Best Android Apps 2020 | Android Central

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Source: Marco Miranda

Our phones are pocket-sized supercomputers with professional-grade cameras and battery for days, but without the best Android apps to take advantage of it, what would be the point? There are millions upon millions of Android apps that transform our phones from shiny glass slabs into productivity powerhouses, and over the last year, these are the apps that have seized the day and made our lives easier, faster, and better. So now that you have one of best Android phones of the year, make sure you download all of the best Android apps.

The Best Assistant apps

Google Assistant Pixel 4 Xl Ring CommandSource: Nick Sutrich/Android Central

Who needs a personal assistant when you have services like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa available wherever you go? These types of apps aim to help alleviate the stresses and pressures of your day-to-day life to make things easier. From automation to smart home products, and everything in between, these apps allow you to get work done with some help.

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From Assistant Routines in Google Clock to the vast expansion of Assistant-compatible smart home devices, to the overhaul of visual responses, it has been a busy year for Google Assistant. It feels like a century ago when Android Auto added Google Assistant, but that simple addition made millions of drivers safer, especially during these long, frustrating holiday drives.

Free at Google Play

Tasker stagnated a bit in previous years, but since new owner João Dias — maker of the AutoApps plugin suite and Tasker’s most ardent fan — took over, the automation app has seen a UI overhaul and major updates. With TaskerNet and improved export/importing, it’s never been easier to share, tweak, and create amazing profiles and tasks for Android (and beyond).

$3.49 at Google Play

Amazon is no longer the top place to go for just your online shopping needs, as the company continues to expand its grasp on the world. With Alexa, you get a personalized assistant in your pocket, along with integration with Echo devices and the ability to stay connected wherever you go. You can even make calls or send messages to other Alexa-enabled devices without paying a dime.

Free at Google Play

Have you ever wanted to know the type of flower you see while on a hike? Well, with Google Lens you can find out quickly just by holding your camera up to the flower. Lens will even translate foreign languages or save business cards to a contact faster than ever before.

Free at Google Play

IFTTT gives you the power to create various automations between apps and services that are not already available. With more than 630 different integrations, you can create your own “recipe” and get an alert when that item on your Amazon wishlist finally goes on sale, for example. If you don’t want to create your own, there is a community and library of different recipes to choose from and set up.

Free at Google Play

Whether you need to control your lights, smart plugs, thermostats, or Assistant speakers/displays from the warmth of bed or the farthest corners of the globe, the new Home View in the Google Home app makes it easy. Being able to add Home members to use what you’ve already set up is a huge step forward for making smart homes more accessible for all skill levels.

Free at Google Play

The Best Keyboard Apps

Gboard Keyboard Pixel 4 HeroSource: Android Central

The keyboard on your smartphone is one of the most-used apps daily. It’s the first thing to pop up when your friend sends you a message, if you need to reply to an email, or if you just need to get your thoughts out. But the great thing is that there’s a keyboard app that works for everyone, regardless of what something basic, or if you want to go to the extremes of customization.

The Best Browsers

Chrome browser alternatives on AndroidSource: Android Central

While the Google app makes it easy to quickly search something, your mobile browser handles much of the heavy lifting. Some of these mobile browsers have become so powerful that you can install extensions, while others provide the most private browsing experience possible. And hey, one of our picks even gives its users the ability to make some dough while surfing.

While ads help keep the lights on for some, they can be a real nuisance when you’re just trying to check out the latest article. With a browser like Brave, you are guaranteed to get the best Adblock browser, while getting a fast and secure browsing experience. There’s also the added benefit of Brave paying you to browse the web at your pace and how you want to.

Free w/ads at Google Play

Samsung’s browser finally made its Play Store debut a few years back and is much more robust than almost anything else you’ll find. In addition to built-in privacy features, Samsung also allows you to download third-party applications that act as extensions. And if you already have a Samsung device and are using this browser, you’ll get even more features not available elsewhere, such as integration with Gear VR and more.

Free at Google Play

Google Chrome is the de-facto choice for many and for good reason: it just simply works. Google has worked tirelessly to bring new features to the app, along with keeping a fresh and crisp design. When using Chrome, you’ll get almost all the same features as the app on your computer, including sync capabilities so you can start reading something on your phone and pick it up on your PC.

Free at Google Play

Firefox is already a fan-favorite for desktop browsing, so why not check its mobile browser? There’s built-in ad tracker blocking, enhanced privacy controls, and extensions to give you all the tools you’ll need.

Free at Google Play

The Best VPN Apps

NordVPN Play StoreSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are used for an array of reasons, including giving you the ability to hide your online identity. Another popular use for a VPN is to stream some TV shows while you are traveling abroad. These apps are all free, but there are subscriptions to consider if you want to securely browse everywhere.

