utorrent.client.pro)

    Video Converter ARMv7 Neon
    (com.akingi.tc.armv7neon)

    Podcast Addict
    (com.bambuna.podcastaddict)

    Microphone
    (nuance.com)

    Snapchat
    (com.snapchat.android)

    Hole Icon Pack
    (com.gau.go.launcherex.iconpack)

    Apex Launcher
    (com.anddoes.launcher)

    Zippyshare Search
    (com.zippyshare.search.free)

    UC Browser
    (com.UCMobile.intl)

    Vuze Remote
    (com.vuze.android.remote)

    Smart Keyboard Pro
    (net.cdeguet.smartkeyboardpro)

    Cricbuzz
    (com.cricbuzz.android)

    Material Zooper
    (com.vish.zwskin.material)

    Xender
    (cn.xender)

    Extreme Call Blocker
    (com.greythinker.punchback)

    2D Unlock
    (com.huawei.android.potterunlock)

    Podcast Republic
    (com.itunestoppodcastplayer.app)

    Elementary_Zooper
    (elementary.zooper.zwskin)

    DashClock Widget
    (net.nurik.roman.dashclock)

    busybodyinstaller
    (com.darkontrolsinstaller.nada)

    ES File Explorer
    (com.estrongs.android.pop)

    Tiny Apps
    (com.ragingtools.airapps)

    SmartNews
    (jp.gocro.smartnews.android)

    Super Backup Pro
    (com.idea.backup.smscontactspro)

    Truecaller
    (com.truecaller)

    CM Wallpapers
    (com.cyanogenmod.CMWallpapers)

    Aviate
    (com.tul.aviate)

    HF Calculator Pro
    (com.scientificCalculatorPro)

    Blackboard
    (com.orhanobut.android.blackboard)

    Rocket
    (com.rocket.zwskin)

    SoundHound ∞
    (com.melodis.midomiMusicIdentifier)

    News Digest
    (com.yahoo.mobile.client.android.atom)

    SleepyTunes
    (comdmen555.github.sleepmanager)

    Office Mobile
    (com.microsoft.office.officehub)

    Drippler
    (com.drippler.android.updates)

    Instagram
    (com.instagram.android)

    Iride UI
    (com.Fraom.IrideUI)

    feedly
    (com.devhd.feedly)

    Bluelight Filter
    (jp.ne.hardyinfinity.bluelightfilter.free)

    eToro OpenBook
    (com.etoro.openbook)

    MP3 Video Converter
    (com.springwalk.mediaconverter)

    Cerberus
    (com.lsdroid.cerberus)

    Chrono List
    (com.marks.chronolist)

    Pages Manager
    (com.facebook.pages.app)

    Devo
    (stealthychief.theme.devo)

    Fleksy
    (com.syntellia.fleksy.keyboard)

    Kalnirnay
    (com.awt.kalnirnay)

    Galaxy Launcher
    (com.epic.launcher.tw)

    Renascence
    (com.renascence.icons.nicque.paid)

    aCalendar+
    (org.withouthat.acalendarplus)

    Illus
    (kov.theme.illus)

    Flynx
    (com.flynx)

    Insta Downloader
    (com.freeapps365.instadownloader)

    Lucid Launcher Pro
    (com.powerpoint45.launcherpro)

    World Atlas
    (com.mindbeach.android.worldatlas)

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    (com.merriamwebster)

    Power Toggles
    (com.painless.pc)

    App List
    (com.elitenerds.applist)

    My Effectiveness Habits
    (com.andtek.sevenhabits)

    Zooper By Beard
    (com.beard.zooperbybeardapp)

    RealCalc
    (uk.co.nickfines.RealCalcPlus)

    AJ English
    (net.aljazeera.english)

    Manual Camera
    (pl.vipek.camera2)

    SherLocked
    (com.sherlocked)

    MX Player Pro
    (com.mxtech.videoplayer.pro)

    Dictionary Premium
    (com.dictionary.paid)

    Opera Mini
    (com.opera.mini.android)

    Zooper Widget Pro
    (org.zooper.zwpro)

    ZUI Locker
    (com.zuimeia.suite.lockscreen.international)

    Evernote
    (com.evernote)

    CCleaner
    (com.piriform.ccleaner)

    Gallery
    (com.htc.album)

    OnyX
    (com.dreaapps.zwskin.OnyX)

    Zooper By Beard
    (com.beard.zwskin.zooperbybeard)

