10 Apps all new Android owners should have (video)

by: Brad WardJune 12, 2013


So you’ve got a new Android device! Congratulations, and welcome to the Android world! Now you need some good apps to put on that bad boy, and we’ve got a list of the 10 ten best apps you should be installing on your Android device first. As per the norm, if you’d rather watch the video just head to the bottom of the article.



If you’re big on keeping up with the news, whether it be technology, sports, or world news, you need a good news aggregator to keep up with the constant flood of information. Google Reader will soon be no more, so our staff picked Feedly as the number one alternative. There’s a reason for that too.

The first cool thing is that Feedly uses its own backend called Normandy, which all the geeks cheered at for the subtle Mass Effect 3 reference. Aside from that, you can make Feedly look similar to Flipboard, but act like Google Reader at the same time. It’s a really great way to customize your news experience and easily organize all of the information coming in.

Of course, Feedly isn’t going to please everyone. If you’re looking for something a tad more flashy, our runner up in this category is Flipboard.

Get it on Google Play



While everyone may not be on the cloud storage train, in the future it’s going to become more and more popular as smartphones and web-based computers like the Chromebook continue to grow in popularity. So why not set yourself up with a good cloud storage app before the inevitable happens? For this category, or staff picked Dropbox.

Dropbox is one of the best cloud storage services out there, and it has some really handy features. Similar to Google+, you can set your device to auto upload files to Dropbox, such as photos. So if something goes wrong, your important files are stored safely on the web. The only person that will be able to see these files is you — and the NSA.

There’s an initial limit of how much storage you can have on Dropbox, but you can always expand that through occasional promotions and by inviting friends to the service. For our runner up, we chose one of the best cloud storage apps out there — Google Drive.

Get it on Google Play



Music streaming is all the rage these days, and as more companies begin to offer music streaming apps, the music streaming space is only going to get more competitive and more popular. Spotify is one of the best music streaming apps out there — its 20 million tracks and 24 million listeners is a testament to that.

Of course, not all of those listeners are subscribers, as you can use it free if you don’t mind suffering through ads. Spotify will let you download songs for listening in offline mode, listen to single tracks, or even create radio stations.

It has a fairly simple user interface, and comes with some cool social media integration if you use Facebook. Don’t worry though, you can still use the service if you’re one of the few that doesn’t have a Facebook account. However, we understand that some users want to keep their Android device as a pure Google experience. In that case, our runner up is Google’s Play Music service with All Access, a feature that intends to compete with Spotify and other music streaming apps.

Get it on Google Play

Google Keep


Everyone takes notes, but storing them digitally tends to be the best way to keep track of them. So our staff chose Google Keep for one of the note taking apps that everyone should take for a spin. It’s dead simple, yet it has the colorful and fun Google style to it. To go along with the app, you can sign into drive.google.com/keep to access your notes from a computer.

We’ve reviewed and mentioned this app a handful of times in the past, so our long time fans may think we’re beating a dead horse here. However, we can’t rave enough about Keep. It’s simple, to the point, powerful, and syncs between all of your devices — what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for something a tad more complex, our runner up is Evernote.

Get it on Google Play

Angry Birds


Mobile devices have become so powerful that casual gaming is no big deal. When we recommended casual or light gaming, all of the votes went straight to Angry Birds. It’s a fun, addicting game that most people have become very familiar with, maybe too familiar. There are six Angry Birds apps to choose from — seven if you count Bad Piggies.

You can’t argue with factual numbers — its billions of downloads is a testament to how popular this brand has become. Every game follows the same basic and simple principles, so it’s easy to pick up and play, though, there are hundreds of levels, so you could be playing for quite awhile before you beat them all. Especially if you’re set on going through all six Angry Birds apps.

If Angry Birds just isn’t your thing, our runner up is Temple Run and similar apps like One Epic Knight.

Get it on Google Play

Dead Trigger 2


Consequently, mobile devices have become so powerful that heavy gaming isn’t a big deal either. There are a lot of big titles to choose from, so we went ahead and picked Dead Trigger 2, a free first-person shooter where you can mow down zombies. Call of Duty Zombies fans will love this game in particular.

