15 best Android apps of 2018:
Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The crème de la crème. The Android apps that stand alone at the top of the pantheon. These apps have become ubiquitous with Android and if you’re looking for good stuff it’s assumed that you have some of this stuff already. Without further delay, here are the best Android apps currently available! Make sure to come back because we do keep this updated every month!
If you want to keep your Android device safe on sketchy public Wi-Fi, you’ll need a solid VPN, and ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted, secure brands in the virtual private network industry, and that’s for good reason. It’s super fast and extremely safe, boasting an SSL-secured network with 256-bit encryption and, get this, unlimited bandwidth and speed. ExpressVPN has servers in 78 countries (including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and others) in over 100 locations around the world, so there will always be a location near you to give you the best experience possible. It’s definitely one of the best Android apps! See our ExpressVPN Review.
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Price: Free / $1.99
1Weather is arguably the best weather app out there. It features a simple, paginated design that shows you the current weather, forecast for up to 12 weeks, a radar, and other fun stats. Along with that, you’ll get a fairly decent set of lightly customizable widgets and the standard stuff like severe weather notifications and a radar so you can see the storms approaching. Perhaps its best feature is its minimal design which just shows you the weather (and fun facts, if you want). The free version is the complete full version and the $1.99 in-app purchase only removes the advertising. Most will also likely enjoy the range of weather fun facts the app offers as well. Other great weather apps include Dark Sky, Weather Underground, and Today Weather.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Google Drive is a cloud storage solution available on Android where all new users get 15GB for free permanently upon signing up. You can, of course, buy more if needed. What makes Google Drive so special are the suite of Android apps that are attached to it. They include Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Photos, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Keep. Between the office apps, the Photos app (which allows unlimited photo and video backup), and Keep for note taking, you have apps for practically anything you need to do in terms of productivity. Some of the features of these apps include live collaboration, deep sharing features, and compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. Microsoft Office has a similar setup with OneDrive and Office. However, Google’s solution is just easier to use.
Google Maps virtually owns the navigation apps scene and it remains the best Android apps ever. It gets frequent, almost weekly updates that seem to only add to its incredibly generous list of existing features. Aside from the very basics, Google Maps gives you access to places of interest, traffic data, directions to things like rest stops or gas stations, and they even let you have offline maps now (albeit temporarily). If you add to that the Waze experience, which includes tons of its own features, and you won’t need another navigation app. Ever.
Google Assistant is one of the most powerful Android apps. It also works on most Android devices. You simply download the app and then enable it. From there, you can ask it whatever you want. It also supports a variety of commands. You can control lights, ask about population control, and it can even do simple math problems for you. There are a variety of products like Google, Bose QC II Bluetooth headphones, Home and Chromecast that extend the functionality even further. There is also a second Google Assistant app for those who want a quick launch icon on the home screen. The hardware stuff costs money, but Google Assistant is free. Amazon Alexa is another excellent app in this space, but we’d love to see more Android phone support.
Price: Free / $9.99 per month
We don’t typically recommend streaming services to people. Everyone has their preferences and saying that one is better than another is a matter of opinion at this point. Except for Google Play Music. The app can read both your local files and the music you like online. Additionally, you can upload tens of thousands of songs to the service for free. YouTube is kind of a given. There’s more content there than a human person can watch in several lifetimes. That includes music videos, educational videos, news videos, reviews, video game let’s plays, and a whole lot more. There is a single subscription that covers both services. It’s a fantastic deal. Word is that YouTube is working on their own streaming service. We’ll keep this list updated when that happens.
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Price: Free / $12 per year
LastPass is one of those must-have Android apps. It’s a password manager that lets you save your login credentials in a safe, secure way. On top of that, it can help generate nearly impossible passwords for you to use on your accounts. It’s all controlled with a master password. It has cross-platform support so you can use it on computers, mobile devices, tablets, or whatever. There are others, but LastPass always feels like it’s one step ahead. Additionally, the premium version is cheap. You can also grab LastPass Authenticator to go along with it for added security. There are other great options like 1Password. However, LastPass just seems to work so well.
