1. Google Opinion Rewards (free — and actually earns you money!)
Get paid for super-quick surveys from Google
While many are free, some of the best Android apps in this list require you to pay actual money. If you’re a skinflint, that’s a problem, which is why you should definitely have Google Opinion Rewards installed.
Complete short surveys for Google and you’ll be given credit to spend on the store. Sometimes that could be 50p, sometimes 10p, but it all adds up and no survey takes longer than a minute or two. Seriously, download this now.
2. Gboard — the Google keyboard (Free)
Ditch your stock keyboard. This is the ultimate
Gboard is the ultimate keyboard for Android. That’s partly because its borrowed the best features from elsewhere — Glide Typing is remarkably similar to Swype for example — but it’s more than that. Google search is built right into it, meaning that whereever you in Android you can quickly search for things. Someone wants to know where you’re meeting? Get the address without leaving the chat window. Want to drop a GIF in to show your frustrating at Googling on their behalf? Google a GIF and send it right back…
Voice typing and keyboard themes really round off the package. It’s hard to imagine using anything else, for me.
3. Solid Explorer File Management (£1.50; with two-week free trial)
A less painful way of managing your phone
Yes, it’s dull, but have you ever found an Android phone to have a sensible way of navigating your files like you’d find on PC or Mac? I certainly haven’t. This is where Solid File Explorer comes in. It uses Google’s own Material Design style for an easy to use experience, which makes moving your files around and reclaiming space a doddle. What’s more, it links up to cloud storage systems so you can easily move files to and fro, and the latest version lets you lock important files with a fingerprint, should you wish.
It’s £1.50 to unlock, but you can try it out free of charge for 14 days to see if you get the use from it. For me, it was a total no-brainer.
4. Gallery Doctor — Photo Cleaner (free)
Automatically manage your snaps
Let’s face it: we all take a lot of photos, and not all of them are world beaters. The trouble is with limited storage, your phone can quickly become overrun with mediocre snaps. Yes, you can manually delete and back them up, but with the help of Gallery Doctor, that process can be entirely automated.
Gallery Doctor hunts down duplicate images and highlights them for deletion, but better still it knows what makes a good photo and can highlight your weaker efforts for deletion. Don’t worry, you can check its working to make sure you’re not deleting any classics — but it’s a helpful extra critical eye when trying to reclaim precious space.
5. Avast Antivirus & Security (free; with in-app purchases)
Keep malware from your handset with AV protection
Avast Antivirus & Security is a powerful antivirus app that you can trust; its PC counterpart was one of the best free antiviruses of 2015. For those who want comprehensive cover, plenty of additional features are available as in-app purchases, including geofencing and remote data recovery. For those who just want basic protection, however, you’ll find this does everything you need for free.
6. LastPass Password Manager (free)
Complex security you don’t have to remember
We all know the rules about password security, but we also know it’s really, really boring to be good. Fortunately, LastPass takes away the hard work, making it easy to be secure. And it’s free, to boot.
You’ll need to spend a little time setting it up, but once you’re done on desktop, you’re good to go on mobile. LastPass will generate long and hard to crack passwords unique to each site. The beauty is that you never need to memorise it. The app will detect a login screen, you sign in with your master password or thumbprint and it will automatically fill in your details. Security for the lazy!
7. Greenify (free)
Make sure your battery isn’t draining unnecessarily
Getting the most from your phone’s battery is always key. Lollipop may have its own set of battery-saving tools, and many phones now offer power-saving modes, but these should be seen as a last resort.
Greenify sits in the background helping to regulate how much battery various apps are using. It freezes the apps you tell it to when you’re not using them and instantly defrosts them when you need to gain access.
8. Clean Master (free)
Keep that ‘clean install’ feeling
Nobody likes having a slow device, and Android somehow manages to grab digital detritus like a magnet in a junkyard. Clean Master is the mop and bucket you need to scrub your phone or tablet clean.
Clean Master’s Junk File Cleaning feature scans your Android device and chucks out any unwanted cache and residual files.