With over 3,000 different servers in more than 90 countries, it’s easy to understand why ExpressVPN provides a great experience. It’s easy to get started and then all of your web browsing is encrypted and you can surf safely. After signing up for the service, there is no cap to the number of devices that can be connected, and it will even protect your text and instant messages.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

NordVPN is one of the best in the business due to the way that it handles your data. The data passes through the initial server, and then send the same encrypted data to a second server for an added layer of protection. Plus, there are more than 5,500 servers spread across more than 50 countries.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Surfshark excels with speed and because it can be used with an unlimited number of servers at the same time. It will be great for just about everything that you would want to do with your devices, but you won’t be able to use Surfshark with streaming apps since it is located outside of the U.S.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

With IPVanish, you’ll be provided with a secure environment to browse the web, watch videos, and manage your bills. The service provides access to move than 1,400 different servers across 75 countries, along with 24/7 support. In the event that you don’t want to stick with this service, you have 30 days to change your mind.

Free at Google Play

The Best File Management Apps

Best File Managers for AndroidSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Although many of us have changed the way we use our phones, there’s one thing that will never change — we download a lot of things. I’m not just talking about applications, but also music files, documents, PDFs, or even new wallpapers. It’s important to keep your files organized so you know where everything is or get rid of those stale memes.

If you tend to download a boatload of files to your smartphone, you’ll need Simple File Manager Pro to keep them organized. This app offers an intuitive experience to access your root files while giving access to microSD cards or USB devices. Plus, there are plenty of customization options to create a theme that suits your desires.

$1.19 at Google Play

Some want a simplistic file manager, but for those who want something a bit more complex, X-Plore File Manager is perfect. This app has an “old-school” Windows look and feel while giving you all the features you could want. You can even set the app up to access and manage the files on your Android phone from your computer’s web browser.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Files by Google started out as an experimental app, but it’s turned into a lightweight way to keep your storage from getting filled up. With features like Smart Recommendations, Files will suggest “junk files” that you can download and get rid of with ease.

Free at Google Play

Astro has been available on the Play Store for more than 10 years and it continues to be one of the best file manager options. The app makes it easy to access your files, along with opening those annoying Zip and RAR files, right from your smartphone. Plus, you can manage your cloud storage services right from Astro, making it an all-in-one storage option.

Free at Google Play

The Best Social Media Apps

Instagram Camera Mode on Note 10 PlusSource: Android Central

Social media is a fickle sister. It can be a great source of news and information and an easy way to keep in contact with your friends, but it’s also frustrating when the latest trends and memes clog up your timelines. Luckily, there are many different platforms to share your voice with like-minded people or create an awesome community.

I’ve been a third-party Reddit lurker for years, but this year the official Reddit app breezed past Relay, Boost, and the rest for the top app option. Reddit’s new website look has been a source of a lot of small debate, but I’ve rather enjoyed both the new website look at the continued improvements on the Android app. Now if only /r/Writing Prompts didn’t suck up all of my dinner breaks…

Free at Google Play

Instagram’s popularity continues to rise and it seems that there’s simply nothing that any competitors can do to stop it. This app is one of the best and easiest ways to share your favorite photos, whether you’re tracking your life or just like editing goofy pictures. Plus, you’ll get features like IGTV from some of your favorite creators, and the app makes it easy to find even more people/brands to follow.

Free at Google Play

Let’s face it. There are a lot of Twitter apps on the Play Store, and while many of them are pretty good, none of them compete with Fenix 2. From multiple account support to a super-useful mute system, Fenix 2 aims to be the best Twitter client available. That doesn’t even count the customization options that allow you to adjust your layout while giving the ability to make a theme that makes Twitter more enjoyable to use.

$4.99 at Google Play

Just about everyone you know is on Snapchat and for good reason since it makes sharing your life easier than before. You’ll get private messaging, free cloud storage, and a slew of different ways to make your photos and videos absolutely perfect.

Free w/ Ads at Google Play

The Best Photography Apps

OnePlus 8 cameraSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

After years of potato pictures from mobile devices, we are finally at a point where our smartphones can take better pictures than some DSLR cameras. The Play Store opens the door for many different apps to take, edit, and save these photos which, in some regards, act as a digital memory bank.

ProCam X unlocks the potential of what your smartphone camera is capable of, which is quite a lot nowadays. The app makes it possible to control various aspects of your image by providing professional controls like ISO, white balance, and even geo-tagging. With this app, you can even take RAW photos, which opens up even better image editing after the fact.

$5 at Google Play

After you’ve taken a picture, chances are that you will want to edit it. With Adobe Lightroom, you can make the easy edits, or step things up a notch and edit like a pro, right from your smartphone. Adobe even has a built-in pro-level camera so that Lightroom becomes your all-in-one solution for your mobile photography needs.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

For those who care more about backing up their photos and less about “pro-level editing”, then the only real choice is Google Photos. The app itself gives users some basic photo editing capabilities, while occasionally giving you “stylized” photos with how Google thinks your photo should look. Plus, you’ll get Smart Automatic Albums, Photo Books, and can create shared albums in just seconds.

