We are living in a world where there are more Android apps than people who you want to bore with tales of your granny’s cooking. There are some really good apps out there, and after years of trying the many and rejecting the weak, it is time to bring out a sharp blade and conduct a massacre. Since 2012, Lifehacker has been bringing you lists of apps. A few have been forgotten or replaced as we found better solutions along the way but most remain relevant.
Table of Contents
10 Best Apps For android
Outside of the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook apps, the absolute best ebook reader on Android is Moon+ Reader. It is a fantastic app and I can’t say that enough. As someone who runs a Calibre ebook server at home with hundreds of ebooks (obtained mostly through Humble Bundle), Moon+ Reader is my choice for reading any one of those books on my phone.
Simply put, Moon+ Reader can handle any format, like EPUB and MOBI. There are a ton of ways to customize it to your liking, like line spacing, font scale, themes, and much, much more. It has a great and easy-to-use bookshelf and you can connect a lot of online libraries. Like I said, if you’re running Calibre in your home, this is the app for you.
While you may be locked to Kindle or Nook for your ebooks, Moon+ Reader gives you the option for your DRM-free books.
Download: Moon+ Reader
Notion aims to be your personal and team productivity hub, allowing users to create custom private or shared workspaces. From there, you add versatile “blocks” that can act like text snippets, bookmarks, images, toggle links, files, code snippets, discussion sections, and more.
This approach means you easily customize your workspace, and you can still drag and drop individual blocks of content to where you need them without disrupting an entire document. Whether you’re taking notes, crunching spreadsheets, or building a Kanban board, Notion’s powerful building blocks make things a snap to set up.
The free version of Notion allows you to save and sync up to 1,000 blocks of content, while premium subscription plans remove that content limit and add admin tools, permission settings, and other features.
When the Pixel 4 debuted in 2019, one of the best things to come with it was Google’s Recorder app. Recorder not only filled one of the big missing gaps on Pixel phones — which previously didn’t feature a built-in voice recorder — but did it in style. Recorder could transcribe your recordings in real-time, even as you were speaking. And all that transcription work was done locally, without sharing your recordings to the cloud.
Recorder was so good, Google hasn’t restricted it to just the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The app is available to all Pixel phones, and updates have added editing features introduced with the Pixel 5. Even if you carry around a different Android phone in your pocket, there’s a workaround to install Recorder on your Android device. You’ll need to be running either Android 9 or Android 10, and some features may not be supported on all phones, but it’s still a great way to experience one of the best free Android apps we’ve ever seen.
Download: Recorder for Pixel
A past Google Play Awards winner, Canva is a quick, user-friendly photo editing app that’s designed with social media use in mind.
The app comes with a variety of ready to use templates, filters, fonts, and other tools that you can apply to images in your device’s gallery or in Canva’s selection of free and premium images, which you can then easily share to your favorite social network or media platform. You can use Canva to quickly set up a cover photo or account avatar for Facebook or create crisp and clean Instagram stories, Twitter banners or the perfect Youtube thumbnails.
There’s a wealth of free material and templates you can work with, as well as a selection of premium templates, images, and more that you can access with in-app purchases.
PicsArt Photo Editor
If you want one of the best free Android apps that’s better geared toward proper photo editing, consider PicsArt Photo Editor, another past Google Play Awards winner (from when the app was known as PicsArt Photo Studio.)
PicsArt puts a ton of editing tools straight to the palm of your hand, from standard editing tools that stretch, distort, and crop images, to filters, beautifying tools, cutout tools, collage makers, double-exposure mixing tools, masking selections, drawing tools, and more. In short, it’s a collection of tools that’s useful for everything from cleaning up quick snapshots to making a share-worthy social media piece.
While you already get a good selection of features for free, a PicsArt Gold premium subscription provides a wider array of tools along with more filters and fonts and video editing; the subscription also removes ads.
