ladies and gentlemen. The crème de la crème. These are the Android apps that stand alone at the top of an ever-growing pantheon. These apps have become ubiquitous with Android, and if you’re looking for the good stuff, it’s assumed that you’ve used some of these apps already. There are a ton of amazing Android apps out there. However, there are a few that stand out above the rest. These apps are useful to just about everyone, no matter what their use case may be. Without further delay, here are the best Android apps currently available.
Most people should be relatively familiar with most of these apps. They are the best, after all, and people tend to gravitate toward the best. You can also check out our picks for the best apps released in 2021.
Best Android Apps Available Now:
Waze and Google Maps
Google Search / Assistant / Feed
Tasker and IFTTT
YouTube and YouTube Music
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Check out all the best apps that you can find in the Google Play Store in general.
The best weather app out there is 1 Weather. It has a simple, one-page design that shows current weather, up to 12 weeks of forecast, radar, and other fun stats. Along with that, you get the standard stuff like mildly customizable widgets and severe weather alerts and radar so you can see storms approaching. There is also a video element with two or three minute weather updates for your region. The UI is logical and easy to navigate. The radar occasionally hangs while loading, but it’s usually not a big deal.
Every feature in the free version has some mild, harmless ads. A single $1.99 in-app purchase removes advertising. You can also enjoy a range of most weather fun facts when you open the app. If you want more options, we have a list of the best weather apps and widgets.
The cloud storage available on Android is Google Drive, where all new users get 15 GB free forever upon registration. Of course, you can buy more if needed. What makes Google Drive special is the collection of Android apps that come with it. They include Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Photos, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Keep. It covers so many bases and it’s so cheap that I can’t help but recommend it to anyone.
Some of the features of this app include live collaboration, deep sharing features and compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. It’s easy to use, you get 15GB of free storage for your documents, and the cross-platform support is pretty good. If you want something else, you can find more cloud storage apps here and more office apps here.
Waze and Google Maps
The Google Maps navigation app almost owns the scene and is among the best Android apps ever. It receives frequent, almost weekly updates that only add to the already incredibly generous list of features. In addition to the basics, Google Maps gives you access to points of interest, traffic data, directions to things like rest stops or gas stations, and you can download maps for offline use.
Add a Waze experience that includes its own features, and you won’t need another navigation app. Always. Google also runs Waze on its own, so we’re listing them together. Both navigation apps work on Android Auto and generally work better than car navigation systems. Of course, we also have additional GPS app options here if you need them.
Google Search _ Assistant _ Feed
It also works on most Android devices. It is a powerful app. You download the app and then run it. From there, you can ask anything you want. It also supports various commands. You can control smart home products, ask any question, and it can even do simple math problems for you. It is included with various products like Google Home speakers.
There’s also a second Google Assistant app for those who prefer a quick launch icon on the home screen. Hardware stuff costs money, but Google Assistant is free. There are other good personal assistants like Amazon Alexa which you can check out here.
It is one of the must-have Android apps. It is a password manager that helps you store your login credentials in a safe, secure way. On top of that, it helps you create passwords that you can’t use on your accounts. It is all controlled by a master password. It has cross-platform support (premium version only) so you can use it on computers, mobile devices, tablets or anything else.
There are others, but LastPass is a step ahead most of the time. Plus, the premium version is reasonably cheap. For added security, go with LastPass Authenticator. There are other options for great password managers here, and if the newer, more restrictive free version doesn’t do it for you, there are some free LastPass alternatives. Lastpass also has an authentication app for added security.
It is a free app
This Microsoft SwiftKey keyboard is one of the most cool and customizable third-party keyboards. It hit the market years ago with a prediction engine unlike any other keyboard and the app has grown over the years. It’s a free download with free themes, so you don’t have to pay a single penny.
Other features include SwiftKey Flow, which allows for a dedicated number sequencer, gesture typing, multi-language support, cross-device syncing of your library, and more. It’s as good as it gets in keyboard space. It’s true that Microsoft now owns SwiftKey, but so far they’ve managed to keep it from messing up. Google’s keyboard app, Gboard, is exceptionally good and the only reason it’s not on the list is to avoid having three Google apps in a row here. Here are some other great Android keyboards as well.
At the beginning, we are not going to put any initiators. Nova Launcher extends beyond normal launchers. It’s been around for years and is constantly being updated, so it’s not the best choice for a launcher replacement. It comes with many features including the ability to backup and restore your home screen settings, icon theming for all your Android apps, customization elements for home screen and app drawer, and more.