Free at Google Play

Our smartphone cameras are more powerful today than ever before, and we aren’t just talking about taking pictures. With an app like FiLMiC Pro, you can take professional-level videos, and get complete control over the editing process. Those already familiar with recording video on a DSLR will feel right at home, without needing to lug around the camera bag.

$15 at Google Play

The Best Customization Apps

Lawnchair 2 app drawerSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

The biggest benefit of Android, when compared to the competition, is the ability to customize just about every aesthetic aspect of your device. From the widgets that you use to the way your app drawer looks, and even your settings menu, there’s a way to customize everything. These are the best apps that you can use to get the exact look that you want on your smartphone.

If at the beginning of the year you told me that the launcher I’d use most was Smart Launcher, I would’ve laughed in your face. Then Smart Launcher 5 arrived and I fell in love. The flexibly-categorized app drawer is better than ever, and with the integration of Icon Pack Studio and a gridless widget system, SL5 makes building and switching themes a breeze.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Lawnchair 2 gives you that Pixel Launcher feeling, with all of the customizations that you would find in other third-party launchers. There is support for Adaptive Icons, along with new Drawer Category features, and much more. You can use Lawnchair to create the most complex, or basic, launcher on your mobile device.

Free at Google Play

The big brother of Kustom Widget maker KWGT, Kustom Live Wallpaper’s one-stop theming has grown on me considerably this year. While SL5’s gridless widgets are nice, nothing beats the pinpoint, edge-to-edge widget and element placement in KLWP. The formulas and menus can be daunting, but KLWP’s robust community, especially on Reddit, help make any theme possible.

Free / $4.49 at Google Play

It can be frustrating when you have found an icon pack that you love, but there are a few apps that aren’t included. Sure, you can submit a request to the developer and wait for the update to come, but there’s a better solution. With Icon Pack Studio, you can create your own icon pack while customizing every icon to your liking and it will work with just about any third-party launcher.

Free or $4.49 (Pro) at Google Play

Changing wallpapers has been fun for as long as we’ve been able to do it, and Tapet has been right there with us for quite some time. With Tapet, you can either select a wallpaper on your own or set the app to automatically generate a new one for you every hour or once a day. Additionally, the app will automatically detect the resolution of your smartphone, so that the wallpaper looks crisp and won’t stain your home screen.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Some of us don’t have time or want to dive through the thousands of icon packs, but just want something that looks great. Whicons isn’t flashy (on the surface), but does the job giving you a good-looking icon pack for your Android phone. There are more than 5,500 custom icons, along with included wallpapers to match, and Dynamic Calendar Icon support so your calendar shows the right date.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Lawnchair 2 Tapet Melodi KwgtSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

In addition to customizing your phone to your heart’s content, you can take advantage of widgets to quickly digest various bits of information. Whether you’re just looking to see what the weather forecast looks like, or you need to see what’s on the agenda for today, there’s a widget for everything. Then other apps allow you to create your very own widget with any piece of information you can think of.

The Best Password Managers

1Password Login HeroSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Absolutely, positively, under no circumstances should you have a note on your smartphone with passwords listed. Hackers are better than ever today and your personal information can be revealed easier than you think. However, if you have a password manager, those passwords can be analyzed and then you will be informed as to whether the password has been compromised. Then the app can help create a safe, secure, and almost unbreakable password so your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

1Password has not always been “the best” option on the Play Store, but recent updates have upped the ante and pushed it to the tops of the charts. The service gives you a brief trial period before you’ll need to sign up for a subscription. And your “vaults” will stay protected while giving you the ability to keep important personal information safe but at the ready.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

LastPass does a fantastic job of keeping all of your passwords safe and secure, even if you want to stick to a free account. Then, there are premium options for either a single user or you can get your whole family protected with a specific plan. The service even offers “Security Challenges,” which help to keep your passwords updated and secure and out of the hands of the bad guys.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

When it comes to Dashlane, you’ll get access to up to 50 passwords saved on a single device with the free version, but Premium gives you even more. With the Premium subscription, users get access to a personalized VPN, along with credit monitoring and identity theft protection. This is all in addition to being a great place to keep your passwords safe and making it easy to update them.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Stop using the same password every time you create a new login on the web. Enpass is a simple password manager that works regardless of whether you are connected to the web or not since the data is stored on your device and not on the company’s servers. But you can easily sync all your passwords across your devices with the help of popular cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and more.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Messaging Apps

Android Messages with a dark theme Source: Android Central

Let’s be real, messaging is the primary way that just about everyone communicates. Thanks to the various apps and services, it’s much easier to shoot your mom a text than to call her and sit on the phone for an hour or more. Not everything requires a phone conversation, and these messaging apps open the doors to easier communication with friends, family, co-workers, and others.

Dark theme! Messages for the web! It’s been a big year for Google’s SMS app, and while I still miss Mood Messenger and Textra’s themes, about the only third-party SMS app that can compete with Messages for web is Pulse’s paid SMS-syncing service, which is compatible with more platforms and browsers. Messages’ theming might be lacking, but the dark theme is a welcome addition.