9. Tasker (£2.99)
Automate your phone’s functions for an easy life
If you really want to tinker with Android, Tasker is a brilliant way of automating many of the functions you’d normally do manually. It takes a little getting your head around, but the scope here is enormous — especially if you have root access on your phone.
You can train your phone to open Spotify when you put your headphones in, for example, or automatically respond to texts with your street address. If you can feed it the instructions, Tasker can automate the rest.
10. Next Lock Screen (free)
Make your lockscreen sparkle
Microsoft’s Garage project lets employees develop Android apps in their spare time, which is very fair-minded of the company. One of the best-known results of this scheme is Next Lock Screen, and this new version adds fingerprint scanning, provided your phone supports it; Smart Contacts and Smart Lock settings that let you configure how you unlock your device; and even location-sensitive wallpaper that changes automatically depending on where you are. Other useful features include detailed notifications that show all your missed calls, text messages and app alerts without you needing to “wake” your phone.
Because Next Lock Screen looks different to the standard Android layout, it effectively forces you to relearn your homescreen, which is jarring, but it has already amassed many devotees and recently won a “best lockscreen app for Android” award. Using it is almost like having a new phone without needing to pay for the upgrade.
11. Opera Max (free)
Supercharge your web browsing
Unless you’re lucky enough to have unlimited data on your phone, or a bottomless wallet, you’ll want to get the most out of your data package.
This is where Opera Max comes in. It crunches down the size of images and videos, speeds up website load times, and typically saves you from around a third to almost half of your general data use. You can restrict some apps to only ever connect via Wi-Fi, and temporarily turn off connections if you want to save some data for the end of the month.
12. Pocket (free)
Collect the best of the web to read later
Found an article you like but want to read it later, when you may not have an internet connection? Pocket is the solution to your problem.
Allowing you to save articles and videos to read and watch later across any Pocket-enabled device, you’ll never be short of something to read or share again. It’s the perfect distraction for Tube journeys, flights and those long train trips in signal black holes.
13. WifiMapper (free)
Track the best Wi-Fi spots in the world
If you don’t have a generous mobile data plan, you’re going to want to use Wi-Fi as much as possible, but finding good, free Wi-Fi isn’t always that easy. WifiMapper is the solution. Crowdsourced maps where the community shares where to get free Wi-Fi, you should never have to rely on your data again.
Best Android apps 2018: Social apps
There’s no escape from the onslaught of social media and instant-messaging apps. Perfect for sharing images, making plans or simply having a chat, these social apps are the best of the bunch.
14. Fenix for Twitter (£3.99)
The official Twitter app may be a serviceable free client, but it pales in comparison to Fenix.
Featuring a slick Material Design interface that’s fully customisable and incredibly responsive, this is the app for any self-confessed Twitter addict. Spend a couple of days using Fenix and your Twitter productivity will go through the roof.
15. Snowball (free)
All your social networks in one handy app
Fed up of juggling multiple social networks across loads of different apps? Snowball helps manage the blizzard of information thrown at your phone or tablet every day.
Notifications are handled in a separate dropdown tray, and you can easily cycle between different networks. Replies can be left without even having to close down the app you’re currently using.
16. Facebook and 17. Messenger (free)
The world’s biggest social network, compressed to fit in your pocket
Ahh, Facebook, the social network standard you can’t be without. Now that Messenger has been spun out into a separate app, you’ll need both to get the full Facebook experience.
Facebook isn’t the most reliable Android app around, but its latest update has sought to fix such issues. Messenger is thankfully more stable, but switching between the two apps still isn’t as smooth as you’d like it to be.
18. Tengi (free)
Instant messaging, but with a chance of winning some of their revenue back
Describing itself as “the chat app that gives back”, Tengi shares many functions with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, letting you text, call and share photos via Wi-Fi or mobile data. Its unique selling point is that it automatically enters its users into a prize cash draw every week, where they can win up to £10,000. The more you chat, the more virtual ‘tickets’ you get, so the better your chances of winning. It’s free to use and there are no in-app purchases to worry about.