You can also make it like Pixel Launcher if you want. If you go premium, you can handle gesture controls, unread count badges for apps, and icon swipe actions. Those looking for something simpler may want to try Lawnchair Launcher, Hyperion Launcher and Rootless Launcher. Of course, we have a list of the best Android launchers with even more options. We also have a tutorial for Nova Launcher if you want to learn more.
Podcast Addict is the best podcast app for podcast fans. It has every podcast you can think of. Additionally, it has a simple and effective UI, plenty of organizational features, plenty of playback and download features, and a single-priced premium version. You can browse podcasts by genre or search individually.
You can set download rules, easily create playlists, and it supports both Chromecast and SONOS with Android Auto and Wear OS. The UI and settings aren’t the sleekest things we’ve seen. However, the app makes up for it by directly hitting every box we can think of. The subscription unlocks some extra features, but you can remove the ads for $2.99, which is pretty reasonable. Pocket Casts and CastBox are other great options in this space, and we’ve got a list of the best podcast apps here.
Poweramp is the most popular app on Android among local music players. It has all the features including hi-res audio support, Android Auto, equalizer, gapless smoothing and support for any audio codec you can find. The UI has a slight learning curve, but it’s one of the best-looking music players on the Google Play Store with custom themes.
There are other great music apps out there, but the top slot might lose its title to Poweramp. If you want a better equalizer app, Poweramp also has an equalizer app (Google Play link).
Or want to File browsing is something that everyone inevitably does, so you can do it with an efficient, awesome file browser. Solid Explorer is about as good as it gets in the field of file explorer apps. It has Material Design, archive support, support for the most popular cloud services, and some more power-user stuff like FTP, SFPT, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS support.
It looks great, it’s incredibly stable, and it works great. At the end of it is a 14-day free trial with a price tag of $2.99. There are other file browsers that have more features, but some combine looks, ease of use, and features like Solid Explorer. If that doesn’t work for you, here are some other great file browsers.
Tasker and IFTTT
Both of these are powerful Android apps. They are automation applications that can create various triggers to perform actions when certain things happen. For example, you can use IFTTT or Tasker to automatically turn on your Philips Hue lights at night and turn them off in the morning. In general, Tasker is the power-user option and has a steeper learning curve than IFTTT. Not only is IFTTT easy to use, but there’s a boatload of fun things you can do with it.
Tasker is free with Google Play Pass. IFTT is free for most items but there is a subscription if you want some extras. There are some other great Android tools and utility apps out there, but none of them can top Tasker and IFDD.
The most stable and best text messaging app is Textra. It comes with various themes, most of which you can edit. It basically does everything you need an SMS app to do without much hassle. It has a tutorial configuration that works better with Android Auto than other texting apps. We love it for its simplicity. It’s better than most OEM SMS apps and we easily recommend it over most.
Another great option is Messages from Google (Google Play), which also has the ability to stream your texts to your computer (via a web browser). If these don’t work for you, we have a full list of the best SMS apps.
TickTick is not as popular as other to-do list apps. However, it might be one of the best. It covers basics like recurring tasks, reminders, push notifications, various organizational features and categories. This app lets you share tasks and entire categories with others. This makes it ideal for family use, small groups at work, or other groups. It’s also great for things like grocery lists, to-do lists, or any other list.
You get all the features for free, albeit in a somewhat limited capacity like two reminders per task (premium makes it unlimited). It is a great alternative to Wunderlist. Some other great options in the space include Todoist and Microsoft To-Do. Yes, we have a full list of the best to-do list apps.
YouTube and YouTube Music
Generally we are less likely to recommend streaming services to people. After all, everyone has their preferences and there are plenty of great options out there. However, we really like the combination of YouTube Music and YouTube. For one price, you get unlimited music from YouTube Music with enough tracks to compete with Spotify and Apple Music. However, you also get ad-free YouTube with background video play and offline downloads.
One of the best deals for video and audio streaming, Hulu has a one-two punch with its Disney+ and ESPN+ bundle. Other music streaming services are generally better, but ad-free YouTube is the best, with no sideloading required. Audiophiles might want to check out hi-fi options like Tidal or Deezer, whether they come at a premium or one of these music streaming apps.
Zedge is on our list last, but definitely not least. It’s a wallpaper, ringtones, notification tones and alarm tones app that offers an incredible number of options to customize the most basic parts of your device. Along with a complete collection of products, Zedge promotes various products around the holidays, making it easy to theme your phone for Christmas, Halloween and other holidays.
It is not 100% correct. It’s occasionally buggy and has the worst advertising practices of any mobile app. Zedge Premium is a new initiative to provide premium content at a reasonable price. You view ads or fill out surveys to earn Zedge Credits. There are other great ringtone apps and great wallpaper apps. However, Zedge is the only one that reliably does both better and its library is huge.