Free at Google Play

Android Central has Slacked for years because Slack is one of the best chat apps on the market today, for either business or personal purposes. Threads allow us to get into minutiae without spamming the main chat, and everyone can upload custom slackmoji for added flair. All it needs now is a dark theme so I don’t blind my bosses when I ping them at 2 a.m.

Free at Google Play

SMS Organizer started as a “fun” project from the Microsoft Garage team but has turned into one of the smartest apps you can download. While you can still send SMS and MMS messages, SMS Organizer generates automatic reminders from your conversations, and even makes it easy to pay your friend back for dinner, right from the app. You can even easily block spam messages, along with customizing notifications and setting specific ringtones for your contacts.

Free at Google Play

Telegram was already one of the fastest and most popular third-party messaging clients available, but Telegram X turns things up a notch. With the “X” version of the app, interacting with the app is even faster, and there are even more features along with an improved interface and a multitude of gestures to use.

Free at Google Play

Discord is designed with gamers at heart, but more and more are switching to the messaging platform thanks to its integrations and ease of use. You can quickly build a community of users, with easy community management, while setting up member roles and having invite links at the ready.

Free at Google Play

If end-to-end encryption is the name of the game, then Signal Private Messenger is the best choice. This service guarantees that every message you send is secure, and you can even set the app up to act as the default SMS client on your Android device. You can even make audio and video calls that are guaranteed to stay private, no matter what.

Free at Google Play

The Best Weather Apps

Weather Assistant by ClimaCellSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

Nobody wants to get caught in a rainstorm at the wrong time, and it’s important to know whether you’ll need your coat or if it’s shorts and sandals time. There are so many weather applications on the Play Store that it’s rather difficult to find the “diamond in the rough.” Thankfully, there are a few apps that stand alone from the pack while offering something unique.

The Best News Apps

Feedly App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

The world is moving at a more rapid pace than ever and you don’t want to miss out on that pertinent news being talked about around the office. There are news apps from dedicated sources, but having an aggregator parses the non-essential news from the essential. You can use an app that lets you aggregate the news you care about from the sources you trust in a clean layout.

The Best Reading Apps

Audible App Pixel Buds LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

There is something special about holding a physical book in your hand and turning the pages while diving deeper and deeper into a story. However, in this day and age, you can have an entire library of books saved directly on your phone. Whether you want to read a book on your lunch break or catch up on a comic book series, these apps make it easy.

Amazon’s Kindle app is simply fantastic at giving users access to a library of books, magazines, and more in their pockets. If you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, the company gives members access to over 1,000 different titles for free. If you don’t have time to read, there is built-in Audible narration for many books.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

Don’t have time to sit and read? Let Audible read those audiobooks to you. The app gives recommendations based on your library and preferences while providing your first audiobook for free after signing up. Audible is even allowing users to earn $20 in Amazon credit if they have finished three titles by March 3. What more could you want?

Free at Google Play

It’s fine and dandy to read comics in boring ebook readers, but Comixology gives you all the comics you could want in a clean interface. There are over 100,000 comics, graphic novels, and manga to choose from and you can buy them right in the app. Now you can start catching up on your favorite comic book series on the go.

Free at Google Play

While some e-book readers only allow for you to read books purchased directly through their app or in only one format, Moon+ Reader is way more open. The app supports more than 10 different formats, including EPUB, HTML, and PDF. As your library grows, you can personalize it and create collections, all while using a single app to read everything.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Sports Apps

The Score App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Much of the world gets consumed by their favorite sports, from soccer to the NFL and everything in between. Thanks to the selection of apps in the Play Store, you can follow them all. Whether you want to know if your top fantasy pick got injured, or if you want to catch the highlights from last night’s game, these apps make it possible.

Gone are the days of needing separate applications to track your different favorite sports. With theScore, you can follow an array of sports, stats, and more without switching apps. You can even create a personalized feed to follow specific teams, leagues, or even your favorite player.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

ESPN has been the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” for more than 40 years and the company continues to bring the best sports content on the go. The app itself makes it easy to stream games from your favorite teams, along with giving you highlights to the West Coast game that you fell asleep during.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Sleeper started out as an app that just gave you the notifications for the most important football news. Then the popularity rose, and it has turned into so much more than that. There are individual topics that you can chat with others about, or you can even use it to host your Fantasy Football league.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Yahoo Sports is one of the few sports apps that not only lets you read the latest headlines for your favorite team, but lets you watch the games as well. If you missed the game, catch all the highlights in a central hub or play some fantasy “pick-em” games if you want to have some fun. With Yahoo Sports, you’ll be able to follow all of your favorite teams, along with the likes of MMA, boxing, or racing.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Video Streaming Apps

Ready for more Mandalorian?Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Streaming services are the way of the future and these days, there’s a streaming service available for everyone. While the old-time sitcoms and movies are great, these streaming companies are pushing new and original content that takes advantage of 4K HDR playback and tells some of the best stories. Then others give you a platform to make your own videos and share them with the world.