19. Timehop (free)
Take a step back in time to see what you did on this day three years ago
Want to remind yourself of how foolish that haircut you had five years ago was? Timehop is here to do just that. But while there’s sure to be plenty of cringe-worthy moments dragged up from the past, Timehop also brings reminders of memories forgotten: that spontaneous road trip, the time you went to the zoo, or perhaps the day you met a loved one for the first time.
Plugging into Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Foursquare, Timehop gives you a slice of your past life every day of the week. Who knew looking back in time could be so addictive?
20. Prisma (free)
Make your selfies into art
Instagram filters are so 2015. Or maybe even 2014 — whenever the damned thing was released. This year’s hottest photography app is Prisma, which — as Tom wrote — “is like Instagram dropped acid”.
It uses artificial-intelligence algorithms and neural networks to make your photographs into strange modern art. It’s all very clever, and quite complex, but the bottom line is it gets weird and wonderful results, just ripe for sharing. So go download it and give it a try.
21. OKDOTHIS (free)
Guided inspiration to improve your photography
Are you stuck in a photography rut? OKDOTHIS will fix that for you by giving you a guided photography challenge for each day — it might give you instructions on the subject, the feel or even the composition. All you have to do is find the moment, snap it and share it with the community.
22. WhatsApp (free)
The world’s most popular messaging apps says goodbye to SMS charges
Finally updated with a new interface, WhatsApp is the instant messenger of choice for any smartphone.
WhatsApp needs little introduction. Make voice calls or send video clips, pictures, audio or text messages. It’s everything you need to replace tired old SMS and MMS services.
23. Textra (Free)
Jazz up your standard SMS with a customisable skin
If you prefer to do things the oldschool way, then you may find your stock Android SMS app is a little drab, and dull on the eyes. Textra is the answer: customise as many or few of your contacts as you like, right down to the colour of the notification icon you get when messaged. You can also have messages appear as a pop-up in Android, but that’s easy to turn off if you find it too distracting.
24. Skype (Free)
Free calls around the world without fuss
Microsoft-owned Skype has been letting you chat for free over the internet on various different platforms for years — including, back in 2007, the Skypephone. The newly updated Android and iOS apps now include video group calling. This means you can chat to up to 25 friends or family members at once, each with their own onscreen video box (presumably quite small) — in HD, if your phone or tablet supports it.
25. Trusted Contacts (Free)
Never worry about a loved one again
If you want to know your loved ones are safe, then Google’s own Trusted Contacts is the answer. Simply add a bunch of contacts you trust (hence the name) and they get special access to see where your phone is and when you’re active.
At any time, they can send a location request. If all is fine and dandy, you can turn down the request and they’ll know you’re safe. If for whatever reason you can’t reply within five minutes, the app will automatically respond with your location — even if you’re out of battery and without signal. What’s more you can set it to broadcast to a loved one if you’re about to go into a dicey situation — say walking home through a sketchy environment late at night. Simply tap the banner at the top of the screen when you arrive safe and sound, end everyone has peace of mind.
Best Android apps 2018: Entertainment apps
Android phones are, of course, an almost endless supply of entertainment. Here are the apps that you need to get the most out of your handset.
26. Google Play Books (Free)
An entire library in your pocket
Usually coming preinstalled on vanilla Android devices, Google’s ebook reader packs in features other free apps lack. And while the capability may not be initially apparent, you can upload your own ebooks and PDF files to Play Books and access them on any Android device associated with your login, with your progress synced across devices. This means you can read on your tablet when at home, then pick up your phone and carry on reading when out and about. Not bad for a free app.
27. OverDrive (free)
Borrow ebooks from your bricks-and-mortar library
Libraries are slowly catching up with the convenience of digital, and OverDrive lets you borrow ebooks and audiobooks without even leaving the house — and best of all, there are no late fees, as titles are ‘returned’ automatically.
The only problem is that libraries need to opt into the service, and without wanting to stereotype, libraries aren’t always the fastest bodies to adopt change. Still, with over 30,000 libraries worldwide taking part, it’s worth checking the website to see if your library card can work that bit harder for you.
