We’ve once again overhauled our picks for the best Android apps, whittling our robust selection down to a paltry 100. Some are new, and others have been standbys on this list for years. Regardless, we’re certain that any and all of these apps will make your life easier, and help you get the most out of your Android device. The apps are listed by categories like Music, Travel, and so on.
Five new apps you need to try (September)
Here at Digital Trends, we’re pretty good at recommending the best apps you can download. Sometimes, however, a developer might offer their app for free only for a few days — and we’re not always going to catch it. That’s where App Hoarder comes in. The app keeps track of paid apps that become available for free on the Google Play Store, allowing you to find great apps without having to pay for them.
StoryZ is a way to bring your photos to life. The app offers a simple photo animation suite that allows you to blend video with your photos to create beautifully animated effects — which you can then turn into GIFs and share around the web.
Shortcuts to apps on your home screen can help you quickly access your favorite apps. But what if you want to quickly access files? Shorty can help. With Shorty, you can create a shortcut to basically anything on your phone — from a handy PDF to your favorite song. It’s also very easy to use. Once installed, it’ll show up in the “share” menu of any file.
Want to get a better understanding of your phone’s specs and how much processing power it uses? Inware not only shows you exactly what specs your phone has under the hood, but it also tells you how much RAM is being used up, details about your CPU, and more — things that aren’t always shown in your Android phone’s settings.
Looking for a little more control over the look of your notification shade? Power Shade lets you do that. With the app, you can do things like customize the color of the shade, add a trigger for the shade, and more. It’s a simple tool, but it adds that extra bit of customization that some people might be looking for.
Movies and videos
Netflix is one of the best video-streaming services. There’s a huge selection of movies and TV shows for subscribers and the performance is silky smooth. This is as entertained as you can get starting at $8 a month.
Hulu offers thousands of movies and TV shows — many which are updated with the latest episodes after they air. Hulu offers various subscription models, including one that opens up the entire streaming library for $8 a month, and another that removes mid-stream ads for $12 a month.
YouTube’s mobile app is sleek and intuitive, bringing the entirety of the video sharing site to the palm of your hand. For those subscribed to YouTube Red, you’ll have access to all the premium content, as well as special features like audio playback while the screen is off.
Both HBO Now (HBO’s stand-alone service for $15/month) and HBO Go (a streaming app available to HBO cable subscribers) have apps that allow you to watch all of HBO’s streaming content directly on your phone.
Music and audio
Spotify is the best full-featured streaming service. With this app, you can stream any music from any type of device, make your own playlists, follow artists, and sync tracks for offline listening.
If you’re looking for an all-you-can-eat buffet of sound with no ads and no subscription fees, you’ve found it. You can discover new music and stream it from the cloud, but this is no Spotify replacement.
Bandcamp’s mobile app allows you to stream music from your collection, as well as the music offered by the thousands of artists who sell and stream their music on Bandcamp. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to buy music directly from the artists and labels you follow.
Google’s official streaming service is a worthy competitor to Spotify. Not only does the app provide a vast library of content, but it also allows users to upload up to 50,000 songs for online storage. This means you can download and stream your music on any Android device, at any time.
If you use a Mac or iPad on top of your Android phone, you may be better served with Apple Music over Google Play Music or Spotify. Apple Music offers access to Apple’s massive library of music, as well as Apple’s Beats 1 radio station, which plays both current hits and up-and-coming music. The celebrity DJs and exclusive album streams are just a plus.