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Best Android apps of 2015: 23 apps you must try

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 2 weeks ago

Searching for the best Android apps is a daunting task. Whether you're looking for a photo-editing app or a new keyboard, there are always dozens available. Here at AndroidPIT, we’ve spent many hours curating the top Android apps for every purpose, and compiled them into one list for you. Here are the best Android apps of 2015.

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These are the best Android apps of 2015. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best app for downloading free music on Android 

Google Play Music is our favorite app for downloading free music right now. Though there are many music download apps available in the Play Store, they are often quickly removed because of their copyright-impinging functionality. Google Play Music provides you with a totally legit, ever-changing list of free tracks from major artists to download.

Spotify has an excellent paid subscription service, and SoundCloud has a multitude of tracks readily available to stream, but for actually downloading tracks to your phone, Google Play Music is as good as you can get. 

Alternatively, head to the link below for some less common free music downloading apps. 

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Google Play Music always has a selection of popular tracks for free. / © ANDROIDPIT
Google Play Music Install on Google Play

Best Android apps for downloading free music

Best app for watching TV and Movies on Android

Hulu is an excellent app for watching movies and TV shows on Android. It's a free service that relies on ads, but there are some great shows available. You need to pay a subscription fee to access all of the content, but there is a range of excellent shows available without subscription, including classic US comedies such as Family Guy, Seinfeld and South Park. 

It's currently restricted to the US, but hopefully we'll see Hulu appearing in more territories soon.   

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Hulu features a number of classic US TV shows and movies. / © ANDROIDPIT
Hulu Install on Google Play

Best app for watching TV and Movies on Android

Best Android-exclusive app

iOS is a fierce rival to Android and offers a range of great apps and features, but it doesn't offer everything that Android does. Nova Launcher is one of our favorite Android-exclusive apps because, in many ways, it underlines what is so great about Android. 

Nova is an alternative launcher compatible with Android 4.1 onward. It lets you customize the entire look and feel of your operating system, from changes to font size, to the number of apps that can appear on the lock screen, to the way in which your app drawer scrolls. Nova Launcher is a prime example of how Android can be molded to suit individual tastes and preferences, in a way that iOS cannot.

If you wish you could make a few simple changes to your current interface, then give the free version of Nova a try. Nova even lets you adopt the look of any other phone - Galaxy, Xperia, HTC, LG, even iOS if that's your thing.

androidpit nova launcher customizations
From the home page to the app drawer and more, Nova has a wealth of customization options. / © ANDROIDPIT
Nova Launcher Install on Google Play

Best Android app for kids

There are a whole bunch of educational apps, games and books that you can download on your Android phone or tablet, you just need to hit the 'categories' section in the Play Store and select an age group, or subcategory such as 'education'. 

Once you've installed some suitable apps, we recommend downloading Kids Place. This app allows you to assign the particular apps and games you want to give young ones access to, and restricts them to a screen that shows these apps only (until a PIN code is entered).

Kids Place also prevents children from sending messages or purchasing other apps while using the device, and you can set a time limit for how long access is granted; think of it as temporarily putting your phone or tablet in safe mode. 

androidpit kids space screenshot
Determine which apps you wish to grant access to (left) and only these will be accessible unless you enter a PIN code (right). / © ANDROIDPIT
Kids Place - Parental Control Install on Google Play

Best app for musicians on Android 

Do you find yourself bobbing your head along to the rhythm of the train when you're sitting on it, or composing silent melodies in your head that you know would sound amazing if only you could record them at that moment? Then you should check out Caustic 3, the latest version of the popular mobile music-making machine. Using this powerful tool, you can use one of 14 different synthesizers, vocoders and drum machines to create that perfect sound on the move. Caustic 3 is a deep and complex app, so be prepared to put some time into, but the results are great.

If you're looking for a simpler way to make music on the move, check out our other favorite music-making apps.

androidpit caustic 3
Caustic 3 is a music-making app for enthusiasts. / © Single Cell Software
Caustic 3 Install on Google Play

Best app you won't find in the Play Store

Sometimes you have to venture beyond the Play Store to find the best apps. From our collection of favorite apps found outside the Play Store, our number one was TubeMate. Using this app, you can download YouTube videos to your device in various formats and resolutions - including 1080p.

