The 30 Best Android Apps You Should Download Right Now

Whether you're a smartphone novice or a master of custom ROMs, these are the apps that every Android user needs to check out.

Michael Stillwell

Finding the right Android app is a daunting task because there can be 10 apps trying to do the same exact thing, whether it's weather, email, texting, or just reading Reddit. We selected the 30 best apps across a wide range of utility, and tell you which ones are worth a download.

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Read It Later
Pocket

FREE

Next time you come across a long article you'd rather read later, use Pocket to save it. The much-loved browser extension and bookmarklet can save any web page from your computer, and the Share button in Android will do the same from your phone. When you're ready to read, just open the article in Pocket for a clutter-free, ad-free experience that even works without an internet connection—perfect for catching up on your commute or while on vacation.

Alternative: Instapaper

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Sam Ruston
Weather Timeline

BUY

Fully embracing Android's material design, Weather Timeline feels like an app perfected for Android. It forecasts weather accurately for the next hour, 48 hours, and the rest of the week, and its color-coded system delivers valuable information at a glance.

Alternatives: Dark Sky, 1Weather

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Google
Waze

FREE

While Google Maps gets the job done for basic navigation, turn to Waze when you're headed for a crowded city or taking off on a road trip. The app relies on its community of users for intel about traffic jams, speed traps, and closures, so you can find an alternate route before getting stuck on the freeway.

Alternatives: Google Maps, HERE

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Intuit
Mint

FREE

More than just a simple budget manager, Mint lets you track all of your finances by connecting to checking, savings, finance, 401k, and credit card accounts. Once plugged in, you can see how much money you've spent, what you're spending it on, and how much you've got in the bank without having to manually add every transaction. The app lets you set goals and create reminders as well.

Alternatives: PocketGuard, Wallet, YNAB, Clarity Money

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VSCO
VSCO

FREE

Now that you've got a pile of pictures on your phone, you'll need a good photo editor to whip them into shape. VSCO Cam is the best of the bunch, with a large selection of presets and tools for fine-tuning. And if you need inspiration, the app's "Journal" section highlights the best images around the world, along with the presets each photographer used to make their images pop.

Alternatives: Open Camera, Google Camera

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Xiavier Guillemane
Podcast Addict

FREE

Unlike iOS, Android does not come with a built-in podcast app, and Google doesn't even make one you can download. You're on your own! Fortunately there are plenty out there and Podcast and Radio Addict is one of the best, especially considering its free. There are other, more sophisticated apps with more features for the hardcore. Pocket Casts, for example, is terrific but also $4. When it comes to free however, Podcast and Radio Addict won't let you down.

Alternatives: Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Stitcher for Podcasts

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Oliver Wittchow
Nanoloop

BUY

Remember the bleeps and bloops of the 8-bit tunes that played alongside all your favorite old video games? You can write those too, right on your phone. Nanoloop is a simple but powerful chiptune creator that turns downtime with your phone into a terrific jam-session that only gets better the more time you spend. Nanoloop isn't free, but it's well-worth the $4 it costs, so long as you commit to following through and finishing at least one song.

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Evie Labs Inc.
Evie Launcher

FREE

In the past, Android launchers were much better than their stock alternatives. Although Google and Samsung have come a long way, some third-party launchers can't be beat and one of them is Evie. This launcher gives you much more icon customization that your standard launcher and the ability to create custom shortcuts lets your phone conform to how you actually use it.

Alternative: Nova Launcher

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theScore, Inc.
theScore

FREE

If you're a lover of all sports, following your favorite teams can be a bit tricky without having apps for each sport. theScore does away with this headache by funneling all this information into one place. This app tracks football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, tennis, MMA, NASCAR, Formula 1, and even lacrosse. If video games are your sport of choice, theScore also has an entirely separate eSports app that's just for you.

Alternative: ESPN

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joaomgcd
Tasker

BUY

This one is for the pros. Tasker lets you take advantage of everything Android can offer and its limits only stop at the limits of your imagination. You can create automated tasks that makes your smartphone even smarter. For example, you setup a geo-fence around your favorite movie theater, and Tasker automatically sets your phone to airplane mode so you won't be disturbed. This also helps you set certain smart profiles for your home, office, or any other location you can think of.

Alternative: IFTTT

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Evernote Corporation
Evernote

FREE

If you're someone that needs thing written down—or are struck by moments of inspiration throughout the day—Evernote will help you keep your life organized across all of your devices. You can also share notes and notebooks with friends for collaboration, and you can also save articles online for reading later. Although a monthly membership unlocks all of Evernote's features, the free version offers everything you need for most people, making it one of the best note apps out there.

Alternatives: Google Keep, OneNote, Simplenote

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Avast Software
Avast!

BUY

There a lot of choices out there for antivirus protection—a unfortunate side effect of Android's more open ecosystem—but our favorite is Avast. It gives you the absolute essentials with call blocking, malware protection, and the ability to remote wipe your phone if you lose it.

Alternatives: Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Lookout

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ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN

BUY

Surfing the web makes you more vulnerable than ever—and then trend likely isn't going to go in reverse. So it's best to be armed with a great VPN, like ExpressVPN. This app connects you with servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries, obscuring your location and encrypting your data. They even have stealth servers.

Alternatives: NordVPN, ProtonVPN

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Google
Google Authenticator

Free

If you're on a security kick after downloading ExpressVPN and Avast, then it's a good idea to add Google Authenticator to your arsenal. For highly sensitive information on your phone, the ultimate defense is two-factor authentication, requiring a password and another code sent to your phone. Google Authenticator is a straightforward app that generates codes for you to use on third-party apps. It's easy to use and its peace of mind—for free.

