The vast majority of you have used Android smartphones before, at least one, though there are people out there who have recently switched to Android or are planning to do so at some point in the near future, and the Google Play Store may actually look intimidating for them. There are tons of apps available from the Play Store at the moment, and if you do not know where to begin, well, we’ve decided to single out some applications for you to try out, the ones that we’re still using, just to get you going.
Now, if you’re coming from iOS, most of these applications will seem familiar, as many of them still have rather similar designs on both platforms. Do keep in mind that will you not find a single Google app on this list, save for Snapseed and Waze, as quite a few Google apps come pre-installed on Android devices these days, depending on the version of Android you’re using. Gmail, YouTube, Keep, Google Photos… and so on, those are all great applications and are worth trying out, but we’ll mostly stick with non-Google apps. Having said that, apps down below are listed in a non-specific order, so let’s kick things off.
If you have a subscription to Netflix, this app is a must-have on your Android smartphone. This application will let you watch various movies and TV shows seamlessly, and the app will also allow you to cast the show on your TV via Google Chromecast or something of the sort. You can insert subtitles using this application as well, and for all intents and purposes, works just like the company’s website, but it’s made for smartphones.
If you’re a frequent Amazon customer, this application will definitely be a handy tool for you. Amazon’s official application will let you browse for products and also buy them, just like you’d do via the company’s website, but this experience is way more enjoyable on a smartphone, as this is a native app we’re talking about here. All you’ll need to do in order to start using the app is log in, as the app is free, of course.
If you prefer eBay over Amazon, which quite a few people are forced to do due to their region, well, eBay’s app is quite great as well. The company actually redesigned this application a while back, and it looks way more modern now, and it’s quite a bit more streamlined that it was. Things work similar to Amazon's app, though you can use your PayPal account in order to pay for items you buy on eBay, of course.
If you’re wondering what’s a good app for photo editing on Android, well, Fotor fits the bill, though it’s only one of many such apps available on the platform. In addition to offering you regular tools for photo editing, such as crop, rotate, and so on, this app comes with some more advanced tools as well. On top of that, you can also create collages using the Fotor app, if that’s something that you need.
Google’s Keep app is a great note-taking application, so is Evernote, but as we’re not mentioning Google’s apps here, and Evernote is actually much, much more than just a note-taking app at the moment, we’ve decided to go with ColorNote. This is an extremely simple note-taking application which offers nice, clean UI, and works flawlessly. You can also make lists using this app, and set reminders as well.
Pocket is a really useful app which is made by a company called ‘Read It Later’, and the name of the company actually explains the use of this app really well, Pocket is like a bookmarking tool on steroids, it will save web links for you to read later on, and it can even download them so that you don’t need an internet connection to access them. You can also create lists within this app, and organize links as you see fit.
Nova Launcher is quite probably the most popular launcher for Android. Those of you who don’t know what launchers are, their purpose is to replace your regular home screen UI, and give you more options while they’re at it. Nova Launcher, for example, lets you use third-party app icons, gives you a way to customize your home screen even further, same goes for your app drawer, and on top of everything you also get a number of gestures that you can use, and that’s only the beginning when it comes to the functionality of Nova Launcher.
Feedly is essentially an RSS reader, but a very nicely-designed RSS reader. If you want to read all of your news sources in one place, well, Feedly has you covered. You can search for news sites within the app, and add them to the list, though Feedly has a number of recommendations for you as well. This application, like almost every other on this list, is completely free to use, though there is a paid subscription available, in case you want some extra features.
Have you ever been in a local coffee shop, or driving in a car and just could not recognize what song is playing on the radio, or you perhaps like that song but have no idea what it’s called? Well, fire up SoundHound, and the app will not only tell you what’s the name of the song, but it will also tell you everything about it. This app is extremely accurate even when it’s not perfectly quiet in the room you’re at, and it also has a ton of other features built-in.
Google Maps are not on this list, as they come pre-installed on Android phones, but that won’t stop us from including some other ‘maps apps’ for Android. Well, Waze is one of the best such solutions, some of its features have already been implemented into Google Maps, as Waze is now Google’s app, but this app, on its own, is quite great as well. You’ll be notified real time if there’s a problem up on the road, as this app is fueled by its community, while cheapest gas stations are highlighted on Waze, and so much more.