28. Feedly (free; with in-app purchases; Pro account, $5/mth)
Your favourite internet sites in one handy list
Want to know what’s going on in the news or over at your favourite site? Feedly has you covered, pulling in the RSS feeds of the sites you opt to subscribe to.
Feedly makes it incredibly easy to find new websites, save and share content or read articles online.
29. Sync for Reddit (free)
Reddit in your pocket
There are plenty of Reddit apps, but bafflingly no official one. Of the unofficial ones, Sync is probably the nicest to use and the most beautiful to look at, which is good if you spend a lot of time staring at Reddit.
30. Pocket Casts (£2.49)
A simple but powerful way to listen to your podcasts
If Doggcatcher seems intimidatingly complex, you’ll find Pocket Casts a breath of fresh air. Just as powerful, but a lot more user-friendly, Pocket Casts is probably the best podcasting app out there. Its material design matches Android beautifully, and as well as allowing you to download podcasts at a set time you’re never caught short, your progress is synced to the cloud so you can carry on where you left off in iOS or in a web browser.
31. Periscope (free)
Smile, you’re on Twitter camera!
Watch live streams of people broadcasting their lives from their smartphones. Search by location, individuals you follow, or just the most popular streamers in the world right now.
Watching someone drink coffee, eat a sandwich or explore a new city by foot has never been more exciting.
32. Spotify (from free; ad-free streaming from £9.99/mth)
Every album you need right there in your pocket
Spotify is your de facto streaming service for Android. Premium subscribers don’t even have to endure the ads, so it’s a no-brainer if you already pay for the service.
Now with Spotify Running, mobile video, news content and intelligent playlist creation bundled in, Spotify is a one-stop shop for all things music.
33. Google Play Music (from free; ad-free streaming from £9.99/mth)
Google’s answer to Spotify
It’s always good to have an alternative, if for some reason you don’t get on with Spotify, and Google Music offers a pretty great experience for the same monthly cost. Plus, you can upload MP3s from your own collection to stream remotely, should you find the catalogue at all lacking.
On top of that, it’s a particularly good choice if you use a lot of YouTube. When YouTube Red launches in the UK, a Google Play subscription will cover both services, giving you all the benefits that promises as a freebie.
34. Poweramp Music Player (£3.39 with free trial)
A powerful player for those that don’t stream
Of course, if you have a large collection of mp3 files, then you won’t want the monthly subscription to Spotify or Google Play Music. But the chances are you won’t want to stick with the bundled audio player either, which is almost always universally dire. Poweramp, on the other hand, is brilliant. It supports a wide range of file types, includes a ten band graphical equaliser, has separate adjusters for bass and treble, automatically seeks out album art and — most importantly — looks great too.
Paying £3.39 for an app which replicates functionality already on your phone may seem like a tough sell, but I’m pretty confident that if you give the free trial a spin, you’ll end up paying up. It really is that good.
35. djay 2 (£2.99)
Two turntables and a microphone
Transform your Android smartphone into a DJ deck with djay 2. As the video shows, you can mix your favourite songs wherever you are. Perhaps most cleverly, you’re not hemmed in by the music you have stored locally, as djay 2 plugs directly into Spotify to let your creativity really run wild…
36. VLC (free)
Make Android handle any video file you throw at it
Say hello to the only video player you’ll ever need. VLC plays practically any video format you can throw at, isn’t power-hungry and is incredibly simple to use.
Thanks to its open-source roots, the update process is transparent, so you always know what your device can or can’t support.
37. Songkick (Free)
Never miss another gig
Gone are the days of scouring magazine listings for upcoming gigs that you want tickets for. Songkick plugs directly into Spotify or Google Play, and alerts you whenever your favourite artists are on tour near you.
Buy tickets in the app, or just use it to keep tabs on your favourites. Either way, you won’t need to do the research yourself again.
38. Dice Gig Tickets (Free)
Gig tickets without the fees
Ordering gig tickets online is a terrible experience generally. Not only do they sell out in seconds, but you’re often stung with an extortionate booking fee at the end of things.
DICE fixes that firstly by having no booking fees. Your ticket is locked to your phone, meaning that touts and bots are also blocked out. It’s generally a safer, fairer and better way to get gig tickets. What’s not to like?
