Did you pick a great deal on a new smartphone for Black Friday? Maybe there was a new one under the Christmas tree? Whatever the reason, you’re going to need the best Android apps for that new phone, and you’re in the right place.
We’ve gathered up all the best Android apps from around the internet, covering everything you need to be more productive, have some fun, and just make your phone better to use.
Check it out.
Your phone is your best music player, and there are plenty of options to get some tunes going. Spotify is an easy pick here, with both a free tier and a premium plan that includes an enormous catalog of music and podcasts. Spotify’s app works very well and is almost its own social media site, with social integration, playlist sharing, and all kinds of other useful features.
With a HiFi plan on the way, a growing catalog of music and playlists, and more devices getting supported, you’ll definitely want to check Spotify out, even if it’s just the free tier.
Want to watch some movies instead of listening to music? No problem, we’ve got you covered. Netflix is one of the oldest names in the streaming game, and they’ve built a huge library of movies, TV shows, and documentaries over the years, and their app is fine-tuned for mobile devices.
Not only can you download content for offline viewing later, but you can sling your movies to another screen in your house, manage your list of things you want to watch, and get tons of recommendations for the next show you’ll want to binge. This one’s a staple for almost any cord-cutter.
If Netflix kind of streaming isn’t your thing, you’ve still got options. Pluto TV is quickly becoming another great option in a cord-cutting toolbox as a totally free service that shows a huge variety of content. It has more traditional channels covering old movies, tech TV, documentaries, comedy, horror, or anything else you can think of, and it all plays 24/7.
There are plenty of newer ad-supported movies here, too, so don’t think it’s all just obscure stuff no one wants to watch. If you’re looking for a specific niche or just want that old-school channel-surfing experience, give this a spin.
After you’re done with your movie and music binging, you might want something a little more relaxing. Wattpad is a unique take on reading that brings a ton of user-created writing and stories into one place and gives the option to upload your own stories for others to read.
You can read a ton of stuff for free across any genre you can imagine, but Wattpad does offer some paid stories and a premium tier that removes ads from the service. And if you’re itching to create something yourself, you can freely upload anything you’ve written right from the app, too.
Podcasts are an easy way to unwind, learn something new, or just laugh and destress, and Pocket Casts is one of the best ways to do that.
The app has recently been updated to look almost like a native Android application, and it integrates into just about any ecosystem you might be invested in. It works with Google Cast devices, plus Sonos, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto, and it has a web version.
It’s loaded with features, too, supporting chapters, syncing playback progress, notifications, and automatic refreshing and checking for new episodes. The app itself is free, but it charges $ 0.99 per month or $ 10 per year for the premium features.
It’s hard to figure out exactly which chat app is the most popular around the world, but if you told me it was WhatsApp, I’d probably believe you.
WhatsApp is very widely used and has loads of features, making it an extremely popular place to stay connected with friends and family. It supports free phone calls, end-to-end encrypted messaging, and highly functional group chats.
If you’re looking to completely replace regular text messaging with an app, you can’t go wrong here.
Discord is well-known for being a gaming-focused chat app, but it can handle all kinds of communication and is trying to rebrand these days to better compete with services like WhatsApp.
Discord works like a regular chat app if you just want to message someone; simply get their username and start talking. But there are huge servers and communities for anything you can imagine where you can meet people, and there are tons of ways to express yourself. You can video chat, screen share, create custom emojis and gifs, and more.
It’s all free, too! Give it a spin.
Snapchat blurs the line between communication and social media, but it’s still a crazy popular app with a few features that you might find useful.
The appeal of Snapchat is its disappearing messages; by default, anything you send to anyone disappears after they open it, or, at most, 24 hours if you opt to keep things around a little longer. That feature makes the app trend towards a younger demographic, but it’s still useful to have that kind of option for certain conversations.
Snapchat has grown in the last few years to include disappearing stories, news, games, custom filters, and more.