    Timely
    (ch.bitspin.timely)

    Flipkart
    (com.flipkart.android)

    Smart Launcher Pro
    (ginlemon.flowerpro)

    Trim'd
    (gfxbandits.iconpack.trimd)

    L Camera
    (pkmx.lcamera)

    Hook
    (com.rt.hook)

    360 Security
    (com.qihoo.security)

    BBC News
    (bbc.mobile.news.ww)

    Flaterial
    (com.mindesigns.zwskin.flaterial)

    MindTools
    (com.mindtools)

    Video Converter
    (com.akingi.tc)

    HI App Lock
    (com.hi.applock)

    WhatsApp
    (com.whatsapp)

    Camera
    (com.android.camera2)

    TechCalc
    (com.roamingsquirrel.android.calculator)

    AntiVirus
    (org.antivirus)

    Evo
    (stealthychief.theme.evo)

    Nova Launcher
    (com.teslacoilsw.launcher)

    Clean Master Pro

    • Justin Dennis
      February 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      wow, very thorough! thanks!

  31. vicky
    February 9, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I have user ShareNSearch, a interest based social app with news of your interest. Its very good app where you can get rid of Adbanners and find the content and post of your interest and chat with people of your interest.

    • kalpesh walke
      February 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Mx video player
      Mobogine
      Quick pic
      Superbeam
      Lazy swipe
      Black mart
      Swiftkey
      Repix
      Lux dash
      Truedialler
      Twitter
      Whatsapp
      Play music
      Clash of clan
      Es file

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:42 am

      interesting, we'll have to look into that. thanks!

  32. sunil karanjit
    February 1, 2015 at 7:56 am

    My fav apps are
    mxplayer, efs file manager,superbeam,opera and uc browser,clean master

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:42 am

      thanks for letting us know!

  33. CG
    January 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    evolveSMS and Zooper are must haves. I also prefer CloudMagic for mail and either chrome or dolphin as browsers. Xodo for viewing and annotating PDFs.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:41 am

      all good recommendations, cheers!

  34. Raj Dod
    January 20, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Include max player and whatsapp. Your have forgotten Twitter app too.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:41 am

      definitely looking into max player and whatsapp too, cheers !

  35. Darshan
    January 18, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I have a pretty old android phone with about 756 mb of Ram and 1 mz processor.
    and my list is

    MX PLAYER
    QUICKPIC
    OPEN CAMERA
    APPlOCK
    DUMPSTER
    SWIFTKEY
    TWILIGHT
    TITANIUM BACKUP
    EFS FILE EXPLORER
    WHTSAPP
    CONTACTS+
    AND GREENIFY

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:40 am

      thanks for those recommendations -- should be good for those with little memory/storage.

  36. Bharathi Raja K
    January 16, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Good work on listing the apps, much handy.
    My list are
    Headse button controller
    ES File Explorer
    MX Player
    Power Amp
    Quick Pic
    UC Browser
    Whatsup
    And few more, already in your list.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:40 am

      thanks!! and thanks for your recommendations :)

  37. Eli Cummings
    January 7, 2015 at 12:43 am

    5 reasonable functions and one housekeeping function pretty much describes any smart phone.
    Communication
    Phone (video phone)
    Messaging/Posting (the same really though messaging is immediate)
    Music Player - stream, download and play
    Camera - picture taking, image viewing
    Paperwork - calendar, address book, notes.
    Browser
    Utilities - dealing with the device itself, managing files.

    Seems like there are way to many apps for the few functions there are and everybody has their favorites. Tens of thousands of apps with nothing to add to what one can find in the top 25.
    A decent list.
    A decent list

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:39 am

      yeah so many different categories. and so many different apps! it'll be good to look into those in the future

  38. Anushka narvekar
    January 6, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Do please include whatsapp and hike in your list !! They are awesome free apps that everybody uses nowadays to connect with friends !!! : )

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:38 am

      yeah we'll definitely look into them next time!

  39. Glen
    December 21, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Maven Player for music
    Twicca for Twitter
    CM Browser...by far the best & I've tried
    Contacts + for phone/text
    CM Locker

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:38 am

      those sound good! thanks for the recommendations!

  40. Techiey
    December 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I checked in here to find apps for editing or trimming videos on the go. Or mp3 cutting. File sharing apps : Zapya : ios to android transfer.
    The list is very good. I'm using KeePass Droid, will definitely try 1Password as it is recommended here.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:37 am

      we'll have to look into those in the future. thanks!

