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Android apps have come a long way: Thanks to the app war raging between today's mobile platforms, the best Android apps are clearly the equal of the iOS apps. Google, understanding the critical importance of mobile, has grown Android into a world class app platform – and perhaps the overall global mobile winner, long term.
About Android apps
The single best feature you'll find with Android apps is choice. You can pick apps that can handle everything from common smartphone tasks to manipulating the deepest levels of the Android operating system.
Realize that some Android apps are downloaded through the Google Play Store, while other apps are already pre-installed onto your Android phone. For example:
Google Android apps: Calendar, YouTube, Gmail, Hangouts and Google+ are some of the Google apps that are provided with today's modern Android phones. These are applications that will run on any Android device.
Third party Android apps: These are often apps developed by companies or people who are not affiliated with Google. Most of these apps are provided by companies or individuals looking to make their software available for Android app users. One of the most common examples in terms of third party apps pre-installed are those provided by mobile carriers.
16 Must Have Android Apps
Some Android apps are useful to have, and some are truly must have Android apps. This collection of apps runs the gamut, from weather to file storage to scheduling to – yes, this is a must have app – TV watching. Plus: a remote desktop app, which (when you’re miles from home) is pretty much the definition of a must have Android app.
Top 10 Android Game Apps
There's no doubt about it: Android games have a lot of fans. And this list of Android games shows why: from household names like Minecraft to old school apps like Monopoly to offbeat titles like Goat Simulator, the sheer variety of Android games is remarkable. This list offers games you can play solo or with friends. Your Android phone, it turns out, can be quite a bit of fun.
Best Free Android Apps
Let’s face it: the best free Android apps are a no-brainer. Log on, pick the best, and start downloading – what have you got to lose? This choice list of the best free Android apps focuses mostly on the useful, from BaconReader (social media) to Fing (network scanner) to – well, heck, we’ll let you check them out.
Android Apps for Pure Fun
Oh sure, Android apps offer enormous functionality, but it’s also good to have fun apps for Android. After all, you spend a lot of time with your phone – a fun app for Android is definitely called for. This app list runs from movies and TV to music to games to trivia. Never again will you be stuck with nothing fun to do (that is, if you have your Android phone with you).
Top Open Source Android Apps
Not all open source Android apps are created equal. The very best open source Android apps combine the virtues of open source – a communal programming ethic – with the advanced functionality that proprietary apps boast of. This list of open source Android apps is chosen from among those vetted by F-Droid, which prides itself on working to select only the best.
Download the best popular Android apps
- Facebook – Ah, friends, family, baby photos, all those party pics -- the Facebook app is your portal to the create online community of everyone you've ever known.
- Hulu – Where Netflix hits the nail on the head for past TV show seasons, the Hulu app does a pretty good job at providing current content. One of many Android apps providing network TV programming to folks, I think Hulu is the best app to get it all in one place.
The Hulu Android App
- Twitter – If people are talking about it, they're talking about it on Twitter. Movies! Elections! Kanye's latest rant! The Twitter app is your ticket to everything that everyone is chattering about.
- Instagram – Photography Android apps continue to grow in popularity. Understandable, since taking photos with ones Android device is second nature to most people these days. Need to add strange filters to make your photo "pop," Instagram is the photo sharing platform you've been looking for!
- Spotify – Despite the fact that Google Music might seem like the logical choice for Android users, Spotify has unique music sharing features that folks on all mobile platforms seem to enjoy. Android users will enjoy building their own playlists, and listening to music habit-based "radio" selections.
- Amazon – Unless you live in a cave on or on the moon, chances are you've purchased stuff from Amazon.com. Their mobile webpage is good, however unlike other Android apps in this space, Amazon hits the nail on the head with one of the best mobile shopping experiences I've ever used. If you shop with Amazon, their app is a must have.
- Skype – Even in a world where Google Hangouts is being pushed by Android as the default messaging app, Skype still comes out as the most popular, thanks in part to it's huge userbase. Send text messages, place VoIP calls or simply video chat – this app does it all.
- Weather Channel – Sweater or coat? Umbrella or not? A quick glance at the Weather app will keep you ready, rain or shine.
The Weather Channel App
- Snapchat – There may be no other social media platform that reflects today's instant video lifestyle -- having the Snapchat app says your cool.
- Reddit – There are oodles of Reddit options when looking at the available Android apps. That said, there's advantages to using the office Reddit app if you enjoy deep diving into the Reddit community. Some might argue it lacks features found in other Reddit applications, but I'd counter that it's the best fit for most people.
Download cool Android apps you might be missing
- Twitch – is there a bigger gaming site on the Internet? The Twitch android app brings you all the action, live and recorded game play, chat mode, Chromecast support and more.
- Secret Escapes – If you’re dreaming of a getaway vacation, browsing the Secret Escapes app can be a good time – and perhaps save you money. The app gathers deals on a wide array of hotels and vacation packages.
- Musixmatch – Claiming “the world’s biggest lyrics catalogue,” Musixmatch enables you to listen to your music with synced lyrics. You can also search lyrics for any song, and get the lyrics for tunes that are playing around you.
The Musixmatch Android App
- Clap to Find – Where’s my phone? If you find yourself asking that, the Clap to Find app will help you find your lost device with a single clap.
- FastCustomer – There’s nothing more tedious than calling customer service. So FastCustomer does it for you, tapping through the maze of options, then ringing your phone when a human is finally reached. Big time saver.
- Hooks Alerts and Notifications – Let your phone keep you up to date with everything: you can set Hooks to notify you of any possible event you can put in a calendar.
- IF by IFTTT – Think of IF by IFTTT as a kind of a helpful social media app. The app allows you to link many of your online accounts, from Facebook to Dropbox to Instagram, as well as post videos to YouTube, message your friends, and connect with your FitBit. Quite useful.
- SleepBot – Sure, you’re sleeping, but how well are you sleeping? SleepBot helps you manage your slumber patterns for a more refreshing night’s sleep.
- Happier – Track your gratitude with Happier, and in doing so, bring more happiness and satisfaction to your days. The theory goes, if you’re mindful about your life enjoyment, it will noticeably increase.
- Unclouded – Keep track of all your remote cloud storage with Unclouded, which allows you to check space and files for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, BOX, and MEGA.
Useful Android app tips
How to Use Android like a PC – Using a tablet or smartphone in place of a PC takes practice and patience. However, using the tools and suggestions provided in this article about using your Android device like a PC will get you on your way in no time at all.
Top Tips For Android Security – For the most part, Android does a fairly good job at keeping your phone secure. Still, there are considerations to remember when it comes to Android security. These tips for Android security should be required reading if you're new to Android.
Top Android Phone Troubleshooting Tips – Even when you take good care of your Android phone, sometimes you find yourself troubleshooting common Android issues. This article on Android phone troubleshooting will help to get your device back up and running in no time.
The best Android app resources
No matter how intensive of an Android guide I put together, there will always be some things that do best with the help of a community of users. To that end, here are my top picks where you can get assistance with your Android app challenges.
Switching to Android – If you're thinking of switching to Android, I've found the best place to go for help is Google directly.
Advanced questions or bugs – I recommend going straight to the Android xda forums. These folks know their stuff and odds are if there is an answer to your question out there, this is the place to get it.
That's it for my recommendations. Perhaps you have recommendations of your own you'd like to share? Hit the Comments and let me know your best Android app recommendations. I look forward to hearing what you come up with. Happy downloading!
|Must Have Android Apps|
|Top Open Source Android Apps|
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