The controls are typical touch-screen shooter and they do take a moment to get used to. The game is easy enough to fun, yet difficult enough to be a challenge. Not everyone is into zombies though, so if you’d like to try something different, our runner up is grabbing a PlayStation, Nintendo 64, SNES, or some other console emulator.

Get it on Google Play



Everyone can take a good picture and throw a filter on it through Instagram to give it a makeshift professional style, but photography is more than that — it’s a widespread profession and hobby. If you want to do some decent photo editing on your Android, you’ll need a good photo editing app. For that, we chose Snapseed due to how powerful and easy it is — not to mention it’s free.

You can apply filters, but you can also manipulate a lot of different settings to make your photo really pop. I don’t think it has to be said, but this isn’t in any way as powerful as computer image editing, but it’s definitely one of the best if you’re on the run. If you’re looking for something more familiar, we chose Photoshop Touch as our runner up.

Get it on Google Play

Google Drive


Creating, editing, and sharing documents on the go has become much more of an everyday thing since the smartphone was originally brought into existence. For this, our staff chose Google Drive. The reason is simple, it’s solid, it’s stable, it’s free, and it lets you easily share documents. Not to mention the fact that it pairs as a good cloud storage provider.

Unfortunately you can only create Spreadsheets and Documents within the mobile app, however, these can be shared with anyone and it can be editing in real time by anyone you’ve shared it with. Not only that, but Drive has all of the tools necessary to help you create a good document. If you need more features, such as a presentation, we recommend OfficeSuite Pro. Drive and OfficeSuite Pro are two of the better office apps out there.

Get it on Google Play



Much like note taking, more people are keeping the tasks that need to be accomplished during the day on their mobile devices. So instead of writing down those tasks on a note taking app, a good task management app can help you turn your hectic work day into something more efficient. For this, our staff recommended Wunderlist. It’s just about everything that you could ever need in a task management app.

You can create new tasks, sub tasks, and even sort them in various categories. For example, you can create a work folder, home folder, a vacation folder, and so on. If you’re looking for additional features, signing up for an account will give you an array of extras to play around with. If Wunderlist isn’t your style, we recommend Tasks by Team Tasks.

Get it on Google Play



Last up on our list is shopping. We buy things online all the time, so why not do it from your smartphone? For this, we recommend Amazon. It has a giant selection, above average reliability, and it has a solid mobile app to make shopping quick and enjoyable on your smartphone.

You can do pretty much anything you can on the web — place orders, track packages, browse, and search for products. If you’re not a fan of Amazon or your country doesn’t have it available, the official eBay app will do nicely.

Get it on Google Play

Video and final thoughts


Here you can see all of these apps again. In most cases, we do a leaderboard to show you how they stack up against each other, but in this case, they all perform different tasks so it’d be like comparing apples to oranges.

Usually these lists are based on the popularity of the app and other factors, but this time it’s all us. All of these apps are recommended based on how our staff voted.

If you think there’s an app or a few apps that should have been mentioned, feel free to leave a comment and tell everyone all about it.

  • iamzb

    I think I have like 3 of those apps and probably only considering adding 2 from the mentioned 10

  • Mihai

    I use Pulse not Feedly, Pandora not Spotfy, I don;t like angry birds, and beside google apps I don’t think the rest of them are a “should have” app

    • BK

      Pandora is useless if you want to listen to a specific track and/or album. Spotify is king. And Google Music isn’t an option, because it’s a battery drain. Constantly running in the background, even after a Force Stop/disable.

      • loop6719

        amen brother

  • Luka Mlinar

    I got non of them :/

  • Mark King

    Angry birds, but why ?

  • chrisgen19

    haha LOL, Angry Birds? must have apps? are you kidding me? its totally useless

    • JosephHindy

      Considering it’s been downloaded a billion times, the number of people who like Angry Birds greatly outnumber the people who do not ;)

      Remember, this isn’t all about what one person thinks, we don’t operate that way.