  41. YoN
    December 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I like this one: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hearanyway.hearanyway

    It's about your phone telling you, and reminding you what to do.
    And you can share reminders with others (make their phone talk).

    Super cool !

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:36 am

      thanks for the recommendation!

  42. Savio
    December 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Good apps. Came across another Notes and Password lock app for Android.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noname.allinone

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:36 am

      cheers! thanks for the recommendation

  43. Fanny
    December 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Some of Google's own apps are pretty good:
    Chrome & Chrome beta
    Google+
    Keep

    And others such as
    Multifunction led flashlight
    ES Filexplorer
    Light Flow Lite

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:35 am

      all those sound like good recommendations!

  44. Amanda
    December 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    A great email app you can add to that list is MailWise. It's got a clean threaded message view, great integration with Exchange corporate email accounts and supports multiple accounts. And it's just prettier than the stock Gmail app. You can check it out on: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.syntomo.email&hl=en

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:35 am

      awesome, sounds great! thanks for the recommendation

  45. Keith Bird
    December 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    You might want to know there's a great alternative to Google Now Launcher. Install the KK Launcher instead, which has EVERYTHING GN has, without that annoying (to me) Google widget at the top of the home screen. As best as I can tell, GN won't let you get rid of it. I've tried other launchers before, and KK is the best.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:34 am

      yeah thanks for the recommendation! sounds good

  46. Daniel Escasa (@silverlokk)
    December 2, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Addendum: the official Facebook app?! Isn't that widely reviled? Have heard good things about Tinfoil, although I'm using Fast at the moment. A few quirks, but when I manage to get into the familiar FB interface, I'm satisfied

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:33 am

      idk, i like the official app. tinfoil is great too for those who like it!

  47. Daniel Escasa (@silverlokk)
    December 2, 2014 at 4:05 am

    <quote>
    Scroll all the way to the left to access Google Now
    </quote>

    Or, drag the home key up. At least on my ASUS Fonepad

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:32 am

      yeah both of those are options. google really wants you to be able to access google now :P

  48. Doc
    December 1, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    If you can set up a SMB (Samba)/Windows share, Ghost Commander + SMB addon makes it easy to move/copy files from an Android device to or from a Windows machine.

    ADWLauncher is old but a terrific launcher.

    Can't say enough good things about Moon+ Reader or Avast.

    jetAudio Plus is a terrific music player.

    SystemCleanup works great, and even better with root - if you're afraid to remove "system" apps, like Chrome, you can clean up your device by "rolling it back" to "stock," then use SystemCleanup (with root) to "freeze" it so it won't take up space on your device or SD card, or remove it entirely; with Titanium Backup, you can back it up, *then* remove it...the best of both worlds!

    Google now owns QuickOffice, and it's now free.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:31 am

      thanks for the recommendations! all of them look solid.

  49. Ben S
    December 1, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    It's amazing how a list of the best apps can be so long, and with many more left out. Fantastic stuff!

    Props for including Moonshine; I love that icon set and the developers are really good about adding new apps to it regularly.

    As someone above said, I think that Pushbullet has risen to "essential" status, as it's incredibly full-featured and receives lots of updates that make it even better. Shazam or an app like it to ID music is also a great one for any Android owner. And Pocket has cured my crazy desire to read tons of articles when I'm trying to get work done.

  50. LinkeLoetje
    December 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Ehm hello, how can you not mention award winning Buzz Launcher?

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:30 am

      sooooo many great launchers out there! we've gotta make choices. but Buzz Launcher is pretty chill.

  51. WinDork
    December 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    +1 for ES File Explorer, Cozi and Google Keep. Need need need!

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:29 am

      trueeee that! thanks for your feedback :D

  52. Automotive News Reader
    December 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Please check autonewsreader.com - Android App for car lovers.

  53. Yash
    December 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Man you cannot cannot make a best of android list without including pushbullet and pocket!!!!

    • J
      December 10, 2014 at 12:10 am

      +1

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:29 am

      maybe next time :) i do love those apps though

  54. likefunbutnot
    December 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Also: Nova Launcher, for devices that have crappy default launchers. Which is most of them, now that I think about it.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 1:28 am

      true that! thanks for the recommendation!

