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13 min read 290 comments

The best Android apps of 2018

Update: Note-taking apps added

With millions of apps in the Play Store, searching for the best Android apps is daunting. Whether you need a great weather app or a new browser, there are always dozens available. Here at AndroidPIT, we’ve spent hours curating the top Android apps for every purpose, and compiled only the best of them into one list. Here are the best Android apps of 2018.

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Speak freely with these messenger apps for Android

Smartphones are used for messaging even more than for calls, so there are a lot of messaging apps to meet this demand. Here are two of our favorites.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp, the ubiquitous chat app, has been installed on over one billion smartphones. And it's always improving user experience, adding new features and becoming more secure. What makes it number one? Everyone uses it, simple as that. If you already use WhatsApp, then you should check out our favorite WhatsApp tips and tricks.

Telegram

No messaging app comes close to the number of users WhatsApp has, but there are some great alternatives out there. Telegram is one of them. The free app has end-to-end encryption, does group chats and is a pioneer of chatbots. Unlike some other messengers, you can use it on multiple devices. Read our full review of Telegram here.

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Telegram: a powerful communication tool. / © AndroidPIT

Transform your typing with new keyboard apps

Typing on mobile can be frustrating or awkward for many of us, and that's a shame because most users don't think about installing a different keyboard from the default. A new keyboard can really change your life when it comes to how comfortable you are using your phone.

Fleksy

This keyboard is one of the best for fast, accurate typing. Once you use it for a couple of hours, you realize how useful some of the smaller details are.

Be sure check out some of the extensions like invisible keyboard too — it works surprisingly well. Download it from the Play Store for free now. 

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Fleksy is primed for use with two thumbs on bigger phones, if that's your thing. / © AndroidPIT

SwiftKey

Whoever is looking for a very special virtual keyboard for Android will find one here. SwiftKey works wonderfully with tablets, and if you simply want a good Android keyboard, it offers intuitive operation, very good spell check and word recognition.

Whatever the weather, there's an app to warn you what's coming

There are plenty of great weather apps available that are more accurate and better looking than the ones that come pre-installed on your Android device. 

Weather Underground

Weather Underground is an app specialized in tracking hyper-local weather and temperatures in your area. It uses its own network of around 180,000 private weather stations to achieve this. Predictions have a good record of accuracy and warn you of rain in the surrounding area.

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Weather Underground even has advice for your hobbies and activities. / © AndroidPIT

Weather Underground is free of charge, but displays ads. This can be deactivated for one year through a $1.99 in-app purchase.

Weather Timeline

Available for $1.49 on the Play Store, Weather Timeline could be the best money you ever spend. It brings genuinely useful and interesting features together into a wonderful interface and library of widgets.

You can select from five different weather services, and there are notifications that warn you of impending weather changes. Radar maps let you see visualizations of the cloud and rain to come, and interactive graphs show data on things like temperature, precipitation and pressure. 

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Weather Timeline is our favorite weather app on Android. / © AndroidPIT

Shoot and edit like a pro with these photo apps for Android

PhotoDirector

PhotoDirector is the whole package. It has everything you could possibly need to edit your photos. The tools range from simple text bubbles and filters, to more complex things such as HSL and curves, and they're all heavily adjustable, helping you get the best out of your photos. 

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PhotoDirector's array of features is impressive, to say the least. / © AndroidPIT

Snapseed

Snapseed is Google's own photo editing app and basically comes with everything, for free. It offers all sorts of filters and optimization tools. Whether trimming, applying filters or correcting colors, Snapseed offers a powerful picture editor for your needs.

Snapseed saves your pictures in a separate folder, that way you don't need to modify the original image. Apps like Dropbox or Google Photos can also be synchronized with Snapseed.

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Snapseed screenshots. / © AndroidPIT

Find and play your jam with these great apps for music

Downloading free music

Google Play Music is our favorite app for downloading free music right now. It provides 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. 

Best music player

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.

We recommend 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

Chill with our favorite apps for movies and TV

Netflix

You cannot compile a list of the best apps for movies and TV without mentioning Netflix. The service is a social and cultural phenomenon, and the Netflix app is really rather decent. The selection is enormous, and the streaming quality is excellent. The biggest advantage of this over its rivals though is the ever-increasing selection of exclusive content and Netflix Originals movies and TV shows. You'll need a paid account to watch though, of course.

Hulu

Hulu is an excellent app for watching movies and TV shows for free 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 comedies such as Family Guy, Seinfeld and South Park. 

Crackle

Crackle is a hugely popular free app, which is updated monthly with new TV shows and movies. Created by Grouper but later bought by Sony, the app features ads which run at regular intervals throughout the content, the trade-off for which is that you get an excellent selection of media and a well-maintained app.

