Mobile apps have come a long way since Nokia launched the first ever snake game app in 1997. Today, Google Play Store has over 3.3 million apps that can cater to everything you need, from basic data storage to digital note-taking, academics, and fitness. This guide walks you through 15 must-have Android apps for your phone. These apps will help you get the most out of your Android phone, as they are convenient, user-friendly, and efficient.
Tip: maintain your phone’s battery life by making sure apps are not running in the background.
Price: Free / starting at $8.99 per month
Evernote is a popular note-taking app designed for productivity and work efficiency. It’s a great app for students, office workers, freelancers, and designers. It supports pen recognition and typing, so you can doodle and sketch while typing or copy and paste ideas. Evernote supports multiple devices and platforms, allowing you to access your data from anywhere. It lets you add multiple media types, merging text, images, audio, and documents and use tags, stacks, and notebooks to categorize your work. And if you don’t want to type, it can save voice notes. While you can access many of Evernote’s features for free, you’ll be bugged by ads.
- Integrates with other apps and services
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Offers a wide range of organizational tools
- Can get slow and unresponsive when saving larger notes
Price: Free / starting at $3 per month
AirDroid is a powerful phone mirroring app that enables you to share and manage your mobile phone files from your computer. It has a higher file-sharing speed than Bluetooth and gives remote access to all of your smartphone files, including photos, apps, ringtones, and more. In addition to file management, AirDroid is an excellent clipboard-syncing and text-sending app. It supports direct notification mirroring, remote screenshots, screen recording, and more. AirDroid is free with limited features, and the desktop app is only available to premium users.
- Compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux
- Can track a lost device
- File size limitation in the free version
- No support for WhatsApp mirroring
Price: Free / starting at $4.99 per month
CamScanner can scan, store, and share files from your phone, making it a super-popular app among students and office workers. The app is very easy to use: just take pictures of the required pages, and it will automatically transform them into a digital file. It offers multiple filters to make the content in the image brighter and sharper. Besides scanning, CamScanner can quickly categorize your scanned files in folders and use tags to organize them.
- Uses OCR technology to recognize text in scanned documents
- Allows sharing scanned documents via email, social media, or cloud storage services
- Supports mutual collaboration between users
- Your phone’s camera quality can impact the image sharpness
Tip: learn how to automate your Gmail with these useful Google scripts.
Price: Free / starting at $2.50 per month
IFTTT stands for “If This Then That,” which means you can set up a particular action to trigger another action on your smartphone. For instance, “If I arrive home, then mute my mobile.” This app can also connects apps, services, and devices to create an action resulting from another action. IFTTT allows you to set specific rules for your mobile with zero knowledge of programming languages. To do that, it employs Applets, the triggers that automate various functions between apps. Although creating Applets is easy, thousands of ready-made Applets are available on the app’s “Explore” page to help you automate easily.
- Creating new Applets is super easy
- Supports a wide range of devices, including home appliances
- Provides ready-made Applets
- Limited access to Applets in the free version
5. LastPass Password Manager
Price: Free / starting at $3 per month
LastPass stores, manages, and secures all your passwords in one place. Using this app saves you from remembering multiple login credentials. Once you store a password, the app will automatically fill in the account details when logging in to any website/app. LastPass uses two-factor authentication, providing an extra layer of protection for your account credentials. Lastly, the app supports various platforms, including desktop, mobile, and even browser extensions.
- Provides convenient way to store all your passwords in one place
- Offers protection against cyber theft and attacks.
- May not integrate with all websites and services
6. WiFi Analyzer
WiFi Analyzer monitors, analyzes, and optimizes your Wi-Fi connection, providing a detailed insight into signal strength, channel usage, and network interference. It has a user-friendly interface, perfect for beginners. It provides easy-to-understand data, letting you diagnose and fix network issues. The app also gives recommendations to optimize your Wi-Fi channel fully. It supports Android and Windows so that you can view detailed insights into your network strength from your phone and laptop.
- Provides a visual representation of your network
- Identifies and resolves issues with your network
- Interface could use some work
Good to know: being able to copy text from your Android to your PC and vice versa can be extremely convenient. Learn how to sync your clipboard between the two.
7. Link to Windows
Microsoft’s Link to Windows easily links your Android with your laptop. This way, you can respond to chats, receive calls, or check notifications on your computer. You can sync the two by scanning a QR code on your PC through your Android device. When you log in, you’ll see the main functions, including messaging, calls, and gallery service. It also allows dragging and dropping files between your mobile and PC, making the work easy.