Disney+ is the new kid on the streaming service block, and it’s an extremely welcome addition to the arsenal. The app gives you quick access to your favorite Disney classics, along with new shows such as The Mandalorian for those who want more Star Wars in their life. The app allows you to create a profile for everyone, and you can download titles directly to your device for easy offline viewing.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Netflix is killing the game in original content, providing some of the best movies, documentaries, and TV shows. The company is even working to reboot some classic series, while also being the primary source for some of older sitcoms and movies.

Free at Google Play

Can you go wrong with the YouTube app? Just sign in to your account and watch the videos from your subscriptions, or create playlists so that you can watch them later. You can even get started as a YouTube Creator by editing and uploading videos directly from the app.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

It’s no secret that Warner Media has an enormous library of videos, shows, and original content. With HBO Max, you can now access a ton of the content under its umbrella, including stuff from HBO, TBS, Cartoon Network, and more. You can create up to five different profiles, and download some movies for offline viewing if you have a trip coming up or just don’t want to deal with streaming.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Music Apps

Some of my old favorites are new again in YouTube MusicSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Regardless of whether you’re on a road trip or just trying to hunker down and get some work done, music makes the world go ’round. These music streaming services give you the largest library of songs that you can imagine and make products like the iPod look like a faint relic of the past. Just open the app, pick the song that’s stuck in your head, and belt out the lyrics like there’s no tomorrow.

Spotify seems to be trying to take over the world of music, but it’s for good reason. The app offers some of the most personalized recommendations and playlists so that you can find new music that you would have never otherwise heard on a smooth interface. If you just want a basic music streaming player, the free version works just fine with some limitations.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Slowly but surely, YouTube Music is becoming what we expected from Google Play Music, and it continues to get better. With “The Hotlist” you can get an idea of what the most popular songs are, or find something that’s trending before it hits the radio airwaves. But the biggest benefit is that you get access to YouTube Music if you already subscribe to either Google Play Music or YouTube Red.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

Apple Music has made great strides since its inception to try and take on the giant in Spotify, and it’s largely succeeded. With more than 60 million songs in the catalog, along with exclusives like Beats 1 Radio, Apple Music appeals to everyone and anyone, even if you don’t own a single Apple product.

Free at Google Play

When it comes to streaming music, the big names have limits on audio quality, but that’s of no concern with TIDAL. This streaming service is designed for audiophiles, offering up to 9216Kbps, which is the same quality that you would get from listening in the studio. Plug in your favorite headphones, adjust the EQ, and turn the music up.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Podcast Apps

Pocketcasts App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Radio stations can be annoying with the ads that come up every couple of minutes, often lasting longer than the show you’re listening to. Podcasts give you access to “radio” shows that you care about, and make it so that you can either sit back and enjoy a simple conversation or listen to a riveting story that spans multiple episodes.

Pocket Casts is simply the best all-in-one podcast player application that you can get on the Play Store. The app offers easy access to your subscriptions, an array of customizable playback options, and you can find new podcasts easier than ever. Plus, you’ll never miss a podcast episode with the different notification options that you can set up from within the app.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

If you want a simple, no-nonsense podcast player, Google has you covered with its Podcasts app. Google Podcasts makes it easy to just start listening to your favorite podcasts without a bunch of extra frills. And you can use the Google Search app to find different podcasts and podcast episodes while playing them as soon as you find them.

Free at Google Play

Podcast Addict does so much more than just give you a beautiful interface to interact with your favorite podcasts. The app includes more than 100,000 radio stations and 20,000 audiobooks, while also providing personalized recommendations based on your subscriptions. You can even set up RSS news feeds and follow YouTube/Twitch channels from the app.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

Castbox is a bit different from other popular podcast players thanks to unique features like Zen Mode and Listening Time. Zen Mode makes it possible to use Castbox as the source of your meditation sessions, while Listening Time gives you an overview of what your favorite podcasts actually are, along with how much time you spend listening. Castbox even makes it possible to connect with like-minded podcast listeners with its awesome Community feature.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Sleep Tracking Apps

Sleep Cycle Pixel 4 App LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

With all the devices booted up around you and the screens that are always ready to turn on, it can be tough to get a good night’s rest. However, the Play Store features some applications that can help you fall asleep while analyzing how you sleep and providing ways to improve.