Crackle, like Netflix or Amazon, has picked up some original content that's getting more popular. 

Make your phone a fortress with security and antivirus apps

Mobile Security & Antivirus from Avast

Mobile Security & Antivirus is a free app that keeps you safe from malware threats with its excellent virus detection software, which can search through your browser history, microSD card, and internal storage space. What's more, it employs anti-theft features such as location tracking and remote data wipe, which work even if your device is not currently in your possession. 

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Avast is a well-known name in antivirus, and you can wipe your device remotely if necessary. / © AndroidPIT

McAfee Mobile Security & Lock

McAfee's Android app brings anti-virus, app lock, Wi-Fi and web protection and protection from loss and theft.

Anytime someone tries to unlock your phone but enters the wrong pin code, it snaps their photo. There's also app lock, which keeps people from accessing any apps you choose by protecting them with a 6-digit pin code. For the premium version, it costs around $25-30 per year, which is a great value.

Personalize your Android

Action Launcher 3

Launchers offer a simple way to customize the look and feel of your Android phone. They often combine new icons, a new app drawer layout, a new homescreen and new wallpaper to make your device fit a certain style or theme.

You have to try them out to appreciate how fun they can be and the one we recommend right now is Action Launcher 3. This is a free and excellent introduction to launchers because it provides clear and intuitive interface changes without adding so many that it becomes off-putting.  

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This is the Action Launcher 3 app Quickdrawer. / © ANDROIDPIT

Nova Launcher

 Nova is a great alternative launcher thatlets 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.

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.

Let your phone help you find that special someone

Online dating has come a long way from the easy punchline it used to be, and nowadays it's pretty common to meet that special someone on a dating app. However long your connection might last, you need a good app to get started in the dating game. Here our favorites.

Tinder for sheer number of potential matches

For those who wish to jump straight into the larger dating pool, Tinder is a massive app with tons of potential matches available. It's claimed that 26 million matches happen through Tinder every day. 

Tinder is mostly free but if you want to get some premium features you will need to pay. But it is entirely possible to use Tinder without these and have a great dating experience for free.

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Tinder shows you local singles using a large database. / © AndroidPIT

Bumble puts women in control

Bumble offers an interesting take on the dating app format. Women have make the first move.

For women who are frustrated with tons of messages by men who barely look at their profiles, or men who get stuck on trying to craft that perfect opening line, this can be a great way to make dating less stressful (of course, for women seeking women, it's basically online dating as usual, and men seeking men are still best served with Grindr).

Get (and stay) fit with health and fitness apps

Of course, you might want tone up a little for all that dating you're going to do with the above apps. Or maybe you just need a little help with motivation or organisation when it comes to keeping in shape. Fitness apps are great because you can keep your device close to you while you're on the move. Let's take a look at the best.

RunKeeper for a comprehensive experience

RunKeeper has a good reputation, not just for the number of features in its own app but also the number of third-party services it plugs into (it works with both Google Fit and Apple Health). If you're a keen runner, there aren't many better options than this one.

You can plot your runs on a map via GPS tracking, monitor distance covered and calories burned, set personal goals, integrate your indoor activities and more. Despite the name, this app can handle bike rides and gym workouts as well as running, so it's a comprehensive monitoring app.

Don't underestimate the power of community. There are social aspects to the app as well. You can share achievements with your friends, join and create running groups and use the chat feature to keep each other motivated. The app is free, but also has ads and optional in-app purchases.

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RunKeeper offers maps and statistics. / © AndroidPIT

Google Fit for simplicity

Google's own health and fitness app is tightly integrated with Android and Android Wear and full of features. Weight, heart rate, steps and activity time can all be logged automatically and you can set simple daily goals as well and get an alert when you've reached them.

In addition to real-time stats, Google Fit will also give you personalized recommendations and coaching to help you reach your goals.

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Google Fit: Android's default fitness app. / © AndroidPIT

Never forget with the most useful note-taking apps

Taking notes with your smartphone is one of the most simple functions, but it is also one of the most useful. Whether you need to make a quick shopping list, have just been told about a movie you don't want to forget the names, or if you've seen a product that you want to look up later, a good note-taker is an essential app for every Android user.

Evernote for ultimate cross-platform note-taking

Evernote is a legendary note-taking app. It’s easy to use and comes with some really cool features including voice commands. You can also take a note and view it on your lock screen or smartwatch. Evernotes are also available across multiple devices, including on desktop. You can also find notes based on your location if you are near to where you took the note in the first place. There is a Plus version available for $2.99 a month and a Premium version for $5.99, but the free version is great as well.

