40 Awesome Free Android Apps

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40 Best Free Android Apps

Fill Your Phone with Free Apps

You already pay enough for your phone, especially with the price of some Android flagships climbing north of $800. (Looking at you, Galaxy Note 8.) Throw in a monthly data plan, and it’s easy to understand why you’d want to slash spending from your mobile budget. Why not start with apps? Many of the best options available through the Google Play store are free. The true challenge is sorting the must-downloads from the ones that will just waste space. If you’ve got a new Android device to load up with apps or you’re just looking for new additions to your old phone, here are 40 of our free favorites for Android.

Facebook

Facebook for Android is quite similar to what you’d find on Facebook.com, but catered to smartphones. Share photos from your Android gallery, post updates on your wall, comment on the posts of your Facebook friends, share links and other media, and much more with the free app. The app is under constant tweaking, with additions such as editing posts and comments continuously being added. The experience wouldn’t be complete without the Facebook Messenger app, which handles Facebook’s chat and call features.

Files Go

Google’s Files Go is less a files management app and more like an assistant that helps you make the most out of your phone’s limited storage space by flagging rarely used apps, files, documents, and large folders, which you can then delete or back up to the cloud. The app also comes with cache clearing, the ability to view files by category, local encrypted file sharing, and backup features that let you throw files to the cloud. A full file manager app would still be helpful if you want to be detailed about organizing your files, but for quick operations like clearing out junk or sharing files with friends, Files Go is a light, resource-friendly option.

Gmail Go

The newest addition to Google’s Go line of slimmed down Android apps designed to provide modern features and design to entry-level phones, Gmail Go brings the email giant’s smart categories, filters, and multiple account support to budget devices, while minimizing the app’s storage and mobile data footprint. If you’re already running a fairly beefy device, Gmail Go will be superfluous, but on an aging or low-spec phone, it’s a nice way to reduce storage use without losing out on Gmail’s excellent feature set.

Microsoft To-Do

Born from Microsoft’s acquisition of Wunderlist, Microsoft To-Do is a smart, no-nonsense to-do list app that presents a sleek and distraction-free interface, while intelligently suggesting tasks based on long-term patterns, upcoming deadlines, or stuff that you weren’t able to see to in the past days. Users can keep task descriptions simple, or add detailed descriptions, color codes, categories, and more. While the app is free, cross-platform, and works perfectly fine on its own, it also plays well with the rest of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of productivity tools.

CamScanner

CamScanner turns your phone camera into a portable document scanner and OCR tool, allowing you to quickly turn photos of your paper documents into JPG or PDF electronic formats, which you can then save into your cloud storage or share through social media or email. Scan quality optimization and smart cropping let you handle everything from receipts to contracts and even office whiteboards with ease. The app is ad-supported, with watermarks on the free tier, while a premium subscription removes ads and the watermark and adds premium features such as OCR editing, auto-upload, expanded collaboration and more.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a free app that provides users with a set of expressive drawing tools. Users can choose from utilities that mimic a graphite pencil, ink pen or marker. The app supports a variety of Bluetooth styluses on the market such as those by Wacom and Adonit. Sketch aims to replicate the analog drawing experience, augmented with a few digital flourishes such as a color picker and an undo history. Users can import assets from other Creative Cloud tools such as custom brushes and colors, and your creations can also be exported into Creative Cloud as layered PSDs to Photoshop, or to Illustrator.

Nova Launcher

Tired of your stock launcher, looking to optimize your home screen performance, or just looking to customize your device’s UI? Nova Launcher is among the best modern Android launcher apps, offering loads of cosmetic and utility customizations with minimal performance overhead, letting you set your home screen just right without slowing down your phone. There are a lot of options to work through, from color themes to icon packs, scrollable docks to app drawer customizations, folder settings and infinite scrolling. The Nova team is never content to rest on its laurels, continuously adding new features, such as Sesame Shortcuts, animations, and Oreo improvements. While many customizations are available, others such as gesture controls are gated behind the premium version.

Strava Running and Cycling

In addition to being a top-notch running and cycling tracker, Strava Running and Cycling adds gamified features to give the usual run-tracking recipe a competitive edge. The app records your running speed, distance traveled, time and course taken, but also combines it with leaderboards, achievements and challenges. Strava supports a variety of running trackers, in addition to Android Wear and Apple Watch. A premium subscription improves on the formula with filtered leaderboards, the ability to create exercise goals and view more detailed analytics and more.