Price: Free / $4.99
Initially, we weren’t going to put any launchers on this list. Nova Launcher seems to extend beyond what normal launchers are. It’s been around for years, it’s been consistently updated, and thus it’s not been a great option for a launcher replacement. It comes with a host of features, including the ability to backup and restores your home screen setups, icon theming for all of your Android apps, tons of customization elements for the home screen and app drawer, and more. You can even make it look like the Pixel Launcher if you want to. If you go premium, you can tack on gesture controls, unread count badges for apps, and icon swipe actions. There’s not much else to say. It’s just that good.
Those who enjoy podcasts probably have the easiest decision in regards to which podcast app that should use. The answer to that question is Pocket Casts. This insanely stable and good looking app allows you to download or stream various podcasts for your enjoyment. It features both audio-only and video podcast support so you can catch up on just about anything. There is also a light and dark theme, a sign-in feature so you can sync your podcasts across devices and a pretty decent recommendations function. It’s the last podcast app you’ll have to download and one of the best Android apps out there.
Price: Free trial / $1.99
File browsing is something everyone inevitably has (or wants) to do, so you might as well do it with a capable, fantastic file browser. Solid Explorer is pretty much as good as it gets in the file explorer apps realm. It features Material Design, archiving support, support for the most popular cloud services, and even some more power-user stuff like FTP, SFPT, WebDAV, and SMB/CIFS support. It looks great, it’s incredibly stable, and it just works well. You can get a 14-day free trial, but ultimately the app costs $1.99 which is very reasonable. It’s one of those Android apps everyone should have.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
SwiftKey Keyboard is one of the most powerful and customizable third-party keyboards available. It hit the market several years ago with a predictive engine unlike anything any other keyboard had and the app has grown a lot of over the years. It’s a free download and you can purchase themes for it if you want to. Other features include a dedicated number row, SwiftKey Flow which allows for gesture typing, multiple language support, cross-device syncing of your library and much more. It’s about as good as it gets in the keyboard space. It’s true that Microsoft now owns SwiftKey, but so far they have managed not to mess it up. Gboard, Google’s keyboard app, is also exceptionally good.
Tasker is a glorious application if you have the patience to learn how to use the app. What it does is allow users to create custom-made commands and then use them in various places. There are many apps out there that have Tasker support and you can even use Tasker to create very complex commands for NFC tags. It’s difficult to truly explain what this app can do because it can do so many things. Between the apps supported, plugins you can add, and the sheer volume of stuff that you can do, there aren’t many apps out there as useful as this one. IFTTT is another excellent automation app. In some cases, it may even be better than Tasker.
Price: Free / $2.99
All phones come with a texting app. Those apps usually aren’t very good. Textra is among the most solid Android apps out there. It covers the basics well. You can send SMS and MMS messages to your friends. That includes group texts. The app can also be themed. You can choose a dark or light background, a primary color, and an accent color. Thus, no two Textra setups look alike unless you want them to. Additionally, a helpful bot exists in the app to deliver news about updates and what have you. It’s better than your stock texting app.
Price: Free / $27.99 per year
TickTick isn’t as popular as other to-do list apps. However, it may be the best one. It covers the basics like recurring tasks, reminders, pushes notifications, various organizational features, and categories. The app also lets you share tasks and entire categories with other people. This makes it great for family use, small teams at work, or other such groups. It’s also set up in such a way that stuff like grocery lists are easy to do. All of the good stuff comes in the free version. The premium version is mostly for heavier business and enterprise use.
WallpapersCraft 4K Backgrounds is probably the best backgrounds app right now. It features tons of wallpapers at high resolutions. It boasts a collection of 80,000 wallpapers with more every day. The app can detect your display resolution automatically. Thus, the images you see are for your screen resolution. That takes all the guesswork out. We liked that a lot. There are also some additional organization features and automation features. It’s completely free. You just have to deal with a little advertising.
Last, but certainly not least on our list is Zedge. This is a wallpaper, ringtones, notification tones, and alarm tones app that gives you an unbelievable number of options to customize the most basic parts of your device. On top of having an exhaustive collection of things, Zedge also promotes various items during holiday seasons making it easy to theme your phone up for Christmas, Halloween, and other holidays. It’s not a 100% perfect app. It does have the occasional bug and some irritating advertisements. On top of that, their wallpaper selections may not be great for higher resolution displays (you can find better ones). However, no app in the Play Store does ringtones, notification tones, or alarm tones as good as Zedge.
If we missed any of the best Android apps, tell us about them in the comments below! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!