We use smartphones for a lot of things. We listen to music, play games, watch video, and talk to one another on social media. Another use for smartphones is to make our lives easier. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps that can do just that. You carry this thing on you all the time so why not let it make your life easier? Here are the most useful apps for Android!
- Check out the best productivity apps for Android!
- Get those PDFs taken care of with the best PDF reader apps for Android!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Applock is a security oriented app that locks down your apps. The way it works is you decide which apps you don’t want other people getting into. The app locks those apps down and anyone trying to access them has to input a password. It’s simple enough to use and it should be available on most devices. It also has a few different ways that you can pay for it. That means you can choose the one that works best for you. It’s a classic and it’s one of the most useful apps out there.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
CamScanner has been around for a long time and it’s one of the most useful apps out there. You can use the app to scan documents into your phone and convert them to PDF format. You can then send that document through email, save it to your device, and you can even fax it for a nominal fee. It seems to hit all the check boxes you’d want in an app like this. You can use most of the features for free or you can pay for a subscription if you intend on using it very heavily. In either case, it’s a must have. Especially during tax season.
IFTTT stands for “if this, then that”. It’s an app that allows you to create commands to carry out a set of basic tasks. What’s great about the app is the sheer number of services, products, and other apps that have IFTTT support. You can have it turn on your smart lights in your home, save images from Instagram and upload them to Dropbox, and there is even some Google Assistant support. It’s definitely one of the most useful apps out there and it’s also a must-have for those who want more automation.
Financial Calculators is a nifty little app that can calculate a ton of different things. The tool is set up so that you can figure out anything from how much of a tip you owe to the compound annual interest on a large loan. Some of the other things it can do is calculate loans, 401K, APR, credit card payoff amounts, and even US inflation. It also comes with a currency converter, a ROI calculator, and a compound interest calculator. The best part is that it’s completely free.
The Google App (also known as Google Now) has so many little tricks that it’ll take you weeks to learn them all. It’s basically an extension of Google’s Voice Search that also does things like show you the weather, news that you might be interested in (based on your search history), and other bits of information. On newer versions of Android, you’ll also have access to things like Google Now on Tap and other tools to make life easier. You can pair it with Google’s keyboard Gboard and you’ll have the power of Google Search virtually everywhere.
The best Android apps, ever!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Google Drive and its suite of apps are among the most useful apps available anywhere. The full collection includes Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Keep, and Google Photos. Between these apps, you have a full-fledged office suite complete with a note taking app, cloud storage, and a place to back up all of your photos and videos for free. You can purchase additional Google Drive space if you need to as well. There are other decent office apps, but few even come close to the level of functionality you get with Google Drive.
Google Translate is the go-to translation app available on any platform. It has received a number of updates over the years, including the ability to use your camera to point at something and have it translated in real-time. There is also a neural network powering the platform that helps make translation even more accurate. It has a slew of additional features as well, including the ability to translate a two way conversation in real-time. It’s a must-get for anyone traveling virtually anywhere and it’s also completely free.
[Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $39.99 per year]
Pushbullet is one of the most useful apps out there if you need to connect your phone to your PC. With it, you can text from your PC, transfer files quickly, and you can even copy from your Android device and paste on your PC (and vice versa). It’ll also show you phone notifications on your computer. The free version can be useful, although you won’t get the really good features unless you sign up for their subscription. The price is pretty high, so here’s a list of alternatives that can do pretty much the same stuff.
[Price: Free / $1.99]
Simple System Monitor is an app that lets you monitor the basic systems in your smartphone. It features the ability to check on things like your CPU usage, RAM usage, storage stats, GPU usage, Disk I/O, battery health and temperature, and a lot more. These kinds of apps are great for helping you figure out if your phone is working harder than it should and how hard an app or game is stressing your system. Some features may not work right if you’re on Android Nougat due to changes in the OS, but otherwise it’s a solid app.
[Price: Free / Enterprise pricing available]
Slack is a professional chat app that was made for businesses and work culture. You can create various channels for various tasks or various groups of people. It’s great for a lot of things because the chat service can be integrated with a ton of other services such as Asana, Giphy, Google Drive, Twitter, Zendesk, and other productivity tools. The app also supports voice calls, private and group messaging, file uploads, and there is a web app and a desktop app that you can download and install for most platforms. It’s pretty great and definitely one of the most useful apps we know of.
The best Android tools and utility apps!
[Price: Free trial / $2.99]
Solid Explorer is a file manager and browser that does a great job. It’s built around Material Design and that makes the app very easy to use. On top of the usual file browsing, you’ll also have the option to access your cloud storage services if you use them. On top of that, you’ll be able to access FTP, SFTP, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS clients. There is even root access if you need that. It’s a powerful app that is also simple to use. You’ll have to pay for it after the 14-day trial, but everyone needs a file manager and this one is a good one.
Tasker is one of the most powerful and useful apps ever created. Tasker allows you to create automated activities that do a variety of things. It’s difficult to express what this app can do because it can do virtually anything. The app comes with 200 built-in actions that you can use or you can build your own. There are also a ton of apps with Tasker support along with plugins to expand functionality. There is a large learning curve, but it’s great once you get passed it.
[Price: Free / $3.49]
Unclouded is a cloud storage app that helps you manage your cloud storage services. You can log into Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and Mega with this app. Once logged in, you can manage your files in each service, find and eliminate duplicates, search for files, and see when your files were last used, changed, or added. It’s not all that useful for those who use a single cloud storage service. However, those who multiple services can definitely find this one handy.
WiFiAnalyzer is an open-source application that allows you to check out your WiFi and the WiFi humming along around you. There are a number of reasons why you’d need something like this. You can see if your WiFi is sharing a channel with other WiFi networks (which can affect connectivity and speed). You can also identify nearby WiFi networks, graph signal strength, and other activities. It’s important information to know if you’re looking to optimize your home WiFi. It’s also free!
[Price: Free / $4.99 per month / Enterprise options]
Wunderlist is one of the best to-do list apps available right now. You can use the app to write down tasks so you can remind yourself to complete them later. Additionally, you can set up recurring tasks (like taking out the garbage), and then share those tasks with other people who use the app. This is a great way to set up chores and such with members of your household. You can even create a grocery list subsection and create lists that way. It has most of the features you’d need for free, but there is a paid version for those who need a little bit more.
Related best app lists:
- Here are the best to-do list apps on Android!
- Or check out the best ways to record your Android screen!
If we missed any of the most useful apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.