Anything you download will automatically be saved to the video section of your gallery, and be instantly ready to watch, stream to Chromecast, or otherwise do with as you please.

tmate
TubeMate lets you download YouTube movies to your device, so you can watch them offline later. / © ANDROIDPIT

Download TubeMate

Best unknown Android app

Ask Me Anything, brought to us by Reddit AMA, is a unique and surprisingly low-key app which lets you read the latest celebrity AMA interviews, and also send over questions that you'd like to ask those celebrities. You can also vote on questions other people present, and help decide whether those questions get asked to famous faces from the worlds of film, sport, science, and more. Strange that an app involving celebrities wouldn't be very popular, right? 

androidpit ama
Throw questions at your favorite (or most hated) celebrities in AMA. / © reddit Inc.
Ask Me Anything - reddit AMA Install on Google Play

Best cloud storage app for Android

Cloud storage is so commonplace now that its name doesn't sound quite as mystical and ethereal as it did a few years ago. That doesn't make it any less useful, as storing your personal data online is - for the most part - much safer than keeping it on a fragile old hard drive.

We're prepared to accept accusations of bias here, as our favorite cloud storage app is Google Drive. it's baked into most Android devices, Google is always giving extra GBs of storage space away for free, and it's synced up with the handy Google Docs office suite. It's the undisputed champ.

androidpit drive docs material design
Google Drive is a great cloud storage option, with tons of free space and Google Docs syncing. / © ANDROIDPIT
Google Drive Install on Google Play

Best messenger app for Android 

There are some obvious contenders for 'Best messaging app' on Android - WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to name a couple - but Drupe is the one messaging app to rule them all. If you haven't heard of it, that's because it's relatively new on the scene.

Drupe displays your whole contacts list, then lets you contact people using any of the most popular messaging services - WhatsApp, SMS, Skype, you name it. So from this one app, you can essentially contact anyone using any messaging app you want. It's ingenious!

androidpit drupe
Drupe lets you contact people instantly using any messaging app on your phone. / © ANDROIDPIT
drupe – Contacts. Your way. Install on Google Play

Best dating app for Android

Whether you're looking for love, companionship, or something more - ahem - 'carnal', there are plenty of Android apps out there to help you find what you're looking for. In fact, you could say there are Plenty of Fish, which is one of our favorite dating apps out there.

Sign-up is free, and you're matched up with people well-suited to you based on some inscrutably complex but effective algorithm. It even advises on good places to go on dates in your area. It makes finding a date easier than shooting fish in a barrel.  

pof
Whether you're looking for love or companionship, Plenty of Fish will help you find it. / © Plentyoffish Media Inc.
POF Free Dating App Install on Google Play

Best offline app for Android

When you don't have a Wi-Fi or data connection it's too late to download one. We've got the best of the best of offline apps for Android for your offline enjoyment. One of the very best offline Android apps of all is Pocket, and offline reader app that saves text and images for reading later on. No more bookmarking, link sharing or copy pasting when you've Pocket in your pocket.

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Pocket lets you save web articles for offline reading. No Wi-Fi required. / © ANDROIDPIT
Pocket Install on Google Play

Best lock screen app for Android

Lock screen apps are awesome - you can do things on your smartphone or tablet without even having to unlock it. From checking notifications, calendar reminders, music controls, missed calls, Quick Settings and more, Next Lock Screen lets you take control of your locked phone. Next will even suggest apps based on your location.

androidpit next lock screen
Next by Microsoft brings a whole bunch of functionality to your lock screen. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best alternative to the Play Store

The first thing you should know is that Google Play is not the only place you can get Android apps. Sure, it's the biggest and the most official, but there are lots of apps out there that never quite made it to Google Play or that simply exist elsewhere (like in the Amazon app store for example).

