Android users have a huge choice of apps to make their selection from, almost 3 million of them, and that can make it difficult to find the best apps. And the number of devices served by the store is immense, over 2.5 billion, and that number increases every year.
We’ve all seen how the Android smartphone and tablet have advanced over the years and, these days, we are spoilt for choice. High-end, mid-range, and low-end devices are regularly being released and there really isn’t much we can’t do on these devices now. You can stream your favorite music and movies, order a meal to be delivered to your door, track your finances, find a new love interest, and much more. The trouble is, to do all that, you need apps, and finding the right ones for what you want is tough.
Sure, you can look through the app store but who has the time to search through that many apps? Then you have to decide if you want free apps, paid apps, apps that require a subscription, and so on. So how do you do it? How do you choose the right apps to download?
Simple; we do it for you.
Top Ten Must-Have Android Apps for 2020
We decided to have a look through the app store and see what we could find. We’ve picked ten apps, a touch job considering how many there are, that we think you should consider using on your Android device in 2020.
So, in no particular order, these are those ten apps.
- Brace Privacy Browser – Free
- LinkedIn – Free
- Textra – Free, Premium Version Available
- Google Opinion Rewards – Free
- Netflix – Subscription Required
- Spotify – Free, Subscription Available
- Nova Launcher – Free, Premium App Available
- Pulse SMS or Android Messages – Free, Premium Options Available
- TickTick – Free, Subscription Option
- Zedge – Free, in-app Purchases Available
Yes, Android devices tend to come with Google Chrome as a standard web browser but there’s nothing to say that you have to use it. Instead, consider Brace. This browser is packed with privacy and security features, aimed at keeping you and your data safe on the internet. Some of those features include integrated blockers for popups, ads, third-party cookies, scripts, and more. And, to ensure that you always connect securely, Brace uses the HTTPS Everywhere extension. This is also one of the lightest browsers with a clean, minimal design that makes it dead simple to use. You can download apps like these and more on the TweakBox app.
Most of us have heard of LinkedIn and most probably don’t realize just how powerful it is. It’s a social media app aimed at businesses and the mobile app servers as a companion to the web app. It’s a great tool for finding new jobs, linking up with people in your business area, and excellent business networking. You set up a profile that shows off what you’ve achieved and get your resume out there for everyone to see. It could be considered as a kind of Facebook but for adults.
If you want a different kind of messaging experience on your Android device, give Textra a look. It offers heaps of visual customizations that the stock app simply doesn’t bother with, including bubble styles for texts, contact colors, and notification icons. You can also take advantage of features like blacklisting certain contacts, scheduling texts, renaming a group conversation, light and dark modes, and much more. The app is free but if you like it and you want more options, you can get the premium version for just $3.99. You can download and install apps like these on the AltStore app store.
This has to be one of the best-kept secrets in the Google Play Store but it’s one we think you have the right to know. The app does exactly what it says – it rewards you for your opinion. The app will ask for your opinion on places you have visited, even a few questions about you and your answers earn you credit in the Play Store. Yes, you might have to give up some data if you choose to take part but it’s a great way of earning credits to go towards app purchases.
Streaming movies is popular on mobile devices right now and Netflix is one of the best services you can get your hands on. Netflix offers you one of the best selections of movies and TV series, both classic and new, as well as some Netflix Originals. New users can get a 30-day free trial and subscriptions start from just $9 per month. The more you watch, the better the recommendation engine gets at making suggestions about what to watch and you can set up five separate profiles. Pay a bit more and you can access 4K content.
Mention music streaming and probably the first app you think of is Spotify. And there’s a good reason for that – it is, hands down, the most popular app of its type. It offers millions of tunes, from your old faves to some of the most happening music right now and you can even find some pretty obscure music genres too. You can use Spotify for free but if you want to get rid of the ads, play whatever music you want, skip as many tracks as you want, and much more, then you need to go premium. Prices start at $10 per month although new users can get a fantastic three-month free trial. There’s a household plan and students can get a premium subscription for just $5 a month.
Now, launchers may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you are looking for one, you can’t go too far wrong with Nova Launcher. It seems to offer far more than many other launchers and has been around for some time. Regular updates keep it fresh and it offers a lot of cool features. You can back up your home screen set up and restore it, choose themes for your icons, customize your app drawer and your home screen, and much more. You can use it for free but if you want gesture controls, the ability to unread your app count badges, and use icon swipe actions, you’ll need the premium app at just $4.99. You can download apps like these from the CokerNutX app store.
SMS apps are everywhere in the app store but these two stand head and shoulders over the others. With Pulse SMS, you get a choice of themes, support for GIFs, you can password protect your conversations, blacklist spammers, and much more. Pulse costs $0.99 per month or you can make a one-off lifetime payment of just $10.99. With Android Messages, you get a slightly more basic service but it does the job and it is free. And the bonus is you can use both to send messages via your desktop. While Pulse SMS uses a server, Android Messages will live-stream your messages.
TickTick may not be the most popular to-do list app but it is one of the best. You get all the basics covered, such as reminders, recurring tasks, push notifications, a series of organizational features, and lots of categories. And you can share categories and tasks with others, which makes it a great app for teams, groups, and family use. You don’t just have to stick to work-based tasks, either. You can draw up any to-do list you want, grocery shopping lists, pretty much anything. All the features mentioned are free but limited, i.e. only two reminders for a task. If you want more, then go premium for $27.99 a year.
Our last recommendation, but by no means the least is Zedge. This is one of the best device customization apps on offer anywhere and includes an unending list of customizations such as ringtones, themes, wallpapers, alarm tones, and much more. And during the different holidays, Zedge will offer different items to theme your device – think Christmas, Hallowe’en, Easter, and much more. It isn’t perfect, there is the odd bug in it and yes, you do get those irritating ads. With Zedge Premium, you can watch ads and complete surveys to earn Zedge credits and you can also buy credits using in-app purchases. These credits allow you to purchase premium customizations at a good price.
With that many apps to sift through, it wasn’t easy coming up with just ten cool apps. We’ve tried to offer a variety of apps that suit all tastes and requirements, apps that have lots of features, and are useful to you as well. The paid apps we recommend offer great value for money and some offer very generous free trials too.
We did include a couple of the big names here – Netflix and Spotify – but, overall, we tried to find some of the best apps that you may not have heard of. The advertising system for developers makes it hard to get apps on the Recommended or App of the Day lists, which means many of the best apps get buried in the app store, only coming to light when we stumble over them by accident. And that’s a real shame, given that many of the unknown apps offer a better service than the ones we all know about.
So, have a look through these apps, try them out, and share this with others to let them know that there are some pretty cool apps out there, just waiting to be tried.