In this post, We’ll talk about ten best must-have apps that every android user should install to make your daily tech life more comfortable than ever.
Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The crème de la crème. The Android apps that stand alone at the top of the pantheon. These apps have become ubiquitous with Android and if you’re looking for good stuff it’s assumed that you have some of this stuff already. There are a ton of amazing Android apps out there.
However, their usefulness is usually limited to the habits of the people using them. These apps shouldn’t have those problems. Everybody can use these. Without further delay, here are the best Android apps currently available! Most folks should be relatively familiar with most of these and because they are the best, this list won’t change very often unless something truly spectacular comes along.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to Bouncer (Google Play link). It’s a permission management app that automatically revokes permissions if you ask it to. The newest Android versions have this functionality built-in now so Bouncer is slowly becoming unnecessary. Still, anyone on a version of Android below 10 should definitely look into it.
Must-Have Android Apps 2020
Price: Free / $1.99
1Weather is arguably the best weather app out there. It features a simple, paginated design that shows you the current weather, forecast for up to 12 weeks, a radar, and other fun stats. Along with that, you’ll get a fairly decent set of lightly customizable widgets and the standard stuff like severe weather notifications and a radar so you can see the storms approaching. Perhaps its best feature is its minimal design which just shows you the weather and little else.
The UI is easy to move around and the weather fun facts are a cherry on top. The free version has all of the features with advertising. The $1.99 charge removes advertising. Otherwise, the two versions work the same way. Most will also likely enjoy the range of weather fun facts as well when you open the app. We have a list of the best weather apps if you want more options.
Price: Free / $1.99-$299.99 per month
Google Drive is a cloud storage solution available on Android where all new users get 15GB for free permanently upon signing up. You can, of course, buy more if needed. What makes Google Drive so special are the suite of Android apps that are attached to it.
They include Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Photos, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Keep. Between the office apps, the Photos app (which allows unlimited photo and video backup), and Keep Notes for note taking, you have apps for practically anything you need to do in terms of productivity.
Some of the features of these apps include live collaboration, deep sharing features, and compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. You can find more cloud storage apps here and more office apps here if you want something different.
Google Maps and Waze
Google Maps virtually owns the navigation apps scene and it remains of the best Android apps ever. It gets frequent, almost weekly updates that seem to only add to its incredibly generous list of existing features. Aside from the very basics, Google Maps gives you access to places of interest, traffic data, directions to things like rest stops or gas stations, and they even let you have offline maps now (albiet temporarily).
If you add to that the Waze experience, which includes tons of its own features, and you won’t need another navigation app. Ever. Google also owns and operates Waze. It’s unique and fun in ways that Google Maps isn’t and we also highly recommend it. Of course, we have more GPS apps options as well here if you need them.
Google Assistant / Google Feed / Google Search
This is one seriously powerful app. It also works on most Android devices. You simply download the app and then enable it. From there, you can ask it whatever you want. It also supports a variety of commands. You can control lights, ask about population control, and it can even do simple math problems for you.
There are a variety of products like Google, Bose QC II Bluetooth headphones, Home and Chromecast that extent the functionality even further. There is also a second Google Assistant app for those who want a quick launch icon on the home screen.
The hardware stuff costs money, but Google Assistant is free. There are other decent personal assistants like Amazon Alexa, and you can check them out here.
LastPass Password Manager
Price: Free / $12 per year
LastPass is one of those must-have Android apps. It’s a password manager that lets you save your login credentials in a safe, secure way. On top of that, it can help generate nearly impossible passwords for you to use on your accounts. It’s all controlled with a master password. It has cross-platform support so you can use it on computers, mobile devices, tablets, or whatever.
There are others, but LastPass always feels like it’s one step ahead. Additionally, the premium version is cheap. You can also grab LastPass Authenticator to go along with it for added security. There are other options for great password managers here if you need more options. However, we like LastPass a little more friendly and secure (usually), especially with its extra authenticator app.
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard is one of the most powerful and customizable third-party keyboards available. It hit the market several years ago with a predictive engine unlike anything any other keyboard had and the app has grown a lot of over the years. It’s a free download and you can purchase themes for it if you want to.
Other features include a dedicated number row, SwiftKey Flow which allows for gesture typing, multiple language support, cross-device syncing of your library and much more. It’s about as good as it gets in the keyboard space. It’s true that Microsoft now owns SwiftKey, but so far they have managed not to mess it up. Gboard, Google’s keyboard app, is also exceptionally good and could easily take SwiftKey’s place on this list. There are some other great Android keyboards here as well.
Price: Free / $4.99
Initially, we weren’t going to put any launchers on this list. Nova Launcher seems to be extend beyond what normal launchers are. It’s been around for years, it’s been consistently updated, and thus it’s never not been a great option for a launcher replacement. It comes with a host of features, including the ability to backup and restore your home screen set ups, icon theming for all of your Android apps, tons of customization elements for the home screen and app drawer, and more.
You can even make it look like the Pixel Launcher if you want to. If you go premium, you can tack on gesture controls, unread count badges for apps, and icon swipe actions. Those looking for something simpler may want to try Lawnchair Launcher, Hyperion Launcher, and Rootless Launcher. Of course, we have a list of the best Android launchers with even more options as well.
Price: Free / $3.99
Podcast Addict is an excellent podcast app for podcast fans. It features almost every podcast you can think of. In addition, it has a simple and effective UI, plenty of organizational features, plenty of playback and download features, and a single-cost premium version.
You can browse podcasts by category or search for them individually. You can also set download rules, create playlists easily, and it supports both Chromecast and SONOS along with Android Auto and Wear OS. The UI isn’t the most elegant thing we’ve seen.
However, the app makes up for it by hitting literally every other box we could think of. Pocket Casts, Doggcatcher, and CastBox are other excellent options in this space, and we have a list of even more great podcast apps here.
Poweramp Music Player
Poweramp is one of the most popular and most functional local music players on Android. It has basically all of the features, including hi-res audio support, Android Auto, an equalizer, gapless smoothing, and support for virtually any audio codec you can find.
It even supports devices like the LG V60 and its Quad DAC. The UI has a tiny bit of a learning curve, but it’s one of the better looking music players as well with optional themes in the Google Play Store. There are other great music apps here, but the best is arguably Poweramp’s title to lose.
Pulse SMS or Android Messages
Price: Free / $10.99 once / $0.99 per month
There are a ton of great SMS apps. However, two stand above the rest. They are Pulse SMS and Android Messages. Pulse SMS features theming, GIF support, password protected conversations, a blacklist for spammers, dual-SIM support, and more. Android Messages is a little more basic but it’s simple and it gets the job done.
Both of these apps also offer SMS messaging from your desktop. Pulse charges either a monthly subscription or a single $10.99 charge while Android Messages is free. Pulse SMS uses a server structure while Android Messages live streams your messages. Both methods have their pros and cons, but they’re both still excellent options to access your texts everywhere. Textra is another great option if you don’t need desktop texting and you can find more great SMS apps here. Pulse SMS also went open source in early 2020.