It can be tough waking up on time, let alone trying to analyze your sleep, unless you have an app like Sleep Cycle. The app will “coach” you to have a better night’s sleep regularly, while gently waking you up at the right time so you feel refreshed. With the analysis tab, you can view how you slept the night before, check to see if you snored, and get recommendations to sleep even better.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Waking up on time is a tough task, but falling asleep can be just as tough. With Sleep Sounds, this is made a bit easier. The app includes 12 different nature sounds, works offline, and allows you to set a timer so that the app won’t be running all night.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Sleep Time combines the benefits of a sleep journal, alarm clock, and sleep analysis all in a beautifully designed application. Different background algorithms will help you get the best night’s sleep that you’ve had in years. Then you can wake up the next day to see how well you slept and for how long.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Sleep tracking can be frustrating since you almost never get the same results when using a smartwatch or your phone. Sleep as Android does a great job at providing you all the tools you need to get a great night’s sleep with the ability to connect with your favorite wearables. Then, your data can be viewed easily from the Sleep as Android app, or you can take advantage of Google Fit and Samsung’s S Health applications.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Dating Apps

Tinder App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Breakups are tough to get through for everyone, but there comes a time when you’ll want to strap on your boots and get back in the saddle. These dating apps make it easier than ever to meet new people and regardless of whether you are looking to find a new friend or build a new relationship, these apps help you to get started.

The Best Apps for Finances

Samsung Pay Home ScreenSource: Android Central

Since just about everything today revolves around your credit score, it’s important to keep track of it. Credit Karma makes it easier than ever to check your score and get personalized approval odds for credit cards or loans without paying a penny. Plus, the app offers free ID monitoring against identity theft and credit monitoring for TransUnion and Equifax.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

For many, stock trading can be cumbersome and overwhelming, but Robinhood makes things easy, and you don’t have to throw down a boatload of cash. The Robinhood app allows you to invest in an array of stock options, and you can even dive into the world of cryptocurrency if you’re feeling adventurous.

Free at Google Play

Some folks need to operate on a budget, and Monefy makes it easy to track your daily expenses with just a few taps. Then you can see where all of your money is going, along with how close you are to paying off your credit card or saving up for a new toy.

Free / $2.50 at Google Play

Gone are the days of figuring out how to split the check. Venmo, backed by PayPal, allows you to easily split the bill with your friends while giving the ability to send funny notes on each payment. And if need be, transferring money from Venmo to your bank account can happen in seconds with Instant Transfer.

Free at Google Play

You don’t need to worry about playing the guessing game for when a package is going to be delivered if you have the tracking number. After you enter the number into Deliveries Package Tracker, you will get regular notifications as your package travels the country. There’s even a widget you can use to glance at to see when the package will be delivered.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

If you want an app that you can view and track your financial life, then you can’t go wrong with Mint. After signing up and adding your different financial accounts, you can view all of your money, including your bank account, car loans, credit cards, and more. The app also gives you the ability to create budgets that are easier to stick to, while tracking every penny that enters or leaves your accounts.

Free at Google Play

The Best Apps for Selling

LetGo App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Time marches on and that new toy that you bought a year ago has started collecting dust in the corner. Should you recycle it? In some instances that’s correct, but as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and there’s an opportunity to make some money back. These apps allow you to list your old clothes, electronics, and even cars so that they can get put to use and give you some extra green in return.

eBay has been the leader when it comes to quickly and easily selling your old devices, clothes, and just about anything else for years now. After creating an account and taking some pictures, you can create a new listing in just a few moments. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of finding some awesome deals for yourself.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

A recent update to the service has brought LetGo on par with the likes of eBay and Facebook Marketplace. You could already sell your old clothes that didn’t fit anymore, but now you can even sell that car that’s been sitting in the driveway. Plus, you can quickly chat with whoever is interested in your items, without checking emails or giving away your phone number.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Unfortunately, there isn’t a dedicated app for Facebook Marketplace, but you can still access it from the Facebook mobile app. This gives you a look at items available for sale around you, while also allowing you to sell to someone local and remove the worry of shipping.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Mental Health Apps

ActionDash 4 Focus Mode UsageSource: Android Central

Mindless YouTube videos and video games don’t do much to keep your mind sharp. At the end of the day, your mind is the most powerful tool that everyone has, and it’s important to keep it sharpened. These tools let you step away from your phone, or work as an extension to help keep your mind at ease.

The Best Workout Apps

Fitbit Versa 2 on top of OnePlus 7 ProSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

One of the most popular New Years Resolutions is to start hitting the gym to either bulk up or lose some weight. However, some apps make it so you don’t even have to step foot in a gym if you want to lose weight at your own pace. And what better way to do so than with the help of some ultra-powerful applications that are tailored to your needs.

The Best To-Do Apps

Todoist App On NotebookSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

It happens all the time. You start adding items to your to-do list but they still end up being forgotten and then you have to rush and do everything at once. Or maybe you just need a way to take a quick note for easy access later. These productivity apps will help to make sure that you keep track of your menial tasks or more in-depth projects.

Keeping track of your various tasks and projects can be a real pain, but with Todoist, all of your concerns can be put to rest. The app makes it easy to quickly enter a task while providing the ability to create projects, tags, and more so that your to-do list is always organized. Todoist even makes it possible to integrate with apps like Gmail, Slack, and more so that you can add the necessary tasks as soon as they come up.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Keep your Evernote and your TickTick, Google Keep is with me to the end of the line and it is 100% free. Keep is yet another Google app to see a visual update this year, and while I’m still waiting on a dark theme, the expanded 12 color options, addition of subtasks to checklists, and improved Drive integration make Keep the only task manager and inspiration board I use.

