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15 best Android apps available right now
Here it is, 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.
The best Android apps available right now:
Price: Free / $1.99
1Weather is arguably the best weather app out there. It features a simple, paginated design that shows you the current weather, forecast for up to 12 weeks, a radar, and other fun stats. Along with that, you’ll get a fairly decent set of lightly customizable widgets and the standard stuff like severe weather notifications and a radar so you can see the storms approaching. There is also a video element with two or three-minute weather updates for your region. The UI is logical and reasonably easy to navigate as well. The radar occasionally hangs while loading, but it’s usually not too big of a deal.
The free version has every feature with some mild, inoffensive advertising. The single $1.99 in-app purchase removes advertising. Most will also likely enjoy the range of weather fun facts as well when you open the app. We have a list of the best weather apps and widgets if you want more options.
Price: Free / $1.99-$299.99 per month
Some of the features of these apps 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. You can find more cloud storage apps here and more office apps here if you want something different.
Google Maps and Waze
If you add to that the Waze experience, which includes tons of its own features, and you won’t need another navigation app. Ever. Google also owns and operates Waze so we list them together. Both navigation apps work on Android Auto and usually, they work better than car navigation systems. Of course, we have more GPS apps options as well here if you need them.
Google Search / Assistant / Feed
There is also a second Google Assistant app for those who want a quick launch icon on the home screen. The hardware stuff costs money, but Google Assistant is free. There are other decent personal assistants like Amazon Alexa, and you can check them out here.
Price: Free / $12 per year
LastPass is one of those must-have Android apps. It’s a password manager that lets you save your login credentials in a safe, secure way. On top of that, it can help generate nearly impossible passwords for you to use on your accounts. It’s all controlled with a master password. It has cross-platform support (premium version only) so you can use it on computers, mobile devices, tablets, or whatever.
There are others, but LastPass seems to be one step ahead most of the time. Additionally, the premium version is reasonably inexpensive. You can also grab LastPass Authenticator to go along with it for added security. There are other options for great password managers here and some free LastPass alternatives if the new, more restricted free version isn’t doing it for you. LastPass also has an authenticator app for additional security.
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard is one of the most powerful and customizable third-party keyboards available. It hit the market several years ago with a predictive engine unlike anything any other keyboard had and the app has grown a lot over the years. It’s a free download with free themes so you don’t have to pay a dime.
Other features include a dedicated number row, SwiftKey Flow which allows for gesture typing, multiple language support, cross-device syncing of your library, and much more. It’s about as good as it gets in the keyboard space. It’s true that Microsoft now owns SwiftKey, but so far they have managed not to mess it up. Gboard, Google’s keyboard app, is also exceptionally good and the only reason it’s not on the list is to avoid having three consecutive Google apps here. There are some other great Android keyboards here as well.
Price: Free / $4.99
You can even make it look like the Pixel Launcher if you want to. If you go premium, you can tack on gesture controls, unread count badges for apps, and icon swipe actions. Those looking for something simpler may want to try Lawnchair Launcher or Hyperion Launcher. Of course, we have a list of the best Android launchers with even more options as well. We also have a tutorial specifically for Nova Launcher if you want to learn more.
Price: Free / $2.99 / $0.99 per month / $9.99 per year
You can also set download rules, create playlists easily, and it supports both Chromecast and SONOS along with Android Auto and Wear OS. The UI and settings aren’t the most elegant things we’ve seen. However, the app makes up for it by hitting literally every other box we could think of. The subscription unlocks a few additional features, but you can get rid of ads for $2.99, and that’s pretty reasonable. Pocket Casts and CastBox are other excellent options in this space, and we have a list of even more great podcast apps here.
Price: Free trial / $4.99
Price: Free trial / $2.99
File browsing is something everyone inevitably has (or wants) to do, so you might as well do it with a capable, fantastic file browser. Solid Explorer is pretty much as good as it gets in the file explorer apps realm. It features Material Design, archiving support, support for the most popular cloud services, and even some more power-user stuff like FTP, SFPT, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS support.
It looks great, it’s incredibly stable, and it just works well. There is a 14-day free trial with a $2.99 price tag at the end of it. There are other file browsers with more features, but few blend together looks, ease of use, and features like Solid Explorer does. If this doesn’t work for you, here are some other outstanding file browsers.
Tasker and IFTTT
Price: $2.99 and Free, respectively
Tasker and IFTTT are two of the most powerful Android apps. They are automation apps where you can create various triggers to perform actions when specific things happen. For instance, you can use IFTTT or Tasker to automatically turn your Philips Hue lights on at night and off in the morning. Generally speaking, Tasker is the power-user option and has a much steeper learning curve than IFTTT. IFTTT is not only easier to use, but there is a boatload of fun things you can do with it.
Tasker is free on Google Play Pass. IFTT is free for most stuff but there is a subscription if you want a few extras. There are some other great Android tools and utility apps, but none of them can step up to Tasker and IFTTT.
Price: Free / $4.49
Messages by Google (Google Play) is another great option and it even has the ability to stream your texts to your computer (via web browser). We have a full list of excellent SMS apps here as well if these don’t work for you.
Price: Free / $27.99 per year
You get all of the features for free, albeit in a somewhat limited capacity, such as two reminders per task (premium makes that infinite). It’s also a great alternative to Wunderlist. Some other excellent options in the space include Todoist and Microsoft To-Do. Yes, we also have a full list of the best to-do list apps too.
YouTube and YouTube Music
Price: Free / $12.99+
That one-two punch is right up there with the Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ bundle for $12.99 per month as one of the best deals for video and audio streaming. Other music streaming services are usually better, but ad-free YouTube without the need for sideloading is excellent. Audiophiles may want to check out Hi-Fi options like Tidal or Deezer even if those services come at a premium or one of these music streaming apps as well.
Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $4.99 per year
Last, but certainly not least on our list is Zedge. This is a wallpaper, ringtones, notification tones, and alarm tones app that gives you an unbelievable number of options to customize the most basic parts of your device. On top of having an exhaustive collection of things, Zedge also promotes various items during holiday seasons making it easy to theme your phone up for Christmas, Halloween, and other holidays.
It’s not 100% perfect. It does have the occasional bug and some of the worst advertising practices of any mobile app. Zedge Premium is a new initiative to provide premium content at a reasonable price. You watch ads or fill out surveys to earn Zedge credits as well. There are other great ringtone apps and great wallpaper apps. However, Zedge is the only one that reliably does both well and its library is massive.
ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted, secure brands in the virtual private network industry, and that’s for good reason. It’s super fast and extremely safe, boasting an SSL-secured network with 256-bit encryption and, get this, unlimited bandwidth and speed. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries (including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and others) in over 145 locations around the world, so there will always be a location near you to give you the best experience possible. What’s more, the service even has stealth servers in Hong Kong. They are to evade the GFW specifically. It doesn’t even look like you’re using a VPN!
If we missed any of the best Android apps, tell us about them in the comments below. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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