CastBox

Podcasting platform CastBox combines a clean and navigable interface, a good selection of podcasts, and powerful podcast audio searching to deliver an excellent mobile podcatcher. Users can sign in with Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter, and then search and subscribe to podcasts, download episodes for offline listening and sync their subscriptions across multiple devices. You can stream podcasts through Chromecast or Amazon Echo, and a premium tier removes subscription limits, allows for homepage customization, and puts you on priority for customer support and new features.

Quik

GoPro’s Quik is a hard and fast AI-assisted video editing app that intelligently splices together your footage into short and snazzy videos. You select up to 75 photos and video clips from your internal memory or cloud storage, and the app intelligently selects highlight moments and photos. You can then tweak visual effects, text overlays and titles. Users can choose from 80 free songs to sync with the video, or add their own music; the app will sync slide transitions to match the music’s beat. Videos can be saved in 1080p or 720p quality at 60fps, which you can then share across a variety of social media services or save to your device.

Venmo

Person-to-person payment app Venmo is a service from PayPal that lets you conveniently make and share payments with anyone you want. Pay anyone with a Venmo account instantly with money you have in your account, or you can link your bank account or debit card. It’s great for anyone who routinely has to pay out or collect from various sources — or even for divvying up a restaurant tab. With the app’s data encryption protecting your financial information, you’ll have no worries about security.

AccuWeather

AccuWeather provides users with timely and detailed weather forecasts, from 15-day outlooks to the hyperlocal MinuteCasts. Forecasts come with animated weather info, radar maps, detailed summaries, and push notifications for extreme weather alerts in the US. Extra features include AccUcast, a system for crowd-sourced warnings on hazardous weather and road conditions, as well as customizable forecast details, weather-related videos, and Android Wear support so that you can get forecast info at a glance on your smartwatch.

Waze

Waze is a godsend to many motorists, providing accurate, time-saving turn-by-turn navigation that takes advantage of traffic data and crowdsourced incident reports. Users select their destination, and then Waze uses mapping data and traffic information pulled from a variety of sources including official data as well as your fellow Waze users to automatically create a recommended route, complete with turn-by-turn directions. The app is remarkably adaptive, automatically adjusting routes based on the latest traffic info, as well as shifting routes on the fly should you miss a turn. In addition, Waze can display crowd-sourced incident reports, the cheapest gas stations along your route and other extras.

IFTTT

If you find yourself wasting a lot of time with repetitive internet tasks, or just want to automate tasks on your phone, try IFTTT. The app comes with a variety of pre-built “applets” that automate tasks like backing up photos to cloud accounts, messaging your roommate or family if you’re near the grocery, or having your smart lights turn themselves on when you return home from work. In addition to the pre-built applets, Users can also build custom tasks from these applets and services, combining multiple tasks and triggers in an “If This, Then That” structure (from which the app takes its name).

Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus

Avast’s Mobile Security & Antivirus is our favorite mobile security suite for Android devices, offering comprehensive antivirus protection as well as numerous extra features, like Wi-Fi vulnerability protection, malware scanning, call blocking and app locking. Avast’s free offering is already feature-packed, but premium subscribers get even more tools such as a privacy advisor, a customizable blacklist and extra tools for rooted Android devices.

Google Photos

Google Photos (which already comes stock on some Android devices) is a fantastic cloud photo storage service, offering unlimited storage space for high quality photos, as well as up to 15GB of original resolution photos in your Google Drive space. In addition to the generous online storage, Google Photos also features a smart search tool for finding familiar objects, places, pets, people and events, as well as an album assistant and basic photo editing tools.

Lastpass

Passwords and login credentials are a peculiarly internet age hassle. Thankfully password managers such as Lastpass can keep that hassle in check, serving as a mobile password vault that encrypts and stores your logins and automatically fills them in when using apps or signing on to websites. In addition to keeping track of your logins, Lastpass can generate strong passwords and store encrypted data; it also supports fingerprint scanners. LastPass recently made cross-platform syncing free to all users, so you can now sync your password vaults between your Android phone or tablet and other devices such as your PC, Mac, or iPhone.