39. Trinus VR (£6.99)
PC VR streamed to your Android smartphone
The Oculus Rift will set you back a whopping £500, but if you want a (somewhat glitchy) taste of virtual reality on a budget, then Trinus VR is worth a look. In short, it lets you stream PC games to your Android phone as if it were an Oculus Rift, letting you mount your handset in Google Cardboard for a passable VR experience, but with a much wider PC catalogue of games.
Just try the free version (limited to 15 minutes of VR shenanigans) first to make sure it works with your setup — it needs a beast of a PC to run well, as you might imagine.
40. Stop Motion Studio (Free with IAP)
Make your own animated marvels
Do you fancy yourself as a brilliant movie maker, but don’t want to pay actors? Get a bunch of Lego minifigs, and make your own movie with the brilliant Stop Motion Studio.
This is a surprisingly powerful tool to make movies or just to export them as GIFs to spam Twitter with. Some of the better features are locked behind a paywall, but even with the free version you can get an impressive amount done.
Best Android apps 2018: Fitness apps
41. Google Fit (Free)
Let Google give you a real-time checkup
Google Fit comes preinstalled on some Android devices, but if you don’t have it you should head on over to the Play store and download Google’s health aggregator.
Not only does it track your walking, running and cycling activity when you’re carrying your phone, but it’s also compatible with smartwatch OS Android Wear for phone-free tracking. It dishes out performance-based recommendations on reachable goals and aggregates fitness data from all of the tracking apps that plug into it.
42. Runtastic (Free; Pro, £4.99)
Keep track of your time and distances
If you need a straightforward app to record your runs, walks, cycle rides and other activities, Runtastic does the job very well.
Using your phone’s GPS, Runtastic can track your route and times. You can even set up audio cues for intervals or distance run. Handily, it also lets you know the pace you’re running at.
43. Strava (Free; Pro, £4/mth)
Where every street is a race against your neighbours
Planning to cycle to work, or just want something to help track and improve your cycling bests? Strava is the answer.
Split between running and cycling, Strava is really best at keeping track of your cycling routes. It can tell you how quickly you’re riding, using GPS to track your progress, and lets you compete with yourself on future rides.
Strava’s best feature is how it pushes you to do better, allowing you to go toe-to-toe with complete strangers to mix things up.
44. Zombies Run and 45. Zombies 5k (free; with in-app purchases)
Learn to run with a little help from the undead
Who said your run had to be boring? Zombies Run uses your running route to drop you into a zombie apocalypse.
Frenzied flesh-feeders chase you down, inspiring you to get fit and run further. You’ll be issued directions as you run, telling you where your nearby supplies are and the speed of the encroaching horde. Using your GPS, Zombies Run can tell you if you’re running fast enough to survive. The 5k version gives you enough content to get you from a standing start to running 5km in just a few short weeks.
You can read an interview I did with the creator of Zombies Run, here.
46. Sworkit (free; £3.07)
Who needs a personal trainer?
Sworkit is aimed squarely at people who want to get fit, but keep making excuses to dodge the gym by a) bringing the workout to your home, and b) allowing you to set exactly how much time you’ve got. After you give Sworkit the timespan you have to exercise, the app brings up a “playlist” of exercises, allowing you to veto areas you’d rather avoid.
Demonstration videos are provided by professional personal trainers, and with 160 exercises included, it certainly offers more variety and flexibility than the seven-minute workout, allowing you to really push yourself and see results.
47. Calorie Counter — MyFitness Pal (free; with in-app purchases)
Count the calories, and the weight just falls off
Of course, running and exercise is only half the battle if you’re looking to lose weight, and My Fitness Pal covers the rest. Simply search for the food as you eat it (or scan the barcode if you’re eating out), and My Fitness Pal will do the rest, giving you a full summary of how much you’re eating, and how quickly you can expect the pounds to drop.
There are some paid options in there, including additional dietary plans for those who really want to take control, but the free option will be enough for the majority of people. It plugs in with the plenty of other exercise apps, along with connected scales and activity trackers, to ensure that your good behaviour is rewarded with bonus calories each day.