Free at Google Keep

Have you ever wanted to grow a tree on your smartphone? With Grow, you can do just that and grow as many trees as you can think of. This habit tracker is simple and straight forward to track and remind you of habits you want to track. Every time you complete the habit, your tree will grow little by little, giving you something to look forward to.

Free at Google Play

The Best Learning Apps

Blinkist App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Along with keeping your mind sharp, you’ll want to keep training your brain and yourself to learn something new all the time. Regardless if it’s learning a new language or trying to figure out exactly what Quantum Physics is, there’s an app for that. Or maybe you just want to have an informative book condensed into a 15-minute session, giving you the most important points.

The Best Email Apps

NewtonSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Emails are simply the worst form of communication. Instead of getting the spam flyers in your mailbox, you now get ads and spam in your email inbox. However, some rely so heavily on email that it’s become a way of life. And those folks need an app that makes organization and consolidation of emails easy so that you can finally achieve the fabled “Inbox Zero”.

The Best Apps for Driving

Google Maps Restaurant Recommendations HeroSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Unless you have lived in the same place for the last 15-20 years, chances are that you don’t remember the right road to take to get somewhere new. Or maybe you need to get a ride from the train station to the hotel and you didn’t rent a car and don’t want to hail a cab. These traveling apps make it easy to do anything that you need to do, and then some.

The Best Calendar Apps

Google Calendar on Pixel 3 XLSource: Android Central

Nobody wants to miss that important doctor’s appointment, but if you don’t have it written down somewhere, it’s a possibility. Having a mobile calendar makes it possible to quickly and easily organize your day while being reminded about that important meeting. These apps can be tailored to your needs, showing you the most important information about how your day is going to go.

Google Calendar by itself is already a great way to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly appointments. Then, add in the integration with Gmail and you’ll get events from your email inbox automatically added. Google also integrates reminders so you never miss a task, and you can even add personal goals that will be automatically scheduled.

Free at Google Play

aCalendar’s interface is one of the best and most beautiful that you can find. Add that to how intuitive it is to quickly add events and take a look at different views, and you have a home run. The only downside is that you’ll have to stick with Google’s calendar services to take advantage of aCalendar.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Unlike other options, DigiCal works with many of the popular calendar services such as Google, Outlook, and others. The app offers the schedule for many popular sports, too, so you’ll always know when the next game is. Plus, you can view detailed weather information for each day so you know whether to bring a raincoat.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Apps to Backup Files

OneDrive Face RecognitionSource: Daniel Rubino/Android Central

You don’t want to be stuck in the dark trying to find that file that you could have sworn you downloaded, but has been buried. Our smartphones are literal pocket computer’s and it’s important to keep those downloaded files neatly organized. Plus, it’s always nice to be able to have an app analyze your files and photos and offer to delete them without you going through them one-by-one.

The Best PDF Scanner Apps

Microsoft Office Lens ScanningSource: Android Central

If you go to an event or have a lot of meetings with new business associates, chances are you end up with a lot of business cards that go in a drawer. With these PDF scanners, you can snap a quick picture and then instantly have a digital business card that can be added to a contact or saved for use later on.

The Best Writing Apps

Office Mobile app iconSource: Android Central

It doesn’t matter if you’re an author or just an office grunt, you’ll need to put words on paper for some reason at some time. Some apps allow you to do just that while keeping those pages stored for reference later. Or maybe you’re already an author and want to learn more about the world of Markdown writing without any extra distractions. Regardless of the situation, there’s an app available that lets you simply sit down and write.

Google Docs can be a basic text editor or something that you use to write your first book in. There is an array of tools that you can tweak your documents to fit the format you are looking for. And the best part is that every letter or character that you type is saved automatically as you move along.

Free at Google Play

Not only do you get the power of Microsoft Word on your mobile device, but the app also acts as a mobile PDF reader. With the new Microsoft Office, you can create, edit, and view all of your various Microsoft documents from the likes of Word, Excel, and more. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about having a plethora of different apps installed.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

When it comes to finding the right Markdown editor, the choices are somewhat slim, but iA Writer makes everything easier. Get rid of all the distractions and just let your mind put words to paper without anything bothering you. Plus, there is cross-compatibility with different platforms such as Windows, Mac, and of course, Android.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

The Best Voice Recorder Apps

The Recorder app on a Pixel 4 XLSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Nobody likes forgetting that idea or thought or reminder to get something done. Or maybe you want to brainstorm some ideas verbally, instead of putting them in something like a Google Doc or task manager. Voice recorders make it easy to start them up and just start talking, and some of them even cut out the silence during your breaks.