- Automatically connects to your phone’s Bluetooth
- Makes sharing between phone and PC extremely easy
- Starting the app on your PC can take time if the phone is off
Price: Free / starting at $9.99 per month
MyFitnessPal is a handy calorie-counting app for your phone, with a massive food database. The app helps you create a balanced diet plan so that you can be in your best shape. The paid version keeps track of your food and gives you a breakdown of micronutrients. It customizes each meal’s fats, carbs, and proteins based on your weekly goal. While the free version does not offer these features, it can record consumed calories. Moreover, you get feedback for workout activity and calorie consumption at the end of each day. You also have a diary where you can add workout videos and foods.
- Has an extensive database to monitor nutrition
- Allows information to be exported in a CVS file
- No fitness device tracking function in the free version
9. Bitdefender Mobile Security
Price: Free / $14.99 per year
Bitdefender Mobile Security is a great tool for keeping your Android safe from theft and malicious viruses. It features a lightning-fast scanning function that offers a quick malware check, privacy, and scam protection and safeguards against unwanted app installation. However, the app sometimes lags when using the overflow menu. Although Bitdefender offers impressive features, it is not entirely free. It offers a premium version that supports ten users simultaneously and includes VPN access for five.
- Strong firewall that utilizes cloud-based analysis
- Easy-to-use interface
- Minor app glitches
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10. Adobe Lightroom
Price: Free / starting at $4.99 per month
Adobe Lightroom is a powerful photo editing app that combines basic and advanced editing tools. It has a user-friendly interface where beginners and experts can fine-tune their pictures. The app offers basic editing features, like exposure and contrast, as well as premium tools, like gradient filters and selective adjustments. Adobe Lightroom also integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, allowing you to view your photographs on multiple platforms.
- Offers professional looking results
- Part of Adobe Creative Cloud suite
- Loading excessive data can slow app down
Price: Free / starting at $0.99 per month
Mint is a free platform to track your expenses, debts, and payments all in one place. The app provides personalized insights and custom budgeting features to manage your financial data. It has many excellent features, like bill reminders, spending trackers, and personalized “mintsights” – actionable insights based on your personal financial history. The app also supports cryptocurrency, taking money management to another level. You can add multiple digital wallets, like Paypal, GEMINI, Coinbase, Binance, Robinhood, and more.
- Offers money-saving offers, like investment savings, loans, credit cards, and home loans
- All-in-one app combining financial goals, expenses, and debts
- Delayed customer support
- Ads in free version
12. Shazam: Music Discovery
Shazam is your go-to app for finding music. With a user-friendly interface, the app only takes a tap to recognize a song that’s playing. It can even run in the background so that you can switch between applications to play music. It automatically identifies the sound and shows its name in the notification bar. You can also use Shazam to identify an external sound. See your previously identified songs in the app and discover new music based on that. The app is integrated with popular streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
- Fast and precise song identification
- Has millions of songs in its database
- The app may not identify live music accurately
Price: Free / starting at $5 per month
Todoist is a popular task management app for Android devices to organize tasks and projects efficiently. It has an intuitive interface that allows you to add, edit, and complete tasks. You can also set due dates or priorities and manage different projects. With Todoist, you can assign tasks to team members, collaborate on projects, and track progress in real time. This app integrates with many productivity tools, like calendars, email, and messaging apps, to help you keep track of tasks and projects in a single workspace.
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Integration with other productivity tools
- Limited features in the free version
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Price: Free / $99 per year
Tripadvisor is a popular travel app that provides information about destinations, hotels, restaurants, and activities. If you’re traveling, you can access information about nearly any country, its prominent sightseeing spots, accommodations, and commute routes on the go. Since the app has a simple and intuitive interface, searching for reviews, ratings, and recommendations from millions of travelers is a breeze. You can also book flights, hotels, and restaurants directly from the app and create and save your travel itineraries. Additionally, the app provides helpful travel guides and maps so that you can easily navigate unfamiliar destinations.
- User-generated reviews
- Robust search engine
- Offers travel planning tools
- Features ads and sponsored content
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that offers a clean and clutter-free search experience. The mobile app is great for anyone who values privacy and security and wants a convenient way to search the Web on their mobile device. With features like automatic encryption and tracker blocking, the app protects your privacy and keeps your search history confidential. This app includes a tracker radar that visually displays the number of trackers blocked on each website, allowing you to see how much your privacy it provides you.
- Automatically encrypts all queries and blocks trackers
- Clean and clutter-free search experience
- May offer limited search results compared to Google and others
Good to know: learn how to install any add-on in Firefox for Android.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use these apps on any Android version?
The compatibility of these Android apps varies. While some apps require a more recent Android version to function properly, most work fine on any Android version going as far back as Android 4.4. Make sure you check each app’s Google Play page and check the “About this app” section to view compatibility information.
How much storage space do I need to download these apps?
The minimum storage required to download these Android apps may vary, depending on which apps you download. You can find every app’s size in the app’s listing in the Google Play Store. If you need to make some room on your device to accommodate the app, these tips may help you free up storage space on Android.
Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Ojash Yadav.
Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about bitcoin.
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