  55. likefunbutnot
    December 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hangouts pisses me off since it requires Google+ to get functionality that used to be present in Gchat. I can't send an image through an IM session any more, for example. I'd switch everything to Skype, but Skype is a huge battery hog on every platform where I've tried it. Since I don't use SMS and I don't want the social networking features, Hangouts replaced a good, functional IM tool with something that's largely without merit.

    There's no such thing as essential social media and Pandora and Spotify are similarly worthless for me since neither is able to properly handle the sort of music I enjoy.

    So what are essential apps?

    ES File Explorer. It talks to File Servers. It talks to all the major Cloud Storage Serverice. It handles local file access. It has a tabbed interface. What's not to love?

    Play Music and Play Books are both high on my list since both allow uploads of content not purchased from Google, but I'd give the media player nod to Doubletwist Premium since Airtwist is easy enough to explain to people who can't handle using ES File Explorer to transfer files on to a device.

    BeyondPod. Actually, BeyondPod version 3. Version 4 is an abortion that requires twice as many taps to do anything thanks to stupid Lollipop theming, but version 3 was/is a perfect application for handling podcasts.

    K9/Kaiten. I have problems with the native Gmail application. Threaded conversation view, inability to default to proper inline replies and now the insistence on the chunky, candy-color, information-sparse theming and "priority inbox" that I don't want. K9 is a proper IMAP client that works the way I want my Email to work.

    Plex. I have a few Plex Servers set up. It's nice to be able to access them.

    Firefox. Two words: Adblock Plus. I find Chrome to be surprisingly crashy and I see more glaring rendering issues. I make use of many open tabs and I find that Firefox handles that use case better. Still, I'd rather use the stock Android browser (called "Internet") than Chrome.

    Rooted Android users have all sorts of tools for ad-blocking, but any Android device can run Firefox, even without access to the Play Store.

    Addons Detector: Shows what ad networks mobile apps are using. This is great for figuring out where the most annoying ads on your device might be coming from. Very helpful after someone lets their kids have free reign to download games or something.

    Andmade Share: Allows uses to edit their Share To list. This is incredibly helpful for cleaning up useless entries.

    JustPictures: A faster and more useful photo viewing application.

    Drive Autosync: In my case, this tool syncs pictures to my Google Drive account and certain documents to my phone. There are similar tools for other services, but it's handy enough that I put it on everything.

    Wifi Analyzer: I use this tool a lot to see what's going on with local wireless networks. It's very handy for doing site surveys or explaining to people why their equipment is mis-configured or inadequate.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 12:58 am

      thanks for the thorough look at what apps you enjoy! we'll be sure to take these into account in our next list.

  56. Pulkit
    December 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

    How to reach out these app developers?

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 12:57 am

      on the Google Play pages for the apps, there's usually an email to reach the developer at

  57. Ray
    December 1, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Try FBreader for a great free alternative to moon reader pro

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 12:56 am

      thanks for the recommendation!

  58. Ed
    December 1, 2014 at 4:35 am

    ES File explorer for file management.
    Dolphin browser for internet browsing.
    Blue Mail for email.
    A Better Camera for a camera alternative.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 12:53 am

      thanks for the recommendations!

    • Purandar
      February 18, 2015 at 3:19 am

      Hi Mark - using tinytunes is very simple, just search for the song and then use the play/download button. I hope you would have got through it :)

  59. Purandar
    December 1, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Great list with just enough explanation to each of them. Thanks.

    Some of the other apps which I use, like -
    1) iHeartRadio - very good app with live radio streaming, alarm feature to wake up based on song/radio selected instead of boring same alarm everyday.
    2) greader - works as feedly with podcast support, needs to purchase premium version of app for complete features.
    If you are going for free version then other features such as downloading podcast is available via other free app - beyondpod
    Free but you will have to maintain/circle between the two apps.
    3) cm security - good free any virus app with ability to kill background unwanted tasks helping to boost phone, CM group also has application locking app, works flawlessly.
    4) tinytunes - free mp3 song streaming plus download capability.
    5) Team viewer - desktop/laptop screen sharing app and it's free, takes minutes to set up.
    6) clean master - cleans unwanted junk helping to boost RAM space.

    What are your favorite apps?

    • Mark
      December 30, 2014 at 6:13 am

      Hi
      I've installed tinytunes but not sure how to use it - can you help?
      Mark

    • Justin Dennis
      February 18, 2015 at 12:52 am

      thanks for all the recommendations! those app looks awesome.