Best Apps For Tablets 2021

If you’re looking for the best apps for tablets, our list of the top 10 will help you find the best tablet apps.

Tablets are great for playing games, watching movies, reading books, and more. The problem is that most people don’t know what the best app is for their needs.

They also don’t know how to find new apps that they might like. That’s why we’re here! We’ve put together a list of our favorite tablet apps so that you can check them out for yourself and see if any of them interest you.

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Best Apps For Tablets 2021

When you get an Android tablet one of the first things you’ll want to do is fill it up with apps from the Play Store. But with so many hundreds of thousands to choose from, where do you start?

We’ve scoured Store to find the 23 best tablet apps that we think cover all of the basics. These apps will get you off to a great start, before you begin tailoring your tablet experience to your interests: and there are apps for literally everything, from learning to play golf to shopping with QVC.

We’ve tried to avoid doubling up on the apps that are already installed on most Android tablets. Apps like Chrome, Maps, Gmail and Calendar are all good enough that they don’t generally need alternatives.

We also haven’t included any anti-virus software. Despite there being many options on the Play Store—and a few scare stories doing the rounds—Android devices do not need anti-virus software. It will only serve to slow down your tablet, while delivering no actual benefits.


Watching TV in bed is one of the great joys of owning a tablet. And if you’ve got a Netflix subscription you’ll want this to be your first download.

There’s no better way to binge on Orange is the New Black or House of Cards. Even better, you can pair Netflix with a Chromecast to beam the content to your big-screen TV too.

Apps for other streaming services including Amazon Instant Video, Blinkbox (in the UK) and Hulu (in the US) are also available.


If you’re in the UK, TVPlayer is the perfect companion to Netflix. The app streams live TV from the main free-to-air channels (including BBC, ITV and Channel 4) and has an impressively comprehensive TV guide as well.

Also look out for separate apps for individual networks, including BBC iPlayer, 4OD and Sky GO. All other countries will have apps for their local networks too.


And one more for UK TV viewers. The Sky+ app is genius. It has a full TV guide and connects to your wi-fi enabled Sky+ box so you can schedule and manage your recordings, as well as changing channels and controlling playback, all from your tablet and without interrupting the programme you’re currently watching.

You’ll never need to use your fiddly Sky+ remote control ever again.


IMDB has always been perfect for those ‘What have I seen him in before?’ moments. Install the app on your tablet and you’ll be asking—and answering—that even more often.

It’s an awesome source of movie trailers, as well as offering guides to what is showing in your local cinema.

Android tablets come with a perfectly decent ebook reader and service called Google Play Books.

However if you are already a Kindle user you can get your full library onto your tablet with the Kindle app. It works brilliantly, not only bringing all your purchased books across to your new device, but it will also sync your bookmarks so you can carry on reading on one device from the exact point you left off on another.

Most newspapers have their own apps that will deliver their content to you in an easy to read format. Some are free, and some require subscriptions.

If you’d prefer to have the latest news, sport and other subjects of interest presented to you in a more browsable way from a variety of sources then Flipboard is the app to get.

Setting it up requires you to do no more than select a handful of topics that interest you, and a handful of pre-selected news outlets that report on those topics, to create your own daily newspaper. It’s effective, fun and a great browse over your morning coffee.

TuneIn Radio
If you’re a radio addict then TuneIn Radio is the only app worth considering. It offers access to thousands of digital stations from all around the world in every genre imaginable.

Virtually any station that is available online can be accessed through this app, either live or using the record feature. It’s completely, although there is a paid version for the really heavy user.


Pocket Casts
If podcasts are more your thing then you need Pocket Casts. The app is beautifully designed and so easy to use.

There’s a discovery section to help you seek out the best podcasts, no matter whether they are popular or obscure, and tons of options for updating and downloading on a schedule, ensuring you’ve always got the latest episode of Serial as soon as it comes out.

