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The best apps for your new phone or tablet

Getting a new smartphone is like starting a brand new life chapter, or at least a new Android chapter. With every new device you get there are tons of new features and functions that you can put to use to broaden what you can do with a smartphone and ultimately facilitate your life in many ways. Every new phone also needs new apps in order to introduce a broad scope of functions. Here is our list of apps that you need to install onto your Android phone this year.

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The basics: storing and transferring data online

Do you already use an Android smartphone? You therefore have the choice of setting up your phone all over again by installing apps individually from the Google Play Store, or you can re-install all of the apps that you had on your previous device. The latter is the quicker way to set up your new Android phone. If you also choose the second option, you should go to the Google Play Store to make sure that you have the most recent update for the apps.

One of the most important kind of apps are storage apps, which you can fill up with the data, pictures, documents and videos from your Android smartphone, thus freeing up the internal storage on your phone. There are many good apps for this purpose. Google Drive may come pre-installed on your device, as many other Google apps, but Dropbox, Box and OneDrive are also perfectly suited to the role.

Dropbox Install on Google Play Microsoft OneDrive Install on Google Play Box Install on Google Play MagentaCLOUD Install on Google Play

If you don’t use an online storage app, what is commonly referred to as the cloud, you should at least consider using a data transfer app in order to facilitate transferring data from one phone to another. AirDroid is great, because it allows you to wirelessly transfer your data back and forth between your smartphone and PC (its functionality doesn’t end there though). The only disadvantage it presents, however, is that bulky files can sometimes be troublesome to upload. Portal is also a great app for this purpose, though this is pretty much its only function.

AirDroid: Remote access & File Install on Google Play Portal - WiFi File Transfers Install on Google Play

USB drives are no longer in, seeing as network attached storage systems are more a flexible and secure way to transfer data between two storage spaces and the risk of losing data is almost non-existent. Take a look in the Google Play Store for our recommended NAS app.

DS file Install on Google Play Qfile Install on Google Play My Cloud Install on Google Play zCloud Install on Google Play

Teach your friends that WhatsApp isn’t the only messenger app

The tool of a smartphone, as has been the case for phones since their creation, is to communicate. Now sending text messages is more common, which is why you should install messenger and social network apps. Though WhatsApp has become a staple in most countries worldwide, it might not be the best choice seeing as it was bought out by Facebook, whose privacy policies are often dubious and the risk of intrusions is high.

A better app to use is Threema. It uses less data and it encrypts messages so that only the recipient will ever see the message. Other good and secure apps are Signal and Wire. While Threema only uses text messages, Signal has voice calling and Wire offers voice and video calling.

The Threema app is a paid app, however it has the advantage that you can use five different mobile phone numbers with one Threema license. This is great for large families and paying a little for a lot of security is definitely worth it.

Threema Install on Google Play Signal Private Messenger Install on Google Play Wire - Private Messenger Install on Google Play
AndroidPIT Google play Store 8990
Google Play Store for the family / © AndroidPIT

Social networks and games

It’s highly probable that you have already installed Facebook on your phone. You can however also get access to this social network via a browser on your device, there is no actual need to install the app on your device. Social networks for the career advancement see LinkedIN and Xing as the best you can install. Are you also one of those people who doesn’t quite comprehend Snapchat? Then you should really try out the messenger and send your friends funny selfies that will delete after a matter of seconds. Twitch on the other hand is the latest fad amongst gamers and allows users to follow video games being played in livestreams.

Many people also use the Cloud-based Google Play Games app, which has the advantage of saving your progress. It’s actually quite odd that this app is seldomly pre-installed on smartphones. If you want to be able to pop in and out of a game, then install Google Play Games prior to getting started.

Google Play Games Install on Google Play

There are also a bunch of great games to fill up on in some of our other top lists:

Give your phone a personalized make-over

If you don’t like the user interface of your phone, then you could try a launcher, which can easily be installed from the Google Play Store. There are literally hundreds of different launchers you can get, all of which do really cool stuff with your phone, bringing neat new functions and features to make your phone even better. Two of the best launchers are Nova Launcher and Action Launcher, though there are of course a lot more. We have a list of the best launchers for your Android smartphone.

launcher nova
A new launcher gives your smartphone its own personalized look / © AndroidPIT
Nova Launcher Install on Google Play Action Launcher 3 Install on Google Play

These apps are just some of the great apps to have on your phone, but of course, there are a lot more. What apps do you think are essential for every smartphone?

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  • Bonus points for mentioning Threema. I have been a fan for a long time, and quite a few of my contacts started using it last year (due to all those WhatsApp controversies). Sure it costs a few bucks, but that's a good thing, IMO. After all, the app development isn't free, and I rather pay with money than with my user data.

  • Glad to come across your article. I have a query though, I heard about this app called FinoZen which gives you interest amount on a daily basis. Is it true? Can you kindly test and let us, your readers, know whether this app can be used to invest money in? Site link is provided. Please take some time off and write about it in detail for us all. Thanks.

  • if u are in india than shareit will be first app installed on an android device

  • I'm old and set in my ways. The only app on my phone is DropBox. I see the ones that you guys say is GREAT or otherwise better than the rest, I try and delete it after a few moments of figuring out that it ain't for me. So as I see it, beauty (aka, usefulness) is in the eye of the beholder (user). Caveat Emptor.

  • Great list.

  • Google Photos is not unlimited storage. It is 15GB for free, if you don't use any other Google service.

  • This is nice stuff. I have 2-month-old Samsung J5 but I didn't know that all the apps are much important above you mentioned. I'm going to download most of the important apps like Vine, Swiftkey andTasker.

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