48. Charity Miles (free)
Get inspired to go that extra mile with a charitable donation in your name
If good intentions, a competitive spirit or zombies don’t get you out of the house, then maybe doing your bit for charity will. Charity Miles is an app with commercial sponsors who will pay out a certain number of pence per mile to the charity of your choosing, in return for displaying their logo as your background for the duration of the run. If that doesn’t inspire you to go the extra mile, we don’t know what will…
49. Fabulous (free; with in-app purchases)
Get into good habits with a little help from science
Training yourself to be better is hard work — that’s why so many New Year’s resolutions fall flat before the month is out. Fabulous aims to fix that, with help from the whizzes at Duke University’s behavioural economics lab. It builds up gradually, giving you additional goals to tick off each day so it isn’t too overwhelming. Whether you want to lose weight, feel more energised, get more focus or better sleep, Fabulous is a great guide to a better, healthier you.
Best Android apps 2018: Travel apps
50. Airbnb (free)
Cut out the hotel middlemen
Thinking of taking a quick city break, but don’t fancy paying extortionate hotel fees? Airbnb is your saviour.
You could just log on to the Airbnb website, but its Android app makes the booking process effortless. What’s more, you can find everything you need within the app — no printing out maps, booking confirmations or emails. Perfect for a hassle-free holiday.
51. Citymapper (free)
An insider’s map of your city
Google Maps is so 2016. In 2018, everyone should be using Citymapper — that is, if you’re lucky enough to live in a mapped city. That’s currently only London and Manchester in the UK.
Citymapper provides you with an extensive list of public transport routes, working out how much each journey will cost if you use cash, card or city-wide travelcards. It also tells you which transport links are nearby, updating journeys with live transport data.
52. Duolingo (free)
Learn a new language in weeks
Always said you’d learn a second language but never got around to it? Well, Duolingo has swooped in to help you learn any one of nine European languages for free.
Using the art of gamification, Duolingo encourages you to learn through photos, speech, audio and typing. You’ll pick up the basics rather quickly.
53. Google Translate (free)
Get a quickfire translation on holiday
Of course, chances are you won’t be able to learn every single word in every single language of the countries you travel, and that’s where Google Translate comes in. At first, this may seem like quite a dull inclusion into the list — everyone knows you can get quite stiff and stilted direct translations online, so why the need for an app?
Simply because the Google Translate app throws in a bit of magic to the mix: point the camera at text, and you’ll get the translation right there in front of you on your screen, with no need for fiddly typing and inevitable typos. Sure, the translations aren’t flawless, but it’s enough to tell if the dish you’re about to order will trigger your seafood allergy.
54. TripIt (free)
Let this app automatically keep your holiday plans up to date
Planning a trip is stressful enough without having to deal with dozens of apps, printed confirmation emails and mental notes. That’s where TripIt comes in: it’s an app-based personal assistant that helps you stay on top of your holiday plans.
Just forward your hotel, airline, car rental and restaurant confirmation emails to email@example.com, and your itinerary will be instantly available in the app — even offline — along with maps and directions to ensure you don’t get lost. If you use Gmail (and really, at this point, who doesn’t?), this will happen automatically.
55. Uber (free)
Modernising the taxi experience
Controversies aside, Uber is indispensable for anyone living in a big city, where hailing a black cab could be a quick way to bankruptcy.
Currently available in seven cities across the UK, Uber can get you a ride anywhere within minutes of making a request. There are also five tiers of vehicles to hire, so you can travel like royalty if you so wish.
56. Manything (Beta) (free — subscription required for multiple cameras)
A cheaper introduction to the Internet of Things
Internet of Things products are pricey. Who knew that future-proofing your home for the 21st century would cost so much? Rather than investing in the very best smart home sensors, though, you could dip a cautious toe in the water with the Manything beta. In short, it takes an old phone and makes it your personal connected security camera, so you can keep an eye on your house when you’re away.
It’s free for a month, and even then it only costs money if you connect more than one phone to it — and who has that many old phones just lying around anyway?