Pocket Casts is incredibly fast. No matter how many podcasts you subscribe to it never takes longer than a couple of seconds to update. A handy home screen widget makes it ideal for leaving in the background too.


If you’re moving your photos to your tablet, either via the cloud, an SD card or from a wi-fi enabled camera then Snapseed is the tool you need to touch them up before you share them.

It is surprisingly powerful, giving you the full range of controls from basics like brightness and contrast, to advanced functions like curves.

There’s also plenty of filters for those one-click enhancements.

Opera Browser
The Chrome browser on most tablets will be good enough for most users. But we prefer Opera.

It’s based on the same engine as Chrome, so performance is similar. The benefits it offers is a full-screen interface, easier controls and a handy text reflow feature that means you will never have to scroll sideways in a web page no matter how far you zoom in.

This essential app is the simplest way to share files and folders between your tablet, PC and phone.

Simply install the app on all the devices you want to use it on, then as soon as the save a file into the Dropbox folder it will automatically—and almost instantly—show up on your other devices. If you open, edit and re-save that file your changes are also instantly synced across your devices.

Dropbox for Android also has a useful instant upload feature that saves all of the photos you take on your device to your Dropbox to be accessed on your other devices.


Tablets are great for replacing pen and paper around the house. Wunderlist is a list-taking app that can be used to jot down anything instantly and quickly, from a regular to-do list to your shopping list.

It use the cloud as well, so your lists are automatically available on any other devices you have the app installed on, including Android smartphones, PCs, Macs and even iPhones.

Microsoft Office Mobile
There are lots of office suites available for Android, and even one built in through Google Drive.

We like Microsoft Office Mobile, a free cloud-based service that integrates with Dropbox and has full compatibility with your desktop office file formats. It’s a stripped down editor, so not full-on document creation, but has most of the common features that you’ll need.


Widgets often straddle a fine line between eye-candy and functionality, and Chronus illustrates that better than no other.

This home screen widget features a large clock, weather for today and the next five days, information on appointments in your calendar, and even news headlines from your favourite websites.

Oh, and it also looks beautiful. There are a few options for customising the design; none are ever less than thoroughly classy.

Beautiful Timer
Tablets are great in the kitchen, just load up your favourite recipe website or ebook and go.

To ensure you never leave your cakes in too long load up Beautiful Timer. The name says it all: it’s a timer and, yes, it’s beautiful. And that’s all there is to say. It’s a simple, single function app that works flawlessly.

Whether you’re planning your next trip or just browsing dream locations TripAdvisor is the best place to begin.

The app has all the features you’ll be familiar with on the website, ranging from hotel price comparisons, user reviews and photos, things to do while you’re away, and even the forums. You can get lost for hours in this app.


Be warned: owning a tablet makes shopping from your couch so easy. Almost too easy.

With that said, here’s the Ebay app. It’s a little fiddly for selling but is just great for selling. You can browse, watch items make bids or buy now, and you’re supported all the way with notifications which mean you’ll always be ready to place a last ditch bid the moment an auction ends.

As with Ebay, so with Amazon. Shopping with this app is so easy you’ll find you’re reaching for your tablet to place orders for even the most mundane products. Delivery notifications keep you up to date with the status of your order too.

The Amazon app also has a few welcome extras. One is the full integration of the Amazon Prime Instant Video. If you have access to this service this is the only app that let s you watch it on a tablet—sadly it doesn’t support Chromecast, as Netflix does.

It also incorporates the Amazon Appstore, Amazon’s own store for downloading Android apps. There’s no real benefit to using this over the Play Store, although it’s worth keeping an eye on as Amazon does do a free app of the day offer where you pick up some decent paid apps for zero charge.


Mighty Text
MightyText is a handy app that stops you needing to juggle your phone and tablet. It connects the two devices, and when a text message comes through to your phone it will appear on your tablet screen.

You can then write and send your reply on your tablet, and it will be sent via your phone. There’s no need to have a SIM card in your phone.

For Twitter, the official client is best avoided. It’s not particularly well designed, not well optimised for tablet screens, and has a tendency to fire completely irrelevant notifications at you.