Our favorite Google Play Store alternative is SlideMe, where you can find a whole bunch of cool, hand-picked apps that have been individually tested to ensure that they work on AOSP (Android Open-Source Project), and are not tied into the Play Store's services.

androidpit slideme
SlideMe is an individually tested, hand-curated app store. / © Slide Me / AndroidPIT

Best browser app for Android 

Dolphin Browser is one of the best Android browsers you can get. It's free, it looks great, it comes with tons of features, and it supports Adobe Flash Player - the multimedia player that just won't die. 

androidpit dolphin browser
Dolphin Browser is easily one of the most popular on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT
Dolphin Browser for Android Install on Google Play

Best camera app for Android 

Camera360 Ultimate made its way onto our best Android camera apps list because it houses so many features, including over 200 filters, NFC photo sharing, and a blissful absence of ads. It's a comprehensive free app that ensures you get the best out of your Android camera.

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Camera360 Ultimate comes with tons of downloadable extras. / © ANDROIDPIT
Camera360 Ultimate Install on Google Play

Best keyboard app for Android

One of best Android keyboard apps is Swiftkey, a free keyboard app which makes typing just about as simple as it can be, and has great swipe options, predictions, adaptive-learning and more.

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SwiftKey's layout can be customized in a number of ways. / © ANDROIDPIT / SwiftKey
SwiftKey Keyboard + Emoji Install on Google Play

Best music-player app for Android

The Walkman and the iPod are as good as dead, because our smartphones have taken over as powerful music players. While the default music apps on your Android device probably do a fine job, if you want to crank up the bass or other aspects of your music, you'll need something more.

One of the best music player apps for Android is Poweramp. It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite music, with a ton of options and support for almost any type of file. You can’t go wrong with Poweramp.

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With themes galore, Poweramp can be whatever you want it to be. Just grab a new skin ASAP. / © ANDROIDPIT
Poweramp Music Player (Trial) Install on Google Play

Best video app for Android

The default video player on your Android phone will probably 'do the job' and play most standard video formats without much fuss. But if you're playing some niche formats or enjoy tinkering with the video settings to get the perfect picture, then you'll need to branch out.

VLC for Android came out of beta back in December, meaning that it's now stable and ready for everyone to use. It supports a huge number of video formats. You can use hardware acceleration to take advantage of those four or eight cores on your device and really get the most out of your videos. The pinch-to-zoom feature is pretty neat too.

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VLC comes with some nice gesture controls for controlling your videos. / © ANDROIDPIT
VLC for Android Install on Google Play

Best productivity app for Android

Smartphones might not yet be valid replacements for our PCs, but with their increasing power and screen sizes, they're getting there. As such, it's good to have the best possible productivity apps on your Android device, so you have the assurance that you can do some work when there's no keyboard-and-mouse computer around.

Expensify is one of our best Android productivity apps simply for managing your budget. You can make it as simple or as detailed as you want, and track all of your spending in an easy-to-use format. It’s  great free business travel app that you shouldn’t be without.

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Scan all of your bills into this cool app. / © ANDROIDPIT
Expensify - Expense Reports Install on Google Play

Best launcher app for Android

Rooting and modding mobile devices was a terrifying prospect once upon a time. But more online tutorials have cropped up, and more apps have arrived to help. However, if you're not ready to go down the techy path of rooting (it's really not that bad), you can always do some modding using a variety of Android launchers.

When it comes to the best Android launchers, smart launcher is one of our favorites due to its unique, ultra-cool design. If you can’t find a theme to suit you here, we don’t know where you will.

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Smart Launcher gives you rings of the most commonly used apps. / © ANDROIDPIT
Smart Launcher 2 Install on Google Play

Best security and maintenance app

Android security is a contentious subject and arguments about the safety of the system crop up frequently. Keep safe out there and check out some of our recommended security apps. While you're at it, you might want to have a go at optimizing your system performance too. 

AVG is one of the best anti-virus apps for Android. Even if your browsing and app downloading habits are completely safe, you can never be too careful. Check out AVG for a discreet solution.

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AVG is a well known name in antivirus, and you can wipe your device remotely if necessary. / © AVG
AntiVirus Security - FREE Install on Google Play

Best weather app for Android

There are plenty of weather apps available that are more accurate than those pre-installed on your Android device. We've had a look at some of the best, as well as some GPS apps which might help you outdoors. 

Yahoo! Weather is one of our favorites at AndroidPIT because it looks great, it’s simple to use, and it presents all of the information you require at a glance. It also comes with a nice widget too.

