The Android ecosystem is the largest mobile ecosystem in the world. The app store has almost 3 million apps and games, an ever-growing number, and there are currently more than 2.5 billion active Android devices in the world right now, as compared to 1.4 billion iOS devices. And every year, newer and better devices are added to that list.
There isn’t much you can’t do on your mobile device these days, especially with the diverse range of apps available. All of you container receive to your preferred tunes or podcasts, watch movies, play games, even get your meals delivered straight to your door.
The hardest part is choosing the right apps to do what you want to do and, with so many apps on offer, it doesn’t make things easy for you. Sure, if you had nothing else to do all day, you could spend hours trying out apps to see what they are like, but you may never find what you want.
Some apps are free and offer a ton of cool features. Some of the paid apps aren’t worth the price tag, others have subscription models attached, and others offer in-app purchases to tailor your experience.
So what do you do? How do you choose the right apps?
The answer is you let us do it for you.
Top Ten Must-Have Android Apps
We thought we might save you a job by scrolling through what’s on offer and picking the apps we think you should have on your Android device this year. We didn’t bother looking at apps like Messenger or Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular apps that, let’s face it, most of us already have. No, we opted to look for other apps that we think offer great features, some of them paid.
Table of Contents
1. Bouncer – $0.99
The bouncer is a security app that is somewhat different from all the other security apps available in the app store. Bouncer allows you to provide temporary permissions to selected apps.
For example, you could give Facebook temporary permission to see your location, just enough time to check into somewhere; once you close Facebook down, bouncer revokes that access permission immediately.
This way, you can make full use of everything your favorite social media apps offer, without having to keep enabling or disabling settings, pro having to provide permanent access to those apps – a dangerous thing these days, given how much identity theft is going on and how much information is flying around out there.
2. Google Drive – Free, In-App Purchases
Google Drive is one of the top-rated cloud storage solutions for Android devices. Every new user will automatically get 15 GB free storage space when they sign up, and they retain that for as long as they have an active account.
If that isn’t enough, you purchase more space. Prices start at $1.99/month or $19.99/year for 100 GB, up to $99.99/month if you want an extra 10 TB.
What gives Google Drive the edge over many other cloud solutions are the Android apps that come with it, such as Google Slides, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Photos, Google Calendar, Gmail, etc.
And with the Office apps, Keep Notes for taking notes and Google Photos, as well, there is pretty much an app for everything productive you want to do. Some apps offer features such as live collaboration, Microsoft Office document compatibility, and deep sharing, making it one of the best all-round productivity apps.
You can download such apps from the vShare app store.
3. Microsoft SwiftKey – Free, In-App Purchases Available
Microsoft SwiftKey is an incredibly powerful third-party keyboard and one of the most customizable too. It has moved around for several years now and has one of the best predictive text engines ever seen in any keyboard app.
Over the years, the app has expanded and brought tons of new features, including a series of themes that you can purchase. Other features include SwiftKey Flow, allowing for gesture typing, a dedicated row of numbers, support for multiple languages, library syncing across devices, etc.
Microsoft owns SwiftKey now but has managed not to do what they usually do and mess things up. A close second, if you don’t get on SwiftKey, is GBoard from Google.
4. Disney+ – $7 per month, free trial available
If you love Disney movies or Disney channels, then the Disney+ app is for you. You can stream anything from Disney – the Avengers blockbusters, Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars, even the old Disney shows you used to watch as a kid. It is a free 7-day test, and then it will cost you $7 per month.
You do have a yearly subscription at $70, saving you $14 by paying for ten months and getting two free. You can download such apps from TutuApp.
5. Firefox Browser – Free
If you fancy a different browser to Google Chrome on your Android device, try the Mozilla Firefox app. It is the entirety of the quickest mobile browsers and is a smart, user-friendly browser. Mozilla makes it a priority to ensure they do not collect any of your data, and they have a full suite of security settings you can use.
This includes a private browsing mode, keeping your data safe from advertisers, and more. Like the desktop browser, there are plenty of decent plugins to choose from, easy tab management, bookmarks, and you can see all the top headlines at a glance. And if you use Firefox on your desktop, you can sync all your settings, bookmarks, history, and so on with the mobile version.
6. Stitcher – Free
If podcasts are your thing and you love to listen to them, wherever you are, then Stitcher is the perfect app. It will find and connect you with virtually every podcast available.
The app will organize the podcasts by subject, or if you have a favorite podcaster you follow or a title you want to watch, search for it using the in-built search facility.
You can organize your shows into playlists, too, to have a continuous stream of your favorite podcasts. If you run out of favorites, Stitcher will even recommend podcasts to you based on what you listen to.
Stitcher pretty much has all your podcast needs covered but, although the app is free, bear in mind that not all podcasts are some may require a subscription to listen to them.
7. Amazon Prime Video – from $8.99 per month
Amazon is one of the world’s biggest household names, and it is very little you can’t get. From an online marketplace selling goods, digital books, and even groceries, you can now watch TV series and movies.
New users do get a 30-day free trial and then $8.99 a month for an almost unlimited viewing experience. There are thousands of videos, TV series, and Amazon originals that you can watch as part of your subscription and many others you can rent or buy.
And if you subscribe to other channels, such as Starz Play, you can add them to your Amazon Prime feed and get even more content to watch.
8. Soundcloud – Free, Pro Version available
Soundcloud one of the most excellent free music apps available today if you want to discover unknown artists. You won’t find all your favorite artists like you can on Spotify, but it is a great place to find new ones.
It is free, and you can stream unlimited music from the cloud. There is a pro version, but that tends to be aimed more at the artists than the listeners. As well as music, you can also find a whole heap of podcasts to listen to.
9. Your Phone Companion – Free
A useful app, Your Phone Companion from Microsoft, allows you to link your Android device and Windows 10 PC. Why? So you can send texts from your PC, access your photo library, manage notifications from apps, and much more.
It is easy to set up, and most people will agree that using a desktop is much easier for tapping out those messages than a small on-screen keyboard.
10. Mint – Free
Lastly, Mint is an excellent place for managing your finances. Enter all your details, and you can monitor your finances on the go. You can set goals, pay your bills, and much more, and there is a great selection of widgets in the app.
It wasn’t easy, picking just ten apps from the Google Play Store; there are many great apps out there. It is a lot of waste to sift into, too, but we thought these ten apps offered great value, plenty of features, and are useful at the same time. Some of them are subscription, but you do get free trials, provided you meet the criteria, and some of them are free.
We opted to pick a diverse range of apps, rather than focusing on the standard type of app that everyone wants – messaging, music, media apps, etc.
Hopefully, there is something here that takes your fancy, and, if not, then at least these apps might give you an idea of what you can do with your Android phone or tablet. Give them a shot; you never know, one might be just what you are looking for. Do share this with others and give us your ideas for must-have Android apps.
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