Best Android apps 2018: Productivity apps
57. Google Keyboard (free)
Better than 99% of the default phone keyboards out there
I review a lot of Android phones, and after giving the stock keyboard a fair once-over for the purposes of grading the handset, I inevitably download Google Keyboard. Why? Because it leaves almost all stock keyboards in the dust, and it’s guaranteed to play nicely with Android because it’s made by Google.
It has built-in swipe-typing, which means you can hammer out messages by tracing your fingers around the keyboard, and you can fully customise its colour and style.
58. Cogi (free; with optional in-app purchases)
For audio recordings that are actually useful
The problem with recording important things, be they lectures, meetings or interviews, is that you have to go through a lot of fluff to get to the important stuff when listening back. Cogi fixes that problem beautifully: it’s listening all the time, but not recording. As soon as something important is said, tap record and Cogi springs into action, recording from 15 seconds previously until whenever you press stop. Add written notes and photos, and you’ve got an invaluable resource — and the 500mb of included cloud storage means your recordings are ready and waiting to listen back to on your laptop.
59. Evernote (free; with in-app purchases)
Keeping your thoughts and notes in one handy cloud space
All hail the mighty Evernote. This cloud-based note taking and work management app is just far too useful to be without.
Evernote is the place where you put everything. It’s your home for thoughts, work notes, chats with colleagues and workplace collaboration. You can write documents in a clutter-free environment, and share them effortlessly with others. You can upload images and make handwritten notes on top. Evernote is everything you want it to be and more.
60. Twilight (Free)
Rest your tired eyes by lowering the blue lights
The research is pretty clear: exposure to screens late at night can disrupt your sleep, leaving you weaker the next day. The simple solution is to stop using phones and tablets before bed, but that’s easier said than done, and that’s where Twilight comes in.
Functioning in a similar way to Flux for desktops, Twilight adapts the colouring of the screen to fade out the blue lights as the sun sets and you get nearer to bedtime, tinting everything in a soft red glow when it really matters. It takes a little getting used to at first, but if it helps you get better quality sleep then it’s well worth taking the time to adapt.
61. IF by IFTTT (Free)
Incredibly powerful recipes to automate your life
Formerly known as IFTTT, IF allows you to create “recipes” that connect various devices and services together, helping you squeeze that little bit more out of them.
Work remotely? IF can email someone when you upload a file to Dropbox or Google Drive. Heck, it doesn’t have to be an email, it could ping them on WhatsApp or notify them on Slack instead. You could create a recipe to add YouTube videos you mark as “watch later” into a Pocket account. Or perhaps you’d rather have IF schedule tweets and Facebook posts for you when you make a note in OneNote.
62. AirDroid (free)
Your Android handset on your desktop
A real time-saver when working on your computer or laptop, AirDroid allows you to control your phone remotely — allowing you to respond to text messages with a full sized keyboard, mirror applications and painlessly share files between your phone and computer.
Some of the functionality requires a rooted device, but given the app is free (with a paid option for multiple devices, unlimited data transfers and more), it’s certainly worth finding out if AirDroid can make you more productive.
63. Pushbullet (Free)
The link between your computer and phone
Ever see something on your phone that you want to see on your laptop, or vice versa? Pushbullet is the bridge between the two, letting you easily share links, pictures and lists between devices. You can even send texts from your desktop to save time.
64. Mimicker Alarm (Free)
This will definitely wake you up
Sure, your Android phone may have made your alarm clock redundant — but is it actually any better at making you get up on time? Mimicker Alarm will do that, but you may not like it.
Developed by Microsoft’s facial recognition labs, the app makes you pull a specific face at the camera to stop the alarm. Until you do, that sound is going to keep beeping. By the time you’ve pulled your most irritated selfie, you’ll be wide awake and ready to start the day.
65. Microsoft Outlook (Free)
Manage your office life on the go
Born out of Microsoft’s purchase of Acompli, the new Outlook app for Android is quite possibly the best email client available on Google’s mobile OS.
Working with Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Apple iCloud, Outlook is a power user’s dream.