Are you having problems keeping track as to what series are you watching, or perhaps what episode comes next? Well, an app called TV Time is actually kind of great for that purpose, while it also has that social aspect as you can rate episodes, communicate with other people, and so on. How it works is, you add all of your series, and as you watch an episode, you mark it ‘watched’ in the app. This app also provides plenty of detail regarding particular series and its episodes, and a ton of other features you’ll be able to discover when you start using it.
MX Player is a third-party video-playing application for Android. This app can play basically anything you throw at it, while it offers a really nicely-designed UI, which can be navigated using gestures. All in all, MX Player is one of the most powerful video-playing apps on Android, it supports hardware acceleration, multi-core decoding, pinch-to-zoom, subtitles, and even a kids lock feature.
Solid Explorer is a third-party file manager for Android which managed to become popular in a very short time span. This is an app that you’ll actually have to pay to use, you can use it for 14 days for free, but after that period is over, you’ll be required to buy the license. Many people would say it’s worth it, though, Material Design is applied throughout the app, and it has all the features you’d expect a file manager to have, and more than that.
Google bought the company behind Snapseed a while back, as this app managed to achieve high levels of popularity in a very short time span, similar to Solid Explorer. Snapseed is a rather unique photo editing app, which had a ton of options to offer. From simple cut and rotate options, a ton of filters, brightness and contrast adjustments, to some very specific features which let you edit one piece of a photo at a time… there are quite a few options to play with here, along with a rather nice, unique UI.
PhotoGrid is a photo editing app which is mostly used for creating collages and scrapbooks. In that regard, this is one of the best apps out there, as it has a ton of options using which you create some impressive looking grids and scrapbooks. PhotoGrid is completely free to use, and it also has some additional options, such as a GIF maker, font editor, AR face filter… and also a bunch of stickers which are at your disposal.
Duolingo is an app which goal is to teach you a new language, or more at the time, it’s your call. This app has been around for quite some time now, and it’s as popular as ever, and also quite useful at the same time. There are quite a few languages available within the app, and the design is really nice as well, while the learning curve is not steep at all, the app will give you plenty of time to learn the basics before it starts pushing you to more demanding tasks.
Zedge has been around for a long time now, it was first a web service which provided people with ringtones and wallpapers for their cellphones, and the service managed to survive and strive for all these years, and it’s now available on smartphones as well, it has been that way for quite some time now. This application has a ton of ringtones, wallpapers and live wallpapers for you to choose from, you can either search for what you’re looking for, or browse through the app’s categories. All the content is free to download, by the way.
LocalCast is a very handy app to have if you want to cast a movie from your phone to your TV, or something of the sort. This application can connect to a Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and a number of other DLNA devices, which makes it quite versatile and useful. The app comes with support for subtitles, and it gives you a ton of options to arrange as to how will those subtitles be represented on a display that you’re casting to. All in all, it has a ton of options, and it’s quite useful if you’re in need of such functionality.
AirMore is an app for file transfer, similar to AirDroid, no matter what app you heard of first. Once you open AirMore’s web link on your PC, you can fire up the app on your phone in order to scan a barcode and connect the two devices. At that point, you’ll be able to access files on your phone through your desktop PC, and the same goes for messages, and so on. You will also be able to transfer files from one device to the other using a Wi-Fi connection.
Weather Timeline is one of the very few apps on this list that is not free, but if you’re in the market for a really compelling weather application, Weather Timeline may be just right for you. This app offers a very nice UI which follows Google’s Material Design guidelines, and it has a ton of features built-in, including theme support, Android Wear support, multi-language support, and much more.
HERE WeGo, previously named HERE Maps, is Nokia’s former mapping service. HERE WeGo maps have been available for Android for quite some time now, and even though Nokia doesn’t own them any longer, this application is more than compelling. It allows you to download maps for whole countries for offline use, while the UI in the app is really nice and intuitive, not to mention that these maps are quite accurate, and a solid competitor to Google Maps and Waze.