Google Chrome is a fully featured browser on its own, and arguably the most popular browser in the world. That doesn’t mean you don’t have other options, though.
Microsoft Edge, which has just recently come to every device you own (including MacOS!) Offers a particularly good alternative that integrates a little more cleanly into your Microsoft ecosystem. It still has tons of great features to keep it competitive, but it’ll let you organize your bookmarks and favorites and keep things synced up with Edge on your PC.
Whether you just want to mix it up or you’re trying to be a little less reliant on Google, Edge is a great pick.
Firefox is another excellent choice, partly because of Mozilla’s very long history in the browser market. Firefox was the first to bring lots of standard browser features to market, like tabs, and it still holds up today.
It uses its own custom engine that’s designed to be a little more private and secure while loading websites extremely quickly, blocking trackers along the way. It’ll also sync up with your other instances of Firefox on other devices.
The internet these days is built on advertising and tracking. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending on the circumstance, but not everyone wants to have all of their activity tracked across the web.
If you fit that category, you’ll want to check out Brave Browser. Its main selling point is privacy and security, delivering a highly customized browsing experience that blocks ads, trackers, and security threats along the way.
You know a list of shopping apps is going to include Amazon at some point.
If you’re looking for literally anything, you’re almost guaranteed to find it on Amazon. Books, video games, clothes, food, pet supplies, couches, smartphones, you name it and Amazon has it.
On top of that, an Amazon Prime subscription brings a ton of extra features onto your phone, like access to Amazon Prime Video and 2 million songs from Amazon Music, two-day delivery from Amazon products, cloud storage, and more.
If you’re looking for something a little more handmade, Etsy is the place to go. Instead of offering regular boxed goods, most things are made to order or custom, unique products that you won’t find in other places.
Sometimes that’s something simple like handmade jewelry or clothes, but it can be anything from entire statues or custom-built computers. This one’s an excellent place to check for holiday and birthday presents, too.
If Amazon has all the normal stuff you want, and Etsy offers esoteric things, AliExpress is somewhere in the middle. Think of it as a digital flea market.
There are products for almost anything on AliExpress, although the quality can be a little hit or miss. Sometimes that’s the selling point, however; are those $ 4 headphones you bought with a six-week shipping time going to be the steal of the century, or should you just bought a candy bar with that money?
Jokes aside, you can find some very cool and cheap stuff here, especially if you’re looking for electronics.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Browse the internet for more than a day and you’ll probably run into a PDF file that you need to open. Unfortunately, these can be a little tricky to deal with if your phone doesn’t have the right apps installed.
For a quick and easy fix, try Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe’s been around forever, and their Acrobat Reader is a straightforward way to download, manage, and edit those PDF files. It’s free, and the Adobe account is optional to use. Definitely worth sticking on your phone just in case.
The line between a full desktop computer and a smartphone is as blurry as ever, and apps like Microsoft Office prove it.
You don’t need a laptop or desktop to handle editing Word and Excel files anymore. Simply download Office and you’ll get full access to managing any of those files, plus integration with your Office and OneDrive files and collaboration with other Office users.
This one’s very handy to have, and being able to sync it up with a work computer is just a bonus.
If you need access to your files everywhere, you can sometimes rely on something like Adobe’s Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office to keep them synced up, but for generic files, you can’t beat an all-purpose cloud storage service.
We’re big fans of Dropbox, which has slowly been building out tons of cool features to keep your camera roll synced, collaborate with other users, and integrate into lots of other popular apps and services. Its cloud storage pricing isn’t too expensive, either, making it an excellent choice for cloud storage on your new phone.
When Gmail just can’t cut it, check out Newton Mail. We’ve actually reviewed this before, and it still holds up as one of the best email clients available across platforms. It’s loaded with features, including read receipts, connections to other apps, and a priority inbox that keeps you focused on the important stuff.
It’s a little pricey at $ 49 per year, but that’s still cheaper than something like Outlook. And if you’re handling hundreds of emails per day, it’s worth the price of admission.