These are the Best Android Apps: Tasker, Spark, Feedly, Weather Underground, and more!
So you just got a new Android phone. You unbox it, take the plastic film off, and turn it on for the very first time. Then you add your Google account and finish setting it up. Now it’s time to download some apps! But if you’re new to the Android ecosystem, you might not be quite settled on which apps you’re going to download. You might be overwhelmed by the vast amount of choices on Google Play, or you might just be undecided between several choices. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help.
Today, we’re going to highlight some must-have apps every Android user should have in 2021. Some are newer apps while others are older and popular. We’ve classified this list with at least three picks for each category.
Navigate this guide:
- Best Essential Android Apps
- Best Web Browsers for Android
- Best Android Apps for Video
- Best apps for Music & Audio
- Best Android Apps for Communication
- Best Android Social Apps
- Best Android Apps for Productivity
- Best Android Dating Apps
- Best Android Apps for Reading
- Best News Apps for Android
- Best Sports Apps for Android
We’ll start with some apps that are essential for improving your Android experience, like VPN apps or password managers. These apps don’t exactly fit into any of the categories we’ll mention later on, but, at least in my opinion, they are very handy to have and are sure to make your Android experience better. I always install the first three apps on any Android device I try out, as a matter of fact.
From allowing you to manage your apps better to automating your entire Android experience, these are definitely worth a look, no matter if you’re a normal user or an enthusiast.
Solid Explorer is the definitive file explorer app. It’s one of the best browser apps out there — if not the best — and it’s because it allows you to do so much. It features built-in encryption to encrypt your important files, it features Google Drive and Dropbox integration, with support for connecting to an external server of your own, and easy file management with support for exploring other partitions of your device through root access.
There’s really a lot to love about it. You’ll need to pay a one-time license in order to use it, but other than that, it’s one of the very few paid Android apps I think is actually honestly worth it.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably a mess with your passwords. They’re all over the place, you probably have several variants of one password and get confused while logging into stuff, and frequently mistake them. Not to mention, if you’re the kind of guy to use the same password on several websites, you might be in for a nasty surprise if someone manages to guess it.
After LastPass tightened their free tier, a lot of users started looking to Bitwarden as a decent, no-frills password manager alternative. While the app has a Premium tier, all of the core features of the app remain fully free, including a secure password generator, syncing across all devices, and more. You only really need to pay for the app if you’re looking for features such as the built-in two-factor authenticator and file sharing, but otherwise, you will be served more than okay with the free tier of Bitwarden. The best part of all? It’s open-source. Who doesn’t love some good old open-source software?
Tasker is one of the most complex apps out of this whole list, and it has a bit of a steep learning curve to it, especially for beginners. But once you get the grasp of it, it’s one of the most useful apps out there.
It can automate almost every aspect of your smartphone usage and have it work the way you want it to. This will reduce a lot of manual input and repetitive behavior by setting automatic actions to the parameters and conditions you want. It’s also a Swiss tool of sorts and serves as a workaround to adding amazing functionality to your smartphone. If you can think of it, Tasker can probably pull it off.
The Backdrops app is one of the best tools for customizing your smartphone and making it truly yours. It’s been my go-to choice for most of my smartphone wallpapers for several years, and it’s not really that hard to see why. You get a wide range of wallpapers to fit any kind of person, including a section with curated wallpapers as well as other community-contributed ones.
Aside from some “premium” collections, the app is fully free to use. If you want something different than your new device’s default wallpapers, Backdrops is an amazing place to start your search.
Weather Underground is one of the best Weather apps on Android. It’s well-organized and comes with a clean interface. It has everything you would want in a weather app. You can see hyper-local weather forecasts, get sophisticated weather visualizations, and severe weather alerts.
A great web browser is a must-have app for any Android phone. After all, most of us spend quite a bit of time in a web browser. There are dozens of web browsers in the Google Play store, but not all are made equal. So here are our top picks for the best web browsers for Android in 2021.
Google’s Chrome is an excellent web browser for most people. It’s fast and includes most features you expect from a web browser. Moreover, it comes pre-installed on most Android devices these days. So you don’t have to look for it in the Google Play store. In terms of features, you get sync support, a password manager, a lite mode to save data, support for secure DNS, and more.
Firefox is one of the few browsers that still uses its own browser engine — Gecko. So if you’re looking for a real Chrome alternative, Firefox is your best bet. It’s snappy and packs all the browser basics. One of its highlights is add-on support. While the browser doesn’t support all add-ons available on the desktop version, you get a limited but decent selection of recommended add-ons.
Brave is a Chromium-based open-source web browser. It focuses on privacy and comes with built-in features to block ads and trackers. You also get sync support, background video playback, and the usual basics. In addition, the browser allows users to run optional ads and get rewarded in Basic Attention Tokens (BATs), which is Brave’s own cryptocurrency.
Best Android Apps for Video
For video, we’ll mention some of our favorite apps for streaming movies, TV series, and content from your favorite content producers, as well as giving you the option to play back your locally downloaded content easily and painlessly.
These are our three top picks for video apps right now.
I’m sure Netflix doesn’t need an introduction. It’s one of the biggest media companies right now and its namesake video streaming service has almost 200 million users. You’ll be able to find all kinds of movies and TV series, new and old, from fantasy, to action, all the way to terror and suspense. It’s one of the best video streaming services on the planet, and one of the biggest ones as well.
The Android app gives you access to all of the service’s features on the go, including watching your favorite shows on your phone, up to the highest quality your device can handle.
It looks like it’s been around for a long time, but actually, Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, launched in late 2019. It represented a big change of direction for Disney — which hosted many of their movies and series on other platforms like Netflix — for them to take a change of direction and launch a hub for everything Disney.
It was a successful move, as Disney+ is now one of the most used streaming services in the world. Disney+ gives you access to Disney, Fox, Marvel, and Star Wars content, all from the same app. The best part is it’s also cheaper than the competition, at just $6.99 per month.
YouTube is the biggest video platform on the entire planet right now. You can check out content from your favorite YouTubers, find educational videos, watch music videos, and even upload your own content if you’re into that sort of thing, as well as accessing your creator tools.
The YouTube app supports playing back videos in the highest resolution available for your smartphone, supports HDR video, and several features such as picture-in-picture (PiP) mode.
VLC is probably the best app for watching locally downloaded videos on your smartphone. It’s a pretty big deal on a PC, and it’s available for Android as well, with the same feature set. It supports playing a wide variety of videos, an endless number of formats (no matter how ancient or non-standard they are), and closed captions (if you have a separate subtitle file).
What’s more, it’s completely free and has no ads to hurt your media experience.
Music & Audio
Next up, we’re going to feature some apps for music and audio. From subscription services that give you access to millions of songs and podcasts hosted online, to something that allows you to play back your locally downloaded music the way you’re supposed to, there are a lot of alternatives in the Google Play Store.
Here are our top 3 picks for the best Android apps for music.
Spotify is likely one of the best music streaming services available out there in terms of features. I’ve tried out a handful of them, and there’s always something I miss about Spotify. The app’s recommendation algorithm is pretty spot-on and allows you to discover more music every day, either within the genre you like or an entirely different music genre. It also supports a lot of different platforms, curated playlists are updated every day, it has podcasts, and so much more.
It’s also completely free to use as long as you’re willing to cope with ads and certain limitations, and there’s also a paid version that gives you the full experience for a monthly subscription fee.