The Best Road Trip Apps

Cars App Pixel 4 LifestyleSource: Andrew Myrick / Android Central

Let’s jump in the car and get ready for that road trip we’ve been planning all year. But before you get on the road, you’ll want to make sure you are prepared to keep your eyes on the road, are up to date on your oil change, and find the cheapest gas wherever you are. Or maybe it’s time to find your next road trip-mobile and get a new car to bring home, and you can do so easier than ever.

Staying focused on the road is the most important object while driving, but it’s made even more difficult by all of the notifications on our phones. Android Auto removes the distractions, giving users the ability to focus on the road and their destination while reading out the important notifications. You don’t even need a dedicated Android Auto head unit to take advantage of this, as your phone can be mounted and uses the same interface.

Free at Google Play

Nobody wants to pay an arm and a leg for gas, let alone run out of gas at the wrong time. GasBuddy finds the cheapest gas stations in your area while giving users the ability to different rewards programs. After signing up, users can join “Pay with GasBuddy” and save up to 15 cents per gallon on the first fill-up, and up to 5 cents per gallon on visits afterward.

Free at Google Play

Whether you are traveling for business or just want to keep track of your vehicle maintenance, Fuelio does everything. The app provides inputs to track car expenses, service appointments, mileage, and so much more. The trip log functionality uses the built-in GPS tracker so that the information is as accurate as possible.

Free at Google Play

Just about every car has a CarFax report available, which not only keeps track of any accidents, but also the services performed. With this app, users will be able to track all auto repair and service history information, along with getting alerts when the car is overdue for an oil change or tire rotation.

Free at Google Play

After dealing with traffic, finding a parking spot can be one of the most frustrating aspects of driving in the big city. SpotHero alleviates these concerns by making it possible to book a parking spot in advance, and giving users directions on how to get there. In some instances, users can save on parking fees by booking with SpotHero instead of paying after arriving.

Free at Google Play

A car will rarely last forever, with folks needing to get a new car at some point in time. The Cars.com makes finding your next car easy by showing you deals based on an array of pieces of information. Regardless of whether the car is new or used, users can compare models, find the right dealership, calculate payments and much more.

Free w/ ads at Google Play

The Best PC Extension Apps

How to use Link to Windows on your Galaxy S20 Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

It would only make sense for there to be applications that integrate with your phone and computer so that they work as one. Instead of having to pick up your phone every time a notification comes through, you can get the same notification on your computer so that you can stay focused on what you’re doing.

Microsoft is pushing the envelope when providing fantastic options for its userbase. With Your Phone Companion, users are now able to view all notifications, respond to SMS messages, and view recent photos taken without picking up their phone. This is not as robust as other apps, but it gets the job done and it does it well.

Free at Google Play

AirDroid does everything one could want to do when syncing a phone to a computer. After it has been set up, users can transfer files, manage SMS and contacts, and even make or answer calls from the computer. There are even remote access capabilities so that you can leave your phone in the other room but check for something.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

In addition to providing expected services like file transfer, notification mirroring, and SMS messaging, Join does much more. The obvious benefit is the Tasker integration as Join is made by the same developer as Tasker. But after being set up, the possibilities of what users can do without needing their phone is truthfully endless.

Free / $4.99 at Google Play

The Best Video Calling Apps

Google Duo on AndroidSource: Harish Jonnalagadda/Android Central

How long has it been since you’ve seen your family after you moved away? With video chat applications, you can pick up the phone and see your family and friends even though you are miles and miles away. Some apps offer extra benefits like seeing who’s on the video chat before answering, while others are just basic and get the job done.

Who wants to be in the middle of a video chat and the picture turns into something from 2008? Google Duo ensures its users have the best video quality possible, along with other benefits such as Low Light Mode, Knock Knock for previewing calls, and end-to-end encryption. And if you don’t want to do a video call, you can convert the call to audio so that you can still have the conversation.

Free at Google Play

Facebook Messenger has become the default messaging platform for many, and for better or worse, the app continues to impress. In addition to acting as a messaging platform, Messenger can handle SMS messages and even video calling. If the video call is taking place with a Facebook friend, you can get up and running in no time.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Skype has been vastly updated over the years and is inching towards the 11 million download marker. Voice calls, video chats, smart messaging, and even SMS are all possible with Skype. Plus, there is cross-platform compatibility so users can take advantage of its features regardless of using their Android phone or the computer.

Free at Google Play

There’s literally an app for everything

When you are browsing the Play Store, you’ll find thousands and thousands of applications that look interesting and different from the “regular” ones. There are many different categories of applications to discover, and we are always looking for that next cool and “hip” app to check out. It can be tough to go through and find all of the best applications for every situation, but we are grateful for the options provided. Some of these apps can even improve the best cheap Android phones and make that cheap phone feel like a flagship.

Without applications, our phones would just be phones and where’s the fun in that? Whether you love mobile gaming, getting things done, or just want to sit back and catch up on your favorite show, there’s an app for that. And while some applications may work for me or you, that doesn’t it will work with your buddy or your grandmother. These are just some of the best apps that you can find today, but we are always looking and hoping for new and exciting apps to hit the Play Store.

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