      • Magnetic1

        I’m willing to bet there are more people who don’t know that it exist.
        So android authority kudos to you.

      • chrisgen19

        copy that :) I’m wrong for saying that. thanks for the correction

  • loop6719

    thanks guys…I have to try dead trigger, I have heard a lot about it. and I am ready to try out keep, as a possible ever note replacement

    • JosephHindy

      Google Keep really is great. Evernote is better if you need a LOT of features, but when it comes to popping open the app and jotting down a quick note, Keep is faster and easier to use :)

    • Erik Amador

      Dead trigger is hella fun. And I think you’ll love Keep. One tried them all (almost), and I liked Jeep the most. :D

    • 윌 스튜어트

      I replaced EverNote with Google Keep but one advantage EverNote has is it automatically uploads notes to the cloud whereas Keep requires you to turn on sync for it to upload. Not a huge issue for me though.

  • Eddie Tam

    google keep doesn’t work for everyone, dead trigger is only good on faster processor/more ram androids, i think u need to update this list so that it is for lesser than premium Android devices.. or change the title.. cuz not all Android devices are the same and not everyone is a gamer, audio/video lover, or social butterfly.. or if they are, not everyone likes what you like.

    with that said, my top 10:
    1. Dropbox
    2. 2x Battery – Battery Saver
    3. Swype or Swiftkey Keyboard
    3. Adobe Flash Player
    4. Screen Off and Lock
    5. Clean Master
    6. Attachments [Gmail Attach]
    7. Lux Auto Brightness
    8. Color Note
    9. Dolphin Browser
    10. SurfEasy VPN

    • ConCal

      Woah, I just saw attachments [gmail attach] on you list and downloaded it! I’ve needed this so many times! Thank you!!!!

      • JosephHindy

        Download any file browser, long click on any file, and click “send”, then choose Gmail. Now you can free up however much space that app takes up.

        • nem

          But now you have a file browser taking up (probably much more) space. What was the point of your argument again?

          • Alys

            A file browser can be used for a lot of other things (file management tends to be very useful). Gmail attach can be used for just one thing. A file browser is therefore a better use of space.

          • JosephHindy

            Well the only thing Attachments does is attach files to gmail…file browsers can also send any file via gmail, but you also have a file browser that can do things like browse files and create zips and delete things, and a whole host of other features you don’t get with Attachments.

    • chrisgen19

      what is the Attachments [Gmail Attach] ? what it does do my gmail?

    • JosephHindy

      Thanks for reading and commenting, but your list is more for the advanced Android user and this is aimed at the beginner Android user. Gotta remember your audience here. Most people are happy with their auto brightness, adobe flash player isn’t even in the Play Store anymore, and any file browser can send any file (or group of files) via Gmail without any add on app that just takes up extra space. So in these instances, you’re actually making things more difficult for people who don’t know what they’re doing yet.

      I would recommend your list to someone who’s been using Android for awhile, but not for someone experience Android for the first time. Really, I’ve never seen anyone say “I gotta get Android so I can use a VPN app!”

  • 윌 스튜어트

    Kingsoft Office – it’s the best free office app out there!

  • AndroidBrian

    I only have Google Drive, Keep & Amazon. Ill check out Feedly and see if its better than News Republic.

  • MosesRolston

    sound cloud, github, dropbox, irssi connectbot, fing, wifi analyzer, pocket cloud, ingress, endomondo, taxi magic.

  • Jay

    My top 10
    1.Go SMS Pro
    2. Google Chrome
    3. Swift Key Flow
    4. Drop Box
    5. Google Voice
    6. Portable Wifi Hotspot
    7. Shazam
    8. Perfect App Protector
    10. Apex Launcher

  • Take it easy

    Unless you subscribe to spotify premium (not even the mid level plan), not much use as an app, is it? And this is one of the essential apps for a newbie?

    • snowmanjack

      I agree. I thought you needed the $10/mo plan for Spotify for it to work on mobile. Is this not true?

      • JosephHindy

        3 members of the Android Authority crew use spotify on mobile without paying for it.