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Adobe
AdobeScan

FREE

Society is moving toward a paper-free existence—but we're not there yet. until then, there's AdobeScan. As its name suggests, this app turns any piece of paper into a readable PDF on your smartphone. It's a great way of keeping track of receipts, business cards, and whiteboards. You can then make notes on these scans or just save them online for your records. It's the easiest and cheapest way for living without paper.

Alternatives: CamScanner, Office Lens

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VisacSoft
CustomCalc

Free

Phones comes tock with calculators, but they're a far cry from the Texas Instrument monstrosities that students need. While most of us don't need such an extravagant, number-crunching machine, the scientists among us—of the numerically inclined—will be much better served with CustomCalc. Easy to use, completely customizable, and perfect for business, finance, science, and unit conversions, it's the last calculator you'll ever need.

Alternatives: Calculator ++, Photomath

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Open Whisper Systems
Signal

FREE

End-to-end encryption is what you should be looking for in any messenger you use. Although popular options like WhatsApp and Allo offer the feature, it's Signal from Open Whisper Systems that really gets the tech right.

WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) and Allo (made by Google) are companies with an incentive to gather data on its users (they also store data), but Signal has no business model and exists just through donations and grants. If the government comes knocking for your information, Signal has absolutely nothing to give them, which is exactly the kind of chat protection you want.

Alternatives: WhatsApp, Telegram

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Any.do
Any.do

FREE

If you don't love the idea of voluntarily giving Google all of your information, you can use Any.do for keeping track of tasks and events. The app can synch across all devices and ecosystems, has an easy-to-read design, and you can set reminders to trigger based on time and location. Like Evernote, it's a powerful all-in-one app, but at the very least, it's the best task management app you'll find.

Alternatives: Google Tasks, Todoist

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MyFitnessPal, Inc.
MyFitnessPal

FREE

There are many, many, many fitness apps out there, so if you're heavily invested in quantifiable heath data, MyFitnessPal helps keep track of the madness while having tons of features of its own. It has a recipe important, calorie counter, nutrient tracker, and water tracking for making sure you stay happy and healthy. It also connects with other fitness apps, creating a close-to-complete picture of your health.

Alternatives: Google Fit, Runtastic

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LogMeIn, Inc.
LastPass

BUY

To live and work on the internet is to deal with an endless amount of passwords—too many to realistically and accurately remember. That's where LastPass comes in. Store passwords and logins with LastPass and the service will autolog you into all of your services. It also comes with 1GB of encrypted storage for just $24 a year. Not a bad price for making the internet a less stressful place to live.

Alternative: 1Password

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Blockfolio, LLC
Blockfolio

Free

Bitcoin isn't going anywhere (but up), and there are several apps that can help keep track of your crypto-wallet—but our favorite is Blockfolio. The app tracks of 3,000 different types of cryptocurrencies, gives you an accurate snapshot of your portfolio and the market. And the best thing? It's free.

Alternatives: Blockchain Wallet, Coinbase, Delta

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DBrady
Relay for Reddit

FREE

Reddit is a great online resource for finding how-tos or very impassioned opinions about The Last Jedi—but it's not the best designed service on the web. Luckily third-party apps like Relay pick up the slack. With Material Design, dark mode, and plenty of customization, you'll never want to browse Reddit any other way.

Alternatives: Boost, Slide

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Google
Google Photos

FREE

If you use a Pixel, this is already your photo app, but if you're not using Google Photos, fix that immediately. Google Photos is a super-smart photo assistant that can store all your images in the cloud (a very less frustrating version of iCloud), and also intelligently organize photos using machine vision so all your snaps are searchable. Also, it creates mini-films when it notices a lot of photos from the same day or location. It's simply the best out there.

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Drupe
Drupe

FREE

Updating your dialer or contacts app may not be something you'd consider, but after using Drupe, you'll wonder how you lived without it. Drupe comes with an in-app call recorder, has an ultra-organized phone book, can be just a swipe away on your homescreen, and you can send a GIF with any outgoing call because why not? It's worth giving Drupe a shot.

Alternatives: Truecaller, ExDialer

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Zedge
Zedge

FREE

Android comes with some wallpaper options, but more is always better. Zedge lets you personalize your wallpaper, ringtones, and icons at the perfect price—free.

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Pushbullet
Pushbullet

FREE

iOS has iMessages for messaging between your iPhone and your laptop. Android isn't so lucky—but at least there's Pushbullet. Download the Pushbullet client on your Android phone and your Mac or PC, and you can seamlessly send files and receive text messages no matter what device you're on. It's one of those "must-have" apps.

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Max MP
Poweramp

BUY

Spotify is great for streaming, but not everyone likes burning through their data just to listen to music. If you already have an impressive MP3 collection, then Poweramp is the best app to play them. It has an amazing amount of audio customization, and its interface has only gotten better throughout the years. It can also play an insane variety of audio files, so you can make sure you'll never hit a snag when you're rocking out.

Alternatives: BlackPlayer, Phonogragh

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Luke Klinker
Talon

FREE

The stock Twitter app isn't the best when it comes to user-friendliness. If you're looking for something different, Talon is a great place to start. With Material Design, Dark Mode, third-party integrations, and extensive mute controls, it's much, much better than the official app.

Alternative: Fenix 2

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Khan Academy
Khan Academy

FREE

Learning is great, learning anything you want for free is even better. Chose from a variety of subjects like math, science, economics, computing, finance, grammar, history, government, politics—to name a few. Khan Academy is the perfect app for people addicted to learning.

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Simple Habit, LLC
Simple Habit

FREE

Smartphones aren't known for their mental health benefits, but apps like Simple Habit make a compelling case. Simple Habit helps reduce stress in your life by presenting you with meditation guides tailored for your life. Select your current location and how much time you have to spare, and let your mind relax from the hustle of everyday life.

Alternative: Headspace

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