Download: PicsArt Photo Editor
Whisk can bring order to your kitchen and meal planning without costing you a dime. The recipe organizer lets you pull recipes from the web or other cooking apps, adjusting ingredients and serving sizes to your specification. Then, just one button converts that recipe into a shopping list that you can use for in-store or online grocery shopping.
In addition to recipe management and grocery shopping features, Whisk also boasts a community of home cooks who can share recipes that inspire you to try new meals. And a meal planning feature lets you plot out what you’ll be serving all week long. That’s a lot of features to pack into one of the best free Android apps we’ve seen.
Woebot channels chatbot technology for good, building on proven principles and techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and dialectical behavior therapy to help with emotional self-care and help you process difficult emotions and life events.
Don’t confuse Woebot with a good — and human — therapist. Instead, the app aims to help you self-assess your state of mind, checking in with you regularly and helping you practice mindfulness exercises to try to help center yourself and improve your mental and emotional well-being.
Because Transit is a fantastic aid to your commute, it earns a spot on any list of the best free Android apps. Transit helps you plan out the fastest public transport routes to your destination.
The app provides routes that combine numerous transportation methods — such as trains, buses, and bike sharing — while also factoring in short walks to each stop and wait times. Transit can provide real-time data on arrival times of your bus or train, compare routes, step-by-step navigation, and notifications for service line disruptions. You can even book an Uber or reserve a car2go from within the app if public transport has failed you.
Initially designed as a hub app for Google’s Chromecast device, Google Home has since grown into a handy smart appliance command center, offering compatibility with devices like the Google Home smart speaker, as well as smart lights, internet-connected thermostats, home security devices, smart plugs, and more. (We’ve got a complete look at the best Google Home-compatible devices.)
Rather than having to continually shuffle between dozens of device-specific apps, you can turn the Google Home app into an all-in-one command center and a true central hub for your smart home.
Download: Google Home
Adobe Acrobat Reader
While your Android phone probably has some support for the basics of opening and viewing PDF files, if you want anything more capable, you’ll want a dedicated PDF reader app, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The mobile version of Acrobat Reader is a capable reader, with configurable view modes, support for page search, cloud storage, bookmarks and tables of contents. It also includes annotation features for your marginal notes, comments, and even digital signatures. (You can also check out our picks for the best free PDF editors if you need to make more substantive changes.) In-app purchases and subscriptions unlock professional and productivity-oriented features.
Download: Adobe Acrobat Reader
most Popular apps 2021
In a year when several app sectors saw five years growth in a few months, it is impressive that most managed to keep pace with 2020 downloads. Total downloads were down, with top apps like TikTok, Facebook and Snapchat losing over 100 million downloads in 2021.
Some newer categories, like cryptocurrency, saw much higher downloads and usage in 2021 than in the previous year. Others, such as travel, transport and dating, benefited from the opening up of tourism and hospitality.
We have collected data and statistics on the most popular apps by country and by category. Read on below to find out more.
Get our comprehensive report with 67 charts and 1144 individual data points covering up to date revenue, user and benchmark data for the app industry.Download Report
Most Popular Apps Key Statistics
- TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in 2021, with 656 million downloads
- Among Us was the most downloaded globally in 2020, with 285 million downloads
- Four of the ten most downloaded apps of 2021 were published by Facebook
Most Popular Apps by Country
In this section, we take a look at the most popular apps in each country. We cover global, Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Most Popular Apps 2021 (Global)
TikTok retained its spot as the most downloaded app in 2021, although total downloads decreased by 194 million in 2021. Facebook had three apps in the top five.
Most Popular Apps 2021 (United States)
TikTok remained the most popular app in the US as well, increasing its total downloads for the year by two million. Cash App is another 2021 success story, with more users and downloads than 2020, possibly due to the influx of new cryptocurrency buyers.
Most Popular Apps 2021 (United Kingdom)
Millions of Brits downloaded the NHS App in 2021 to access their Covid pass, which let them attend festivals, large events and go on holiday. TikTok dipped in popularity, and Microsoft Teams surpassed Zoom in total downloads.
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