There’s plenty of alternatives on the Store. A good starting point is TweetCaster. It is crammed with features, from basics like notifications, widgets and themes, to more advanced options like adding filters to your photos or enabling you to post to Twitter and Facebook at the same time.

TweetCaster is highly customisable, and though it may seem like too much for more casual users it can be tamed quite easily.

Just like Twitter, the official Facebook app isn’t too hot. FriendCaster comes from the team behind TweetCaster and works with a host of social networking accounts including Facebook.

It offers only the basics like positing status updates and checking your timeline, and for most general use this is enough. For more specific tasks you’ll be better served jumping into Chrome (or Opera) and loading up the full website.

NHS Health and Symptom Checker
This health app is worthwhile for keeping on a tablet being shared among the family.

If you’re feeling under the weather you can work through a symptoms survey to try and give you some ideas as to what might be wrong and what you should do about it. Although it’s a UK app it works anywhere, though obviously you’ll need to contact your local doctor if that’s the advice the app gives.

Pocket is an essential tool for storing those articles that you want to read, just not right now.

Whenever you come across a link on Twitter, a news story on a web page or even a video on YouTube that you’d like to come back to in future, tap the Share button followed by Add to Pocket.

When you next open the Pocket app you’ll see all your saved articles and content sat waiting to be read.

What’s your favourite app?
These top Android tablet apps cover all the basics, and if you install them first you will very quickly get up to speed with what your tablet can do.

Do you have any essential tablet apps of your own? Let us know your picks in the comments below!

best free apps for tablets

Android’s biggest strength is its app ecosystem. There are a digital ton of Android apps. People downloaded them billions of times. Some of them cost money and some of them don’t. Usually, the best apps will cost you a few bucks. However, there are plenty of amazing options that don’t cost you anything. These services are usually supported by advertising, sponsorship of some sort, or something else.

However, there are still some truly excellent apps out there that you can use for free. After all, good functionality shouldn’t always involve spending money. These are the best free Android apps for Android.

This is a best all-time list, kind of like a hall of fame, so the contents of this list won’t change very often until something truly great comes along. You can check out the best Android apps from all of 2021 if you want to see more great apps.

The best free Android apps, ever:
Bitwarden Password Manager
Blue Mail
Credit Karma
Google Drive
Google Opinion Reward
Waze and Google Maps
Imgur and Giphy
Resilio Sync
Android Apps Weekly
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Price: Free / $1.99

1Weather is about as complete of a weather app as you can find. It comes with all kinds of stuff including current conditions, forecasts, radar, predictions, fun facts about meteorology, graphs, and even a sun and moon tracker. The design is gorgeous as well and the app includes fairly decent and somewhat configurable widgets.

There is a single $1.99 in-app purchase to remove advertising. However, all the features are available in the free version and the ads are inoffensive so it’s largely to buy it. You can also check out our list of the best weather apps if you want an alternative. We also quite like AccuWeather, especially since AccuWeather’s redesign in mid-2020.

Bitwarden Password Manager
Price: Free

Bitwarden Password Manager is one of a few decent free password manager apps. It works like most password managers. You get a vault with all of your usernames and passwords. You can store as many as you want without worry and retrieve them as needed. In addition, the app has 256-bit AES encryption and it is entirely open source.

It hits all of the checkboxes for a good, free password manager. The app saw a spike in popularity after LastPass reduced the features on its free tier. KeePassDroid is another excellent option in this space, but we like Bitwarden’s UI just a bit more. You can also check out our best password manager apps list for more options.

Blue Mail
Price: Free

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Blue Mail screenshot 2021
Blue Mail is one of the best free Android apps for email. It features a simple design that helps you keep your emails in line. Additionally, it comes with support for a ton of email providers, color coding for organization, app theming, Android Wear support, and widgets. There are also a variety of smart features such as blocking notifications during certain times (per account) to help customize your experience.
Really, there aren’t many email apps more customizable than this one. It does a lot of things right and very few things wrong. This is about as good as it gets without a price tag. There are some questions about its privacy policy and we recommend reading it if those things concern you. Here’s a list of more excellent email app options as well.