Discord

Discord has quickly become one of the best go-to apps for gamers looking to communicate and coordinate both in and out of game. Featuring robust voice and text chat features, Discord allows users to create and join group servers and organize discussion around named text and voice channels for easily compartmentalized discussion threads. Users can engage in voice chat or send text and photo messages plus invite links to servers for their contacts. While the service is free, Discord also features a premium Nitro subscription for $4.99 a month that offers features like animated avatars, custom emoji and expanded upload limits for photos and files.

Twitter

Who knew that you could say so much in 140 characters? Microblogging website Twitter has become an internet phenomenon, used for everything from keeping in touch with friends and family to serving as an online discussion forum and source of breaking news. The official Twitter app lets you post status messages, photos, links, and GIFs, follow other users, and get in touch with your contacts through direct messaging, all in a handy mobile format that lets you take your tweets wherever you go.

Bitmoji

If you’re on the lookout for something a bit more appealing than the standard emoji that come with your Android smartphone, Bitmoji is the app for you. With Bitmoji’s help, you can create your “personal emoji” that look like you and more effectively communicate whatever you might be thinking or feeling. It’s a neat and popular app that works in Snapchat or anywhere else you’re communicating with others.

Uber

An on-demand ride sharing and car booking app, Uber has been a powerfully disruptive force in the public transportation field. Users can easily set up a user account and quickly book anything ranging from a cab, a rideshare or a premium black car service. The fare is automatically calculated and handled through credit card or Paypal.

Mint

Mint.com provides one of the most popular personal finance tracking solutions online, and you can take it mobile with this dedicated app. Track, budget, and manage your finances all in one place so you can see where you’re spending and where you can save. Keep track of your savings, checking accounts, and credit or debit cards, input transactions, and set reminders for things like bill payments to avoid late fees. It might feel a little dry and dull itemizing and tracking your expenses and purchases, but it can make a real difference in your budgeting, and the Mint.com app helps by putting your budget and spending information in clear and readable graphs and charts.

Slice

Slice is a neat one-stop shopping app that includes price-drop alerts, package tracking and e-receipt management. The app links to your Gmail or Yahoo account to automatically pull out and organize your receipts, shipment information, tracking numbers and ETAs. Track your shipments on a map, get notifications when prices changes on products you’re tracking and organize all your e-receipts with one handy piece of mobile software.

40 Best Free Android Apps
40 Best Free Android Apps

ESPN

Formerly known as SportsCenter, the ESPNapp brings users the latest and greatest sporting news and information worldwide. Whether you’re looking for updated scoring information, breaking news for various teams and leagues or professional analysis, the ESPN app has got your back. Users can easily customize a list of favorite teams, allowing the app to provide a personalized sports news experience for all the franchises and athletes you care about.

Google Maps

Google Maps is an all-around mapping powerhouse, combining powerful mapping features, turn-by-turn navigation, traffic data, commuting directions and location search all into one convenient package. Whether you’re out for a stroll, commuting to work, exploring a new town or taking a long road trip, Google Maps has something to offer.

VLC for Android

If you’re looking for a versatile, all-in-one media player that’ll play just about any file format that you can throw at it, then give VLC for Android a spin. A mobile build for the popular desktop media player, VLC is designed to play just about any file format out of the box, from ubiquitous .mp3 and .mp4 files to more unusual formats such as .mkv and .flac. In addition to playing local files, VLC for Android also supports network streaming and media library organization.

Snapseed 2

Snapseed 2 revamps the UI and combines the old selective area edits with new one-touch edit tools and filters, transform and brush editing tools and a powerful layer for working on your image edits. The new UI and the loss of the Grunge filter hasn’t pleased everyone, but Snapseed 2 is an impressive free mobile photo editing app.

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is a mobile productivity powerhouse, bringing your email, attachments, contacts and calendars into easy reach. Outlook’s built-in analytic engine automatically surfaces important email (across multiple accounts) based on your communications, and quick swipe controls allow you to easily triage your email. It’s a great mobile email app, and works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and iCloud email accounts. Check out our in-depth look at Outlook mobile here.

Spotify

Spotify has become synonymous with online streaming music, thanks to its familiar UI, Facebook integration and massive song library of more than 20 million tracks. The Spotify mobile app has been updated to allow for more free music streaming than ever, and a $9.99 monthly subscription allows you to save an unlimited number of songs for offline listening. Factor in Spotify’s artist radio stations and Browse function for finding playlists, and you’ll likely be hitting Play on this app for a long time to come.