It automatically organises itself to surface the more important emails to the top, filtering the rest into an “Other” inbox for you to peruse at your leisure.
66. Email — Fast & Secure Mail (free)
Super snappy control of all your emails
Okay, it’s unlikely to win any prizes for a distinctive name, but Email by EasilyDo is one of the best iPhone apps around, and now it’s available on Android. It comes with all kinds of useful features, including one-tap unsubscribing and clever sorting of email (bunching travel details together, for example), but it’s main selling point? It’s lightning fast.
67. Unclouded (free; with in-app purchases)
Combining the power of Dropbox, Google Drive and One Drive into one app
Juggling two, three or even four online storage accounts can become an absolute headache. Thankfully, Unclouded is here to alleviate your concerns.
Pulling all your connected accounts into one uncluttered interface, Unclouded lets you access your files from one location, no matter where they’re stored. Unclouded currently supports Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and Mega, so it’s really only iCloud users who are left out.
For one or two accounts it’s free to use, but if you want to manage the content of any others, you’ll need to pay. Thankfully Unclouded lets you pick and choose services you’d like, so you’re never paying for something you don’t use.
68. Inbox by Gmail (free)
Making your email manageable again
Your Android phone already comes with the Gmail app — unsurprisingly, given Android is Google’s baby. But if you want something a bit more experimental, Inbox by Gmail is well worth a go.
It’s essentially a better way of organising your email, letting you group related messages in the same place, snooze emails to pop up as notifications again later, or pin them to the top so they can’t be missed. It’ll also bring up time-sensitive emails when the time is right, allowing you to instantly find reservations or flight information without spending that time searching.
69. Google Photos (free)
Unlimited storage and a few nifty tricks to boot
Google Photos is just essential. I know you’re probably thinking “my Android phone already has a perfectly good gallery app,” but seriously: it’s not as good as Google’s.
Firstly, it’s super-intelligent. You can search all your saved photos for things in them, even if they’re not tagged. So, do a search for “food” and Google Photos will bring up all your plate photos. Better still, it’ll do clever things when it spots similar photos, such as making short GIF animations out of photos it sees as being similar or automatically making wider images out of two photos if it sees they can be joined together. Finally, it has unlimited storage space in the cloud for your photos. It’ll reduce the quality a little (though you can save them in full detail out of your Google Drive allowance), but it’s fine for most needs, and it’ll free up valuable storage space. Essential.
70. PhotoScan by Google Photos (free)
Bring your old photos to the modern age
Going hand in hand with Google Photos is another Google app: PhotoScan. On the surface, this may look like just a way of photographing a photo, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Using machine learning and other clever stuff, the app cleverly removes the glare and other artefacts you’d get by just snapping them. The process is a bit longer, but the app holds your hand through it, and the results are excellent. And because it’s a Google app, your pictures will get uploaded to Google Photos, meaning your memories will never be lost again.
71. Weather Timeline (£1.19)
Your daily weather updates, beautifully presented
Your phone probably already has a weather app on it, so why would you pay £1.19 for another one? Simply because Weather Timeline is beautiful and gets the job done without overloading you with too much information.
Weather is presented in a timeline showing you what’s happening right now, and what will be happening over the next few hours. Elsewhere, you can get a little deeper with interactive maps and graphs, and there’s even an Android Wear watch face in there if you don’t want to get your phone out. The complete package.
72. Applock (free)
Keep prying eyes off your apps
You probably have apps that you’d rather others didn’t see. No judgement here. But if you’ve passed your phone to someone else to look at photos, how do you stop them seeing your email — or setting a new high score on Threes?
The answer is Applock — a really simple product that sets a lock pattern on any app you like. It’s a simple way to add an extra layer of security to your most prized apps.
73. Xender — File Transfer & Share (free)
Move files between devices with ease
Sharing files between devices is a pain. If you’re connecting to a computer, you need to find a cable, and if you’re sharing between phones Bluetooth is slow and unreliable. Xender is the answer: install the client on every system you want to use, and then let Xender connect via WiFi Direct for super-fast file transfers. It’s a Godsend.