Price: Free / $20 per year

Cookmate is arguably the best individual cookbook app on mobile. A lot of people have a lot of dietary wants and needs so the use of a personal cookbook app benefits a lot of people. This one is particularly nice to use. You can create custom recipes from scratch, complete with instructions and an ingredients list. Additionally, you can import recipes from virtually any website.

The UI is clean and easy to use plus there is cloud backup, even in the free version. The premium version is a yearly subscription, but all it really does is increase the number of recipes you can sync or you can just use the Dropbox option. Of course, there are many other excellent recipe and cooking apps here if you want to see more.

Credit Karma
Price: Free

Credit Karma screenshot 2022
Credit Karma is a fun little financial app. What it does is let you check your credit score for free. On top of that, the app will notify you when there are major changes to your credit score. The app offers some other things too, such as potential credit cards that you may qualify for based on your credit score. You don’t have to accept those if you don’t want to.
It’s a simple, easy way to check out your credit and start fixing things if needed. It’s one of the more underrated free Android apps. Credit Karma is not 100% accurate, but it gives you a good idea of what’s going on. The notifications also let you know if a new account was opened in your name. NerdWallet is a great alternative to this. Additionally, Intuit (owner of Turbo Tax) purchased Credit Karma for $7.1 billion in early 2020 so there may be some changes to the app moving forward. Check out some budget apps for Android for some other money stuff too.

Want to see more apps? Try these:

15 best Android apps, ever
10 best NEW Android apps (updated monthly)
Price: Free

Gboard screenshot 2020
Gboard is Google’s official keyboard app. It’s a simple keyboard that doesn’t have too many frills. It does have gesture typing (swiping), light theming, voice typing, emoji search, GIF support, and more. Its most unique feature is the built-in Google search that lets you search the web without leaving the keyboard or app that you’re in.
It can also sync between devices so your saved words go with you. It’s effective, simple, and 100% free. You’ll want to try this one out if your phone keyboard is giving you fits. It’s one of the best free Android apps for sure. SwiftKey is also great in a different sort of way and there are other great Android keyboards here as well.

Google Drive
Price: Free / $1.99-$299.99 per month

Google Drive screenshot 2020
The Google Drive suite are a group of applications that are all directly integrated into Google Drive. The apps include Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Photos, and Google Keep along with the actual Google Drive app itself.
These apps focus primarily on office use for documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows but also work for note-taking, backing up your photos, and storing whatever file you can think of. The best part is that they’re all free unless you need more than 15GB of storage on Google Drive. Most people don’t. These are all great free Android apps. You can also find more office apps options here if you need more choice.

Google Opinion Rewards
Price: Free

Google Opinion Reward screenshot 2021
Google Opinion Rewards is easily one of the best free Android apps in the Google Play Store. To use this app, you simply download and install it, then open it one time. After that, the app will periodically notify you to ask you some questions about where you go, what you do, and about Google products you use. You’ll get credit for use in the Google Play Store every time you answer a survey. That credit can go toward buying yourself apps or games in Google Play.
It’s a great way to expand your collection without spending real money. At worst, everyone should have this app installed. It is only available in some regions, though, so our International readers may not be able to use this.

Google Maps
Price: Free

Google Maps screenshot 2021
Google Maps and Waze are two navigation apps. Google Maps will give you turn-by-turn directions, let you view businesses (and their reviews), and all kinds of other stuff. Waze is another navigation app. It lets you check out the traffic along your route. Google Maps is definitely the more powerful of the two. Waze is a little bit more fun to use, though. That makes it a good option if you’re looking for something simple. Both apps get heaps of new updates and features all the time. You can’t go wrong either way. You do have more options, though, so here’s our list of the best navigation apps for Android.


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