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Yahoo Weather uses background images from the huge image database Flickr, which gives the app a really nice look. © ANDROIDPIT
Yahoo Weather Install on Google Play

Best fitness and lifestyle app for Android

Whether you want to lose a few extra pounds or meet some new people, we have some apps to help you out. 

Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal provides a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. Simply enter your weight and height, and Calorie Counter will tell you how many calories you can consume each day while losing weight. It requires a little effort on the part of the user, but it’s worth it.

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My Fitness Pal has a great user interface and makes losing weight perhaps a little more enjoyable (but only a little). / © ANDROIDPIT
Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal Install on Google Play

We are at the end of our list of the best Android apps, but if you're still hungry for more, check out one the links below.

What are your favorite Android apps? Let us know which you think the best are in the comments below.

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.

81 comments

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  • David Silvera 11 hours ago Link to comment

    Try SMS Calendar to schedule your SMS in advance : play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=dsilvera.smsbirthday

  • Natalia Martín Sánchez 1 day ago Link to comment

    For the safety of your kids this application blocks applications and functionalities of the mobile phone, you can also set a schedule for the release, for example, block whatsapp when your children are in school. Safe Kids parental control

    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=parental.control.safekids

  • John Appic 6 days ago Link to comment

    I suggest Camera MX as camera app. For people who are not into tons of vintage filters it also free (like 360)

  • Payal Mourya 1 week ago Link to comment

    Search for Pronounce IT app by APPortunity on playstore. Its a really amazing application!

  • Augusto 1 week ago Link to comment

    you forgot Warp News.... dont read any news... just listen to it!
    @Warp_App on twitter

  • Steve Long 1 week ago Link to comment

    Ask any questions to this app which is world's first answering engine The Light App . The app gives answers to any of ur questions from the web and from experts saving your time which you spend on the net searching for answers

  • lovas94 1 week ago Link to comment

    I just started using Pozzr (pozzr.com) and it works well so far. Has anyone else tried it?

  • Stacey Plotts 1 week ago Link to comment

    Well, I'm a 62-years young (to you, "an old fart") relative newcomer to smart phones, so I appreciate your site and your articles. How about some tips on apps to stay away from?
    Thanx!

  • Rusty 1 week ago Link to comment

    I've never saw or read a review on the CM apps (cheetah mobile), I've got all of them, the CM launcher, Browser and lock apps and love them all

  • Freedi 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    i have poweramp but when some songs played at that application, the sound become noisy and broken. No problem when played with standard music application

  • Suman Saha 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    awesmm

  • Lauren Smith 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Nice article. If you're looking for an educational app for kids you should try Heidi: Alpine Adventure. We've just discovered this great new app for our kids who are 2 and 4 years old. There's loads of different games and no in-app purchases. The app helps them to develop skills like counting and memory. We have a long flight ahead of us for our holiday and got this app to keep them occupied. Check it out at itunes.apple.com/app/heidi-abenteuer-in-den-bergen/id983967380?mt=8 and play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.studio100media.heidi.alpine

  • tsr g 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    Try the 'Everyday Calculation' app. It could easily be the best calculator for productivity

  • Wil Corp 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    I suggest Weigh-In Deluxe is very useful !

  • Deferer Kile 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    Great article

  • Nola Sewacki 1 month ago Link to comment

    I am going to try out some of these new apps. I'm a 58 year old woman and phone scares me I have a galaxy 4. I am excited about but I decided to try out except for PLENTY OF FISH. POF. I found so many scammers. But, that I know about and can pick them out right away.
    But, I love all the tips you give. Helps to know if you are using the app right.
    Thanks,
    Nola

  • Gabriele Picco 1 month ago Link to comment

    I suggest DroidSms, is very useful and well designed

  • FixApp Team 1 month ago Link to comment

    This is a cool list. Though I don't agree so much with VLC player. Though it's an awesome player, I like MX player a lot better.
    Thanks for sharing Scott Adam Gordon

  • David McQueen 1 month ago Link to comment

    David tmo galaxy s5 on lollipop 5.1.1 will not send text messages. Need solution..david_w_mcqueen@yahoo.com

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