Google Keep for simplicity that works

Keep is Google’s pre-installed app-taking app, and it’s one of our favorites. You can take notes in a variety of ways, by either typing on your keyboard, writing with your finger, taking a quick photo or by recording a voice message. All of your notes are synced with your Gmail account so you can access them across several Google services. The search function is especially cool, as it can find words that you have written freehand as well as typed.

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Google Keep is not as feature-rich as Evernote, but it is simple to use and works well. / © AndroidPIT

Enhance your life with even more great apps

This has been our pick of the cream of the crop when it comes to the best Android apps of 2018, but if you didn't quite find what you're looking for, or if you're still hungry for more, check out one the links below:

The latest and greatest

Updated every month with new recommendations, these are the apps and games that have impressed us lately. Get ahead of the curve!

Alternatives to the mainstream

You don't wanna be a sheep, maaaan. Check out these alternatives to the normie tech giants.

Let's play!

The clue's in the name: Google's Play Store is full of games, but only some of them are really great. We've heroically played through a huge amount of mobile games so we can recommend only the finest:

What are your favorite Android apps? Any that you think are better than our selection here? Let us know in the comments!

Readers' favorite comments

  • Subramanian Reddy May 30, 2015

    Where is "UNIQ MOBILE FINDER" in the list, Its one of the best app people must have in their android device. Using which people never lost their phone again. You can save your stolen smartphone and protect your personal info from unwelcome intruders. Must use app.

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  • Your article is very much incomplete.don't include the privacy stuff.many app needs location, login to work. Then how can this be best.this info is not true to the best.frankly speaking boring.


  • the best AV will always be the intelligence of each one ... we do not need applications for this purpose.


  • I ♥️ Action launcher 3


  • Thanks for the huge list. Some of the apps iam already using and satisfied with that.


  • Brilliant article. The information I have been searching precisely. Thanks again for sharing these great app lists, its like package for me!


  • Nice info.


  • I thought this could be helpful for many who want to learn Android Development


  • Saurav 9 months ago Link to comment

    Edge browser is also an excellent choice for browser, especially given how feature-rich the mobile and web pages.


  • Nice Article Eric Ferrari-Herrmann , Thanks for Sharing Information and I am Expecting more from Your Side


  • Touchpal is my best keyboard application,still use playerpro for my music player,but there are some better applications outside the play store,that i have found on aptoide and uptodown,it can be a gamble using applications outside the playstore as sometimes you miss out on regular updates


  • Sorin 10 months ago Link to comment

    PhotoDirector is exactly the application I needed. Thanks.


  • Kustom Live Wallpaper, or KLWP might be the single most amazing app for customizing your phone ever created. There is a learning curve but if you like to theme your phone there is no question this is the way to go.
    It's like uccw and Zooper combined, on steroids with next to no battery drain. It has absolutely endless possibilities, it's updated constantly and has an amazing community on G+ as well as tons of videos on YouTube showing how to use it. You can also download professional and amazing looking themes from the Play Store to load onto it if you don't want to make your own.


  • I use an app called 'Uplift' for tracking the stock market. It's pretty simple but it's really easy!


  • great work
    thankx for sharing


  • Thanks for sharing.


  • D. L. 11 months ago Link to comment

    For music streaming, Audials is fantastic!
    Available for many platforms, but free, no ads Android app in playstore is great. Over one hundred thousand stations, & podcasts. Best feature, recording while listening or scheduled recording in the background. Only broadcast stations have the usual ads, but I rarely hear any on the streams I choose.


  • Updated: Lot of good ones here, some will be contentious. I dropped Open Camera and adopted Snap Camera HDR (Marginz) as default app because it includes customizable GUI with presets, and JPEG controls for wavelet denoise, along and sliders for sharpening, saturation and contrast. I keep comfortable, familiar Camera FV-5 for lossless PNG format. Snap and Bacon Camera actually force my Camera1 API phone to make good lossless DNGs. The main keyboard feature I want is a simple extra row of numbers across the top instead of long press or a second board - several good ones have it.

    In Canada the only reliable weather source is Environment Canada, and Fish & Whistle's nicely made free Canada Weather is the only app to link to it. Users with public library cards should see what apps the library provides free - I use Hoopla - 9 downloads/month no charge - surprised at the number of movies I like (offers TV, music and comics as well). Several ereading apps (OverDrive, RBDigital, PressReader), Naxos Jazz and Music streaming, etc. all of which are free with a library number, subscription charges without. You guys might want to do a report on free public library apps for your readers.


  • Best Lock Screen? LOL. Not updated since... February. We've all moved on to Microsoft Launcher.

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