Swiftkey

SwiftKey has long been a powerhouse among Android keyboards, providing extreme customizations that are both functional and cosmetic, as well as incorporating features such as swipe typing. SwiftKey Cloud is a predictive tool that allows you to link the app to your social networks so that SwiftKey can learn your typing habits. SwiftKey has decided to give away its keyboard for free, with an in-app store for themes and cosmetic customizations.

Contacts+

Contacts+ is an address book replacement that helps organize your contacts and integrates with your social media accounts and communications. The app automatically imports information from linked social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn contacts, allowing you to access them all in one place. Cover pictures can automatically be filled in from Facebook or Google+, and you can view your recent communications from each contact. This means you can keep conversation histories for your friends, family and colleagues.

WhatsApp

Remarkably easy setup, automatic syncing with your phone’s contacts and a feature-rich, ad-free experience all combine to make WhatsApp a wildly popular mobile messaging app on phones. Users can send text, photos, voice and short video messages to their WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp has been continuously adding to its formula, with updates adding encrypted messaging and video calls.

Instagram

With more than 130 million users, Instagram lets you take pictures and apply instant filters that give even the most boring images a little visual kick. You can then share your works of art through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The recent addition of video recording and sharing gives Vine users reasons to switch and stick to a single app

Kindle

Amazon’s Kindle app is a one-stop marketplace and ebook reader app that lets users access their digital library across all their mobile devices. A highly configurable viewer lets you set font size, background and other features to your liking. Kindle automatically syncs your reading progress across devices, allowing you to open Kindle on another machine and be on the same page, complete with bookmarks and notes. Extra features include a built-in dictionary, as well as Google and Wikipedia searches. Even if you’re not inclined to spend a cent in the Kindle marketplace, you can still enjoy a wealth of public domain ebooks and the occasional free ebook promo.

Comics

The Comics app by Comixology is a great starting place for a mobile digital comics collection, as the app serves as an all-in-one digital marketplace and comics viewer. Featuring content from major comics publishers such as Marvel, DC, Comics lets you purchase and read your favorite titles and sync your content across multiple devices. Free and promotional comics mean you don’t even have to spend to find something new to read. Guided View features assist readers on a mobile screen. The downside is that it’s a closed marketplace/reader that doesn’t allow you to import in any DRM-free ebooks you own.

Comics

The Comics app by Comixology is a great starting place for a mobile digital comics collection, as the app serves as an all-in-one digital marketplace and comics viewer. Featuring content from major comics publishers such as Marvel, DC, Comics lets you purchase and read your favorite titles and sync your content across multiple devices. Free and promotional comics mean you don’t even have to spend to find something new to read. Guided View features assist readers on a mobile screen. The downside is that it’s a closed marketplace/reader that doesn’t allow you to import in any DRM-free ebooks you own.

Evernote

Evernote is one of the premier cross-platform note-taking services, allowing users take and upload notes, pictures, audio and video snippets and organize them into cloud notebooks that can be synced across different devices. Loaded with powerful organization, formatting and sharing options, Evernote is still king even with the rise of competitors such as Catch Notes and Google Keep. The free version lets users upload 60MB worth of content monthly.

Microsoft Edge

Not satisfied with Google Chrome or any other browser that you have running on your Android device? Microsoft’s Edge browser can be a compelling alternative. Microsoft Edge gives you full browsing capabilities you’d expect, but also lets you start browsing on your phone and pick up where you left off on the computer. Microsoft Edge comes with personalization features to give it a more customized feel and boasts a reading list so you can stay abreast of what’s happening around the world.

Pocket

Pocket, the rebranded version of the venerable Read It Later service, is a great offline reading tool that allows you to select and save articles, pictures and videos for later viewing. The clean design means you can enjoy content without a lot of the side clutter on the Web. Tagging, cross-device and platform syncing, and many other features make this app an essential tool for news junkies.

Google Duo

Google Duo is a relatively new app that lets you hold one-to-one video calls with those running on Android and iOS-based devices. The app has a streamlined interface that lets you quickly place calls. There’s also a Knock Knock function that can help you see who might be calling before you officially answer. If you’re not into the video calling feature, there’s an audio-calling function to help you place calls without actually looking at someone else.

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