  • LadyDiana

    Expense Manager – for monitoring your budget/expenses.
    Pocket – for offline reading
    Smooth Calendar – clock widget
    Catch – for notes, can attach pics
    Kingsoft Office – for creating, document, excel files, etc.
    Of course all of these that I’m using are free edition and I’ve already installed it in five android devices.
    @Makati, Philippines

  • Albin

    As a two week owner of my first, a low end Gingerbread phone, my beef with Google Play is its fact box doesn’t specify whether apps are moveable to the SD card. Given that the OEM clogged 90mb of the 150mb of internal storage, I have little use for many nice apps that can’t be moved and don’t like wasting my time installing to find that out. A $20 sale on a Class 10 16gb SD set me up nicely, only to be disappointed at how many worthy apps can’t be installed on it.

    Google Drive app, for instance, is quite big when combined with the required “services” app, doesn’t work much better than ordinary browser access, can’t be moved, and I disgarded the app even though I use the service. By contrast, Dropbox and MS Skydrive are small and moveable.

    • APai
      • Albin

        I’m not at the stage where I’d try “rooting” the device and moving or deleting the preinstalled stuff, though that might come. But at max it would only be 150mb. More and more app developers seem to be taking it into account. I just wish the Play store would make it a regular information item in the fact box.

        • APai

          I think app2sd wouldn’t need root. cos if it did, it would have been mentioned first up ? (i haven’ tried that app , so I’m not speaking from experience, sorry)

          • Albin

            I looked at it and a couple of others – unless rooted it only moves what the Application Manager can.

          • APai
          • Albin

            Well, where there’s a will there’s a way. Not sure I’d do this for only 90mb more, unless I find an “essential” app without room for it. Thanks.

          • APai

            hmm, true. perhaps a fix would not come to GB because we are on the way past JB now. JB is the new GB.

          • Albin

            I’ve never been a big cell phone user, only a pay-go emergency use customer. So for $49 and $100/year it’s getting my feet wet. The phone is doing what I listed on a bright screen with GB pretty snappy. I’m fairly delighted with it so far.

          • APai


            given that there’s been tremendous sales for android phones in the last 18 months, I’d tend to believe google’s version of around 60% being on ICS/JB.

          • Albin

            No real conflict between them, as Wpedia seems to count active units while Google tracks Play activity, which would naturally drop off as the units get older and users settle on their personal choices. For my purposes I’m glad to see enough GB activity that developers will continue to build and update for it.

  • Sean Bradshaw

    Strava, DoggCatcher, Firefox, Amazon Appstore, IMDB, Wikipedia.

    And a few Android exclusives

    Field Trip, and Ingress

    Those are pretty much required categories, anything else is personal preference, like Twitch TV, JuiceSSH, and a small series of games to play while waiting in the lunch line.

  • Timmy

    Some others worthy of consideration:

    1) Pocket
    2) Social Media like Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest (depending on your gender). I prefer TweetCaster over the others.
    3) Handcent SMS

    I’d suggest Tasks N Todo over Wunderlist but the category is the same.

    Also, most men I know like to keep up with Sports so I’d have given a spot on the list for this category. (ESPN, Sportacular, etc). Not sure I’d have put two games on the list. I’m not a fan of either of the ones on the list but understand a game is common for most.

    If you don’t have it built in (or are not a GVoice user), I’d suggest a visual voicemail app.

    Another category missing is a PIM although using the default Calendar is a good start (depending on your phone)

    Personally, I like using ScreenFilter because Samsung phones are a tad on the bright side. If you’re in a dark place, this is a great tool but I can see how it might not be something a new Android user might know about.

    I also like using DateTad which puts the date in the notificaion bar. Again, this is a personal preference and might not be needed for a new user.

    I had been using Evernote but found it more than I need. Having a GNote 1, I use the pen for notes but don’t really like the built-in S Note app. I completely forgot about Keep so thanks for putting that one up there.

  • Mohd Danial

    Fun Run Seems more fun then angry bird.. Who dont want multiplayer? that is simple and playable on all devices becoz of its simple graphics.

  • John Doe

    Collagics Photo Mosaic :D