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15 best Android apps available right now

Android evolves more every year, but apps remain just as important as ever. Here are the best apps you can get right now.
December 1, 2023
Google Play Store 2021 3
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. The crème de la crème. These Android apps 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, this is where you start. There are a ton of amazing Android apps out there. However, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Without further delay, here are the best Android apps currently available.

Most people should be familiar with most of these apps. They are the best, and the best usually aren’t anonymous. That is, after all, what makes them the best. You can also check out our picks for the best apps released in 2022 for a few extra ideas, and the best new Android apps of the recent month.

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. You’ll also 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 enjoy the range of weather fun facts when you open the app. We have a list of the best weather apps and widgets if you want more options.

Google Drive

Price: Free / $1.99-$299.99 per month

Google Drive screenshot 2020
Google Drive is a cloud storage solution available on Android where all new users get 15GB for free permanently upon signing up. You can, of course, buy more if needed. What makes Google Drive so special is the suite of Android apps that are attached to it. They include Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Photos, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Keep. It covers so many bases and is so cheap that it’s impossible not to recommend it to just about anybody.

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 and office apps if you want something different.

Google Maps and Waze

Price: Free

Google Maps screenshot 2021
Google Maps virtually owns the navigation apps scene and remains one of the best Android apps ever. It gets frequent, almost weekly updates that only add to its incredibly generous list of existing features. Aside from the basics, Google Maps gives you access to places of interest, traffic data, directions to things like rest stops or gas stations, and you can download maps for offline use.

If you add to that the Waze experience, which includes tons of its own features, 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 work better than car navigation systems. Of course, we have more GPS app options if you need them.

Google Search / Assistant / Feed

Price: Free

Google App screenshot 2020 best android apps
This is one seriously powerful app. It also works on most Android devices. You download the app and then enable it. From there, you can ask whatever you want. It also supports a variety of commands. You can control smart home products, ask just about any question, and it can even do simple math problems for you. It’s included with various products, such as Google Home speakers.

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 / Premium plans

It isn’t easy jumping around password managers to find one that works for you. We can put a solid word in for Bitwarden. This platform offers unlimited password storage — on your storage bank or their servers — with two-factor authentication and keyphrase generation support. Bitwarden Send is also a feature worth mentioning. It allows the secure sending of essential details to another user.

Bitwarden, at its core, is free to use. However, you can add to its functionality by opting for premium tiers. One caters to families of up to six users.

Microsoft SwiftKey

Price: Free

Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard screenshot 2022

Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard is among the most powerful and customizable third-party keyboards available. It hit the market several years ago with a predictive engine unlike any other keyboard, 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 alternative Android keyboards as well.

Nova Launcher

Price: Free / $4.99

Nova Launcher - best android apps
Initially, we weren’t going to put any launchers on this list. Nova Launcher seems to be extending beyond what normal launchers are. It’s been around for years and consistently updated; thus, it’s always been an excellent launcher replacement option. It has many features, including the ability to back up and restore your home screen set-ups, icon theming for all your Android apps, tons of customization elements for the home screen and app drawer, and more. An analytics company purchased it, but no bad changes have been made.

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. We also have a tutorial for Nova Launcher if you want to learn more.

Pocket Casts

Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $9.99 per year

Pocket Casts screenshot 2022
Pocket Casts is one of the most popular podcast apps. It received some ire years ago for moving to a subscription model. However, changes since then have made the app more or less usable by anyone, even without a subscription. The app houses a ton of podcasts, good sharing options, and you can set things like auto download and playback speed. The UI is clean, easy to read, and easy to navigate. There isn’t much Pocket Casts does wrong.

The subscription is mostly optional and includes cross-platform support, more themes, 10GB of cloud storage to store podcasts, and more. We used to be quite against subscriptions, but since most podcast players now do it, I can use this without the subscription without much issue. Podcast Addict and CastBox are other excellent options in this space, and we have a list of even more great podcast apps.


Price: Free trial / $4.99

Poweramp screenshot 2022
Poweramp is one of Android’s most popular and functional local music players. It has all of the features, including Hi-Res audio support, Android Auto, an equalizer, gapless smoothing, and support for virtually any audio codec you can find. The UI has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s also one of the better-looking music players, with optional themes in the Google Play Store.

There are other great music apps, but the top slot is arguably Poweramp’s title to lose. Poweramp also has an equalizer app (Google Play link) if you want a better equalizer app.

Solid Explorer

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 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, is incredibly stable, and works well. There is a 14-day free trial with a $2.99 price tag. Other file browsers have 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 other outstanding file browsers.

Tasker and IFTTT

Price: $2.99 and Free, respectively

Tasker screenshot 2022

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 turn on your Philips Hue lights automatically 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

Textra SMS screenshot 2022
Textra is arguably the best and most stable texting app for Android. It comes with various themes, most of which are editable by you. It does everything you need an SMS app to do without much hassle. It even has a tutorial built-in that makes it work with Android Auto better than most other texting apps. We like it for its simplicity. It’s better than most OEM SMS apps, and we’d recommend it over most of them.

Messages by Google (Google Play) is another great option; it can even stream your texts to your computer (via web browser). We also have a full list of excellent SMS apps if these don’t work for you.


Price: Free / $27.99 per year

TickTick screenshot 2022
TickTick isn’t as popular as other to-do list apps. However, it may be the best one. It covers the basics like recurring tasks, reminders, push notifications, various organizational features, and categories. The app also lets you share tasks and entire categories with other people. This makes it great for family use, small teams at work, or other such groups. It’s also great for grocery lists, honey-do lists, or others.

You get all of the features for free, albeit in a somewhat limited capacity, such as two reminders per task (premium makes that infinite). Our only major gripe is the lack of Wear OS support, which we hope the developers will eventually add. 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.

YouTube and YouTube Music

Price: Free / $12.99+

YouTube Music screenshot 2021
We don’t typically recommend streaming services to people. After all, everybody has their own preferences and plenty of great options exist. However, we really like the combination of YouTube Music and YouTube. For one price, you get unlimited music from YouTube Music with more than enough tracks to compete with Spotify and Apple Music. However, you also get ad-free YouTube, background video play, and offline downloads.

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.


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 (Sponsored)

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.