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10 must-have apps for your new Android smartphone

Got a new smartphone? Here are a few essential apps you should consider downloading.
December 25, 2017
A photo of the Play Store showing free and paid apps
So, you just got a new Android smartphone. Congratulations, you’re most likely in for an excellent overall experience. However, that experience can also be improved with a great selection of apps to make your smartphone work better for you. We have a list of Android apps that should be great for anybody on any smartphone. We decided not to go with some obvious options like music streaming or video streaming because you likely already have a preferred app and they all work great on Android anyway. Instead, we decided to focus on things like productivity, news, customization, weather, and other elements you might find useful. Here is a list of great Android apps for any new Android smartphone.
BZ Reminder - best reminder apps
YoWindow Weather best weather apps and weather widgets


Price: Free / $1.99

1Weather is an excellent weather app with plenty of good options. You get the basics like a ten day forecast, weather radar, current weather conditions, and home screen widgets. However, this one also includes a 12-week prediction forecast, moon cycles, and some other useful or fun information. We like this app’s weather fun facts it displays when you open the app as well. This is an easy recommendation for us. The free and premium versions of the app work the same except the free version has advertisements and the premium version doesn’t. Plus, there are no subscription fees or anything like that. AccuWeather, Dark Sky, and Apex Weather are also good options.

Adobe Lightroom

Price: Free / Up to $52.99 per month

Adobe Lightroom is one of the best photo editor apps for Android. It has a ton of options for both simple and more advanced photo editing. It should work for almost any situation although the UI takes a little while to get used to. This comes as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription in case you want the desktop version as well. If this is a little much for your use case, we also recommend Snapseed and Pixlr for a simpler, more streamlined experience.

Adobe Lightroom screenshot 2019


Price: Free

Flipboard is one of the most popular news apps for Android. It made its name with its magazine style animations. However, it’s still a good news app. You can pick and choose the news sites you trust for a variety of topics, including world news, tech, current events, and more. The app is simple enough to use for almost anybody. The app also has a variety of smart features to jazz things up a bit. It’s a solid overall experience. Other good options include Feedly, Microsoft News, and Google News.

Flipboard is one of the best news apps

Google Drive

Price: Free / $1.99+ per month

Google Drive is a powerful suite of productivity apps. The suite includes cloud storage with Google Drive, a word processor with Google Docs, a spreadsheet app with Google Sheets, a presentation app with Google Slides, and a note taking app with Google Keep Notes. Additionally, there is a Google PDF Reader app for those who want an extra nicety. The free accounts come with 15GB of free space and that’s more than enough for most people. You can also check out Google Photos for unlimited photo backups. It’s technically part of the Google Drive suite. You should have basically all of your basic productivity needs covered with the above apps.

Google Drive is one of the best data apps for android

Podcast Addict

Price: Free / $3.99

Podcast Addict is a podcast player with all of the basic features plus a few extras. It scrapes enough sources to have all of the podcasts we’re aware of plus several hundred thousand others. You can manually or automatically download episodes for offline listening or stream it through the app if you want to. The UI isn’t overly inspiring but it gets the job done without being overly complicated. The app also supports Chromecasts, SONOS speakers, and Android Auto. It checks all of the boxes for a good podcast player. However, some other options include Doggcatcher and Pocket Casts.

Podcast Addict is one of the best android apps


Spark Email

Price: Free

Spark Email is a powerful and free email client with a lot going for it. You can sign into it with multiple email addresses and it maintains a smart email inbox to get rid of the fluff you don’t care about anyway. The app also includes the ability to snooze emails, schedule emails, and you can set reminders. There are a ton of great email clients, but this one does a great job of helping you manage a busy inbox. Some other great options include Blue Mail or, as long as you don’t mind a less flashy UI, K-9 Email.

SwiftKey Keyboard

Price: Free

The stock keyboard is usually fairly average so a third party keyboard may help you type even better. SwiftKey Keyboard is among the best keyboard apps. It comes with a bunch of features, including text prediction, gesture typing, and a dictionary that learns from how you type. Additionally, the app contains a variety of themes and you can make the keyboard taller or shorter as you need. Finally, you can use either a Google or Microsoft account so you don’t have to stay locked into Google’s ecosystem if you don’t want to. Of course, if you don’t mind that, Gboard is another excellent choice as is Fleksy.


Price: Free / $27.99 per month

TickTick is one of the best to-do list apps. It has a lot of powerful options but manages to be simple and easy to use. You can create multiple sections to manage multiple to-do lists. Additionally, the app has a collaboration feature so you can include your family, roommates, coworkers, or whoever else you need. The app has a $27.99 per year subscription but you shouldn’t actually need it unless you need more than two reminders per task. If you want something more flashy, we recommend Todoist and if you want something that syncs better to your PC, we recommend Microsoft To-Do. 

TickTick is one of the best android widgets


Price: Free

Walli is an excellent wallpaper app. It has a bunch of unique images by a bunch of artists from around the world. You can find high resolution images that should work in most cases. Plus, there is an option to support the artists as well. In terms of UI and usability, it works and feels more or less like most wallpaper apps. Those who want more options actually have a ton of apps to choose from, including Abstruct, Sphaera, and Walpy. Those who just got a Samsung Galaxy S10 series or Galaxy Note 10 series device should also try Hidey Hole by Chainfire and Wallpix for some unique wallpaper options.

Walli - best photography wallpaper apps for android


Price: Free with in-app purchases

Zedge is arguably the best app on the Play Store for ringtones, alarm tones, and notification tones. The app has a massive library that covers a variety of genres, types, and choices. A lot of them are fan submissions so quality can suffer on occasion. However, by and large, it has a lot of great options. There is also an option to search for wallpapers. The selection is a lot better than it used to be, but the images aren’t always the highest resolution. You can also get premium wallpapers with in-app purchases or by answering in-app surveys if you want to. There are other options for ringtones and notification tones, but none of them are as varied as Zedge.

Zedge is one of the best thanksgiving apps for android

Want more ideas? Check out our list for the 15 best Android apps ever. If you’re a gamer, take a look at our list of the 15 best Android games available right now.